As a society, Germany has a well-earned reputation for quality. When German scholars study a subject, they explore every academic option. When German businesses offer a service, they do so with a total commitment and a concern that every aspect be of the highest possible quality.
Case in point, when the German giant, DM Drugstores, decided to upgrade their existing CCTV solution for each of their stores across the country, they chose Hikvision. And as its custom, they did so because Hikvision offers a quality that is unrivaled in the security landscape.
Christian Berkigt, Chief Development Officer at VeViTec-GmbH (the developer of this solution), remarked, "Obviously quality is a huge issue for any German corporation. In this regard, we felt confident that Hikvision would fully meet the demands of both DM Drugstores and VeViTec-GmbH. But, what equally impressed us was Hikvision's technical support – it really made this solution come together."
But, this solution was not a simple one step process that is often customary in large CCTV solutions of this variety. Instead of the traditional melding of pre-existing analog and newly purchased IP components into a cost-saving hybrid model, VeViTec-GmbH chose an altogether different route.
Following the German model of total commitment to quality, VeViTec-GmbH initially utilized two Hikvision PCI compression cards, the DS-4008HCI and the DS-4016HCI. Both cards feature similar technology, such as H.264 (MPEG-4/Part 10) real-time video compression and up-to real-time 4CIF recording, with the main difference being the number of channels each can connect to (8 and 16, respectively). However, these compression cards were meant as only a stop-gap.
The IP Future
Initially, prior to January 2012, DM Drugstores were using an exclusively analog system. These Hikvision compression cards allowed the older analog cameras to function to the top of their ability. "These are really good cards, providing great quality, and they allowed us to get the best possible video quality on PC monitors in the store locations," explained Mr. Berkigt. However, January 2012, brought a turning point for DM Drugstores.
Instead of moving into the often-used analog/IP hybrid, DM made a total switch to IP. This shift entailed discarding all pre-existing analog technology for this brand-new IP solution. And this is where Hikvision’s service and technology really shined.
For DM Drugstores, every centimeter of their store must elicit quality. This goes for mundane aspects such store maintenance, the type of CCTV security the store utilizes, and obviously the product selection DM offers its customers. For DM Drugstores, they wanted to place large HD monitors over the registers for their customers. Not only does this provide an elegant touch of class, it also provides a powerful visible deterrent for any would-be thief.
However, DM Drugstores had an unusual request: they wanted a specially designed HDMI output on the adjacent IP camera so as to provide the ability to directly plug this camera into the HD monitor and eliminate cabling back to the server – providing efficiency, a saving of installation costs, and a cleanness not often associated with bulky CCTV installations.
For this request, Mr. Berkigt worked with Hikvision to design an indoor custom Hikvision Megapixel Vandal Proof Network Dome Camera to liberally place within all of DM Drugstores' retail stores throughout Germany. 2,500 of these custom models, the DS-2CD753F-EZ, were built to feature a variety of special features tailor-made for this application and the larger German apprehension of quality.
To begin with, the DS-2CD753-EZ's vandal-proof housing elicits a sense of durability and high standard. As Mr. Berkigt noted, "Just by touching it, you can tell it’s a quality component." Additionally, the aforementioned custom-made HDMI output allows the DS-2CD753-EZ to be placed directly under, and connected to the HD monitor. Furthermore, a special lens was specifically developed to provide automatic focus, thereby allowing DM technicians a savings of time and effort. "Both the HDMI output and special lens are critical aspects in Germany. We don't want to waste time, efficiency, and effort. Another representation of this is the appearance, which is a perfect white color, and DM wants everything perfect – something we at VeViTec-GmbH always strive towards. This camera has the technology to provide it all," Mr. Berkigt explained.
Securing the outdoors is the DS-2CD752MF-IFB 2.0 Megapixel Vandal Proof Network Dome Camera featuring infrared LED. Unlike the previous Hikvision IP camera, this unit is a standard catalogue model. One unit of this camera is placed outdoors near the back exit used by employees before leaving the store after their shift. Similar to the already-noted HD monitor used by customers, an HD monitor is placed indoors near the backdoor for employees to initially check before exiting into the already dark evening, hence the importance of the DS-2CD752MF-IFB's infrared ability. In essence, this camera is a security precaution for DM employees. Concurrently, a high-resolution video preview of 1600×1200 pixels provides the details to ensure that any potential threat is identified well before an employee might encounter it outdoors. Additionally, owing to the German sense of uncompromising quality, a custom bracket was designed allowing the DS-2CD752MF-IFB weather protection against the harsh winter conditions the German landscape is famous for.
From custom to catalogue, and from color to quality, Hikvision teamed with VeViTec-GmbH to provide a total, and quality-driven, CCTV solution for Germany's DM Drugstores. Where each customer-viewed HD monitor now has 2 to 3 IP cameras directly connected via HDMI outputs, each store has a Hikvision infrared IP camera guarding its employees. Unique solutions for unique security challenges, all highlighting DM Drugstores total commitment to quality.