IndigoVision's IP Video technology is providing a new state-of-the-art digital CCTV system for Wythenshawe Shopping Centre in the south of Manchester. The surveillance system has been upgraded from an old analogue matrix system to the latest distributed IP network solution that provides significant benefits for the Centre's operators.
As with many of the older shopping centres around the UK, Wythenshawe has both internal and external retail units and a complex perimeter area to monitor. The entire system consists of 40 cameras that are monitored and controlled by operators using 'Control Center' - IndigoVision's powerful IP video and alarm management software. IndigoVision's local partner VideoTec Ltd, following an analysis of competing systems - by the St. Modwen Properties - the Centre's owner and operator, installed the system.
"The new CCTV system has transformed our surveillance operation," says Alastair Budd, Asset Manager with St. Modwen Properties. "The video quality is excellent and 'Control Center' provides us with a set of tools to quickly search and analyse recorded footage. Now the system is network-based we can easily add or reposition cameras in the future at very little cost, something that would have been very expensive with the old system."
As with any public place there is a requirement to keep CCTV video footage for 31 days. This is achieved using three IndigoVision standalone network video recorders with a total storage of 6TB. Even though this is a relatively small amount of storage, IndigoVision's advanced compression technology means that high-resolution video from all the cameras can be continuously recorded at 12 fps for the required period. Video clips can be exported to the police for evidential purposes in the event of an incident.
The security control room uses a combination of 42" plasma displays and 19" LCD monitors controlled by 'Control Center'. The combination of larger format displays and smaller ‘spot' screens allows operators to monitor the entire site at a glance and pull down images of suspicious activity for closer inspection on the ‘spot' monitors; all from the click of a mouse or through a traditional CCTV keyboard/joystick. The screen configurations can also be easily changed depending on the time of day. For example, during the day, the primary displays show the cameras around the shopping areas, but at night the requirements differ and the emphasis is on perimeter protection.
The nature of IP network-based CCTV systems means they can be installed alongside existing analogue equipment and any downtime minimised during the migration. The upgrade at Wythenshawe was installed over the busy Christmas period without any loss of CCTV coverage during the switch over - an essential requirement of the client.
The original PTZ cameras were replaced with the latest colour/mono high-speed domes. In addition, a number of new domes and fixed cameras were installed to cover blind spots around the car park and perimeter and to monitor some of the internal areas. All cameras are connected to IndigoVision rack-mounted 8000 transmitter/receiver modules. The 8000s convert the analogue camera feeds to DVD-quality digital video for transmission over the IP network.