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Finding a good balance between security and privacy at St Andrew's Village
St. Andrew's Village is secured with Arecont Vision's megapixel IP network cameras
Arecont Vision's IP network cameras help provide a good balance between security and privacy at St Andrew's Village
While security measures guarding the ill and the aged may not be tested as frequently as those protecting our more commercial and domestic treasures, the need to adequately secure institutions such as hospitals and retirement homes is certainly no less important. However, unlike a retail outlet or a private home, there is a fine line between the provision of absolute security and a safe, caring environment for society's vulnerable citizens. For instance, in the case of a hospital or retirement home, security measures must also facilitate a certain freedom of movement for patients, staff, and visitors. The means by which effective security is maintained must also, to a large extent, respect the privacy of a patient or retirement home resident.

At St Andrew's Village, Glendowie, Auckland, that balance between security and privacy has been achieved with the strategic placement of megapixel IP network cameras from Arecont Vision - all recorded on a 16 channel NetStation Network Video Recorder from Alnet Systems. For over 52 years, St Andrew's Village has provided lifestyle options for the elderly, ranging from independent living accommodation to hospital and dementia care. About 150 dedicated staff provide 24 hour services including management, nursing, catering, building and ground maintenance services for some 180 Village residents. There are also about 130 retired folk living independently in comfortable, ‘licence to occupy' homes and rental cottages that form an integral part of Village life within its 14 hectares of park-like grounds - a tranquil haven with a panoramic view of the Tamaki Estuary.

Effective security must also respect the privacy of a patient or retirement home resident

To oversee the daily and nightly activities of residents, staff, and visitors, thirteen Arecont Vision AV3130 and two AV1300DN megapixel cameras, have been strategically positioned to monitor such vulnerable areas as entrances and car parks. Arecont Vision cameras, made in the USA, employ its proprietary Megavideo® technology to provide the world's fastest, multi-megapixel network cameras supporting full-motion video frame rates. The Arecont Vision 3.0 megapixel camera is up to ten times the resolution of a high quality analogue camera and because these cameras can be connected to an existing network, flexibility of installation and lower costs are assured.

The AV3130 series network camera is a unique dual sensor, day/night solution camera delivering up to 15 frames per second (fps) at 2048(H) x 1536(V) pixels (3.0 megapixel) of unparalleled, high definition resolution and superior low light performance. It is a robust, all-weather camera ideally suited to the variable lighting conditions that may be experienced during any 24 hour period in the St Andrew's Village environment. In low light conditions, the AV3130 changes from colour to black and white, at which time the camera's frame rate increases to a maximum of 30 fps at 1280 x 1024 pixels (1.3 megapixel). Both the AV3130 and AV1300 series network cameras are part of Arecont Vision's full line of megapixel IP cameras.

It is a robust, all-weather camera ideally suited to the variable lighting conditions that may be experienced in St Andrew's Village

A wireless connection set up by Wireless and Optical Networks Limited is used to transmit the images from one of the AV1300s, positioned to monitor an unused rear gate at the Village, to the Alnet Systems 16 channel NetStation NVR situated in the administration offices. The NetStation NVR is a Network Video Surveillance System utilising NetStation software, an advanced video and sound recording system based on the VDR-S application that is used in PC based DVR systems by Alnet Systems. It is a solution that has been operating reliably for some six years on over 60,000 applications around the world. During that time, the NetStation System has achieved a name for stability, reliability, and functionality. As the system is an open platform, it is compatible with most IP cameras and IP video servers made by leading manufacturers.

Scalability of the software allows for the ability to adjust the installation size for specific projects depending on project requirements. Net-Station perfectly suits small to enterprise sized installations, ranging from four to several hundred cameras. Regular application updates guarantee that the software will always have the latest features and solutions that follow CCTV trends. For instance, NetStation software is compatible with the latest IP camera solutions utilising the HDcctv standard.

Chris Dale has been the General Manager of St Andrew's Village for nearly 13 years and appreciates the importance of a low-key but effective security policy to the smooth running of a community such as the Village. "To date, we have not received any complaints about the use of cameras in the Village. On the contrary, residents and staff are reassured by their presence and they are accepted as part of the environment in which we live and work," says Chris.

"I am very pleased with the dependability and quality of the images produced by the cameras and the efficient way those images can be viewed on our PC network at all times. In fact, using the NetStation's Archive Menu, we have been able to quickly and easily confirm the true circumstances concerning a few minor incidents that have taken place in recent times," says Chris.

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