Siemens - keeping you in the picture

August 2003 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

In today’s fast-paced business world, it simply is not enough to monitor a single point on a premises at any given time. In fact, to be truly secure, you pretty much need to be everywhere at once – observing, watching out for any trouble – and even recording the action, just in case something goes wrong.

With this in mind, Siemens ESS offers a full coverage surveillance concept, allowing one to be present at as many locations as required, whilst simultaneously documenting everything going on. The company's full spectrum solution covers all the necessary consultation and installation services, as well as a comprehensive base of products for all surveillance needs. These include:


The importance of investing in high quality cameras cannot be overstated. Siemens offers an extensive range of quality, high-resolution cameras for all applications, available in both colour and monochrome. Infrared cameras are available (for nighttime operation), as well as dual cameras for day/night time operation. Specific camera features include:

* Ergonomic and visually pleasing designs.

* Weather-resistant protective housing.

* Remotely controlled pan drive.

* Remotely controlled focus adjustment.

* Explosion protected equipment (optional).

Video switching matrix

What is the matrix? In this instance, it is a powerful switching system, designed to provide for automatic or manual connection of recorded signals and images, to various monitors.

Developed in South Africa, the product has been so successful that it is now being marketed all over the world. It may be configured as a single matrix - supporting up to 256 cameras and 64 monitors, or as a multiple matrix system. The system is modular in design, ensuring that you need only purchase a system catering to immediate requirements, upgrading by means of additional slave matrices, as the need arises.

The matrix is a standalone unit, with its own embedded controls. Configuration takes place using a Windows-based application. Features supported by the matrix include:

* Unique user defined camera numbering.

* Camera identification.

* Alarm and event action definitions.

* Camera sequences.

* Multiplexing (frame switching) of multiple cameras; allowing for the recording of multiple cameras onto a single recorder. This is normally used for simultaneous alarms.

Digital video recording

The recorders used to maintain a permanent record of security events truly are mission critical systems. Siemens ESS has chosen to use the Dallmeier range of digital video recorders. These are Linux-based and fully network compatible.

Every digital recorder unit comes standard with five framegrabbers, one of which is used for playback only. (Dallmeier supports simultaneously recording and playback.) The other four framegrabbers are used for recording, and can handle up to 18 cameras at a time. The system makes use of wavelet compression for stored images. Various compression levels (from 15 to 60 Kb a frame) are available, depending on your storage and quality requirements. At 60 Kb, files akin to DVD quality can be achieved. The Dallmeier DVR offers simultaneous viewing, recording and playback, all on a single screen.

Video management system

Interactive video management system for centralised surveillance and operation of larger systems with the following functions: video detection, video control unit, image storage or third party systems.

Video activity detectors

Siemens makes use of realtime video detection systems. Every video signal is analysed with its own processing unit, making use of complex algorithms to eliminate the possibility of any false alarms caused, for example, by animals, light reflections, changes in weather, shadows of trees or rain.

A remote maintenance facility (with alarm trigger viewing functionality) is provided, so as to allow the operator to manually ensure that there has been a real intrusion event. This interface also allows the operator to set up precise and complex rules governing the use of monitoring and alarms within the system.

Taking the holistic approach

Siemens principle of strength lies in the provision of a total security concept. Ideally, your surveillance system should not exist in isolation, but as part of a total security and building management solution, governing such areas as access and door control, alarm management, fire detection and safety - as well as the reporting systems for all activity within the building.

For more information contact Sharon Naude, Siemens ESS, 011 652 2000.

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