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News

Family Firm Gains Video Management Benefits With PC-Based DVR

Plustek : 16 June, 2011  (Application Story)
Plustek has provided storage and centralised video management for a family business engaged in the retail industry

When Hanes Parker inherited a successful 12-year old family business, he was faced with the daunting task of replacing the old surveillance system with something that can meet all his requirements and keep up with society’s technology-driven changes. The system instated by his father, Brett Parker, 10 years ago consisted of a PC-based DVR and a DVR standalone placed in each of the 3 subsidiary convenient stores in the business. A PC located in one of the storage rooms supported the systems of all 3 locations. This surveillance structure had many flaws that caused Brett and Hanes significant losses in human resources and cable costs over the years. One of the biggest problems was that the security personnel located at the Boston office could not simultaneously monitor the different brands of analog cameras installed at the various sites using just one interface. With credit card usage becoming more and more mainstream, Hanes saw a concurrent increase in the associated frauds. The old system, which could not provide enough resolution to see detail images of the checkout counter, fell even more into oblivion. To make matters worse, the system was also very expensive to upgrade. Driven by all these factors, Hanes started his search for a long-term economically sustainable megapixel surveillance solution.


The new system needed to fulfill three main requirements: flexibility to be placed in the different environments of the dissimilar convenient stores, ability to monitoring multiple locations with different needs, and capability to minimize data loss caused by remote data transfer. Hanes’s search led him to Plustek Linux-based NVR Slim 240 and Slim 380, which were petite, heat-resistant, and noiseless. While their small size let them conveniently fit in various positions, the heat-resistant characteristic allowed them to be placed virtually anywhere and the noiselessness enabled them truly hide from potential intruders and vandals. Their simple 4 to 8 channel IP camera inputs also made them ideal for use in small retail stores such as convenient stores and gas stations, all the recordings can be additionally lively viewed via Android mobile devices which was newly supported by Plustek NVR. In addition, the built-in storage system permitted these machines to bypass the need for any remote transmissions and the consequent possible data losses. Even when internet connections were unstable, users could connect to any Slim 240 and Slim 380 to retrieve important recordings. This “distributed onsite surveillance” concept, which evolved over the years from CCTV System, effectively solved many of Hanes’s problems.


To sweeten the deal, Plustek’s solution also incorporated the all-in-one “centralized management concept”. With just one interface at one location, users could access live view, playback, and alarm notifications of multiple locations. They can even streamline a third security device, such as a fire and access control type of cross-platform security system, through an open protocol. Plustek creates a true open platform system by employing an IP-based system and offers free backend software “Multi-Manager”, which was developed based on this very idea, to use concurrently. Through the computer at the Boston office, the security personnel is finally empowered to effectively monitor the surveillance activities of all 3 sites without consuming as much bandwidth as general server-based NVR does.


With the future in mind, Hanes chose Plustek total NVR solution at the end of 2010. Other than all of the benefits mentioned above, Hanes mentioned that the “megapixel monitoring technology is maturing and allows us to utilize NVR at key positions such as focusing in on the cash register. Moreover, once connected to our internet, Plustek’s frontend NVR Slim series can work easily without destroying the store’s aesthetic design like the protruding cables of the old system did. The free backend management software, “Multi-Manager”, further ensures that we can seamlessly perform management tasks such as track live views, schedule recordings, backup data remotely to any designated online service, and get alarm notifications all from our Boston office. The lifetime free software upgrade is the cherry on top of the cake. For example, Plustek recently launched a new application supporting Android mobile device live viewing, which I can download and then access from anywhere! All the benefits and convenience that Plustek has brought to my business really made me feel that management can really be a flexible and efficient task.”

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