IP CCTV Aéroports de Paris case study

January 29, 2010

IP CCTV transmission delivers increased flexibility and reduces costs for one of the largest CCTV networks in Europe

Mission
Aéroports de Paris Group are Europe’s second largest airport group, managing airports, and aerodromes including Paris-Orly, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and Paris-Le Bourget. As the airport authority for the Paris region, Aéroports de Paris view security operations as an integral part of their customer services and ensure a high level of security to safeguard passengers, airline companies and partners. In 2003 Aéroports de Paris embarked on an ambitious CCTV upgrade programme to improve the level of security and safety throughout their airports that still continues today. The superior video quality that the IP solution provides was a primary reason for Aéroports de Paris to establish a long-term partnership with Controlware.

Solution
Aéroports de Paris monitor high quality video from 14 airports. Since 2003 Controlware has assisted Aéroports de Paris with the evolution and expansion of their IP transmission network and to date have supplied over 5,000 video ports helping to create one of the largest ever integrated IP CCTV networks in Europe.

Carmelo Musumeci, Country Manager for Controlware Continental Europe, adds that ”The flexibility and scalability of the solution provides easy integration with existing CCTV equipment and this is especially important in the context of large-scale and evolving projects like Aéroports de Paris.”

Result
The integrated IP CCTV system enables Aéroports de Paris to constantly monitor, record and manage video from thousands of cameras at any location on their network and to operate a crisis centre that can be used in case of emergencies. By using a single infrastructure costs can be saved; multiple operators are able to access, share and view live and recorded video without having to be onsite; remote control of PTZ cameras provides increased flexibility and there is virtually unlimited storage capacity for archived video. The integration opportunities are also much greater for IP solutions. By integrating the surveillance platform with access control or building management systems the creation of a single unified management and control platform is possible ensuring the safety of staff, passangers and visitors to the airport.

To download a more detailed case study and to view others click here.


Analogue or digital IP CCTV? The CCTV technology debate continues…

January 27, 2010

In response to the True Cost of IP CCTV article by Mark Harraway (Country Manager, Controlware) that was a rebuttal of Mike Newton’s, (CEO of Dedicated Micros), claims that IP CCTV solutions are expensive and unreliable compared to analogue / hybrid solutions, Miguel Sabbe of  DiViSec – Digital Video Security adds his views.

In general, as Mark puts it, it (the original Mike Newton article) seems to be more of a sales pitch rather then a general debate. It goes without saying that I am convinced of the future of true and pure IP.

Allow me to state in detail some of the remarks I have:

•Network failure ? Only poorly defined systems/networks tend to fail. A properly built and configured network is among the most reliable components of an organization. Why else would any and every major organization and entity rely on networks to transfer information and valuable data?

•The burden put on a network by an IP CCTV system, is not purely the fact it’s IP, but rather the type of components put on it, and the actual configuration of the network. Again, poorly configured networks will consume far more resources than properly configured ones.

•As for components put on the network, there is no common standard in cameras, in compression algorithms, in image quality, in fact there is no common ground whatsoever on IP cameras. Some manufacturers even call mjpeg a digital compression algorithm. Point is that there is an enormous difference in bandwidth (and thus in network load) between different IP cameras, even amidst cameras of a same brand! Chosing a proper IP camera, with decent H.264 compression, and a proper implementation of this algorithm, will deliver bandwidth for effective network efficient streams.

•If high numbers of devices need to be implemented, a multicast network should be considered. If multiple, external or public network connections need to be defined, a trancsoding engine should be considered, as correctly suggested.

•Decentralised architectures, edge-enabled systems, as opposed to client server architectures, could indeed be defined as slightly more reliable, simply due to their configuraiton. However, even in typical IP environments (which are here referred to as client/server) back-up storage, fail-safe recording, guaranteed functioning, failover network, dual ring configurations, etc, can be foreseen, with the same limited cost! This client/server architecture is actually also the ‘result’ of the lacking of any common denominator or language in IP CCTV so far. Hopefully, ONVIF or PSIA will solve this issue going forward. At that time, all units and all devices should be capable of communicating directly with one another, thus creating the absolute key advantage of an IP system.

•As for the example of a 750 camera system, and the cost ‘estimation’: first and foremost, the points mentioned are correct indeed of course; network performance, servers costs, CPU requirement for analytics, etc, etc, all put high demands – and thus high costs – for the system! However, at this moment the only environments where I have found 750 cameras running on one single LAN network, storage being centralised in one single location, is either an airport or a casino. Both are high risk, high security facilities, where cost of the CCTV system is less dominant, to say the least.

•Any enterprise, where the security director or the integrator, has the least bit of common sense, will distribute their architecture, thus pushing processing, recording, storage, etc as far to the edge as possible. The least one will do in such projects, is to create different nodes or clusters, each of which “function” on their own.

•The specification, and thus also the cost, of a decoding server, is again related to the lack of a common algorithm: the ‘burden’ to decode an mpeg-4 or H.264 stream is again heavily dependent on the quality of this stream, or the way the compression algorithm is implemented. When using “good” cameras, one can achieve a high number of streams onto one single machine, thus displaying up to almost 100 streams on a single machine. All however depends on the cameras, their compression algorithm, the way it has been implemented, etc etc.

