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Benefits of multi-streaming

January 8, 2019

Multi-streaming (sometimes called “dual streaming”) refers to a camera streaming multiple independent video streams to the video management software (VMS) or network video recorder (NVR). Each stream has different settings, which may include any combination of frame rate, image quality and codecs.

Using multiple streams enables organizations to choose optimal video quality settings based on different use cases. For example, introducing a lower quality video stream can increase scalability and efficiency by reducing CPU and storage requirements.

This article explains the basic concepts behind multi-streaming, when you should use it, and how it can maximize your investment in video processing, network, and storage hardware.

Adding Viewing Stations to the Symphony VMS 

November 13, 2018

Did you know that the Symphony VMS doesn't require individual licenses for each viewing station or display client? You can add as many clients as you like to address your organization's needs. 

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An easy way to add clients is to use Senstar Thin Client. An alternative to PCs, the Thin Client is a compact, maintenance-free, and easy-to-use video display appliance. It doesn't run Windows, it doesn't need software or anti-virus updates, and users don't require full operator client training. 

 When deployed alongside the Symphony VMS, the Thin Client can: 

  • View live and recorded video 
  • Display up to 16 video streams on-screen at one time 
  • Use customizable layouts and carousels 
  • Export recorded video to USB or network devices 
  • Drive a video wall display 

Watch our instructional videos and see how easy it is to use the Thin Client with Symphony.

Connecting the Thin Client to the Symphony VMS

Controlling the Thin Client from the Symphony VMS
(Video Wall)

Display video from ONVIF-compliant network cameras without a PC

October 23, 2018

Did you know Senstar’s Thin Client can display video directly from any ONVIF or RTSP-compliant source, including network cameras, video encoders, or video management software?

An alternative to cumbersome PCs, the Thin Client is a compact, maintenance-free, and easy-to-use video display appliance. It can show up to 16 video streams on-screen at one time and supports customizable layouts and carousels.  

Watch our instructional video Connecting the Thin Client Directly to Network Cameras to see how quick and easy it really is. 

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Get to know Senstar’s Thin Client

October 9, 2018

1. The below infographic highlights the key features of Senstar’s Thin Client PC alternative for video management.  

2. The following video shows how the Thin Client can balance security needs and IT requirements.

To learn more about Thin Client, click here.

Protecting unmanned, remote sites 

October 2, 2018

Unmanned, remote sites, especially those containing critical infrastructure assets, are easy targets for remote electrical substationintruders. Regardless of the intruder’s motivation – theft, terrorism, vandalism, or general mischief – facility owners need effective security solutions that meet operational and budgetary requirements. At the same time, the system must minimize nuisance alarms as repeatedly deploying response forces or maintenance technicians to remote sites rapidly triggers a distrust of the system. 

This post looks at how operators can use best-in-class security products while addressing the specific difficulties posed by remote and geographically distributed sites. 

Deterrence That Works 

Effective deterrence systems are the first step in protecting remote sites and their assets. Avoiding intrusions in the first place is always the ideal outcome, especially when security response may involve considerable time and cost. Consider the following deterrence options: 

  • Security fence – A well-maintained security fence, at least 7 ft tall and topped with barbed/razor outriggers, will deter the curious. However, keep in mind that a fence by itself isn’t effective against determined intruders as they can cut, lift, or climb the fence fabric in seconds. 
  • Visible signage and surveillance cameras – Clearly visible signs and surveillance cameras, indicating that the site is monitored 24/7 will, like fencing, help to dissuade casual intruders. But determined intruders may still remain undeterred, often planning ahead to conceal potential identifiers like faces or vehicles. Most importantly, cameras by themselves only record events, and do not stop them. 
  • Intelligent security lighting – Intelligent security lighting systems like the Senstar LM100 Hybrid Perimeter Intrusion Detection and Lighting System function as highly effective deterrence. First, targeted illumination along the fence line prevents intruders from hiding in the cover of darkness while enhancing the assessment value of camera surveillance systems. Second, instant-on illumination and strobing at the detected intrusion location acts as a strong psychological deterrent, letting would-be intruders know they are detected, their location is known, and they are being watched.  

Detect Intruders Before They Get In 

Detection at the perimeter is the next line of defense. Early detection leads to a faster assessment and response. There are many detection technologies on the market. For remote sites, the detection system must be reliable, cost-effective, integrated with on-site assessment devices, and above all, avoid the generation of repeated nuisance alarms.  

Fence-mounted sensors 

Modern fence-mounted sensors like Senstar’s FlexZone, FiberPatrol, Wireless Gate Sensor, and the Senstar LM100 are extremely effective, field-proven and easy-to-deploy. By analyzing the vibrations on the fence (and rejecting those generated by environmental forces like wind), the systems can detect and locate intruders with a precision of under 3 m (10 ft). In addition to generating alarms at off-site monitoring centers, the systems can be used for camera call-up and to control on-site devices like sirens or security lights. 

Coaxial-based sensors are generally highly economical and easy to deploy while fiber optic sensors require zero electronics on the perimeter and may be more cost-effective for larger facilities. 

Video analytics 

Videos analytics are a cost-effective means to augment security by leveraging the site’s existing surveillance Intruder caught on video at fencelineinfrastructure:  

  • Outdoor people and vehicle tracking analytics – Can be used to implement virtual zones and tripwires that track individuals and vehicles both near and inside the perimeter. Unlike simple motion detection, these analytics are designed to reject background vegetation movement and shadows. Early detection outside the perimeter can be used to direct PTZ cameras or switch to higher resolution recording, so that if the fence-mounted sensors detect an intrusion, high quality video is instantly available. The same analytics can also be used inside the perimeter to track the movement of people and vehicles once inside. 
  • Face and license plate recognition – Improves overall security management by automatically identifying maintenance personnel and automating the tracking of vehicles. When integrated with an access control system, these analytics can be used to unlock gates as well as place security zones under temporary access or mask. 

