Take advantage of the NEW $1 million tax benefit by investing in security and life safety measures

Take advantage of the NEW $1 million tax benefit by investing in security and life safety measures

Are you eligible for $1million in tax deductions?

Businesses have been always been able to deduct business-related equipment placed in service, but security systems did not qualify – now they do. Beginning in 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act  allows qualifying businesses to deduct the full cost of new “Security and Fire Protections Systems,”up to $1 million. Prior to passage of the Act, companies had to be depreciate the system cost over a period of up to 39 years. The legislation was passed to encourage businesses that are considering capital investments in this critical area and promote industry investment.

https://www.securityindustry.org/report/guide-to-new-tax-incentives-for-security-and-fire-protection-systems/

The Security Industry Association (SIA) worked with industry groups to expand deductions under Section 179 of the IRS tax code which empowers businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. The revised tax code permanently expands eligibility for deductions to fire protection, alarm, and security systems along with other equipment placed in service in 2018 and beyond.

Talk to your accounting partner to understand the impact this could have on your business.

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Monitored Video Camera System Installed

Monitored Video Camera System Installed
We have a large industrial facility in Southeastern Massachusetts, which had a 24hr guard service for over 30 years. Due to cost constraints, we were able to eliminate on site guards through the installation of a sophisticated Video Surveillance System designed, installed and MONITORED by AAA Alarms from their off site UL Central Station. Through the use of "analytic" technology that is built into their system, we were able to create a virtual perimeter fence around our facility, which would "arm" based on schedules we establish. Video Analytics, also referred to as Video Content Analysis (VCA), is a generic term used to describe computerized processing and analysis of video streams. This paper will use the term “Video Analytics” with regards to the analysis of video streams captured by surveillance systems. Video Analytics applications can perform a variety of tasks ranging from real-time analysis of video for immediate detection of events of interest, to analysis of pre-recorded video for the purpose of extracting events and data from the recorded video. Relying on Video Analytics to automatically monitor cameras and alert for events of interest is in many cases much more effective than reliance on a human operator, which is a costly resource with limited alertness and attention. Various research studies and real-life incidents indicate that an average human operator of a surveillance system, tasked with observing video screens, cannot remain alert and attentive for more than 20 minutes. Moreover, the operator’s ability to monitor the video and effectively respond to events is significantly compromised as time goes by. Furthermore, there is often a need to go through recorded video and extract specific video segments containing an event of interest. This need is growing as the use of video surveillance becomes more widespread and the quantity of recorded video increases. In some cases, time is of the essence, and such review must be undertaken in an efficient and rapid manner. Surveillance system users are also looking for additional ways to leverage their recorded video, including by extracting statistical data for business intelligence purposes. Analyzing recorded video is a need that can rarely be answered effectively by human operators, due to the lengthy process of manually going through and observing the recorded video and the associated manpower cost for this task. While the necessity for, and benefits of, surveillance systems are undisputed, and the accompanying financial investment in deploying such surveillance system is significant, the actual benefit derived from a surveillance system is limited when relying on human operators alone. In contrast, the benefit accrued from a surveillance system can be significantly increased when deploying Video Analytics. Video Analytics is an ideal solution that meets the needs of surveillance system operators, security officers, and corporate managers, as they seek to make practical and effective use of their surveillance systems. Video surveillance systems are typically installed to record video footage of areas of interest within a facility, around its perimeter or in outdoor areas which require observation, with a view to “catching” (allowing the user to be able to observe) and recording events related to security, safety, loss prevention, operational efficiency and even business intelligence. Video Analytics enhances video surveillance systems by performing the tasks of real-time event detection, post-event analysis and extraction of statistical data while saving manpower costs and increasing the effectiveness of the surveillance system operation. Through the implementation of various image processing algorithms, Video Analytics can detect a variety of events, in real-time, such as: • Penetration of unauthorized people / vehicles into restricted areas • Tailgating of people / vehicles through secure checkpoints • Traffic obstacles • Unattended objects • Vehicles stopped in no-parking zones, highways or roads • Removal of assets • Crowding or grouping • Loitering And more. By defining the set of events that the surveillance system operator wants to be alerted to, the Video Analytics software continuously analyzes the video in real-time and provides an immediate alert upon detection of a relevant event. This technology is what enabled us to eliminate on site Security guards that were typically found sleeping. I would highly recommend AAA Alarms and their team of Sales Engineers and technicians that design a system that does exactly what we need and saves us thousand of dollars annually.

