Around-The-Clock Video Surveillance

I recently had the opportunity to submit a proposal for a video system for a healthcare facility. Every chance to submit a proposal offers you the opportunity to not only make a sale, but also to demonstrate your customer service skills. You can also use the process as a great learning exercise, as you perform product research.

Although the premises is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, management realized that their security and level of care would be greatly enhanced with the addition of video.

Some benefits my system could afford would include:

  • Live views of areas with cameras
  • Recording of areas with cameras
  • The ability for authorized individuals to view cameras from on or off site using PC or mobile devices.
  • Notification of movement within the viewing areas with cameras.
  • Ability to archive video and produce copies of video onto USB flash media

I performed a site survey and discussed what the client’s expectations were from the camera system.

Goals were to provide the best quality image, be able to record for extended periods, be able to view cameras off-site, by the most cost-effective measures.

The best quality image has a lot to do with the quality of the cameras, and how you define the viewing area (place the cameras). Although it is possible to view license plates and small details a hundred yards away, these capabilities are specialized and the cost for such features cannot always be justified.

The labor to install the system is also a target for trimming the installation price when considering a system.

Customers know they have a computer ‘network’, are familiar with Wi-Fi, and know all about wireless from watching TV and browsing the Internet (or at least they think they know).

One of the client’s first suggestions was that we use wireless cameras.

This system was going to begin with about 11 cameras. All but one would be interior.

The facility’s IT department was out of state, and no one on-site worked closely with them.

In my experience even if the site has a network, it is often preferable to set up your own network for security systems. Setting up a network is beyond the scope of this article, but not as difficult as you may think.

This site would require vandal-resistant cameras, and the power for each of the cameras would need to be hard-wired in by an electrician, making Wi-Fi unsuitable due to the cost for the electrician.

Hard-wired IP cameras have some advantages. They offer very high resolutions and can be powered using PoE (Power over Ethernet), cutting down cabling.

However a quality IP camera will cost more than analog. Furthermore, the resolution of a professional analog camera will produce an excellent image if the camera viewing area is properly defined and will be suitable for many applications.

For several years I have gone through the process of pricing out systems and comparing the materials costs and ROI between analog versus IP systems. IP wins out more and more as time goes by.

In other electronic security such as access control, our industry is and will continue to go with hybrid solutions to close deals and deploy systems. Hybrid technology enables the designed to mix technologies to achieve peak performance at the lowest cost while allowing for future enhancements.

For example, wireless cameras could be incorporated for specific strategic deployment in a system utilizing other camera technologies for other applications.

One cost saver I often gravitate to is using UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) instead of coaxial cable. Coaxial cable is heavy, hard to install, and expensive. If you use coaxial cable on a new installation, transitioning to IP later will require adapters or recabling.

Using CAT5 with UTP hardware works well for several reasons:

  • The cabling can be re-used if upgrading to IP is desired.
  • Power can be run on the same CAT5 using PoE
  • CAT5 is inexpensive, and relatively easy to install and manage (as compared to coax)

Sending the power down the UTP is similar to PoE, but not exactly the same, since UTP is not Ethernet. It is not technically accurate to describe it as PoE.

 

Altronix Q & A

Altronix offers both PoE and UTP products, so we contacted Altronix technical sales/training manager Paul Rizutto for some clarification. Following are the Ledger’s questions and Rizutto’s answers.

Can you explain the differences between PoE; PoE+, and High PoE?

The amount of power available via PoE (Power over the Ethernet) is defined by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standards.

As of today there are two power standards for PoE: IEEE802.3AF which allows a maximum of 12.95 watts and IEEE802.3AT which allows a maximum of 25.5watts.

The PoE power source is referred to as Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE). The PoE enabled device is referred to as a Power Device (PD).

Powered Devices are specified by class. IEEE802.3AF devices range from class 0 to class 3 and IEEE802.3AT devices are class 4.

Right now there is not a standard for Hi-PoE even though several manufacturers are producing devices requiring power that exceeds what is allowed by today’s IEEE802.3 standards.

Depending on the manufacturer, Hi-PoE can run up to 95 watts.

Altronix also offers UTP hardware with both isolated and non-isolated power supplies. In my experiences, the isolated versions are that ounce of prevention that can save a ton of trouble.

Can you explain the difference between isolated and non-isolated camera power supply outputs?

The difference between non-isolated and isolated camera power supplies is the way in which the secondary windings of the transformer are being used. A non-isolated CCTV multi-output power supply incorporates a transformer with a single secondary winding which is wired to a multi-output power distribution module. Even though the outputs are individually protected, they use a common power source which can cause interference when multiple cameras without internal isolation are connected.

