Visually Connected becomes Barco Authorized Partner

NEWS: We are now a Barco Partner

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

We would like to advise all of our followers and partners that although we have been selling Barco products already for some time, we have now been upgraded to ‘Authorised Partner’ status, which means we can give the highest level of technical support along with pre-sales advice.

Barco manufacture a range of products and have markets in a wide range of sectors, but their most notable product is the ‘Barco ClickShare’ which is a state of the art, wireless collaboration device which allows you to wirelessly share content between your laptop and your large format display.

We can also now supply their full range of Projectors, Video Walls, LED Display’s and collaboration technology, all of which are suitable for both corporate and educational environments. Speak to us today on 0330 133 0902 to advise us of your requirements and see how we can help.

 

 

Barco Products

Full HD CCTV for every budget – Low cost Hikvision NVR & Camera Range

Posted on Posted in Featured Products

We are now proud to stock the latest range of HikVision NVR’s and HD IP Cameras. If you are a small business looking for an entry level cost effective way of monitoring and securing your business premises, then you should really check out the fantastic range we have on offer.

We were going to do a video, however I thought I’d write down our experiences of the units available and also give a quick review and write up in terms of specifications, features, ease of use and functionality.

 

Unboxing and initial setup of the DS-7608NI-E2 8ch NVR & DS-2CD2022F 2MP HD POE IP Camera

 

Both units were well packaged and easy to set up, for the NVR, we did need to install a hard drive, but here at Visually Connected, we can supply your NVR already installed with a 1TB or 2TB HDD drive.

The NVR unit itself was fairly easy to install and setup instantly finding the DS-2CS2022F camera that I plugged directly into the back of the PoE port. The infra red LED’s lit up and I could see on the screen straight away how much power the port was consuming.

I set up the NVR with a static IP address on our network, and within moments I was browsing to the interface within a web browser (I am using Internet Explorer due to the reliance of HikVision to use an active x component to view the camera feeds).

The interface itself is well polished and easy to use, and I was very impressed at the level of functionality and features.

If you want to use cameras powered from your PoE network switch, rather than directly from the unit, then that is also fine but you should note that if you do this, you will need all of the camera details – it’s not so much plug and play, but it still requires some effort in terms of configuration.

Here is the default dashboard ‘live view’ consisting of our two existing office ONVIF compliant cameras, along with the 2mp DS-2CS2022F camera in the top left corner.

 

Hikvision Camer Display Mobile App Hik-Connect

Additional Mobile Functionality

 

Hikvision Camer Display Mobile App Hik-ConnectHikvision Camer Display Mobile App Hik-ConnectOne of the newer additions to the HikVision offering is the new mobile app which is called ‘Hik-Connect’. We were keen to try this out, so we installed the android version and set to work getting it to work. Usually with this type of app, you’d have to rely on setting up port forwarding to get it to work, however HikVision have worked around this by utilising their own server in the cloud to act as a bridge between the NVR and the end user browsing the app.

After installing the app, we had to register for an account using HikVision’s bridge service called “Hik-Connect” . This then prompted for us to create an account and add the serial number and information from the bottom of the NVR – once this was done, opening the app on the android device allowed us to see all the cameras linked to the NVR. We were able to view the footage even if we were not on the same wireless network.

The login we created also works on the “EZVIZ” site which allows you to view the footage in your web browser from a remote location.

We have a permanently set up NVR in our Swindon/Royal Wootton Bassett office, so if you’d like a demo of what it can do, then please come and see us.
(We’d prefer some notice to we can get the kettle on, and make sure we are here!).

 

 

Backups TS

How Toy Story 2 was deleted by mistake, yet rescued by offsite data replication

Posted on Posted in Technology Blog

This is an interesting story about how important the right backup strategy actually is, as well as ensuring it works. Way back in the late nineties, whilst routinely maintaining some files, one of the animators on the Toy Story 2 film ran a linux command “/bin/rm -r -f *” which removed all of the files within the root of the directory. At first, the team recovered some files and initially thought that the production was saved, however on further investigation, the restoration was corrupt, and in fact the backups were unusable.

