IP Video Monitoring

We live in a connected world and video is now an affordable add-on to any alarm system. Remote Video Monitoring allows Dealers & Integrators to offer enhanced services and reap recurring revenue from new and existing subscribers. False alarm prevention will help you and your customers avoid costly fines.

Professional Remote Video Verification Solutions

Our competitors may show you crystal clear images of beautiful babies, children and homes superimposed on the latest high tech cell phones, but their solutions amount to nothing more than glorified Nanny Cams. The requirement for subscribers to log into a web interface or send a text message every time they want to arm or disarm cameras may be a novelty for a month or two, but that will soon wear off and complacency and forgetfulness will take over.

IP Alarms have taken a different approach and aimed the Virtual Monitoring Platform squarely at professional Dealers and Monitoring Centers who require seamless integration between IP Cameras and existing alarm panels. If your Customer wants to sit on a beach and use their cell phone to play around with their sprinkler system, then sell them a Nanny Cam. If they want to be free to go about their daily life, safe in the knowledge that images from their cameras will be made available to a highly trained operator within a second of an alarm activation from a professionally installed security system, then our real world video solutions may be much more appropriate.

Low cost IP Camera and gateway bundles are fine for Nanny Cam's, but professional Security Dealers understand that a ten second video clip, or a single model of camera cannot possibly cater for every type of video application they will encounter in their daily business.

Our video solutions do not tie Dealers to any particular model of IP Camera nor any model of alarm panel, however, they provide additional features for Sony, Axis, Panasonic and Y-Cam branded cameras. The widespread availability and sub $100 cost of Panasonic IP Cameras make them the most popular choice for residential video applications and Axis are more popular for commercial sites.

IP Alarms have developed complex Video Monitoring software with a focus on Any Panel - Any Camera.

Video Monitoring Options

Video Monitoring is an integral part of most Central Stations. Video capability is provided in one of two ways: Via software applications that are hosted on a managed server or via software that resides on a server within your own infrastructure.

The Virtual Monitoring Platform is our managed solution and is a fully automated alarm and video monitoring platform that provides a web browser interface to subscribers and monitoring operators alike.

Video monitoring is most effective when triggered by one of our supported IP alarm panel adapters, however, even your existing PSTN & Cellular subscribers can benefit from integration to the Platform. If your I.T staff have the ability to write a signal from your receiver/automation system into a text file or database, or they can put together some code to consume a web service, then they have all the tools they need to interface your analog systems to the digital world.

A typical event scenario for analog alarm systems using the Contact ID protocol is for the panel modem to grab the phone line and wait two seconds for it to settle. Then it will dial a 10 or 11 digit number and wait a couple more seconds for the receiver to answer the call. Depending on the handshake order programmed into the receiver, it can be another two to five seconds before it starts to send its signal. Whilst all of this is happening, an intruder could be moving around the protected premises and valuable footage could be lost.

Using an IP Alarms supported IP device for alarm transmission overcomes this delay by transmitting a Pre-Alarm message the instant a panel goes into an alarm condition. IP Signalling and Digital Video enable Dealers and Integrators to tie together multiple physical applications such as intruder, fire, medical and access control systems so that they can work together in a more unified manner.

Verified Response

Specifically designed for Professional Monitoring Centers and Alarm Dealers, our Virtual Monitoring Platform provides a fast and flexible solution for utilising IP Video to accurately confirm alarm activations prior to contacting emergency dispatch agencies. Our understanding of both client and server side requirements is evident in the high level of integration options available. Both your Installers and I.T. staff will be pleased to know that we talk their language.

Stage 1 - Detection

Alarm Installers are experts at siting intrusion detection equipment in the correct locations and end users are comfortable with arming and disarming their panel on a daily basis - as they have done for years. Why would you want to change that winning formula and burden your Customers with having to arm and disarm cameras via a web browser or by sending a text message ?

Alarm panel zones can easily be mapped to one or more IP cameras within the Virtual Monitoring Platform. Our range of IP signalling devices are capable of transmitting an alarm signal into your automation system in well under half a second.

