Genetec Security Center 5.0 released and available from Controlware

May 9, 2011

Genetec, a leader in innovative IP security and public safety solutions, announces the release of the latest version of its unified security platform, Security Center 5.0.

With this latest release, the Security Center now supports an embedded video recording and streaming engine. Additional features include, among others, an enhanced architecture that facilitates the installation and maintenance of the platform, third-party intrusion integration of alarm panels and perimeter detection devices, a new plug-in architecture for adding third-party integrations, standby and redundant archiving capabilities.

One of the most significant enhancements is the addition of Genetec’s next generation video and streaming engine within the unified platform, continuing to benefit from the power of Genetec’s industry-leading video surveillance system, Omnicast. With Security Center 5.0, customers will now be able to configure and manage IP cameras and encoders, recording schedules, camera settings, and much more. More importantly, the same configuration application can be used to configure the Security Center’s Synergis access control and AutoVu license plate recognition systems. Benefits that naturally flow out of the Security Center’s architecture include the use of common features across all platforms, consistent workflows for configuration and reporting activities, reduced training costs, and most importantly, a single interface for monitoring all your security and safety applications.

Security Center 5.0 brings to the market Genetec’s latest video management engine based on our Omnicast 4 platform but with significant enhancements with respect to video streaming, rendering, and recording,” says Jimmy Palatsoukas, Senior Product Manager at Genetec. “We have also worked diligently to expand, as well as to enhance the deployment and maintenance capabilities of the system. The end result is not just a platform that provides the highest level of security, but also one that is easy to deploy, configure, and use on a daily basis.”

With the aim of expanding the unification capabilities of the platform, this latest release of the Security Center now supports the integration of third-party intrusion panels through an intrusion devices protocol or API. Users can not only arm and disarm panels manually or configure arming on a schedule, but they can also run intrusion reports to view an alarm panel’s events and alarms. What’s more, the addition of an intrusion driver kit will allow Genetec to integrate additional intrusion devices without requiring a new Security Center release. The addition of a plug-in engine will also enable Genetec to add new video analytics, third-party access control, and point-of-sale integrations when needed and with a short turnaround time. Lastly, a web-based software development kit will allow Genetec’s customers to develop platform-independent applications and interfaces for various operating environments.

On the user interface side, the Security Center now supports task sharing for operators to share their monitoring and reporting tasks with other operators in real-time, enhanced video thumbnail support, and advanced video caching that supports full-frame playback to dramatically improve the operator`s experience all around. A new system status monitoring task allows operators and administrators alike to monitor the real-time state of cameras, doors, intrusion panels, client applications and servers thereby having a clear picture of the entire security environment.

Security Center along with Omnicast (CCTV video management), Synergis (Access Control) and AutoVu (ANPR) are available from Controlware. Call +44 (0)1635 884800 for more information or email video(at)

The security industry and CCTV surveillance systems need standards

November 25, 2009

Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, looks at the issues that concern the CCTV industry. Today Mike argues the need for standards.

I still believe that there are huge amounts of good business to be had, but it is all too often like an old western out there on the streets. Sales companies are fighting to the death and, ultimately, it will lead to the death of their companies.

The surge of cheap CCTV products being offered, are being lapped up by the cheap CCTV installers and it is killing the industry.

The margin is reduced in sales, so the service cannot be offered; engineers are not trained and maintained, vetted or provided with the right tools. And the real loser in all of this is the end user … they get a cheap CCTV system by a cheap CCTV installer who cannot provide the service and back up to support the system.

There should be a specification of minimum standards of equipment adopted by the industry and its regulators. This will assist the un-knowing end user in getting a level playing field based on service and competitive pricing. You can buy CCTV cameras from some distributors for as low as £25. You cannot tell me there is any quality standards of manufacturing that have gone into that product.

Installation companies that wish to be accredited by SSAIB / NSI should sign up to this and fit only equipment that meets these minimum standards. Installers should be made to erect the correct DPA (Data Protection Act) signage and provide a DPA policy with every system. Compliance packs are readily available so it should be part of the system.

Too many end users still don’t know that CCTV is covered by the DPA. Maintenance policies must be taken out with every installation. It can’t be left as an option to be taken out later; it is stated within the DPA rules on CCTV. To be sold, all products must have a detailed specification sheet, not on a pretty picture and a made up specification.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.

Buy cheap CCTV surveillance systems buy twice

November 24, 2009

Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, looks at the issues that concern the CCTV industry. Today Mike identifies a worrying trend that ‘cheapest is best’.

I believe that the more recent companies entering the marketplace, seeing the amount of CCTV that is being installed, are turning to the cheap end of the market, but some established installers are also coming very close to falling foul of ‘cheapest wins’.

Many end users are now also falling into the trap of ‘cheapest is best’. There are some excellent products out there that are not leading brand names, but excellent quality products at reduced prices, and I don’t rule out their place in our industry. But ‘fit for purpose’ must be considered. Under DPA guidelines it states that it must be adequate – for the sake of poor old Dannie Parkes and many others like him who are expected to perform ‘Mission Impossible’ or ‘The Bill’ type miracles on useless CCTV images.

If you care, consider for just one moment how your customer feels. They have had a CCTV system installed by your company with products recommended by you. They have an incident and, due to the poor quality of images from both camera and recorder, the police have said that there is nothing they can do with the images from the new CCTV system.

Do you believe that this is the end of your relationship or an opportunity to go back and up sell them some new kit? Consider now how you felt that last time you were sold something that didn’t work. You ranted at the sales person in the store, making a big show of it and wanted the world in return for their failings. Where is the balance?

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.

Selling CCTV is like double glazing…

November 20, 2009

Mike Tolley, Principal Consultant at Cogent (fm) Solutions, looks at the issues that concern the CCTV industry today.

Unfortunately my flippant comment about double glazing sales people selling CCTV is true. The approach to selling CCTV is based, by the majority, on How many? and The cheapest price? – not questions such as Why CCTV? Placed where to justify the need? and the issue of cost effectiveness against quality.

As a consultant, I would often get sales staff walking a site with me on a tender specification, and they would try to justify their point for additional CCTV, or an easier mounting point, with no foundation or reason. They where quickly put back in their place. There is no education or training in the security sales industry. It is, typically, ‘in at the deep end’ and ‘use your first customers as your testing grounds’

It is good to see that some manufacturers have taken the initiative in system and product sales training and accredited installer schemes. There are a few installers that take training seriously. They are starting to shine through, recognised as sitting at the front of their field.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think below.

For more comment and insight about CCTV  click here to read CCTV articles.