Mitsubishi Electric, a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced video security solutions for retail and other industry applications, presented its 2009 video security portfolio in May at the IFSEC security show at the NEC.
Products on show included Mitsubishi’s latest MPEG-4 digital video recorders, the newly developed NetHunter IP management software and a selection of Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, alongside Mitsubishi’s highly regarded JPEG2000 DVR range, LCD display panels, large format DLP™ display wall solutions for control rooms and dye sublimation CCTV printers.
Mitsubishi’s comprehensive range offers the perfect combination of security solutions, from recording to storage and display, suitable for a host of applications including retail, domestic, banking, corporate and the public sector. Mitsubishi’s products utilise the latest technology and are built to the highest standards, providing a range of innovative solutions ideal for large retail outlets and other environments where 24/7 surveillance, high quality recording and retrieval of evidence from incidents are essential. Dean Kemp, Security Sales Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Europe’s Visual Information Systems Division, spoke to The Grocery Trader.
I am the Sales Manager for CCTV products for the UK, Ireland and the Middle East. I look after major accounts that work directly with supermarkets and other retail customers.
GT – How big is Mitsubishi Electric in video security globally? Which international retailers do you supply video security solutions for?
Mitsubishi Electric is an internationally based company with offices in most countries around the world; we supply one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK and a number of other retail customers in different countries.
Mitsubishi Electric has been working in the retail market for CCTV products for the last 15 years, but Mitsubishi Electric as a corporation has many different sections working within the retail sector.
GT – How does the UK compare with other EU territories for adoption of this equipment?
The UK is one of the main leaders within Mitsubishi for retail security business. As I understand it, the UK currently leads the market in carrying out security surveillance projects, with most countries throughout the world following our examples.
GT – Is digital recording accepted as evidence in criminal prosecutions?
Many of Mitsubishi’s product are Kalagate Approved which means they are approved to provide ‘safe evidence’ in a court of law. The Kalagate Imagery Bureau is a leading provider of forensic imagery interpretation and analysis services within the UK, and has a well-merited international reputation that extends beyond the law enforcement and legal community. Kalagates customers include every police force in the England and Wales, many in Scotland, the Garda and Crown Prosecution Services.
GT – You introduced the MPEG-4 digital video recorders and NetHunter IP software at IFSEC in May. Can you tell us about them, and how they build on your previous equipment?
Our MPEG-4 selection is a high level 4-channel, 8-channel and 16-channel range. They allow customers to record high quality images using less hard disk space. They also have added features like POS interface. The MPEG range allows us to have a full high quality selection of DVR’s to meet most retail requirements. Nethunter IP software is an all-encompassing software solution, which allows existing Mitsubishi DVR’s to be integrated with the very latest IP technology from Mitsubishi.
We have now launched a range of IP cameras to complement our Nethunter IP software. The range is a normal box camera, vandal dome camera, PTZ camera and 4-channel analogue to IP converter unit
GT – Can you talk us through the rest of the video security products you currently supply to the supermarkets and convenience retail sector, and how they work together in a security solution in a store?
Our current range of DVRs includes the DX-TL4509 9 channel DVR, DX-TL4516 16 Channel DVR and DX-TL4 4 Channel. These three machines work with most retailers’ requirements. The TL4509 and TL4516 are both Kalagate-approved, giving retailers extra peace of mind when they catch someone on video, the legal services can not reject the video due to non compliance with standards or similar issues. Also, our TL4509 and TL4516 have built-in web browser viewing so head offices can view images very easily without any additional software being required.
GT – How easy is this equipment to operate, and how robust and reliable is it?
Our DVR’s look like video recorders, which most homes have, so using them is very easy. Reliability is Mitsubishi’s crowning glory. We use the highest quality parts in our machines: we produce the main components at Mitsubishi, ensuring the reliability and quality control.
GT – How compatible is your video equipment with retailers’ IT networks and other in-store security equipment, such as alarms and doors?
Our full range has network connectivity, so integrating into existing networks is very easy. Again, the full range has alarm inputs allowing integration into intruder and freezer alarm systems.