Obtain Situational Awareness 

High definition and thermal surveillance cameras, when directed by modern video management software, can provide excellent situational awareness. The Senstar Symphony VMS for example, includes many features to make monitoring remote sites easier: 

  • Effectively monitor hundreds of remote sites. Built-in video analytics reduces operator workload by automatically bringing attention to critical events.  
  • Use a single operator interface to view video, monitor the status of intrusion detection sensors, and control on-site devices like PTZ cameras, access controls, two-way intercoms, and loudspeakers. 
  • View the exact location of intrusion attempts on high-resolution maps. 
  • View live and recorded video from mobile devices, as well as automatically send images of captured video during alarm events via email/SMS to response forces. 

Deployment Considerations 

In addition to deterrence and assessment requirements, organizations need solutions that address day-to-day concerns involving nuisance alarms, reliability, and connectivity issues. 

Nuisance Alarms and Reliability 

Avoiding nuisance alarms generated by weather, animals, and lawful people is critical to remote site security. Too many nuisance alarms and security personnel may ignore valid alarms or hesitate to initiate a response until it is too late. Senstar designs its systems from the outset to minimize nuisance alarms: 

  • Ranging data from sensors is used to recognize and compensate for site-wide environmental disturbances like high winds or rain and to ensure that alarms are generated only from realistic intrusion attempts (e.g. a ball hitting the fence doesn’t trigger an alarm). 
  • Sensors are designed and tested for reliable operation in extreme environments (–40 to +70 °C/–40 to 158 °F). 
  • Maintenance staff can use the precision ranging to quickly find and resolve problematic areas (e.g. a loose fence sign). 
  • Video analytics reject background changes caused by vegetation movement and changes in lighting. 

Site Connectivity and Fallback 

Another concern is connectivity. Despite advances in communications, connectivity to remote sites can still be lost. It is critical that both intrusion detection and video recording remain operational after a loss of network connectivity. For on-site sensors, a device like the Senstar Rugged Controller can be used to provide local fallback functionality if network connectivity is lost. For video surveillance, edge storage (on-camera or on edge devices) can prevent the loss of critical video. 

Laptop with Aimetis Enterprise Manager graphical user interface shown on screenFinally, organizations need the ability to centrally manage their sites. Cloud-based tools like the Senstar Enterprise Manager can ensure devices remain online, have the correct configuration, and automatically receive software and security updates.   

Need to be compliant with NERC CIP regulations? Download Senstar’s NERC CIP-014 Application Guide for more information. 

Patented technology puts Senstar at the forefront of pipeline leak detection

September 25, 2018

Senstar’s recently announced FiberPatrol FP7000 pipeline integrity monitoring system for leak detection and third-party interference (TPI) for both gas and liquid-carrying pipelines, detects small leaks faster than any other system on the market.

Developed by Senstar’s fiber optic experts, the FP7000s patented technology combines Distributed Differential Temperature Sensing (DDTS) and Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), allowing for the detection and location of small leaks faster and more accurately than traditional flow and pressure-monitoring solutions or other fiber-based solutions. In addition, TPI detection helps to avoid leaks in the first place by detecting digging or tampering before a damage can occur. FP7000’s DDTS technology can continuously monitor temperature (from a reference temperature) along the entire length of the sensor and can detect changes in temperature and temperature rate as low as 0.0005 oC and 0.001 oC/min, respectively. In addition, FP7000’s DAS technology detects minute acoustic signals emanating from a leak. The extreme sensitivity of DDTS and integration of both DDTS and DAS in one system enable the FP7000 to detect small leaks faster than any other leak detection system, while simultaneously rejecting environmental factors caused by weather or nuisance sources.

The FP7000 joins Senstar’s growing FiberPatrol family that includes fence-mounted intrusion detection, buried intrusion detection, TPI detection for pipelines and now leak detection for pipelines. The addition of leak detection to Senstar’s product portfolio of perimeter intrusion detection and video management solutions allows Senstar to provide end-to-end security of above and below-ground pipeline assets.

Senstar Care: Minimize downtime, reduce expenses and ensure optimal performance

September 4, 2018

Senstar customers already enjoy the advantages that come with any new equipment purchase, including a three-year limited warranty, factory support for two cases and web portal access. Senstar also offers a free five-year extended warranty on select products.

For those looking for additional peace of mind, the Senstar Care program provides further customizable maintenance and support options to minimize downtime, reduce expenses and ensure optimal performance.

Depending on requirements, customers may choose from the following additional services:

  • On-site support
  • Technical training
  • Factory acceptance testing for more complex integrated systems
  • Factory commissioning support
  • Remote diagnosis of technical faults
  • Product repair services
  • Warranty extensions on covered parts
  • Premium Site Support packages

For more information about Senstar Care, click here or contact [email protected].

NERC CIP-014 compliance: Solutions for physical security

August 21, 2018

Electrical utility site at nightThe purpose of the NERC* CIP-014 reliability standard is to protect electrical facilities from physical attacks that could threaten the stability and operation of the North American electric grid distribution system. Requirement R5 mandates that operators implement physical security measures designed to collectively Deter, Detect, Delay, Assess, Communicate, and Respond to potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Senstar, with its wide portfolio of perimeter intrusion detection sensors and video management software, can provide effective, field-proven solutions that assist operators in satisfying NERC CIP-014 recommendations.

Click here to download an application guide that explains how Senstar can help electrical facilities address specific security concerns.

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