HONEYWELL’S Pro-Watch Video Manager is designed to offer users integration of legacy analogue cameras, combined with IP cameras, and recording solutions. Pro-Watch Video Manager includes integration with Honeywell Pro-Watch security management system, Active Alert and People Counter video analytics. There’s also integration with a range of other Honeywell solutions. Pro-Watch Video Manager and its sibling Pro-Watch Access Management are part of the Pro-Watch suite that incorporates Visitor Management, Logical Integration, Compliance Report Management, Communication Management, Intrusion Management and Physical Integration Management. At the core of all these systems is an ability to intuitively integrate at the back end. The way Pro-Watch Video Manager is works it to intelligently determine the capabilities of each subsystem across various sites, allowing video management of any analog or digital video device through a unified configuration and viewer. The subsystems can be analog switchers such as MAXPRO-Net and VideoBloX, and can be connected to analog monitors and cameras as well as digital devices such as Digital Video Manager (DVM), Enterprise NVR, Rapid Eye Multi-Media Series and Fusion. Pro-Watch Video Manager’s client-server is scalable and users can easily expand or downsize the video surveillance network as required. Using an open architecture framework, Pro-Watch Video Manager is able to integrate with existing video infrastructures and a multitude of third-party components available now and in the future. According to Tim Maas, NSW systems sales manager, Pro-Watch Video Manager is available from multiple distributors including Secom, Kings Security and ADT. “ProWatch VMS has only really been released on the past 6 months. Major customers include banks, museums, casinos, universities. The traction is really getting started. “The way the Prop-Watch system works is that it sits on the network and drives connected devices including our NVR called IP engine, as well as our Fusion DVRs and NVRs, which are smaller 32-channel units with everything built in,” explains Maas.

“ProWatch VMS does not discriminate – regardless of whether a camera is connected to a centrally located NVR, or a DVR on a remote site – ProWatch sees all inputs across all systems to which it is connected as being other cameras in its own system and gives all the functionality of the devices around it with in-sync playback.”

“It can also manage our lower end DVRs which is important with legacy solutions – ProWatch VMS does not discriminate – regardless of whether a camera is connected to a centrally located NVR, or a DVR on a remote site – ProWatch sees all inputs across all systems to which it is connected as being other cameras in its own system and gives all the functionality of the devices around it with in-sync playback.”According to Maas, this capability makes the system perfect for retrofits as it can be installed on top of existing equipment and allows end users to gradually replace the analogue hybrid elements and go digital. “For instance, we have a client that currently has a DVR with analogue cameras and they want to expand the system by 100 cameras. Instead of having to rip out the old system, Pro-Watch allows them to add the additional 100 cameras on an NVR on the network, maintain their analogue cameras and DVR and as those old cameras fail, to replace them with a full digital solution,” he says. “There are no camera licenses with a Fusion DVR/NVR and that’s incorporated into the Pro-Watch software. A license does apply to IP Engine but if the cameras are sitting on the network it’s already paid for, essentially.”

System operation

Maas says that in day to day operation the depth of Honeywell’s backend integration makes Pro-Watch feel like a full IP system. “The IP Engine NVR with the Pro-Watch Video Management means that if you have legacy Honeywell systems we will give you the same management experience with all the same management capability and control you on analogue as you have with full IP. We can also handle some non-Honeywell legacy equipment,” he explains. “The Pro-Watch Video Management system talks to all the old analogue Maxpro gear – it has all the macros. And our development team is constantly working on tweaks and upgrades and integrations – it’s not just local – it’s a global thing. There are guys everywhere working on add-ons and improvements and everybody gets the benefit. “The core thing with Pro-Watch Video Management is the open architecture – it gives the look and feel of full IP management without the expense of replacing legacy systems and yet giving the capability to upgrade to full IP whenever this is required.“In practical terms what this integration means is that ProWatch allows you to create your own camera salvos from anywhere in a global system and view them on a single screen – the cameras can be anywhere on the network – different devices from different locations. You save the salvo and it’s available when you need it. “The integration also means we can send messages across the network to other operators with access to footage. A supervisor can create a monitor view for someone else by populating a mix of camera views from anywhere on the network. It’s ideal for gaming managers to send images to pit crews in casinos, for example.”Maas says that the way the system is used in some ways depends on how the operators want to use it. “They can use full mouse control or they can use one of our keyboards. It comes down to what they are used to. We are an engineering company so we can take a keyboard to a user and mimic all the functions of their legacy system in order to accommodate the retained parts of their system while giving access to networked components using the drivetrain security officers are familiar with. “The benefit is that the operator does not have to learn anything new. They know where camera controls are, where presets are, where salvos are. Essentially it’s a standard colour PTZ control.”  According to Maas, the system offers all the expected functionality of PTZ, multi-camera views, full searching with the benefit of calling up cameras relating to access events in a very intuitive way. A neat feature is playback searches – which Maas says are popular for casinos and gaols. “We also have a surrounding camera feature so if you are following a perpetrator through a casino, for instance, if you activate the surrounding camera feature, you will be able to track the person moving through the facility on multiple time-synched cameras without physically having to track the person. We can also do time sync playbacks on recordings.”