Stage 2 - Recording

Still image snapshots are the most efficient and preferred method of recording images from IP cameras. Files are stored safely on your server so that they cannot be tampered with by anyone at the protected premises. The total number of snapshots to be taken and the interval between them can easily be setup through the Virtual Monitoring Platform.

It also supports the receipt of video clip attachments via email direct from IP Cameras. This is useful where the on site Cameras have a hardwire input, support software trigger commands or if the built-in motion detection feature is utilised.

Stage 3 - Verification

Rapid Operator access to images is the key to acheiving a verified response. Depending on Camera functionality, it can provide operators with single click access to pre-alarm video, snapshots and live images. These images provide operators with the valuable information they require when making a decision on whether or not an event can be passed to the dispatch agencies as Verified.

Due to the growing problem with false alarms, police departments and cities around the world are moving to Verified Response. It is a program that requires the alarm or monitoring company to verify there is an unusual occurrence at the location of the alarm. Independent "eyes-on" verification is the standard used to verify the need for a police dispatch. No police will be dispatched until there is a verified problem.

Escalating fines have demonstrated results by dramatically reducing invalid alarms among chronic abusers in many municipalities. However, steep fines alone fail on a long-term basis because many abusers tend to budget for the fee, regardless of how high the fee becomes. To be most effective, any ordinance or policy should include a point where abusers lose response until documentation can be provided that the alarm has been fixed or the alarm users have been effectively trained. Fines can be structured to totally offset the cost of police response so that subscribers who don’t have alarm systems don’t bear any of the cost.

Video Verification

There is news in the security alarm monitoring industry that preferential treatment is being given by police departments to some systems because they make use of video verification technology. Nobody in the security industry will argue that all monitored alarm systems should strive towards the use of video verification, but what price will residential sysytem owners be prepared to pay before the technology gains widespread acceptance ?

The problem with proprietary equipment and technology

The issue with video verification from the perspective of a residential systems provider is that the majority of solutions are aimed at the commercial sector. Specialist equipment is required at the client premises and compatible receiving equipment is required at the Central Station.

This increases the installation cost because the installer has to bill for additional equipment and it increases the monthly cost as the Monitoring Company have to recoup their substantial investment in the receiving equipment. The subscriber takes a double hit and although this may be within the budget of a commercial business, it is likely outside the budget of the majority of residential alarm monitoring subscribers.

Video Verification is fully inclusive with IP Alarms Monitoring Technology

Thousands of alarm monitoring subscribers are disconnecting their landline each month and upgrading their security system to send alarms over the Internet. The Cisco/Linksys IP Alarm Monitoring solution is the most cost effective way to do this, but the subscriber benefits do not end there. The Cisco/Linksys solution has video verification technology already built-in. There is no requirement for additional gateway equipment in the subscriber premises and the Virtual Monitoring Platform is where the video verification technology resides.

The Virtual Monitoring Platform is able to commence recording of cameras within 100 milliseconds of an alarm panel being triggered. The fact that an alarm panel and detectors are used to trigger events is of the utmost importance. The motion detection technology built-in to cameras is very unreliable to say the least. The whole point of video verification is to aid in the prevention of false alarms and Alarm Monitoring Companies should be very careful to place their trust only in proven technology.

The goal of the IP Alarms video verification technology is to support any panel and any camera. The Cisco/Linksys adapters can be triggered by any make and model of alarm panel regardless of the alarm protocol or whether or not it uses outputs. We cannot make quite as strong a claim on camera side as there are no standards for manufacturers to follow. The only hint at uniformity is the majority of cameras provide the ability to obtain a single image snapshot via a command typed into the URL bar of a standard web browser. This is all that is required for a camera to be triggered by the IP Alarm video verification technology.

In summary, when a residential subscriber has to pay only for camera equipment in their home and when Monitoring Centers can use the Virtual Monitoring Platform to keep recurring video verification costs to an absolute minimum, then, and only then, will video verification go mainstream in the residential monitoring market. IP Alarms are the technology partner you need to make this happen.