Johan van Zyl of South Africa has a very interesting hobby. Unlike many business owners, he considers security solutions an intriguing pastime.
As the owner of Shell Sentra Motors (a gas station / convenience store) located in the town of Bellville, in the Western Cape of South Africa, security is obviously a priority. However, it is not simply a means-to-an-end; instead it both an opportunity and a hobby: "I love playing around with computers and understanding what is happening in the tech world ... so when I began switching from analog to IP, I was really excited to see what Hikvision IP technology offers."
For Mr. van Zyl, it's already offered:
• allowing live-viewing from his home
• providing superior coverage, both indoors and outdoors
• increasing employee productivity
• providing additional business benefits
Convenience from Home
Mr. van Zyl lives near his Shell Sentra Motors station. As such, he often chooses to work from home, and was set upon incorporating this into his new solution, "I really wanted a solution that gave me much better resolution, but I also wanted the ability to access every camera from my home. This was a must for me," explained Mr. van Zyl.
To accomplish this, Hikvision's IVMS-4200 Client Software was installed for Mr. van Zyl to control the entire solution on his PC.
A Clear Inner World
Now, with the ability to view all of his cameras from any location, the benefit of IP technology was readily apparent. Inside the station, Hikvision's DS-2CD2112-I 1.3MP IP66 Network Mini Dome Camera, DS-2CD2712F-I(S) 1.3MP IP66 Network IR Dome Camera, and DS-2CD2412F-I (W) 1.3MP IR Cube Network Camera were all installed.
Each model filled a specific logistical need. For example, the DS-2CD2112-I 1.3MP IP66 Network Mini Dome Camera was chosen for its 1.3MP (1280 x 960) high resolution to better view the store's corner spaces. Previously, earlier analog cameras did not provide enough resolution quality in these areas, leaving virtual blind spots. With this improved camera quality, this is no longer a concern.
For the cash register, Mr. van Zyl had a slightly different goal, "I wanted great resolution, but also the ability to zoom onto details. Obviously, where money is handled, I wanted to verify what is going on in great detail, so I love being able to zoom onto a small item ... or zoom back to a larger overview."
To do so, the vandal-proof DS-2CD2712F-I(S) 1.3MP IP66 Network IR Dome Camera was selected. This model features identical 1.3MP high resolution, but adds a 2.8-12mm vari-focal lens to meet Mr. van Zyl's zooming requirement.
Rounding out the inside, Hikvision's DS-2CD2412F-I(W) 1.3MP IR Cube Network Camera was placed in office rooms located adjacent to the main shopping area. Interestingly, it wasn't only improved resolution that was key; it was also the camera's ability to hear. Since many business transactions take place in these office rooms, the DS-2CD2412F-I(W)'s audio microphone allows the camera to provide both a visual and audio record of any agreed upon terms. While this isn't always necessary, "It's a good form of protection, nonetheless," noted Mr. van Zyl.
A Safer Outer World
Outdoors, differing Hikvision cameras were again combined to provide security. For perimeter security, the DS-2CC11A2P-IRA Weather-proof IR Bullet Camera was placed on poles and onto building's corners.
Newly added on the top of gasoline pumps, the DS-2CC1197P(N)-A(-C) High Definition WDR Box Camera represents Mr. van Zyl's selectivity. Due to the ever-changing outdoor lighting conditions, this pump area represented a chronic security problem. For example, if the sun was in a particular location, issues with glare and backlighting would render most video images essentially useless. However the DS-2CC1197P(N)-A(-C)'s Digital Wide Dynamic range overcomes this backlighting issue for clear and usable images, regardless of time of day.
Lastly, located near the station's carwash facility, as well as selected indoor areas (such as the employee "break room," etc.) is the DS-2CE5582P(N) DIS Dome Camera; a camera model that provides a good overall picture of these environments.
More Than Just Stopping Robbers
Because of this improved IP resolution, Mr. van Zyl has already seen dramatic improvement both indoors and out. Now, gas pumps are just as secure as the cash register, and vice-versa.
However, this technology extends beyond traditional security concerns. "Obviously, I want better resolution in my cameras to stop crime-related loss, but I also want to improve overall employee productivity. For me to be able to work from home, and accurately see what is happening in my station, has made all the difference in the world ... for both me, and the betterment of my business," summed up Mr. van Zyl.