Thermal Infrared IR Cameras : White Paper

What and Why Thermal cameras?
Thermal cameras, unlike traditional visible cameras, use heat rather than light to see an object, giving them a huge advantage over other imaging technologies. Using minute differences in infrared (IR) radiation they produce a high-contrast thermal image in complete darkness. It is unaffected by bright light and has the ability to see through obstructions such as smoke, dust, and light fog. This makes thermal ideal for a number of applications including but not limited to surveillance & security search and rescue, fire, marine and land navigation, machine vision, and wide area situational assessment.

See it All
Everything above absolute zero (-273°C) emits thermal IR radiation. Thermal cameras convert this into a digital image that can be displayed, distributed and recorded. Humans, animals, and vehicles are very hot in contrast to a background making them easily detectable by a thermal imaging camera, even at distances up to 30km. This technology gives you state-of-the-art protection that can be used in the most demanding applications where the limitations of traditional CCTV and camera technologies just cannot compare.

Imaging in Extreme Conditions 
IR radiation passes through smoke, dust, modest foliage, and light fog with ease, making a person clearly visible even in the worst lighting conditions. Thermal energy is passive and, unlike other technologies, does not artificially increase light or require illumination for clean crisp images both day and night for detection of intruders at extreme ranges. Infiniti’s thermal cameras let you see further than any other night vision technology. There are also certain situations where thermal imaging can be better than regular CCTV cameras even during the day. CCTV cameras can be rendered useless by direct or reflected sunlight, and they rely on contrast in order to identify a intruder. In areas where contrast is poor, visible cameras can be rendered useless. Since humans always give off much more thermal energy than their environment they are easily picked up by video analysis software or human viewers. Trespassers hiding in shadows or bushes are easily spotted, providing maximum protection of your assets and unparalleled situational awareness. 

Ultra Long 24/7 Detection 
Thermal cameras are ideal for detection because they use heat rather than light, meaning they require no artificial illumination. They are able to take advantage of the full view, allowing them to offer both wide-angle and long-range imagery. Thermal cameras offer numerous advantages and can be optimized to suite a host of applications and industries. For security and surveillance applications one thermal camera can replace many traditional cameras and reduce the need for motion and intrusion detectors when integrated with video analytics to provide an automated intrusion detection system. This allows them to actually reduce equipment and installation costs on projects while enhancing security and effectiveness.

Cooled Thermal Infrared Imaging
Cooled thermal imaging cameras are a thermal camera with an integrated cryocooler, hence the name cooled camera. The cooler brings the thermal image core to temperatures as low as -40C. Since thermal cameras work by using heat waves, cooling the core exponentially increases the sensitivity. This dramatically increases both range and performance. Since the Cooler has to constantly maintain temperatures often below freezing point, the cryogenic cooler is continuously running and requires replacement every 8000~10,000 hours of operation. 

Cooled Thermal Cameras Cost of ownership 
This makes cooled cameras have a much higher cost of ownership compared to standard uncooled thermal cameras. Since cooled thermal IR cameras are so sensitive to minute temperature differences, they can spot a target with only a few degrees temperature difference than its background. Cooled thermal cameras are typically Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) and typically use wavelengths of 3-5UM (3000nm~5000nm). The combination of the cooled image core and the ability to work on the MWIR spectrum, when used with Infiniti’s long-range optics, means ultra-long range detection capabilities (up to 20 miles or 30km) even if there is only a few degrees temperature variance between the target and background.

ROI on Cooled Thermal Cameras
While cooled cameras are a significant investment and are considerably more expensive then uncooled counterparts. However their superior range and performance allows them to replace up to 8 uncooled cameras, making them a viable and cost effective solution for certain applications such as home land security, and coastal surveillance.

