System Design

3 Reasons Why Product Knowledge (Not Price) Is Crucial When Bidding on Security System Projects

Too often security dealers complain that consultants only evaluate price when looking at bids. That’s not the case. In our consulting practice we frequently get questions from bidders about products we have specified. And while I certainly don’t speak for all consultants — or even any consultants other than the ones that work for our […]

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Grossman Tells How to Get Going When the Going Gets Rough

SSI Bench Test products reviewer and well-known industry consultant addresses top integrator challenges. My April issue editorial discusses security integrators’ top 10 challenges as indicated inSSI’s annual Systems Integration Study. I consulted with a handful of trusted colleagues and contributors to the publication for ways integrators can best overcome these challenges, perhaps even turning them […]

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The Truth About License Plate Recognition Technology

After numerous questions about the merits and drawbacks of cameras designed to capture images of the license plates of vehicles entering and exiting a property, I wanted to put something together to clarify the two approaches to this application. These cameras are often referred to interchangeably as “license plate cameras” and “license plate readers”. In […]

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Do You Really Want to Use That Security Product?

We’ve recently started providing product reviews forSecurity Sales & Integration magazine and its website, www.securitysales.com. As we kick this off, and on an ongoing basis, we’re going to be looking for feedback on how these reviews meet your needs, where they come up short, and what you’d like to see covered. The genesis of SSI’s Bench Test […]

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HDcctv: Back to the Future, or Ahead to the Past?

At ISC West 2014 last week, the HDcctv Alliance provided a first look at the new generation of HDcctv 2.0 surveillance technologies and products. As this is a technology that has been mentioned on and off over the years but never really gained traction, I thought I would avail myself of this opportunity to understand a little more about […]

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Overpromising & Underdelivering: How Cutting-Edge Tech Is Often a Waste of Money

We are all familiar with the business mantra imploring you to “underpromise and overdeliver”. The concept is that by managing expectations in such a manner that you are positioned to exceed them, you stand a greater likelihood of leaving behind a happy customer. Or spouse, or child, or co-worker, as the concept really works anywhere […]

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Problems in Selecting Surveillance Monitors

The consumer market drives demands for 16:9 monitors, but there are still times when a 4:3 monitor is a better fit. As people get more acclimated to technology change in their personal life, it often spills over into their professional life. While this is generally a good thing, we’re seeing one area where the change […]

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Keeping Surveillance Networks Secure

The bad guys aren’t supposed to be able to hack a video surveillance system, period. Recent headlines about a casino scam in Melbourne brought the consequences of an insecure security system front and center as scammers allegedly walked off with $32 million after using the casino’s surveillance system to cheat at cards. While we may never know […]

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6 Tips to Selecting the Right Security Camera

As we move toward more advanced video surveillance equipment, it’s often hard to resist finding high-tech solutions to low-tech problems. For example, if you can use image stabilization, why worry about camera vibration? While it’s true that modern cameras can often get you good images under lousy conditions, improving conditions usually improves the image quality dramatically. […]

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Hacking Surveillance Cameras in Casinos

A high roller and his accomplice scammed a casino in Melbourne, Australia, by hacking into the surveillance system to cheat (and win) at a series of card games in his suite. The Herald Sun in Melbourne reported that the gambler was able to use information from security cameras about his opponent’s cards to scam the […]

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The Morphing Integrator

I have noticed, and I’m sure most will agree, that over the past 20 years the electronic security industry has morphed. And, while change is good, and the whole should, in theory, be greater than the sum of its parts, in practice we’re clearly seeing gaps that I don’t believe are getting closer to being […]

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A Guide to Fiber-Optic Cable & Coxial Media Converters

One topic that generates a lot of discussion is the transition from analogue to IP cameras. On new construction, it’s rapidly becoming a moot point — there are so many advantages to IP, and the cost advantage of analogue is rapidly disappearing — but there are a lot of analogue systems out there that are aging […]

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Back to the Basics of Camera Placement

As we move toward more advanced image acquisition equipment, it’s often hard to resist finding high-tech solutions to low-tech problems. For example, if you can use image stabilization, why worry about camera vibration? While it’s true that modern cameras can often get you good images under lousy conditions, improving conditions usually improves the image quality […]

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Evaluating Security Product Substitutions for Installations