•As for driving video walls, the limits there are defined by video wall manufacturers, rather then by IP CCTV manufacturers. Having said this though, it is true that you do not necessarily need expensive multiple units, decoders, and video wall drivers. Far more effective (and cheaper) solutions exist in the market today!

•The concept of the ICR seems somewhat contradictory to the statements made earlier on distributed architecture: with such ICR, one puts all functions into the camera itself, and the camera is actually referred to as a ‘server’. What processor(s) are used ? How much heat is dissipated ? How much noise is generated ? What are operational specs for such device ? What dimensions will such device have ? With the definition of this ICR, it is again referred to failure of the TCP/IP structure or the network. Repeating the first question, how often do we actually still see true network failures?? Does this ICR have 2 processors? Which? FPGA so they are field upgradeable ? Or ASIC which means they aren’t? How is licensing handled/stored/managed?

•Most interesting aspect of this whole paper: there is no mentioning or referral whatsoever to non-IP parts. The only key message I find in this paper is that of a distributed architecture, vs a centralized one, no more, no less.

All in all, one might argue that several things hold true, that there are numerous reasons to remain with ‘old’ analogue technology, that IP isn’t necessarily the answer to all our concenrs and questions. However, the drive to this new technology, which I prefer to call the merger into IP, in line with what happens all around us, is simply forced onto us by the market itself! Every product or technology we use in our CCTV business, is a direct derivative from a consumer product (VCR, CCTV camera, DVR, NVR, …..). So in this respect, our industry simply follows developments of consumer electronics. So as for what the future brings us: simply look at consumer markets; access anywhere, anytime; full wireless systems; broad bandwidths available all around; massive data transfer over (even public) networks; full HD television; multi mage pixel cameras (still as well as moving images), ever increasing HDD sizes; ever longer storing of images; gigabit networks even in residential environments; ….

The industry is simply going digital, full stop. Look at Sony for example, world’s biggest manufacturer of sensors. For several years already, no more R&D is spent on traditional sensors; all investment are going into digital technology. So even if one would want to remain with analogue, the industry will simply prevent this. This evolution, combined with price decrease of digital technology components (network cost, switches, routers, PC, servers, HDD, storage, …) shows that the shift towards a complete digital world is simply inevitable.

The point of an end-to-end solution vs multi-vendor solutions is – to my belief – a key advantage of the IP world: one can pick and chose various parts and components, and create his solution with different building blocks from different vendors. This way, the customer is ensured he has a solution that perfectly meets his demands, that fits his requirements perfectly, and that offers the best price/quality ratio. Manufacturers in their turn can focus on their core competences, and develop strong VMS systems, high quality IP cameras, cost effective storage systems, new processing & analytics algorithms. When (not if) we have common standards in our industry, customers will be able to simply pick and chose products, systems and solutions, and have the ability to easily connect them together.

To read the original articles about the analogue Vs IP CCTV debate and receive a free cost breakdown for a 750 camera system (mentioned as an example in the original article by Mike Newton), click here.


Key reasons to select IP CCTV in 2010 #4 Total Cost of Ownership

January 26, 2010

Here we look at the key drivers for selecting IP over analogue, and what people should be aware of when looking at specifying CCTV projects.

Total Cost of Ownership

It is recognised that some components of an IP solution may be more expensive than an analogue one.  However when the total cost of the deployed solution is calculated, IP has been shown to be more cost effective overall than analogue systems.  These savings can be made in reduced cabling costs by only using one cable to carry video, audio, telemetry and in most cases power to the camera through PoE (Power over Ethernet).  Further savings can also be made in reduced storage costs by use of different compression techniques such as H.264 and recording profile planning by using the on-board memory of the camera or encoder to only record on alarm or at different frame rates / resolutions.  With advances in hardware platforms such as the servers and RAID arrays more and more cameras can be supported per server (We can currently support 64 cameras at 4CIF / 25 fps per server today for instance).  Operational costs can also be offset by using IP CCTV systems for other purposes such as ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) or using them for measurement of marketing and promotional activities as shown in retail applications.

If you or one of your clients is debating whether to go IP then the decision has to be Yes! You should not only consider IP on its technical merits raised here but also look more widely to see if there are any other benefits that can be gained. If you are looking at challenges in your business and want to improve efficiencies then look at IP to see what can be achieved.

Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk or visit www.controlware.co.uk/tco.

Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.


St Pancras International CCTV system improves security and safety

January 25, 2010

Prestigious larndmark benefits from integrated IP CCTV that improves flexibility and reduces costs

Mission
The £800m refurbishment and extension of St Pancras International is part of HS1, Britain’s first major rail project for over a century and the UK’s biggest ever construction project. Opened by the Queen this prestigious landmark required an advanced CCTV solution to help protect staff, customers, and visitors to the station. Controlware won the contract on the basis of the advanced technical solution, integration expertise, and the proven ability to deliver large projects successfully.

