July 8, 2016
Replacing an old surveillance system can be a costly ordeal. When upgrading from an analog system to a modern, hi-def solution you have to replace the DVR unit / PC, run new cables, replace all the cameras, and pay for somebody to do all of the above. While there is no doubt in my mind it is worth the cost, a budget is a budget and if the money isn’t there it ain’t happenin’. Luckily, there are solutions out there for an affordable surveillance upgrade.
For the uninitiated, a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) takes a signal from analog cameras and converts them into a digital signal that can be recorded to a hard drive. A NVR (Network Video Recorder) takes input from digital cameras via a TCP/IP network and records it to a hard drive. While analog cameras have a definitive max resolution well below “hi definition,” the network video architecture allows for extremely high resolution cameras to be used. These hi-def cameras can produce video in resolutions as high as 4096 x 2160 (hi def television is 1024 x 768) allowing for crystal clear images and the ability to zoom while retaining visibility.
When installing a brand new hi-def camera systems just doesn’t fit into the budget though, a hybrid DVR/NVR solution might just be the perfect fit. A hybrid solution allows existing analog cameras to be used on a new NVR capable of utilizing the hi-def cameras. This prevents the need to run new cables to existing cameras and allows these existing cameras to be replaced over time. This spreads out the cost without cutting the number of cameras in the system. New hi-def cameras can be rolled out as replacements or in addition to existing analog cameras.
Shooters Pub purchased a analog DVR from us over 5 years ago. The system worked great and they loved it but when they were in our office purchasing supplies, they noticed some hi-def cameras on our demo floor. We worked with them to create a hybrid solution so they could utilize the hi-def cameras in a couple places where they needed better coverage. Choosing the hybrid solution kept the price down and helped them retain their existing coverage without replacing everything all at once. Our service technician Garry finished installing their hybrid system just last week!
June 22, 2016
They must be doing something right! Falling Sky opened their 3rd restaurant and public house this week in the basement of the EMU on the U of O campus. Almost a year ago, Rob Cohen with Falling Sky came to me and told me that they had won the bid to open another location in this space. He has the Oracle Micros e7 at the other two locations and loves the stability and simplicity of the product. The Pizzeria was a new concept though so we wanted to make sure to explore the options and make sure we found the right fit.
After looking at the requirements on the software side, we settled on the Oracle Micros 3700. The features that pushed us to that product were the pizza ordering module (and reporting) and the kitchen display capabilities. We spent a significant amount of time discussing how a pizza concept is such a challenge in Point of Sale because of the half and halves, different crusts, sizes, toppings, sauces and the amount of menu customization that the patrons expect.
Our implementation specialist Kevin Schulman handled the project. Fresh off the heels of his installation for the Stone Fire pizza concept at LCC, we thought he would be best suited. Kevin installed 3 workstations at the counter, where customers form a single line and go to whichever register is open next (like at Jerry’s Home Improvement). Another workstation serves as an order entry point for the bartender to add additional rounds to open tabs.
Two (soon to be 3) kitchen display systems (KDS) serve as the order output in the kitchen. This allows them to see reports of how long a ticket takes from being sent to the kitchen until completion. The KDS also allows them to color code their items, so a priced modification shows in red, salads show in green etc. The KDS monitors are wall mounted so they are up and out of the way, with a wireless keypad used to indicate when orders are complete.