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Cameras Drive Protection of Students and Cars in Texas

August 27, 2015

An academy with locations throughout Texas protects its schools and physical assets with video surveillance.

Introduction
For 30 years, Texans Can Academies have encouraged young people who have previously struggled in traditional learning environments to attain their high school diplomas. These public charter schools, now totaling 11, are found throughout Texas, including Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth. Serving students ages 14–21, the campuses are equipped with special resources that address some of the roadblocks that may have prevented students from successfully completing school through traditional outlets. There are programs for students with learning disabilities and childcare centers in select locations for members of the community and students who have children (Wee Can Academy). There are also two half-day programs available to accommodate students who need to work to support themselves or contribute to their family’s finances.

But these academies aren’t exclusively designed for dropouts or returning students. They provide learning opportunities for those who simply need smaller classroom sizes and those who move frequently and need more individualized attention. Each Texans Can Academy takes a hands-on approach to learning, and most classes have no more than 15 students.

Requirement: Affordable, Multi-Site Surveillance
Tasked with preparing students for a successful future, Texans Can Academies hold the safety of their students, faculty, and visitors as a top priority. Texans Can has a sister organization, the nonprofit Cars for Kids, that supports the schools via proceeds from vehicle auctions. People donate cars, boats, and other vehicles that are subsequently sold through an auction each Saturday in Dallas. “Write off the car, not the kid,” is Cars for Kids’ trademarked tagline. The organization wanted a video surveillance system not only to protect people at the schools, but also to provide visibility into other assets, including vehicles up for auction.

Texans Can officials sought reliable surveillance for both inside and outside of three school campuses. Although none of the campuses had significant problems with violence or theft, Malcolm Wentworth, COO of Texans Can and Cars for Kids, said that if there were to be an incident, the organization wanted a surveillance system that would “not only document that it happened, but identify the individual or individuals,” he said.

Additionally, the Cars for Kids facility had two buildings spaced about 100 feet apart that needed a comprehensive security solution, ideally without running wire in between the buildings.

Recognizing the need for a sophisticated surveillance system that covered both the school campuses and the Cars for Kids auction site, Texans Can sought the expertise of ASG Security, a leading integrator, to find a system that met its needs.

Solution: Cameras That Capture the Details
After researching camera models across the market, ASG Security selected Hikvision equipment for three Texans Can campuses thanks to the high value and high image quality the devices delivered. ASG opted for the DS-2CD2232-I5 series, a 3 MP EXIR bullet network camera, as well as the DS-2CD2132-I series, which is a 3 MP infrared fixed focal dome camera, along with 16- and 32-channel NVRs. These options combined to provide a complete surveillance solution that gave Texans Can the ability to monitor their campuses and keep staff and students safe.

The Cars for Kids facility was also outfitted with Hikvision products — the Dallas site now boasts 40 Hikvision cameras in the two separate buildings. ASG addressed the wiring situation by linking the two buildings via a wireless bridge and an 8-port PoE switch. The 2132 and the 2232 series cameras, already providing crystal clear video images on the campuses, also offered the superior quality needed to preside over large cash transactions at the auction house.

Fred Harris, core commercial sales representative for ASG, explained how his company chose Hikvision for its user-friendly product line that offers superior performance. “We as an integrator have the opportunity to sell any number of different brands, but we chose Hikvision because it’s easy to use, easy to install, very low maintenance, and very high quality,” Harris said.

Results: Fewer Disruptions, Peace of Mind
A strong, reliable security system has helped to give peace of mind to staff and students at Texans Can campuses. Before Hikvision surveillance equipment was installed, there were false fire alarms weekly, which disrupted staff and students and created confusion. Now, Wentworth said, the false alarms appear to be a problem of the past.

Indeed, Hikvision solutions met and exceeded the organization’s diverse set of security needs, including those for the auction site. Hikvision cameras are capturing every detail of the auction operations, and thanks to the high quality of these devices, people can bid online and still have a fairly good idea of what they’re trying to purchase.

“Hikvision cameras are the best I’ve ever seen,” Wentworth remarked.

Conclusion
School needs to be a safe place, especially for students who have encountered prior roadblocks to their education. Texans Can Academies have further ensured the safety of both staff and students with advanced surveillance equipment from Hikvision. Not only are the cameras capturing any questionable activity, but they are also supporting operations at Texans Can’s sister organization Cars for Kids.

“When we research a product, we look for something that makes sense to the customer and makes sense to us,” said Chad Dawald, vice president and general manager of ASG. “We’re thrilled to deliver Hikvision security solutions to Texans Can.”

More than 1,600 students graduated from these schools last year. With its hands-on approach, strong relationships between students and teachers, and high-quality surveillance system, Texans Can is set for success for another 30 years.

IMPORTANT! This model requires non-standard firmware. Do Not Install standard firmware (e.g. v.4.1.xx) on this model. Doing so will permanently damage your system. You must use custom firmware v.4.1.25 from the iDS-9632NXI-I8/16S product page.

View the most updated version of this document here:

https://techsupportca.freshdesk.com/en/support/solutions/articles/17000113531-i-series-nvr-firmware-upgrade-instructions

 

The I-series NVR (such as the DS-7716NI-I4) is one of Hikvision's most popular and feature-rich recorders. As such, many firmware revisions have been introduced over the years to continually ensure the product is compatible with the newest technology available. Due to the many revisions, we recommend that the user closely follows the instructions below in order to reduce the amount of time spent as well as the chance of failure.

