College benefit from advanced IP CCTV system that improves security and safety

October 13, 2009

Leading IP CCTV specialist Controlware with partners ntl:Telewest Business, has supplied an advanced security solution to The Oldham College that saves costs and delivers improved flexibility and video quality over their previous system.

The Oldham College is in the process of producing strategy that will see 70% of the college’s building portfolio being re-built with plans for a £70 million regeneration of their campus. The IT and Estates teams knew that their existing analogue system would not be good enough to provide the level of security they needed throughout the course of the campus redevelopment and into the future. An analogue solution would be expensive and inflexible as the cameras would need to be moved frequently during the redevelopment of the campus. They looked at IP solutions that could integrate with their IT network and enable cameras to be quickly redeployed around the campus as building work progresses.

Having fully examined the advanced IP CCTV solution at Warrington Collegiate, The Oldham College had no doubts about developing their system around Controlware’s Cware management platform and replacing their three old analogue systems with a single powerful platform.

Bob Leigh, Estates Manager for The Oldham College, who manages the security team, is extremely pleased with the improved quality and usability of the new solution. “Cware’s management interface is great and much easier to use than our old system, best of all the image quality is superb allowing security staff to really see what they are looking at, which we didn’t have before. Everyone who has seen the new solution says how impressed they are”.

From day one Cware was so easy to use that staff taught themselves how to use the system in hours and this has made the team more confident in managing security incidents. Reviewing archive video recordings and exporting video to DVD has also become much easier. Specific footage is easy to find and video export takes a few mouse clicks instead of a lengthy process that required the help of a network specialist in the past.

Costs savings have also been made. Jon Evans, IT Services Manager at The Oldham College explains that “Since IP CCTV is so flexible we don’t need to call in an external contractor to move cameras like we did before. The IT department can move a camera in 15 minutes when it would have taken an external contractor the best part of a day and cost the college £500. This also enables us to be proactive about security by moving cameras to potential hotspots in order to make the most of our resources”

The college can also take advantage of further cost savings from PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology which requires fewer cables to be run to cameras than traditional cabling. The network is also protected against power failure by UPS’s (Uninterruptable Power Supplies) that deliver increased resilience over analogue or hybrid based systems where each camera would rely on its own power supply.

“The IT and Estates teams at Oldham College can see that the Cware management platform delivers real benefits. The new integrated system improves security and support operations enabling students and teachers to feel more secure and confident in security as the college develops as a world-class learning facility.” said Mark Harraway, Country Manager for Controlware UK.

Please click here for more information about Controlware.

The Oldham College


Building advanced CCTV security systems: Control room components

October 1, 2009

Recording and Management Servers
Within the primary control room, there will be servers with sufficient storage to capture video at full frame rate DVD resolution from the cameras located around the site.

In addition to the recording servers, the primary management server will also reside within this location.  The management server stores all user and system configurations and enables the management of devices and alarms. Each of these servers will be protected from power loss by the inclusion of UPS battery backup devices.

Viewing and Replay
Each Operator workstations has dual 19” LCD displays and a Joystick for PTZ camera control.  These workstations will be powered by the Cware Control Centre application that enables the operators to view live or recorded video, manage alarms and control cameras.

The Control Centre user interface is designed to be as simple as possible while still providing advanced capabilities.  The main screen can be utilised as the operator’s spot monitor and facilitates viewing of multiple cameras in live or replay mode, export of footage, viewing of alarms, management of the video wall and so on.  To enable simple navigation through the cameras and provide vital information on camera positions, the second monitor can be used as the map interface.  The map interface can provide users with a zoom overview of the site and highlight elements such as alarm triggers and camera positions.

As well as the maps, the system can be licensed with the patented ICN feature.  ICN stands for Image Content Navigation and enables a revolutionary method of navigating through the system.  With ICN enabled, it is possible to setup predefined invisible links within the video image from a camera that link to another camera.  This offers the operator the opportunity to click on an area of the image and the system will automatically switch to the best view of that area.  For example, if you have a camera overlooking a doorway and you see a suspicious individual enter through the door of a building, ICN makes it possible to click on the door and automatically switch to the camera inside quickly and easily without having to search through a list of cameras to identify the correct one.