In fact, it turned out the backup software they were using did not throw up any alerts and the backup process was not being verified. After sending the production team home, one of the team realised that they may have one last saviour! In fact, it turned out that one member of the production staff was actually expecting a baby and had been working from home – a number of the assets and files were saved because they had been duplicated for her to work on at this alternative location.

A stressful number of days followed, with restorations from three sources (the office files, remnants of failed backups and the home backups taken earlier). After hours of re-assembling file structure trees and files, and a number of stringent visual checks, the film was saved and it made the release date to the surprise of everyone who was involved with the project.

These days with the cloud, and other associated technologies, it’s actually quite straightforward to implement a backup strategy that utilises offsite data replication, something that’s a must for business when it’s something that can save the day, so it’s not only a case of ensuring the right strategy, it’s also a case of implementing it successfully.


Reference: h post article

visually connected flower competition

COMPETITION: Freshly cut flowers for your office for 6mnths!

Posted on Posted in News

COMPETITION: Win freshly cut flowers for your office for six months!

Okay, so you may think it’s a bit strange for us, a technology company to be running a competition to win a slice of mother nature! – Well, we felt that if we were going to run a competition it would be nice to actually do something a little bit different for a change. Having fresh flowers within the working environment definitely improves the working atmosphere and delivers a fresh calming influence to everyone within that environment.

At Visually Connected, we specialise in providing technology equipment to smart buildings (IT/Audiovisual/Security – Access Control & CCTV), but we also look at delivering unique products to the workplace to improve productivity and employee experience and engagement. Whether it’s using signage via large screens to make employees feel part of the family, or whether we are installing our unique sound absorbing artwork panels, we strive to create an impressive environment where technology, user experience and atmosphere all play a part in creating a happy and productive workforce.

So, what do you have to do, take a look at the FAQ’s below:
1. Who can enter the competition? What is the prize?

Anyone can enter on behalf of your business or employer. The prize is regular fresh flower deliveries for six months. (One delivery per month for six months).

2. How do I enter?

You can enter by signing up to our mailing list, however the other way you can enter is by resharing this post via Facebook and liking our page.

3. How will the winner be drawn and when?

The lucky business/employer will be drawn at random after the closing date. The winner will be announced via Social Media

4. When is the closing date?

The closing date for this competition is 30th April 2017. Terms & Conditions apply.

Apple MacBook Pro MacOS Sierra

MacBook Pro Rollout – Mac Support Swindon

Posted on Posted in Featured Products, IT Services, News, Technology

Visually Connected are currently installing, configuring and managing the rollout of a new range of MacBook Pro’s for an international client based in Swindon. The state of the art machines are powered by Intel Core i7 Processors and are running the latest MacOS, Sierra. These generation MacBook’s are the first to feature Touch ID and the all new Touch Bar.

The Touch Bar is a long thin touchscreen that replaces the traditional function keys on the MacBook keyboard. Depending on what application you are running, the Touch Bar can be configured to control different functions, controls and customisation. In general applications, it will give recommendations for QuickType typing suggestions, however for more specific applications, such as a music editing programme, it can switch over to a completely custom multitouch setup where settings can be applied, tweaked and removed via the Touch Bar itself.

If you are a corporate business looking to make the switch to AppleOS, then give one of our technical experts a call and we can guide you through everything you need to know. Increase your productivity and output with a powerful machine configured and installed by Visually Connected.

Hardware (MacBook Pro)

  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 16GB 2133MHz memory
  • 1TB PCIe-based SSD
  • Intel Iris Graphics 550
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • Accessory Kit
  • Backlit Keyboard & User’s Guide
New York Skyline

Visually Connected on tour – truly worldwide corporate AV & IT service

Posted on Posted in News

Visually Connected can offer a truly worldwide service offering support for your business in every location. Specialising in IT, AV and Security services (Access Control & CCTV) we can reduce your overheads and offer system stability with our support model. We are truly global.

Using our international partner network, along with our UK based team, we are able to offer service and support on your systems and IT infrastructure. Many of our customers have a strong international presence and require a company that can support them and their business needs wherever they happen to be located. In the last month we have been to both Munich and the USA to visit our customers – in fact, the header photo was taken by Julian from our Royal Wootton Bassett office at the top of the empire state building!

