Hikvision’s H.264 compression cards are being used in the US, Canada and South America by CEVA Logistics, a world-leading logistics company whose global network has facilities in 170 countries and 46,000 employees generating a turnover of $7bn. The company offers customers complete supply chain design and implementation in contract logistics and freight management. CEVA Logistics has more than 1,000 branches and is the product of mergers between TNT and Eagle Global Logistics.
As a major transport and freight company dealing with high-value consignments and operating in sensitive sectors, CEVA required a surveillance system that offered quick, accurate retrieval, flexible recording options and remote monitoring of multiple sites. There was a need for optimization of bandwidth usage while still maintaining image clarity. Failover/redundancy was vital given the homeland security implications of the international freight sector.
Each CEVA location presented different security challenges in terms of site layout and working practices with regard to access control. CEVA wanted all sites in the United States to be monitored centrally at operational hubs in Miami, Houston and Dallas, where managers required real-time video feeds on virtual matrix walls from an intuitive management platform.
Hikvision’s partner on this project is Unisight Digital Technologies, Inc. The company, based in Centennial City, Colorado, has supplied the CEVA premises with custom built PC-based recorders using Hikvision dual-stream compression cards from the HCI series to encode footage generated by the analogue cameras.
These 16-channel H.264 (MPEG-4/Part10) units provide real-time compression. Depending on the model chosen, display resolution can be up to 4CIF at full frame rate. There are options for motion detection triggering and real-time audio compression in the open-source Ogg Vorbis format. The recording solution at the CEVA sites is part of the Unisight Enterprise (ENT) surveillance solution which is designed and customized for large-scale centralized monitoring systems.
The Hikvision units can be 4, 8 or 16-channel variants and they use a PCI.2.2 standard bus. In the application described here the cards are being used from a Windows platform but they can also operate out of Linux. The cards support MASK overlay.
A benefit of the 4CIF (704 x 576 pixel) resolution is ‘Smart Search’ by which the Unisight platform allows operatives to define or ‘marquee’ an area and look for suspicious incidents without needing to assess the overall view. Even with a selected portion of the image, fine detail allows close scrutiny of driver and visitor behaviour.
Mr Arie Hornreich, VP Sales/Business Development at Unisight, said: “This is one of our most intricate installations to date due to the sheer number of sites. CEVA is benefiting from functionality within the Hikvision compression cards that allows dual transmission and multiple bitrate. Where appropriate we are able to record at one resolution level and transmit at another, so making optimum use of bandwidth.”
Mr Hornreich continued: “Many manufacturers promise you 30 fps at 4CIF but this is not always possible in the field under tough operating conditions. But with Hikvision these levels are achievable. We get the encoding we need and failure rate of the units is minimal to none. The compression cards are allowing us to be more creative with our PC assemblies and they contribute to the scalability and stability of the Unisight offering.”
Any logistics company selecting a video surveillance system is likely to demand an intuitive head-end that makes reviewing footage a simple operation. Using the H.264 encoding algorithm provided by Hikvision, Unisight has implemented instant playback for the client. The solution is the result of close co-operation between Unisight developers and CEVA’s loss prevention and safety personnel. It is providing real-time central monitoring video feeds as well as facilitating analysis of unusual incidents and provision of footage to outside agencies including law enforcement bodies.