The Cware server within the central location will constantly monitor each remote IP camera and encoder (for existing analogue cameras) device for alarm triggers, such as motion detection.  In the event of an alarm trigger from a remote location, the alarm management and response configuration can allow for a variety of notification methods, including simply presenting the user automatically with the video on their spot monitor or presenting the alarm to the video wall displays.

cware server

In addition to the monitoring motion alarms, the system can also enable system health monitoring.  In the event of events such as loss of connectivity to a server or the failure of a video feed to an encoder, an e-mail can be sent out to system administrators who are responsible for maintenance and upkeep.  This ensures that the system can proactively prevent and notify of potential performance issues.
cware log

The system also provides comprehensive logging, including operator activity, alarms and so on.  The log viewer tool then enables system managers to search and extract valuable information as a CSV file. This can then be imported into 3rd party systems, such as excel, to assess performance such as response times, number of alarms and so on.

Videowall
Within the control room, there will be high performance rack mount workstations connected to a large screen LCD displays.  These workstations will be powered by the Cware Videowall application.  Each workstation can display up to 16 or more video streams from remote cameras on wither a predefined or custom layout.  The Control Centre clients can manage the display of the cameras onto the video wall by simply clicking a tab at the bottom of the screen and choosing which cameras they would like to display.  It is proposed to utilise one or more of the screens as a dedicated alarm display whereby all incoming alarms from cameras can be shown to highlight this to the user.

control room


Building advanced CCTV security systems: The control room

September 30, 2009

The Cware surveillance platform is an advanced video management and recording solution. Based on open standards and supporting leading Intelligent Video Analysis developers and camera and encoder manufacturers, Cware is the ideal high-performance solution for surveillance and alarm management.

Cware offers a variety of surveillance and management solutions to suit various applications including access via a traditional web browser or access via the Cware Control Centre interface. Due to client-server architecture, multiple clients with appropriate permissions can log onto the system from any location and view live or recorded video footage, control cameras and manage alarms. All user permissions, privileges and capabilities are also held centrally on the server meaning that changes can be implemented quickly and efficiently while increasing overall security.

With surveillance based on Cware the solution is fully resilient with failover control servers, failover storage servers, RAID 5/6 storage and high quality hard drives. The storage can be on or off site, in the control room or in a secure location; it can be distributed for security as long as the network is large enough to support high bandwidths. Additional control rooms can be added to provide mirror systems and/or DR sites if required.

To find out more about the Cware management platform click here.

cware controlroom


Building the next generation CCTV security system

September 29, 2009

Video surveillance has evolved significantly in the last few years and Controlware has been at the forefront of the development of this technology.

Digital video surveillance is cost-effective and offers greater flexibility due to the wide range of cameras available.  If implemented as a separate system to meet the needs of a security plan or upgrade, a standard system may be adequate for immediate requirements, but if the system is integrated with access control and intrusion detection system or part of the broader building automation system, surveillance improves and reduces the need for additional security personnel.

Integration of access control with video verification, for example, allows a security operator to see live video at the point a person gains entry.  This also enables the prevention of individuals who are “tailgating”, when one person follows another through the door.  The integrated system allows organizations to visually identify, verify and capture security breaches at access points.

Utilising video analytics within new generation cameras brings additional advantages to the system.  This technology enables the cameras to look for certain characteristics in the video and provide alerts when these occur.  This facilitates each camera to effectively act as another pair of eyes looking for breaches in the security policy.  Using this technology enables operators to focus only on what is truly important, managing surveillance by exceptional events rather than trying to observe all events.

The goal of Controlware’s Cware platform is to provide a single, unified, integrated architecture for organizations.  This will prevent intruder access to secure areas, limit access to public areas, and remotely monitor critical areas to reduce the risk of crime and security incidents.

Using an integrated system, security staff at a central monitoring station can view live or recorded footage from surveillance cameras, move pan-tilt-zoom cameras, or perform advanced searches for video clips stored on the security management system.  When an alarm is triggered by an intrusion, access control or video analytics policy, the system can automatically respond in a wide variety of ways such as move a cameras position and display live video at the location, map the alarm location, and send an alert to the security personnel’s mobile devices.

CCTV cameras are an important security component at vulnerable areas of a site, such as entrances, car parks and IT labs. When an alarm is activated at one of these locations, cameras can be activated to survey the scene and monitor the incident, allowing security personnel to quickly evaluate both the alarm and their response.

Asset protection is also becoming increasingly high priority. There is often a need to track everything from office equipment, PCs to PDAs and phones—not just for the value of these items but also for the data that could be located on them. Controlware integrate RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and tagging technologies to assist with asset tracking. This system works in conjunction with video and access control to document the movement of assets or persons around monitored locations.  This same RFID technology can be utilised to provide a locational awareness function across sites to identify the whereabouts of security staff, equipment or objects at any given time.  Using this technology provides the facility to automatically alert the nearest operators when an alarm is detected on the system. Operators or guards with mobile devices can be sent both live and recorded footage so they can determine the severity of the alarm and take action as necessary.