Uncooled Thermal Infrared Cameras 
Uncooled thermal imaging cameras are infrared cameras that do not require cryogenic cooling. A common detector design is based on the micro bolometer, a tiny vanadium oxide resistor with a large temperature coefficient, a silicon element with large surface area, low heat capacity, and good thermal isolation. Changes in scene temperature cause changes in the bolometer temperature which are converted to electrical signals and processed into an image. Uncooled sensors are designed to work in the Long-Wave Infrared (LWIR) band from 7-14UM (7000nm-14000nm) the wavelength where terrestrial temperature targets emit most of their infrared energy. Uncooled thermal infrared cameras provide up to 8km of detection and have no maintenance cost making them account for over 80% of all thermal cameras due to their low price and high value compared to cooled cameras.

Fixed Vs Integrated Pan-tilt-Zoom (PTZ)
Pan-Tilt Zoom (PTZ) A vast majority of cameras installed are what the industry calls “fixed.” These are designed to monitor a specific region of interest and do not have the ability to adjust the lens or the position of the camera. Infiniti offers PTZ systems, allowing you to pan, tilt, and zoom the camera in any direction for wide area coverage. These systems can be controlled remotely via an operator or set for automatic tours. These features, integrated with intrusion detection, make them extremely versatile. When properly installed, one PTZ camera system can effectively replace many fixed ones and add flexibility to your security system.

Electro-Optical (EO)/Infrared (IR) 
Thermal imaging systems boast a variety of advantages, but because they use passive heat radiation they only have the ability to render images in 256 grey scale. Visible cameras operate on the same spectrum as the human eye and reproduce images with up to 16.7 million colors, allowing you to identify a target rather then just detect and classify it. When there is sufficient amounts of light visible cameras often have larger zoom lenses to optically zoom on a target with focal lengths over 2000mm. This is why Infiniti designs and manufactures multi-sensor systems that use both thermal and visible CCTV cameras to leverage the advantages of both in one integrated system.

Camera Voltage Loss over Cat5

Maximum Distance / Voltage Loss Calculator
This calculator is used to determine the maximum distance a device can be powered over a length of cable. When running power over any cable there will be a voltage drop. Many power supplies are solt with a slightly higher voltage output then specified to compensate for the voltage drop over a cable length. However when running power over long distances the power supply will not be able to compensate for such a large voltage drop.

CCTV cameras are recommended to run within 10% of their rated voltage, this is called the input voltage tolerance. Example, if the camera requires 12volt dc or 12vDC power, your power voltage to the camera should be between 10.8vDC to 13.2vDC. Anything less may cause the camera to not function properly. Anything more can cause permanent damage to the camera that will not be covered under warranty. DO NOT OVER-VOLT ANY EQUIPMENT! Most common results from not having enough power are infrared lighting may appear dim, camera video may appear dark or distorted, horizontal lines on the video, or no picture.

When using this calculator it's extremely important to take into account the CCTV camera's current. This is typically measured in mA (milliamps) or Amps and can usually be found on the camera's specifications. If you are unsure of your camera's voltage and current specifications contact your CCTV camera distributor. Most camera current specifications are based on its maximum current draw. Example, you have a CCTV camera with a 200' infrared range, during day time when the infrared LEDs are not on the camera only requires 200mA while at night time when the infrared LEDs turn on that camera will draw 1200mA.

This is very important to take into consideration when using this calculator because this variable in current can cause you to over-volt your camera! Current is a huge factor when calculating voltage loss. A camera with no infrared LEDs (200mA) can be run using CAT5 cable and a 12vDC transformer up to 300' while an infrared camera (500mA) bearly makes it half that distance.

Our best and simplest solution for running power over long distance is a 24vAC to 12vDC power converter. These devices are great for long distance power, simply run the standard 24vAC power over the cable and convert back to 12vDC at the end of the run. This solves problems with variable voltage on IR and mechanical cameras. The converter will take anywhere from 18vAC - 28vAC this allows for a much larger voltage drop and the ability to maintain your 12vDC power.