Signing up to a Visually Connected service agreement ensures business continuity whilst providing great service you can count on.

Outsourced Help Desk

We offer 24/7 remote support from our UK based helpdesk for all IT, AV & remote security systems. Each customer will receive their own unique login, which will allow them to review support cases from any location, as well as giving them the opportunity to log a support ticket. In addition to this, in most cases a dedicated support number will be given to the client, as well as an out of hours telephone number (if required).

Pro-active Monitoring

Preventative maintenance is the key to a successful worldwide support structure. Our unique remote monitoring system generates healthchecks, system alerts and e-mail notifications whenever there is an issue with a monitored system. It can even tell us if a disk runs low on space, internet connectivity is lost, or someone pulls a plug on a server. Pro-active support reduces the amount of logged calls by the user, and improves service dramatically, with issues often being resolved before the client even notices.

Installations & Engineer Service

Field Service and Installations can be carried out by our team or one of our Visually Connected certified partners across the globe. No location is out of reach for us. Julian is currently visiting one of our worldwide clients, servicing and carrying out equipment audits at six sites across the USA.

Cloud Services

We strongly believe in the benefits of the Cloud, however these benefits are even more clear when you are operating your business in multiple locations. Cloud solutions can increase stability, usability and reduce downtime. If you want to bring a new site online, with Cloud apps, this can be done often in minutes. Our favourite Cloud solution at the moment is the Brivo solution, which allows your Access Control & CCTV to be managed directly via the web.

Visually connected Logo

Administrator Job Vacancy – Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon

Posted on Posted in Careers

Visually Connected, a Royal Wootton Bassett based Audio Visual & I.T. Company is expanding

We are looking for a part-time administrator to help us with our bookkeeping, correspondence with customers, correspondence with suppliers and general secretarial duties.
The ideal candidate will show attention to detail, be proficient in Microsoft Office and have good communication skills. Must be both positive and reliable.

Please send a copy of your CV to accounts@visuallyconnected.com

 

Web based access control

Web Based Access Control & CCTV Worldwide Rollout

Posted on Posted in Press Release

This week has seen us install a number of access control doors for one of our large UK clients. The first installations have been a pilot for a potential worldwide roll-out covering a number of their offices globally. We already manage their local helpdesk and local IT infrastructure, however they came to us when they wanted to see how our access control solutions could work for them.

Another satellite office in Germany will be installed next week using our state of the art web based system, provided by Brivo systems, which will mean that any user of any office worldwide, will be able to access any door (providing they have access set for that resource in the system).

What makes our system different, is that it’s easy to enable alerts, and have up to the minute reporting of access records, tied in with actual CCTV footage. The client is also trialing the Brivo mobile pass, which means that doors can be accessed easily via a specific mobile app on the users mobile phone.

When reviewing access records, a high quality video clip will be associated to the record – this solution is utilising the AXIS M1054 IP camera. We are also a certified AXIS reseller, and we also use only the best access control equipment from suppliers such as the market leaders, HID, so whatever your requirement, we should be able to help, and give you a clever cost effective solution to cover all bases.

AXIS M1054 IP Camera

If your organisation has a number of sites, and you want to simplify your access control solution – speak to us. We can easily integrate with other solutions and provide you with a bespoke web managed solution, so you can administer your security from any location, via the cloud. Call us today on 0200 888 0028

CCTV for Garages or MOT Workshops – Ideal for Reception / Waiting Areas

Posted on Posted in Featured Products, Products

The DVSA has now changed rules and regulations regarding MOT tests – if you wish to have a remote location serving as a waiting area, you are now able to deliver footage of the test being carried out via CCTV cameras. You aren’t allowed to record the MOT test, however, you can relay it via a camera and screen if you prefer not to have a physical viewing area.

One of our local garages in Swindon approached us because they were expanding into a new building, however, it was a lot of extra expense to create a new viewing area when they already had a reception and waiting area. The solution was to install a screen into the existing waiting area, along with two network IP cameras in the MOT bay.

