Video surveillance roundup from ASIS 2011

Each year at ASIS, the security industry shows off the latest and greatest in surveillance technology and this year was no exception. From innovations in megapixel resolution to storage solutions, there is something to be found for surveillance applications of all sizes. Here are a few highlights from this year’s show:


Panasonic introduced the new i-PRO WV-ASM200 Video Management System (VMS) Monday at ASIS. Designed for large scale deployments, the VMS can unify hundreds of network and analog cameras, network and analog recorders, and encoders into a centralized control platform. On display was the software’s intuitive operation, camera, alarm and recorder icons, and graphic map.

As it has done in the past, the company used a vertical market-based approach to its booth, focusing on key areas like school, healthcare, retail security and more. “As we continue to develop new video surveillance products with open architecture, we are working more closely than ever with companies that specialize in applications for specific markets,” Panasonic president Bill Taylor said.

Additionally, the company focused on its eco-friendly green solutions. Panasonic has achieved ISO 14001 certification for environmental management of its manufacturing sites and is certified RoHS-compliant, representing a significant reduction in the use of lead and other hazardous materials in manufacturing. Cameras and other system components are designed to consume less power, reduce materials usage, and enable simplified system design. “In addition to protecting customers’ assets, property and people, (the cameras) are engineered and manufactured to help protect our global environment,” Taylor said.

Finally, the company unveiled an assortment of new cameras. Analog cameras included all-in-one PTZ domes featuring 36x zoom and Super Dynamic 6 technology, as well as a line of boxed and fixed dome analog cameras. On the IP side, Panasonic has a new line of compact POE network cameras with recording on SD Memory Cards that are ideal for discreet operations such as on buses, trains, subways, elevators and at ATMs.


Is IQinVision the Jeff Probst of the security industry? Perhaps the Mike Rowe? The company is certainly showing up in nearly as many reality TV shows. In fact, three different reality TV shows have IQeye cameras at work – the guys at the Vegas Pawn shop on the show “Pawn Stars” use the megapixel cameras for security surveillance; The Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D. (as shown on TruTV) uses the cameras for asset protection and improve crowd control; and now, the Carlile Transportation company featured on History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” uses the cameras to monitor two of its trucking terminal complexes.

In addition to its TV star status, the company showcased its H.264 line of Sentinel cameras, which are available in up to 5 megapixels.


Samsung proved its versatility at the show by touting a little bit of everything for the discerning video surveillance user. The company showcased a new HDcctv solution; a high definition IP camera line, new entry-level analog cameras and a pair of new NVRs.

“Samsung now has analog, hybrid, HD and HDcctv solutions,” company spokesperson Janet Fenner said during a technology overview offered on the ASIS tradeshow floor.

HDcctv enables megapixel video to be transmitted using an organization’s existing coax cable infrastructure to special HDcctv recorders. As Fenner said, it is the “next step up” from an analog-only system. “The benefit is that you don’t have the latency that you get in IP cameras,” Samsung director of product management Henry Kim added.

As an example, casinos have had trouble with IP video, Fenner explained. “Casinos want high-quality video because they have to see the cards and the money. Because the trend in the industry is HD, they also want to move in that direction.”

Samsung approaches HDcctv as an open platform – not as a proprietary format, but one that could be easily incorporated into other recording platforms. The company plans to introduce encoders that will allow HDcctv streams for network transmission, further breaking down the perceived barrier that separates HDcctv and network video.

Samsung also launched a new line of VGA resolution analog cameras. This baseline camera is unique in that it uses Samsung’s own DSP chip that incorporates the imaging and encoder into a single chip. By not having to install 2 chips in every camera, they can pass along those cost savings to the end-user.

Lastly, the company introduced new 4- and 16-channel NVRs.


The three most dreaded words for many medium and large enterprises are "rip and replace." ComNet has made it easier to avoid them with the introduction of CopperLine, an expanded group of Ethernet over existing copper media transmission products.

These products are designed for applications where existing copper media, such as coaxial cable or twisted pair (UTP) is currently installed and are a cost-effective alternative to installing new media. "As more and more facilities are making the transition from analog to IP video, there already exists a large installed base of copper media, be it coaxial cable or twisted pair wiring," said Andrew Acquarulo Jr., ComNet President and COO. "The demand for Ethernet over copper product has continued to increase dramatically and we developed CopperLine to satisfy that demand."

The line consists of 1, 4, 8 and 16 channel models that use coaxial cable or twisted pair. The higher port count models solve density challenges, allowing up to 16 channels be supported in a single rack-mount chassis -- making it ideal for installations with huge runs of cabling, such as a casino.


Over at the Pivot3 booth, the company is showing a version of its VSTAC product line that is specially configured for security applications. The VSTAC Watch product takes advantage of virtualization to allow the unit to run both the video management software and to store the surveillance video.

The company clearly knows virtualization. VSTAC Watch falls within a product line designed for major IT virtualization - other versions support major IT databases and a VSTAC virtualization server designed specifically for running virtual desktop interfaces for an organization. VSTAC builds upon the CloudBank video surveillance storage product portfolio, which is still part of Pivot3's offerings.

Why does virtualization matter in the security industry? Olivier Thierry, Pivot3's chief marketing officer, says it shares the same reasons that enterprises use virtualization across IT operations. The virtualized environment offers failover protection for uptime of critical systems, and by combining the software server and the storage server, it saves money. The virtualized environment, which Pivot3 uses VMware for, also means long-term compatibility with industry inventors, even as their technology changes, since the server can be virtualized for whichever operating and support environment is required.


Video intelligence was the name of the game at the Verint booth, as the company has leveraged its video management system to create analytic-based software designed to enhance the efficiency of businesses -- particularly in the retail sector.

"We are bringing the power of analytics to the retail space," Verint VP of global marketing Debjit Das said. "Without the video, there would be no data."

The system runs on a separate server dedicated to the Video Business Intelligence (VBI) server, which could be as small as a single PC. It uses video streams from the VMS system and will be later expanded to support the company's NVR appliance.

Additionally, Das said that Verint is reaching out to local and regional integrators who are looking for solutions for retail and critical infrastructure as part of its new channel partner program.

[ Editor-in-Chief Geoff Kohl contributed to this report.]