Surveillance upgrade success

A dynamic video wall has eased the pressure on a busy UK CCTV control room as well as improving crime detection rates.

Security system specialist Advanced Video Systems (AVS), based in Reading in the southern UK, has completed the installation of a new CCTV monitoring suite for Sedgemoor District Council.
The £75,000 upgrade took place in early 2005 and was undertaken at the same time as a general refurbishment of the council offices. The centre, situated in South West England monitors cameras in the towns of Cheddar, Yeovil and the surrounding areas.
CCTV Manager Barry Donbavand explained the need for the upgrade: “The old system just consisted of a wall of CRT monitors, each showing views from four cameras. Our site now monitors 96 cameras and basically the system had reached a saturation point. The engineer and I took the decision to upgrade the system to a dynamic large display. Before specifying the JVC system we took a look at a couple of competitive systems. One at the Welsh Assembly and the JVC one in their London showroom. We also visited the IIPSEC show to see what was on the market. The eventual decision to select the JVC / Zandar solution was essentially a budgetary one.”
AVS’s Roger Daymond takes up the story: “The control room receives feeds from almost 100 cameras routed via both coax and fibre cabling. We installed an 82” rear-projection screen and upgraded the existing CRT’s to new JVC 21” CRT monitors.”
Three CCTV operator positions were installed with their own spot monitors. The spot monitors allow the operator to closely monitor a particular camera but each also retains full control over the 84” dynamic display via Zandar’s FusionPro 3RU MultiViewer and software. This allows them to select, position and resize feed from whichever camera or camera’s are required.
The video matrix came from Bewator and is their V3I Visilinx system. Training in the use of this equipment was also provided by AVS as part of the contract package. Footage from all cameras is recorded using Tecton digital video monitors, which replaced existing VHS recorders.
The large screen itself is a JVC CinePro rear projection unit and the projector a JVC DLA-SX21E running at XGA resolution. Mounted either side of the screen are arrays of ancillary 21” JVC CRT monitors. Six monitors on the left hand side cover 24 cameras from the Sedgemoore area. There are nine further monitors to the right, three of these also monitor Sedgemoore, whilst the remaining six cover activities in the South Somerset district.
One of the key benefits of the new system is it’s flexibility and expandability. The MultiViewer was initially supplied with 14 video inputs however scope exists for this to be increased to up to 26 as the monitoring requirements of Sedgmoore Council grow.
Barry Donbavand summed up the usefulness of the new system with reference to the impact it’s made on the community. “Although we cannot release exact figures, since the installation there has been a significant increase in the detection of crime, making Sedgemoor Council a safer place for residents. The MultiViewer system met all of our requirements and since the system has been running the equipment has performed well, requiring minimal maintenance. The comments from operators have also been positive, they estimate that they are now doing ½ to 2/3 of switching of images as was previously required, thanks to the dynamic display wall.”
Roger Daymond of AVS has the last word: “Its been so successful that we have now received another order for further cards with extra inputs.” The next phase of the installation will include the utilisation of town centre map data as well as the storage of criminal images and the images of known offenders for easy identification by the operators.

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