Isolated camera power supplies incorporate a transformer with electrically isolated power outputs that are routed through a power distribution module with individual inputs and outputs. These individually isolated outputs will protect against the interference caused by cameras that do not have internal isolation.

 

Digital IDView DVR, Cameras

Following is information on the products used for this installation.

The Digital IDView Model IV 1611Z-960H digital video recorder (DVR) offers free one channel IVS including: virtual fence, object loss/ left over detection and video diagnostics.

Its embedded channel mode selection enables easy upgrade to hybrid or full NVR XM cloud service. Unique dual streaming design allows separate local and network path, significantly reduces bandwidth requirement.

This DVR supports:

  • All mobile devices(iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, Android)
  • 3G & WIFI extension
  • Multiple browsers(IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports for mouse control, back up, download
  • Interface designed to be similar to Vista or WINDOWS
  • Powerful right button menu on mouse- it is a surprise, try it
  • Powerful net service(support DHCP, PPPOE, FTP, DNS, DDNS, NTP, UPNP, EMAIL, IP authority, IP search, alarm center)
  • Flexible display function supports easy boot interface changes
  • Protective circuit, watchdog function, allows system to stay up 24X7

The Digital IDView Indoor/Outdoor Dome Camera, Model IV-DFH7100, was also selected for this installation. This is a 2.5” dome camera enclosed in a metal case with a 3.6mm lens.

Specifications:

  • 700TVL
  • 1/4 CMOS Sensor MT9V139+FH8510
  • 24pcs LED with IR distance 60 ft

Cloud Services?

If you read the specifications, you might be asking yourself, “What is Cloud services and port forwarding?” We contacted Digital IDView’s senior support specialist Danny Yoon to explain it for us. Here is his quick break-down of the cloud & port-forwarding specs.

“Traditional DVR required you to log in to the router and set up the port-forwarding in order to remotely view the videos. This process usually took somewhere between 20-60 minutes to do so depending on the router. With our Cloud hosting, it completely bypasses the need for port-forwarding and makes the DVR truly Plug-N-Play. As long as the DVR is connected to the internet, the DVR will automatically connect to our Cloud Server (I usually refer to it as a broadcasting server). In most networks, outbound traffic is not filtered. And since the outbound traffic is not filtered & blocked, DVR sends (which is an outbound traffic) all necessary info to our Cloud server so that the user can access the video at any time.”

Of course, there are some pros and cons in using the Cloud, Yoon explains.

Pros –The installer/dealer no longer has to spend time trying to configure the router for the customer.

Cons – If the customer has limited data services (such as satellite internet connection), since the DVR is constantly sending data to the Cloud server, it will use up most of customer’s data plan. Connection depends on many different factors (upload speed at the site, amount of traffic on the Cloud Server at that moment, and download speed at the device that you’re viewing from, etc.), so sometimes, it works great, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Because of the CONS, Digital IDView also provides free DDNS service and assistance in setting up the router with exception to some enterprise grade routers/firewalls (CISCO, SonicWall, etc.).

For more information on Digital IDView products, call 800-379-7226 or visit www.idview.com.

 

Clinton Electronics

Besides providing professional video products Clinton has special purpose problem solvers. Two we are spotlighting this month are their anti-spider cameras and pendant mounts for high ceilings.

The anti-spider camera emits a special high frequency signal that detracts spiders from creating a web over the lens of the camera. This was specifically designed for IR Bullet cameras. Spiders are attracted to the heat generated by IR LEDs.

The PIP (Picture in Picture) option allows you to display a smaller digitally zoomed version of the camera image with in the overall camera image. The CE-CP6W & CE-CP12W conduit mounts are designed to replace conduit as a method of pendant mounting CCTV dome cameras. Our camera poles mount directly into steel web truss ceilings (the most common ceiling type in retail). Most retail buildings are 16 to 24 feet high. This would put the camera in the perfect height of 10 to 12 feet. Since they telescope, you can easily adjust the height.

Model B707 Outdoor IR Anti-Spider Bullet Camera specifications:

  • 1/3” SONY Exview HAD II CCD (960H)
  • 35 IR LEDs
  • 3.5~16mm (F1.2) Lens (Externally Adjustable)
  • S6 Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
  • OSD Menu Control via CE-REMOTE
  • 3 Axis Adjustment
  • IP66 Weather Rated
  • Cable Through Bracket Design with Mounting Plate
  • DC12V/AC24V
  • UL Listed

Model CP6W / CP12W Telescoping Camera Pole Bracket specifications:

  • 3/4” Diameter End for Pendant Mount Cameras
  • Mounts to Channel or Strut Mount with One Bolt
  • Ideal for Open Ceilings
  • UL Listed
  • Choice of white or black
  • Adjustable from 6’ 2” to 11’ 9”
  • For more information on Clinton Electronics products, call 800-447-3306 or visit www.clintonelectronics.com.