Access control integration

One of the Pro-Watch VMS key elements of the system is its ability to integrate with Honeywell’s access control platform. There are other systems that can integrate with access control but Maas says they do not have the same level and ease of integration. “We’re pretty lucky to have the different resources that give us the level of integration we have with the Pro-Watch suite – it’s our point of difference. It’s a turnkey solution that means Pro-Watch Access Management and Pro-Watch VMS were designed to work together,” says Maas. “The integration between Pro-Watch Video Manager and Pro-Watch Access Management allows us to link footage to events and to call up camera views attached to events and move between video and access screens using one mouse. It’s very intuitive and deceptively simple.” The systems work so well because the cameras are located both in Pro-Watch AM and Max VMS. “This means a person who has is managing the access system – handling badging and event monitoring – can also have access to all the cameras that are integrated to the access control system to display events. “There’s true integration between the 2 and the system recognises it’s a single platform. You aren’t going from one computer to the next.”“Our competitors don’t have the combined access/CCTV solution that Honeywell has,” Maas explains. “They are not coming from an access background the way Honeywell is. There’s a degree of complexity to bringing together access and video and you need that access side in your pocket to manage it well.”Maas says that Honeywell’s early integration of its video and access control products is a real advantage in the Pro-Watch suite. In Honeywell’s demo room he’s moving between multiple screens and between both video surveillance and access control systems using a single mouse to make his point. Performance is flawless. “In terms of access and video management this is a progression – we were lucky – having both access control and video surveillance platforms there’s a natural fit. The 2 systems work well together. We gather alarm and access control events and populate screens with events and related cameras very easily. “We also have a point of sale software called Integrated Data Manager which allows data mining of events. It’s in the process of being integrated into the VMS.” According to Maas, one of the great things about Honeywell’s Pro-Watch product is that it has been designed to integrate from the start. “Unlike proprietary systems that are configured to integrate with other proprietary systems later on, our solution was always designed to integrate – we aren’t coming along trying to do it later,” he says. “All our solutions are part of an ecosystem and the backends are all talking, the database, the SQL, the tables, the structure – all are sharing information and can be monitored and driven from a single screen. “The key factor is that all elements of the system see themselves as one system and function as a single platform – there’s no mucking around,” Maas explains. “Pro-Watch doesn’t see operations as hopping from system to system – whether that’s changing a badge, running a report, conducting a camera search or monitoring an event. They are all happening in the same system.”

Fact file:

Features of Honeywell Pro-Watch include:

* Feature-rich interface to view video and configure devices from a single point * Integrates with Pro-Watch suite to enable superior access control with wide range of video capabilities * Role-based operator privileges carry out various surveillance actions * Operator messaging feature enables data sharing of incidents among operators * Auto-discovery of cameras connected to Rapid Eye, Fusion and Enterprise recorders * User-defined macros to execute common operations * Video pursuit made possible by simplifying the process of motion detection through a set of surrounding cameras * Digital zoom of video from PTZ and fixed cameras * Ability to investigate events and alarms by simultaneously viewing alarm videos at various stages. * Users can view the video captured during pre-alarm, on-alarm, post-alarm, and also view live video from the camera which triggered the alarm * Enriched video viewing experience through the intuitive video rendering engine that optimizes CPU utilization by altering the video frame rate.

“Unlike proprietary systems that are configured to integrate with other proprietary systems later on, our solution was always designed to integrate – we aren’t coming along trying to do it later. All our solutions are part of an ecosystem and can be monitored and driven from a single screen.”