SECURITY: IP video - Lower costs, greater capabilities
by Cynthia Freschi
November 1, 2009
Networking solutions continue to be the focus of many of the exhibitors at casino industry trade shows, and nearly every video surveillance provider is now showing an IP-based product as interest in networked security and surveillance solutions continues to grow.
Much of this activity around the industry is centered on networked video and security systems as a result of the overall efficiencies driven by improved IP products and technologies.
The gaming industry is always interested in the adoption of new technology. Knowledge of these IP solutions and how they can be applied is critical to a successful implementation. An in-depth understanding of these applications will allow customers to take advantage of the functional improvements and cost efficiencies that these systems deliver
The tangible benefits of IP solutions are as follows:
Security System Integration — Whether it’s access-control systems, point-of-sale devices or network video recorders, these appliances can be safely and conveniently integrated with IP video surveillance systems across a single open platform so that they can be accessed on a secure network using an intelligent and intuitive graphical user interface. Through this integration, security professionals can obtain a better and bigger picture of their facilities, making the management of data and video more intelligent and efficient. Single-platform control is a trend that is quickly gaining traction but very much still in its relative infancy across disparate systems. Integration is a criterion that will continue to play an increasingly important role in your operations.
Camera Performance — High-performance features such as megapixel, HD, 360- and 180-degree, advanced signal processing, optical zoom lenses, wide, dynamic range, on-board analytics and auto-image stabilizers provide more options to assist casino professionals in meeting their specific surveillance needs more efficiently. With all the choices available, it’s critical to strike a balance between price, performance, features and functionality and bandwidth so that your evaluations take both initial purchase costs and total cost of ownership into account.
Improved Security and Surveillance — Technology advances have led to superior image reproduction in virtually any condition, opening the door for expanded use and improved performance of video surveillance in remote or difficult locations. Additionally, networked camera images can be easily accessed via standard Web browsers, video management software, NVRs, and even networked DVRs, from any PC connected to the Internet. The remote-control and viewing capabilities combined with improved image quality can greatly improve overall security and surveillance operations and allow for fast and effective response.
System Scalability — Megapixel cameras are capable of capturing more data, which can result in a reduction in the quantity of cameras required for a given range of coverage. In some circumstances the application of this technology in a gaming environment is currently limited because certain jurisdictions currently specify the number of cameras based on the particular games being played. However, many jurisdictions are currently testing these applications, and updates in regulation will continue to reflect this new technology. Cameras featuring on-board video intelligence or processing, performed at the camera level, can help reduce the IT requirements at the system-head end. The prevalence of 360-degree cameras is also changing the landscape since they can effectively replace multiple conventional cameras in many instances.
Power Over the Ethernet — Unlike analog cameras, PoE-compliant IP cameras do not require local power for their operation but are powered over existing/new network Category 5 cabling that delivers standard 10/100/1,000MB Ethernet service. New PoE power supplies are available that also allow non-compliant PoE cameras to be powered over the network using simple, inexpensive adapters. The introduction of these pro-ducts provides systems designers and installers with a highly efficient means of expanding networked systems without having to incur additional hardware and wiring costs.
Environmental Factors — IP-based systems typically consume less power and occupy smaller footprints than their analog predecessors. This is beneficial not only in reducing operating costs, but it can also be used as part of the broader environmental strategies that are becoming increasingly important in U.S. corporations.
With the economy beginning to show an uptick, the number of networked security and surveillance systems to be installed over the course of 2009 is expected to outstrip previous years, even though forecasts show a slowdown in the overall deployment of systems. The key is knowing the technical nuances of IP systems so that they can be translated into tangible benefits that deliver added value.
Cynthia Freschi is president of North American Video, a nationwide security systems integration contractor with extensive experience in gaming and hospitality. NAV, based in Brick, N.J., and with offices worldwide, provides consultation, design, installation and servicing of video surveillance, digital video management, remote video monitoring, remote systems management and access control systems.
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