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Success with Multisite Surveillance
Submitted by Barco, Milestone Systems and Bosch Security Systems 2009/8/18

Around the world, MNCs and governments are gradually turning to multisite surveillance systems to gain greater visibility and management control. From upgrading analog to installing new and complete IP solutions, this phenomenon is setting successful stories in stone.

Around the world, MNCs and governments are gradually turning to multisite surveillance systems to gain greater visibility and management control. From upgrading analog to installing new and complete IP solutions, this phenomenon is setting successful stories in stone.


Barco Builds Visibility for CGD Banking
Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD) is a state-owned banking corporation and the largest bank in Portugal. With some 881 branches all over Portugal and the rest of the world, monitoring bank surveillance and security is a daunting task. However, CGD manages this with the support of the latest video surveillance solutions available, including an advanced control room video wall. In early 2007, CGD decided to refurbish its central control room located in Lisbon. CGD opted for rear-projection video wall technology and immediately looked to Barco as its main supplier.


Problem Solving
One of CGD's requirements was for the control room video wall to be interconnected with the Barco's LCD displays in the crisis room and training room. Additionally, CGD's old video walls consisted of stacked CRT monitors, which are very costly to maintain. So, over time, as their video surveillance system grew, the CRT monitors did not allow for efficient additions of camera sources. CGD was in need of a video wall solution that is flexible in its display layouts, scalable and provides a path for future video-over-IP integration.


Sharing Information
Under normal operations, the CGD video wall presents five operators with images of the Lisbon building, coupled with an overview of the fire security system and other technical installations. If anything irregular is registered from cameras located in other branches, the video wall jumps into alarm mode and presents the required video feeds, all the while keeping the overview of other systems available to provide context. In essence, this solution provides the whole team with shared situational awareness and facilitates collaboration and effective decision-making. This is particularly evident to the security staff, as prior to 2007, CGD branch surveillance was monitored from several, disparate locations, making it difficult to share information efficiently between stakeholders.


From Design to Installation
Barco provided CGD with extensive control room design services to make the most of its new control room environment. These included the development of design concepts with recommendations for the functional arrangement, ergonomics and technical aspects. Based on the design requirements, a five-by-two meter video wall consisting of 67-inch projection modules was installed. The wall is controlled by a video wall controller, engineered for the highest streaming video and RGB requirements.


To test operational efficiency, shortly after the installation, CGD initiated a fire exercise, which included the evacuation of more than 5,000 employees and visitors. Thanks to the swift management and monitoring by control room operators, the premises were successfully evacuated in just 20 minutes.


Milestone Centralizes AL Bank's Surveillance System
With 60 branches, 1,000 employees and capital assets of US$266 million, AL Bank is the seventh largest financial institution in Denmark. The bank specializes in payroll matters and offers its 200,000 customers service and advice on pensions, real estate, investments and other financial matters.


In 2001, AL Bank's analog video surveillance system was exchanged for a digital multisite solution from Milestone Systems. This system was initially installed in 19 branches at different locations throughout the country. In the long run, it will be rolled out to all 60 locations in parallel with their plans for other office renovations in each branch.


"We were not satisfied with the analog video solution," clarified Palle S?rensen, Chief of Security at AL Bank. "Picture quality was poor, the video tapes got worn down quickly and they were difficult to handle."


Centralized Administration
AL Bank required a centralized solution to eliminate the need for operators at branches to spend time and resources on surveillance equipment and recordings. All cameras and recordings are managed from the IT department in Glostrup and the headquarters in Copenhagen.


"There are many benefits with a security solution that runs centrally. We save on both time and money," S?rensen said.


Managing and Accessing Video
The cameras at each branch operate continuously, but during closing hours they record only if motion is detected. The recordings are stored directly on the local branch's hard disk and are replaced when room for new recordings is needed later on. On average, this happens about every 25 days.


In the near future, further development of the solution could include integration with transaction data from AL Bank's ATMs.


Bosch Subtly Surveys Griffith
A bustling agricultural center in New South Wales' (NSW) Murrumbidgee irrigation area, Griffith has a population of 24,000 and is the heartland of Australia's wine and vegetable production. With a thriving economy and a young and growing population, Griffith has quickly expanded from a quiet rural town to a vibrant city. Throughout this process, Griffith Council and NSW Police have faced challenges common to all fast growing rural centers in Australia – an increase in crime in public areas.


In order to guarantee the safety and security of the Griffith Central Business District (CBD), it was decided that an IP video surveillance system should be employed. Importantly, this was a greenfield site – there was no existing surveillance system in place. This made the installation both easier and more difficult. On the positive side, there was no legacy technology in place. On the negative side, the Council and the community had no experience with surveillance technology.


The Council, in conjunction with the NSW Police Department, identified an area of Banna Ave that was particularly prone to assaults and other forms of violent crime. The aspects for the system that were seen as critical to the Council were reliability, quality, service and backup, operator acceptance, compatibility and value for money.


System Design
Designed around six locations, each comprising one PTZ camera and two fixed dome cameras, the multisite solution stores all video streams at 4CIF and 25 fps for 31 days.


All cameras are from the Bosch Security Systems IP range and each camera location comprises a 4-port gigabit switch and media converter residing on a dedicated gigabit fiber LAN. The camera power supply, switch and converter are all housed inside the pole itself to avoid the need for a communications box on the pole.


Installation Challenges
As is the same for every installation, there were challenges with the Griffith multisite solution. Griffith Council had no experience with CBD video surveillance systems and relied on town planners and engineers to manage the project from concept to handover. This involved the development of Standard Operating Procedures, compliance with the Code of Practice, application for funding from the Federal Government and a Community Consultation Process.


There were also major challenges for the installation team and these began well before the system was installed. Cameras had to be mounted on existing infrastructure, in some cases. That meant a neat and attractive solution was required for mounting the cameras to poles.

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