Solution
Working closely with the Costain, O’Rourke, Bachy and Emcor Rail (CORBER) consortium and Rail Link Engineering (RLE) the 450-camera solution includes a mixture of cameras, codec’s, networked storage and an advanced management platform that provides access to live, DVD quality video. The comprehensive IP surveillance solution provides control of security operations and enables resources to be easily coordinated to meet specific incidents as they happen. Accessing recorded video is made easier through time and date-based searches and since digital recording is used no videotapes are required, saving both time and costs. The surveillance network is also highly scalable to support growth of cameras and storage requirements in the future as the recent integration of the NCP CCTV network has demonstrated.

Result
The new CCTV solution not only helps maintain security and safety but also delivers improved flexibility, reliability and operational benefits as well. By using a unified network for video, data and voice cabling costs are reduced. User access to multiple systems such as Access Control, CCTV, Fire, and Building Control is simplified through a single common interface that provides fast access to detailed information. Training costs are also significantly reduced since each user only needs to be trained on a single system. Easy to use management tools provide users with fast access to live and recorded video from multiple locations either inside or outside of the station. This improves resilience and helps innovate the way that individual departments work. Station announcers for example now have access to live video from platform cameras allowing more accurate announcements to be made and resources to be guided to incidents as they happen, directly improving delivery of information and services and increasing safety for passengers.

For more information, latest news and case studies visit the Controlware website

To receive the True cost of IP CCTV and a system cost breakdown click here.


Key reasons to select IP CCTV in 2010 #3 Integration with other systems

January 21, 2010

Here we look at the key drivers for selecting IP over analogue, and what people should be aware of when looking at specifying CCTV projects.

Integration with other systems

IP CCTV can be easily integrated into other IP based systems across a wide spectrum of solutions not just in the security arena.  For example in Retail environments IP CCTV is used for marketing activities such as people counting, measuring the success of promotions,  alerting store managers that there are queues at tills and helping to ensure compliance regarding the sale of restricted items such as alcohol or tobacco through simple integration into EPOS systems.

Other areas where we have worked are in Utilities and Logistics to help improve business efficiencies by providing an overview of areas where there are events or alarms to ensure that the right resources are in place to respond promptly with the right equipment (Does the engineer need a crow bar or a screwdriver?).  IP CCTV has also been used to provide visual information remotely in order to check gauges or levels and confirm whether resources are needed onsite.

In manufacturing, IP CCTV has been incorporated into production processes to help with quality testing and compliance, to speed up processes or protect key infrastructure and resources. For example IP CCTV is used to compare an image of a circuit board with live products on the production line to detect any abnormalities.

Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk or visit www.controlware.co.uk/tco.

Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.


Key reasons to select IP CCTV in 2010 #2 Resilience

January 20, 2010

Here we look at the key drivers for selecting IP over analogue, and what people should be aware of when looking at specifying CCTV projects.

Resilience

IP based solutions can give you the power to have a zero point of failure through the use of industry standard architecture such as SMART, RAID, iSCSI, multiple controllers, network interfaces and also through using good system design to have failover and multiple pathways / switching.  When this is linked through software features such as SNMP and “heartbeat” monitoring, end users or the systems integrators supporting them can be made aware of any problems before serious service effecting issues or loss of footage occur.  This level of redundancy or failover can be further enhanced by the use of video management software features such as disaster recovery so that even in the event of a major incident or accident systems can be up and running in minutes even in completely different control rooms in different geographical areas.

Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk or visit www.controlware.co.uk/tco.

Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.


Key reasons to select IP CCTV in 2010 #1 Improved Image Quality

January 19, 2010

Here we look at the key drivers for selecting IP over analogue, and what people should be aware of when looking at specifying CCTV projects.

Improved image quality

There is a lot of talk in the industry at present regarding image quality and I feel that by working with the right partner there is no reason why “fit for purpose” IP based systems cannot help improve the perception of CCTV in the media and with the general public.  Image quality of CCTV recordings is dependent on three factors: the compression standard, frame rate and resolution size. IP based systems can deliver improved image quality in two ways. One way is through more effective algorithms, using improved transmission mediums like H.264 to increase either the frame rate or decrease the compression without impacting on the bandwidth or storage requirement.

The second way is through improved resolution quality. IP can significantly improve on 4CIF standard analogue resolution. It can provide HD (High Definition) images, which increase the 4CIF picture size by approximately fourfold to significantly improve the image detail. This can then allow greater surveillance area coverage, providing larger and more detailed images, which can still be effectively examined using post-event digital zoom on recordings without pixilation. Improved image quality is key to the future of law enforcement and detection, as it provides the necessary detail when presenting footage as legal evidence.  Even though the use of Megapixel or HD cameras could mean an increase in the bandwidth and correspondingly the amount of storage required, this is more than offset by the increases in storage with 1.5 and 2TB drives now on offer for the same price as 1TB, and even 1Gbps ports becoming standard on switches.  As above this increase can also be offset by the use of H.264 as well.

Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk or visit www.controlware.co.uk/tco.

Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.