As well as video images coming from the fixed position cameras, it is also possible to look towards the implementation green camera locations where both wind and solar can be used to power the cameras where digs are not possible.  This enables the use of temporary cameras to be deployed around the site where and when they are required.  Also, due to the network architecture, it is also possible to stream images into the systems from remote sources to increase the site security.

To find out more about the Cware management platform click here.

Cware


Building a CCTV security system: cameras with intelligence

September 28, 2009

Across the site both internal and external cameras can be wired back to various collection points and utilise POE (Power Over Ethernet) thereby reducing the amount of cabling required and saving costs. These collection points will house encoders (if not IP cameras) that will convert the analogue video from the cameras for distribution onto the network via a fibre or wireless transmission device.

To further enhance the performance of the cameras, each encoder or IP camera can be equipped with Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA) to enable intelligent motion alarm detection.  The IVA provides reliable video motion detection for indoor or outdoor use. IVA is state-of-the-art intelligent video analysis that reliably detects, tracks, and analyzes moving objects while suppressing unwanted alarms from spurious sources in the video.  The key advantage of using this technology within the encoders or IP cameras is to enable detection of  perimeter breaches while improving the reliability of alarms and reducing operator work load.

The algorithms within IVA intelligently adapt to background environmental conditions such as rain, snow, clouds, and leaves blowing in the wind while built-in tamper detection generates alarms on camera hooding/masking, blinding, defocusing, and repositioning. Image stabilization ensures detection even with shaky video sources such as cameras mounted on poles or simple vibrations.

Within IVA, the following tasks can be selected:

• Detect objects entering, leaving or just being within an area (detector field)
• Detect loitering in an area related to radius and time
• Detect idle object within a configurable time span
• Detect removed objects within a configurable time span
• Detect trajectories/routes of objects, passing in the scene, displayed with tracking lines
• Detect multiple line crossing from single line up to three lines combined in a logical row
• Detect condition change properties such as size, speed, direction, and aspect ratio change within a specified time span (for example something falling down)
• Alarm task script manager in the expert mode to combine tasks logically

Up to eight independent tasks can be selected and combined in the scene to build sophisticated detection rules, each one individualized with its own parameters. This allows the detection of multiple object states in parallel, generating separate triggers that can be handled independently or in combination.

To enable the detection of alarms, rules are setup on each encoder or camera individually based on the scene that the camera is looking at.  When one of these rules is breached, an alarm will be sent back to the central server and be distributed to alert the operators.

To find out more about the Cware management platform click here.

Intellegent Video Analysis


Planning a security system

September 24, 2009

It is important to focus at the ongoing technology developments to assess what will be possible for a solution of the future.  Controlware are constantly integrating and developing new technology within our Cware platform making it one of the most advanced systems available on the market today.

One of the key components of a system is to ensure the platform has a scalable architecture so that it can grow with user requirements.  The Cware platform is an IP based network solution that utilises IT network infrastructures to ensure a common platform of operation.  Based on a clustered server architecture Cware enables unprecedented levels of resilience.  The clustered approach enables us to treat all of the CCTV servers and storage as one virtual pool of devices.  In the event of a failure of one device, the other members of the cluster can take over to ensure near constant uptime of the system.

The main aim of the system should be to provide the most useful event information to the right people at the right time to enable effective response and identification of perpetrators, reducing the likelihood that a similar incident would occur again.  Components such as Access Control and Video Analytics can be used to help gather this information by alerting users when policies have been breached.

To find out more about the Cware management platform click here.


How to evolve CCTV Security and integrate legacy systems

September 23, 2009

The Cware video management solution can integrate seamlessly with deployed legacy technology.  Cware enables the utilisation of new and advanced technology in parallel with existing systems.

By deploying Cware video management centralisation of disparate, legacy systems (CCTV, access control, fire alarm etc) with a centrally managed control centre protects original investments whilst ensuring focus on the future, not compounding the problem by adding more legacy infrastructure.

The Cware system evolves as requirements and services develop, improving staff productivity and overall safety. This offers greater efficiency and increased control.  The centralised model of security enables vastly improved staffing resource as separate control rooms are no longer needed.

Due to intelligent network architecture service resilience is much higher than with a traditional analogue solution.  In addition, improving flexibility and innovation is also possible by providing services for specific groups often making the monitoring of remote sites easier and more effective.

To find out more about the Cware management platform click here.

CwareMonitors