Hanwha Techwin America outlines casino surveillance advances
Latest multi-sensor video technology delivers casino-level specs while cutting costs.
Q&A Eying savings
BY HANWHA TECHWIN AMERICA
Hanwha Techwin America is a subsidiary of Hanwha Corporation, a South Korean-based company that is a leading global supplier of solutions for IP and analog video surveillance. Building on the company’s history of innovation, Hanwha Techwin America is dedicated to providing solutions with the highest levels of performance, reliability and cost-efficiency for professional security applications.
Paul Kong, chief technology officer for Hanwha Techwin America, recently took some time to field questions about the latest advances in surveillance cameras, the advantages this technology offers casinos and how Hanwha Techwin is responding to them. Below are some excerpts from his answers.
How have changes in technology affected the casino video surveillance market? Have costs come down?
KONG: The large spaces typical in casinos coupled with the necessity for complete wall-to-wall coverage could require a deployment of hundreds of cameras. Beyond the cost of so many individual cameras and supporting infrastructure, the management and maintenance required could negatively impact operations that can’t tolerate down-time. The latest multi-sensor, modular cameras can drastically reduce the number of cameras required while making any future maintenance and upgrades an insignificant event for organizations. This reduces cost not only for installation, but also over the life of the system.
Multi-directional cameras have been around for awhile, but they’ve not previously been able to match the performance required by the gaming commission rules. What has changed?
KONG: Many multi-directional cameras—those having up to four sensors in a single housing—were not able to deliver the gaming commission’s required minimum mandate of 30fps (frames per second) for smooth, clear motion capture. Modern multi-directional cameras such as the Wisenet PNM-7000VD (2-head) and PNM-9000VQ (4-head) deliver high frame rates, up to 60fps, while providing up to 150dB of WDR (wide dynamic range) for excellent low light performance. Many multi-sensor cameras compromise WDR in an attempt to deliver higher frame rates, so it’s important to pay close attention to the specs when operating at the higher frame rates required.
How do multi-sensor cameras save money beyond the consolidation of individual units into a single end point?
KONG: A single camera housing providing four directions of high-resolution coverage offers exceptional savings over traditional discreet cameras by reducing wiring and power requirements, as well as mounting hardware. This reduces the number of PoE (Power over Ethernet) switches required and can also reduce the number of VMS camera licenses necessary depending on the VMS in use.
Isn’t there a compromise on the resolution and lenses available? What if you need to cover a wide angle in one direction and a long hallway in another?
KONG: The latest multi-sensor cameras from Hanwha allow custom configurable sensors to be installed in the field that precisely cater to the unique needs of each camera angle and desired field of view. The modular design of the Wisenet PNM 9000VQ supports four 2MP or 5MP sensors at up to 60fps in any combination with selectable fixed lenses from 2.8 to 7mm. The ability for an installer to easily snap these components into place in the field means no compromises and no guesswork when ordering and configuring systems. This also means that any changes in the future, be it maintenance or upgrades, is effortless as it no longer requires a laborious uninstall and re-install of a complete camera housing.
What about panoramic multi-sensor cameras? Can these also support the high frame rates required by casinos?
KONG: Panoramic multi-sensor cameras are particularly useful for generating precise 180- and 220-degree views over tables and cage areas. The Wisenet PNM-9030V is an excellent example that delivers a clear 15MP image at 30fps with multiple viewing options.
With all this high-resolution video, doesn’t it require more expensive storage and infrastructure to support it?
KONG: It’s true that higher resolution images take up more space in principle, but compression technology has also advanced to keep pace. By using the latest H.265 Codec with WiseStream II compression, bit rates and file sizes can be kept at a manageable level. So, we’re able to have better images with no real increase in bandwidth and storage requirements.
These new cameras capture more than just images. Can you tell us about analytics and how video surveillance has evolved into more of a business intelligence tool?
KONG: Cameras now have the ability to analyze the image they are capturing in many ways. Most Wisenet cameras include a range of built-in video analytics that can alert security personnel to specific types of motion such as loitering, appear, disappear and directional detection, that can provide alerts to suspicious activity. In-camera audio analytics can detect glass breaking, gunshots, and screams. However, this is not about recording audio, as the sound classification only happens in the camera. Since audio is not being recorded and stored, there are no privacy issues.
Analytics can also provide a level of business intelligence that assists in casino operations and planning. Intelligent analytics can alert staff when lines are too long, and extra staff is needed. This type of business intelligence, which include people counting and heat maps, can help determine if there’s enough dealer coverage on the floor, alert staff if there are large lines at the cage or which games are getting the most footfall and at what time of the day. These are invaluable tools that helps casinos when funding improvements and placing their own bets on investments.
As a leading manufacturer in the security industry, Teaneck, N.J.-based Hanwha Techwin America offers video surveillance products including IP cameras, storage devices and management software founded on world-class optical design, manufacturing and image processing technologies. Visit www.HanwhaSecurity.com for more information.