When specifying a project, the term “or approved equal” (OAE) comes up often. We frequently find it easier to describe a specific make and model than force the bidder to decide what we are looking for from a detailed list of specifications. Adding the term OAE lets the bidder know they are free to present […]

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How Trimming Support for Obsolete CCTV Products Benefits the Industry

I received an E-mail blast from a CCTV manufacturer today describing a new five-point plan aimed to overhaul its technical support and customer service. Four of the five points were in line with expectations for a high-end company in the electronic security industry, but I suspect that the bulk of the objections the manufacturer hears […]

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P/T/Z Control in an IP World

Based on some comments I have received from a surprising number of manufacturers, I’m going to write a “CCTV 101” type blog. It will be short and sweet, and if this is too basic for you, check back in a few days for a new entry. But when a question comes up as often as […]

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Grade A Security for ‘Big D’ Complex

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the sprawling Galleria Dallas shopping center and its new expansive security system live up to that claim. However, what looms largest was the tightly coordinated effort the security consultant, integrator and end user demonstrated to help maximize the facility’s safety. There is nothing average about Galleria Dallas. […]

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Handling Coax, UTP Cables During Installations

“There’s a lot of coaxial cable out there.” “The 100 meter limit for Ethernet over copper presents some installation challenges.” I think there are very few people involved in the installation of IP-based CCTV systems that would disagree with either of the above statements. In an upcoming study featured in SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s April […]

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Maintenance and Repair Needs for a Digital System

As facilities have moved from their analog tape based systems to the digital world, many believed that the system maintenance aspects were gone. Sure, we were used to repairing or replacing VCR’s – there were tons of mechanical parts, tapes shed grime and particles into the units, and VCR’s were pretty cheaply made to begin […]

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Bigger Isn’t Always Better – Be Mindful of the Category Rating

More and more of our projects involve networked systems and associated devices, and that inevitably includes cabling. And, as the price differential between the various category-rated cables diminishes, we are finding the temptation to provide the highest level of category rating possible throughout projects, whether or not it makes sense. If CAT5 is good, and […]

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Recycling Is Green, but It Can Make You Some Green Too…

Most of us are bombarded with constant reminders about the importance of recycling, and I can imagine anyone arguing with the overall concept. And, many of us take it further than bottles, cans and paper — where I live, anything even slightly useful that is placed out at the curb is “recycled” by a passerby […]

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Integrators and IT: Keep Up or Get Kicked Out – Security Sales & Integration

As many of us have seen for some time, many types of electronic security systems are morphing into computer systems. Sure, it takes experience to know how and where to place cameras, monitor systems effectively, ensure smooth traffic flow for access control systems, and myriad other skills we’ve had to learn through the years. But […]

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Don’t Throw Out the DVR With the Bathwater

While everyone was happy to get away from feeding tapes to VCRs, the digital replacement is not without an appetite of its own. I speak of course of the need to replace hard drives from time to time. This article was written by Bob Grossman for his “Enterprising Solutions” blog for Security Sales & Integration […]

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Casino System Leaves Nothing to Chance – Security Sales & Integration

September 2007, By Robert Grossman – The video surveillance installation at Odawa Casino, located near the waters of Lake Michigan in Petoskey, Mich., was such a project. The design included two control rooms and auxiliary monitoring locations, encompassing a new casino, parking structure, special events area and a remote waste water treatment plant. All of it secured with full integration between video, access control and other gaming systems. While I’d like to say I was pleasantly surprised, all of us involved with this project genuinely knew it would succeed from the start.

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Sailing the Security Waters of Mystic Lake – Security Sales & Integration

March 2006, By Robert Grossman – An insider’s look at the installation of the Digital CCTV System installed at Mystic Lake Casino.

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How to Set Up an On-Site Security Command Center – Campus Security Magazine

September/October 2005 By Robert Grossman – When it comes to creating a security systems command center, campus security professionals need to consider not only equipment and functionality, but also design and aesthetics. (Also published in Security Sales & Integration, September 2005)

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Consultants – Time to End the Confusion, Security Sales & Integration

March 2004 by Robert Grossman, Webster’s Dictionary defines a “consultant” as “a person who gives professional or expert advice.” But, with that definition, isn’t just about everyone a consultant?

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