TVI Camera Technology Explained

HD Analog Overview

HD Analog technology was first introduced to the security industry in 2010, as an alternative to traditional Analog and IP video surveillance. A very promising new technology, HD Analog was able to deliver high-definition video over coaxial cabling (HD over coax), and greatly reduce installation and operational complexity (relative to IP surveillance solutions).

However, the market was slow to adopt HD Analog at the time, as the technology was still unproven, relatively expensive, and the benefits failed to outweigh the switching costs for most security integrators.

Since, the demand - and expectation - for higher definition surveillance video continued to accelerate, fueling the development of more efficient and cost-effective HD Analog technology formats, and significantly driving down total cost of ownership. As a result, HD Analog has become one of the fastest growing categories in the history of video surveillance, and threatens to outpace - and eventually replace - traditional Analog technology sales in the very near future.

HD Analog BenefitsHD Analog Benefits

When compared to traditional Analog or IP technologies, HD Analog offers significant and measurable advantages. In fact, HD Analog is commonly marketed as “the best of both worlds” – offering megapixel resolution images, but the simplicity and cost of Analog.

Key benefits of HD Analog technology include:

Megapixel resolution
Simple installation
Zero latency
Low cabling requirements
Longer transmission
Transition friendly
Cost-effective

When Is HD Analog Right for Your Surveillance Application?

HD Analog is ideal for surveillance applications that require detailed video, such as facial identification and license plate recognition. HD Analog solutions support up to 1080p resolution, and feature the ability to zoom in on live and recorded video for a more detailed view.

HD Analog is a very cost-effective solution for both new and replacement installations – enabling you to utilize legacy analog cameras (dependent upon HD Analog technology employed) and legacy coaxial cabling – saving you valuable installation time and equipment costs.

HD Analog solutions are also ideal for long distance installations, or applications requiring longer cable runs – providing the ability to transmit HD video up to 1600’ with zero latency (dependent upon HD Analog technology employed).

Finally, HD Analog is ideal for Analog system upgrades. HD solutions offer backwards compatibility with existing analog cameras, allowing you to upgrade to a high-definition surveillance solution over time and at your own pace – as your budget allows.

The Future of HD Analog

Without question, HD Analog technology will continue to evolve. Future versions of HD Analog are predicted to provide additional benefits and capabilities, including:

Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) video – “4K” resolution, or 4000 horizontal pixels
Higher frame rates – beyond 30 fps
Power over coaxial cable (PoC)

HD Analog is clearly poised to change the landscape of video surveillance. Stay tuned.

Compare HD Analog Technology

Since HD Analog technology launched in 2010, several HD Analog formats have been developed, including: HD-SDI, AHD, HD-CVI and HD-TVI. While all HD Analog options offer the same basic benefits compared to analog or IP – delivering HD video over standard coaxial cable – formats vary in the resolution, transmission distance, camera compatibilities, and configurability.

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Compare HD Analog Technology
HD Analog CCTV vs. IP Video Surveillance

IP cameras (commonly referred to as Network cameras, or Megapixel cameras) feature an embedded video server that converts images into a digital format inside of the camera. Because IP cameras are embedded devices and do not need to output an analog signal, they are capable of capturing far higher resolutions than traditional analog cameras.

IP cameras connect to a local network via a single Ethernet cable, which transmits power, video and data to and from the camera. Additionally, IP cameras have a unique IP address, and can be accessed directly via the network – providing remote access and storage flexibility.

Without question, the primary benefits of IP security cameras are resolution and image quality – allowing users to capture forensic level detail, and to digitally zoom in on any image without losing clarity. This results in more effective identification, and provides greater accuracy for automated analysis, alarms and notifications.

Most common IP solutions range from 1.3 megapixel (1280 x 1024 pixels) to 5.0 megapixel (2592 x 1944 pixels), and some manufacturers offer IP cameras that deliver 20+ megapixel resolutions. However, the resolution and frame rate captured for a specific application are typically limited by storage and bandwidth constraints, and higher megapixel models can be cost prohibitive.