The screen was branded to their company design, although the facility to add extra information or offers can be added if required.

We have put together one of the best systems out there which ensures great image quality via Wireless IP cams, along with a small discreet control PC which can be easily mounted behind any screen. You can use a PC monitor, but we would recommend using a larger screen for a greater impact. It’s even all upgrade-able so you can view footage remotely.

At the same time, we upgraded the local garages network infrastructure to include two new Cisco Wireless Access Points, along with two Netgear POE (Power Over Ethernet) switches. This now means that they have the ability to utilise the existing internet connection across a greater geographical area incorporating the two sites they run without suffering a frustrating loss of signal.

Future upgrades for the client may also include a more up to date IP phone based VOIP system for their telephones, along with a possible update of CCTV based security.

References:

A clearly identified weatherproof public waiting room or area from which the whole test can be directly observed without interruption, except for road testing (room for 2 seated people is considered sufficient)

A mirror or camera relayed images may be acceptable if all parts of the test can be observed as it would from an enclosed viewing area with window. Consideration should be given to the quality of image produced during variable light conditions.

The use of recording equipment (CCTV) is unacceptable – the observation room or area should be identified by a notice and floor markings if applicable. There should also be a notice in reception indicating the presence of a viewing area.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/222614/Req_for_Auth_common_classes_1211.pdf

 

 

Retail Store Smart Network Speakers – New Product Launch

Posted on Posted in Products

AXIS C1004-E Network Cabinet Speaker and AXIS C2005 Network Ceiling Speaker are full-featured sound systems that come preconfigured for use right out-of-the-box. Background music can be seamlessly streamed across multiple retail store locations. In-store announcements can be made live as well as prerecorded and scheduled for playback.

Axis Authorised Channel Partner

Axis introduces smart sound systems for efficient background music and announcements. See film.

Axis Communications, the market leader in network video, enters the retail store sound system market with smart sound systems. ”Traditional retail store sound systems typically consist of a number of different analog components and specific audio knowledge is required to be able to properly install and fine tune these systems. These new products are a complete audio system and you do not need any audio knowledge or extra hardware to use them. They are preconfigured for use right out-of-the-box”, says Håkan Hansson, Global Product Manager Audio, Axis Communications.

Axis’ all-in-one speaker system offers amplifier, mixer, digital signal processor, streaming functionality, microphone, power supply and loudspeaker. With Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, only a single network cable is needed to provide both power and data to each unit. The units can be combined into a flexible and scalable system and it is easy to add or remove speakers in an instant. Managing the loudspeakers is versatile, and it is possible to address and control each unit individually or make a unified command for several units. By creating zones to address a number of loudspeakers it is possible to direct different background music, live or prerecorded announcements or control and change the volume for each unit individually and parallelly.

“We have driven the change from analog to digital in the video surveillance market making systems smart, open and secure. We are now bringing this same approach to audio. For a retail store, these sound systems can not only simplify the management of announcements and background music, but also contribute to uniform atmosphere and service in different store locations”, Hansson continues.

AXIS C1004-E and AXIS C2005 are high sensitivity full range loudspeakers offering high quality background music playback and clear speech announcements, possible to schedule to meet any needs. Background music can be played via the preinstalled AXIS Audio Player application. You can create and schedule your own MP3 playlists either from the speakers offline playlist (SD card) or from audio streaming services. Announcements can be scheduled from pre-recorded audio files or triggered by an event captured by a surveillance camera. Further, the speakers come with built in SIP-support which makes it easy to integrate them with Voice over IP telephone systems, for example for live voice announcements.

Designed for professional use, the sound systems are smart devices and with the inbuilt microphone, it is possible for the speakers to verify its functionality. This gives operators the peace of mind that background music or announcements are actually heard and that the system deliver quality music around the clock. AXIS C1004-E is splashproof and comes in black and white.

The open ACAP platform and VAPIX protocol makes the products future-proof and ready for additional music streaming solution.

AXIS C1004-E and AXIS C2005 are planned to be available in Q3 2016 and will be available for supply and installation via Visually Connected. Other speaker systems are also available for supply and installation from Visually Connected – Please give us a call to find out more.