 

Altronix HubWay

The Altronix HubWay8D/16D Passive UTP Transceiver Hub w/Integral Camera Power transmits UTP video, RS422/RS485 data and power over a single CAT-5 or higher structured cable.

This unit provides 8 or 16 camera channels in a space-saving 1U EIA 19” rack-mount chassis which may be rack-, wall- or shelf-mounted. Video transmission range is up to 750 feet maximum channel.

Units are compatible with AC and/or DC fixed or PTZ cameras when utilizing Altronix HubWayAv, HubWayDv or HubWayDvi Video Balun/Combiners. In addition, the unit features individually selectable 24VAC or 28VAC PTC protected outputs with surge suppression.

The optional HubSat4D Passive UTP Transceiver Hub w/Integral Camera Power transmits UTP video, RS422/RS485 data and power over a single CAT-5 or higher structured cable. The unit provides four camera channels in a wall mount enclosure. Video transmission range is up to 750 ft. maximum per channel. Units are compatible with AC and/or DC fixed or PTZ cameras when utilizing Altronix HubWayAv or HubWayDv Video Balun/Combiners.

In addition, the unit features 24VAC or 28VAC PTC protected outputs and surge suppression. In addition, the HubSat4D powers these cameras locally to eliminate the possibility of voltage drop associated with long cable runs.

For more information on Altronix products, call 888-258-7669 or visit www.altronix.com.

 

Videofied Wireless Camera

The Videofied MotionViewer Model IMV 200/601/701 is a wireless, battery operated, indoor motion-activated video camera designed for use in Videofied security systems. Motion-activated cameras are intended for applications where video verification of intrusion alarms is necessary or desired.

“Videofied is unique in that ‘surveillance’ typically means that there is a DVR recording what is happening – that is interrogated after the fact for a forensic video. Videofied is optimized to deliver ‘actionable video’ directly to a central station for immediate review and dispatch to the police,” says Videofied’s Jared Eliason.

Some police jurisdictions will respond to a video-verified alarm in under two minutes. The speed at which police respond and make an apprehension can have a drastic difference on the losses incurred, Eliason explains.

“The goal of Videofied is to get the video to the central station for action as soon as possible. The only question the monitoring operator needs to answer with our video is, ‘Do I see a human being?’ The goal is making an arrest as opposed to determining identity after the fact. In real life, most videos of intrusions taken with megapixel cameras show high resolution images of a hoodie or baseball cap, not truly practical for identifying the intruder.”

He adds that Videofied’s Indoor MotionViewer costs about the same as a normal, wireless PIR, providing sensors with eyes that simply screw to the wall to install. The batteries will last four years and the wireless range for transmission of the video clips is 500 feet through normal sheet rock and metal stud construction. An outdoor product line works in extreme conditions.

Videofied offers a smartphone app to give the user remote visual status in the form of a video clip or snapshot. This is not truly live surveillance, but it is a great answer for an immediate visual status of something like, ‘Did I leave the cash room door open?’ or ‘Did anybody open up the office today?’

The IMV 200/601/701 consists of a digital camera, a passive infrared motion detector, and S2 VIEW® spread spectrum, Videofied interactive, encrypted wireless circuitry for secure two-way communications with the control panel. The camera consists of a CMOS color sensor and an 110-degree wide angle lens. Two infrared LEDs provide a night illumination distance of approximately 23 feet/7 meters. For motion or movement detection, a fresnel lens inside the cover captures a up to 40-foot wide, 90-degree angle passive infrared pattern.

The camera is typically installed to cover rooms, hallways, stairwells, and other similar areas where detection coverage is needed. When the alarm system is armed and the motion detector senses heat motion, the detector transmits a signal and activates the camera, which captures up to a 10-second digital video segment. The control panel receives the signal and responds according to system configuration/programming.

The alarm and video segment are reported via the control panel to the central monitoring station. The detector is powered by three lithium batteries that can last up to four years or more, depending on the amount of detector activity.

Specifications:

S2View®— Spread Spectrum, Videofied, Interactive, AES Encrypted Wireless technology provides optimum signal integrity and security.

Camera—CMOS sensor with 110° wide angle lens and adjustable video resolution of 320 x 240 pixels.

Night illumination—up to 23 ft./7m distance using two infrared LEDs.

Motion detector—dual-element, passive infrared with fresnel lens for up to 40 ft./12 m wide, 90-degree coverage pattern. Camera records color during the day and black and white at night.

Supervised—transmits check-in/status signal to the panel every 8 minutes indicating unique identification code along with the current detection sensor state, tamper condition, serial number, manufacture date, software revision, and battery status.

For more information on Videofied products, call 877-206-5800 or visit www.videofied.com.

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