GT – Can you tell us about Mitsubishi’s experience providing video security solutions to the UK multiple grocery retailers?
We have been supplying one of the UK’s top supermarkets, via our system integrators for a number of years. We can’t discuss how their systems are configured, but they are integrated into the stores’ network.
Typically, a supermarket will have a number of cameras linking back to one of our DVR’s, normally installed in a secure location like the manager’s office. A monitor will be installed next to the DVR in the manager’s office, and possibly one in the front of the store so that customers can see they are on CCTV when they enter the store. A convenience store is very much the same but will more likely be slightly smaller.
GT – How do you see your products and solutions driving the overall level of retail security in the UK?
CCTV generally helps reduce crime; our machines with the Kalagate approval help businesses to get better results in prosecutions from the video evidence they have collected.
GT – How do you go about providing tailored solutions to individual stores and chains?
We work with system integrators, and smaller installers. We normally jointly visit a customer: I explain the solution from Mitsubishi, the installer provides a quote and the project starts. For larger clients, personalised manuals and support are put in place.
GT – In the last couple of years we’ve also interviewed your digital photo printing and LCD retail display solutions business. You’re part of the same division, Visual Information Systems: do you work together to meet the needs of major retail customers, or do you operate quite separately?
Yes we work very closely as a team, always looking to provide a total Mitsubishi solution.
GT – What distinguishes you from other video retail security vendors – why buy from Mitsubishi?
We stand out because of our quality of service and quality of product. We supply our products and very rarely do we need to speak with a client, but if the installer, system integrator or end user needs advice, then we are there to support.
GT – For multiple retailers wanting to take on one of your video security solutions, how are you geared up to service them? What is the process for agreeing a solution? How long does it take from ordering one of your systems to setting it up in an outlet?
As mentioned previously we work closely with our partners to deliver the systems. Once we have done the initial surveys, and quotes have been agreed and accepted, we then discuss delivery requirements; this can vary from next day or scheduled deliveries for more complex installations.
GT – Do you supply video retail security solutions on sale or through contract rental? Do you provide retailer staff training?
We only supply through dedicated partners and distributors, we offer individual staff training for the end clients, either at our training centre in Hatfield or at the client’s sites or head office.
GT – What about service – if the system fails, how quickly will you service it or replace it?
First response is from the system integrator or installer: the client may speak to our technical support team and resolve the issue before calling their service team. Once the service team has identified an issue, machines can be shipped out next day, depending on the type of contract agreed.
GT – For retailers who currently have ‘legacy’ video security solutions in need of replacement, how easy is it to switch over to yours? How long do your systems last?
The great strength of Mitsubishi systems is that they can work with most legacy cameras and monitors, so if a client only wants to replace the VCR they can have our machines slotted in very easily and cost effectively.
GT – Where is your video security technology developed and made? What technical standards is it made to?
A majority of Mitsubishi’s R&D is done in Japan, with some software development also carried out in Europe. As a manufacturer we comply with all CE, UL, ROHS and WEEE directives. We also currently hold Kalagate approval for the DX-TL4509E, TL4516E & TL5000E.
GT – How is the current recession affecting retailers’ adoption of video security?
I think all businesses are looking closely at what they spend – does the existing system still work, can it last another year and so on, I think the only problem is that crime is increasing. The Home Office has just announced a 7% increase in theft throughout the UK, so retailers need to consider carefully whether they should delay investing in security in the current climate.
GT – What are your predictions for your video retail security solutions in the UK?
Retail security is becoming more technically clever: for our part, Mitsubishi will be introducing more advanced DVRs with technology to deliver visitor data such as people counting, the direction of visitor movements in the store, time spent and so on, giving retailers’ marketing departments the data and the tools to improve sales. We are always looking to improve our understanding of the retail environment, and will continue to develop our technology to offer more such benefits to the retailer.
Mitsubishi Electric Europe Visual Information Systems Division tel: 01707 278884 www.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/vis