IP video surveillance solutions have experienced a dramatic increase in popularity, driven by the capability to capture higher-resolution megapixel video, an overall increase in adaption and understanding of IP-based technologies, simplification and increasing compatibility of IP security technology, and reductions in cost as demand (and production volume) continues to grow.
Benefits of IP

Capable of higher resolutions than traditional analog solutions
Transmit power, video and data over single Ethernet cable
IP camera can operate as a standalone network device, capable of functioning without a network video recorder

Limitations of IP

Require a complex network infrastructure
Offer limited transmission distance
Commonly experience video latency
Require considerable network bandwidth
Can be extremely costly compared to traditional analog and comparable Analog HD systems

The Advantages of HD Analog

HD Analog systems are capable of delivering up to 1080p HD video – addressing the primary shortcoming of traditional analog solutions. 1080p (or 2.1 megapixel) cameras capture more than 4x the resolution of the most powerful analog cameras – allowing users to effectively zoom in to view the level of detail required for most common security applications.

Additionally, HD analog systems are capable of transmitting video over standard coaxial cabling (new or existing) – dramatically reducing the time, cost and complexity associated with a comparable IP solution. HD cameras can transmit video up to 1600’ – over 5x the distance of an IP system, and transmits with zero latency – a very common issue with most IP installations.

HD Analog systems are as simple to install and maintain as traditional analog solutions – not requiring the networking equipment and knowledge associated with IP solutions. And because HD Analog lives off the network, they don’t interfere with other network-related activities, or consume valuable network bandwidth required by other devices.

There are no licensing or recurring fees associated with HD Analog solutions, and all channels come completely enabled – for the life of your product. Comparable IP solutions commonly require the purchase of a license for every channel used, and a recurring annual fee to maintain that license. This is an important consideration from a perspective of both management complexity and total cost of ownership.

And importantly, HD technology has become increasingly accessible. With the growing demand for higher definition video and the recent emergence of more cost-effective technologies, the market price for HD Analog solutions has reduced dramatically – almost to Analog levels. HD Analog equipment is now available for less than half the price of a comparable IP solution.

HD CCTV vs. Analog CCTV

Analog CCTV is the most established, and continues to be the most commonly used, security technology – specifically for smaller camera count, single-site applications. Analog systems include one or more analog cameras that transmit video via coaxial cabling, which connects directly to an analog DVR (digital video recorder). The DVR uses video capture cards to convert the analog signal to a digital signal for storage and network transmission.

Traditional analog systems offer resolutions ranging from CIF (352 x 240 pixels) to D1 (720 x 480 pixels), and recent analog technology offerings promote even higher resolutions of up to 960H (960 x 480 pixels).

However, while analog solutions are capable of capturing clean video evidence, these maximum resolutions limit the ability to digitally zoom in on live and recorded video without significant loss of image clarity, and typically do not provide the level of detail required for applications such as facial recognition or license plate identification.

That being said, analog video security solutions are a popular option for many residential and small business applications, as they are simple to install and operate, and very affordable when compared to traditional IP solutions.
Benefits of Analog CCTV

Simple to install, operate and maintain
Affordable compared to traditional IP solutions
Universally compatible with other analog technologies

Limitations of Analog CCTV

Analog CCTV cameras offer limited resolution (up to 960H, or 960 x 480 pixels)
Insufficient resolution for applications requiring greater levels of detail, such as facial recognition or license plate identification

The Advantages of HD Analog

HD Analog technology delivers the simplicity and affordability of traditional analog solutions, while addressing many of the limitations listed above.

HD Analog systems are capable of delivering megapixel resolution HD video (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels) over standard coaxial cabling, providing the ability to digitally zoom in on both live and recorded video to capture the forensic level of detail needed for positive identification.

Additionally, HD Analog solutions are compatible with existing analog CCTV cameras and can leverage existing coaxial cabling, dramatically reducing the time and cost associated with a transition.

And importantly, HD technology has become increasingly accessible. With the growing demand for higher definition video and the recent emergence of more cost-effective technologies, the market price for HD Analog solutions has reduced dramatically – almost to Analog levels.

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