 

Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable IP cameras are introduced over time with greater video resolution and data sizes, more efficient database management also becomes necessary. The introduction of firmware v4.0 brought about a new database architecture in order to be futureproof.

 

After upgrading to v4.X, the recorder database will need to be converted and optimized. If you are experiencing issues where playback is expected but not found, make sure "Database Repair" is performed as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.

 

Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommended that NVR configuration file is exported from the NVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.

 

Upgrading from v3.4.92 build 170518 or Older

  1. All recorders must reach v3.4.92 before proceeding further. Upgrading from versions before v3.4.92 directly to any version of v4.X will likely cause the recorder to fail.
  2. If the recorder is already at v3.4.92, a full factory default is highly recommended before upgrading to any version of v4.X. There is a high chance of unit failure (requiring RMA) if the unit is not defaulted before upgrade.
  3. After reaching v3.4.92 and performing a full factory default, an upgrade directly to v4.50.00 is acceptable.
  4. After the upgrade is completed and the recorder is reprogrammed, it may be beneficial to perform a Database Repair. For details, refer to the section "Database Optimization and Repair" above.
  5. To verify repair progress, you may refer to the HDD status, or search the recorder log for repair started and stopped entries. Note that while the HDD is repairing, new recordings are still being made, but some existing recordings may not be searchable until repair is complete.
  6. If you continue to observe playback issues after database repair, ensure there are no power, network, or motion detection issues. Should the problem persist, contact technical support.

 

Upgrading from Any v4.X Build to v4.50.00.

  1. Any v4.X build can be upgraded directly to v4.50.00.
  2. Export configuration is highly recommended before performing the upgrade.
  3. If upgrading from any v4.X version that was not v4.22.005, a Database Repair is recommended. Refer to Step 4 and onwards in the previous section.

 

Downgrading

Downgrading is not recommended. Due to new features and parameters constantly being added, downgrading may cause the NVR to factory default itself or require a manual default to operate properly.

View the most updated version of this document here:
K-Series DVR upgrade instruction
The Turbo 4 Hybrid DVR K series has multiple models and across different platform and chipset. It also has similar firmware development of other recording product line; DVR K series has also introduced the GUI4.0 to ensure the series to be compatible to the newest technology available. The new database architecture is also brought into the DVR firmware v4.0 to be future proof and for better recording search experience. 
 


Database Optimization and Repair

As more affordable cameras introduced over time with greater video resolution and data sizes, more efficient database management also becomes necessary. The introduction of firmware v4.0 brought about a new database architecture in order to be futureproof.
After upgrading to v4.X, the recorder database will need to be converted and optimize. If you are experiencing issues, where playback is expected but not found, please make sure to perform "Database Rebuild" as indicated in the procedures and scenarios below.
 


Preparing the Upgrade

Before proceeding with upgrade, it is recommend exporting DVR configuration file from the DVR over the network or on to a local USB drive.

 

Action after firmware upgraded 

1. Upgrade the DVR according to the chart above. 

2. Reconfirming Channel's Recording Schedule 

    - Confirm channel's recording schedule is enable. 

    - Check if the channel is on correct recording schedule.

3. Double Check Storage Setting

    - Make sure all channel are assigned to record on its HDD group when the Storage setting is under Group Mode. 

4. Perform Database Rebuild locally. 

    • Some version above support Database Rebuild via web access - K51 and K72

    • Perform Database Rebuild regardless if system is having any database issue symptom. 

    • Database Rebuild process is average ~30 to 60min per TB. The process may still varies depends recording data.

    • After Database Rebuild - Check log to confirm Database Rebuild has went thru properly. 

    • If Database Rebuild Started and Stopped log has been log only within few minutes. Database rebuild may not has been completed properly. It is strongly recommend performing the Database Rebuild again.

    • To check log > System > Log > Information > Database Rebuild Started and Stopped.

    • If the log option is not available - access system via SSH can also obtain similar result.

5. Recording Data is still missing after database rebuild process. 

If the data has not been recorded or has been overwritten, Database rebuild process is not able retrieve those lost data. Have the system upgraded to the latest available firmware version above to prevent any future data lost is strongly recommended for all application.

 

 

 

 

In light of the global semiconductor shortage, Hikvision has made some hardware changes to the DS-76xxNI-Q1(2)/P NVRs, also known as “Q series.”

 

These changes do not have any effect on the performance, specifications, or the user interface of the NVRs. For the ease of reference, these modified units are known as “C-Version” units. This is clearly indicated on the NVR label and on the box by the serial number.

 

The only difference between the “C-Version” and “non-C-Version” is the firmware. The firmware is not interchangeable:

 

  • The C-Version NVRs must use firmware version v4.31.102 or higher.
  • The non-C-Version (Q series) NVRs must use firmware version v4.30.085 or older.

 

Please do not be alarmed if a “Firmware Mismatch” message pops up on the screen during the firmware upgrade. This simply means that the firmware does not match the NVR’s hardware. Simply download the correct firmware and the upgrade will go through without any issue.

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