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The Supreme Court is the highest and final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Formed in October 2009, it replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the UK. At the time of writing, it has heard over 835 appeals and hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance. The building is located on Parliament Square, just opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The judges of the Supreme Court, known as Justices, have the final say on the biggest legal issues. For example, the Court recently heard the high-profile Brexit prorogation-related judicial review case of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister which sought to investigate the legality of the prorogation of parliament in Summer 2019. Live streaming and media coverage Westminster location were each equipped with four Panasonic HN130s, a RP150 camera controller "As the highest court in the land, any decision here is binding and final," explains Brian Shek, Senior System Administrator & Commercial Officer at the Supreme Court. The policy of the court is to record and broadcast hearings, in keeping with their commitment to transparency. Since its creation, all cases have been archived on their website ensuring fair and open access to all. "The reason we added live streaming and media coverage is because the justices wanted the court to be fully accessible to all members of the public," adds Brian. Shots of high production value Three court rooms at the Westminster location were each equipped with four Panasonic HN130s, a RP150 camera controller and NewTek Tricaster to efficiently record the high-profile cases. “We need PTZs because it’s not practical in a court room to have an operator manually controlling the cameras,” explains Dan Money, a technical architect and IT Manager at the Supreme Court. “You need a constant shot of the Justices bench, a back and front shot, and both a wide and close up shot to gain an understanding of what is going on in the court. PTZs are the least intrusive option that guarantees transparency in the courtroom but they also give the camera operator the right level of control and ensure shots of high production value,” highlights Dan. Panasonic PTZ camera The Supreme Court installed PTZ cameras as part of their initial set up in 2009 but were in need of an upgrade that could enable them to achieve better quality recordings. “Our first requirement was updating the camera output from SD to HD,” explains Dan. “The IT team wanted to implement a system that could do everything the original system could, but make the overall image quality look better with an intuitive system that we could understand.” For the upgrade, the IT team at the court required NDI-based PTZ camera technology. They wanted to use their own technical networking expertise to maintain the system themselves. The team were able to take the NDI IP connection from the Panasonic PTZ camera and convert it to fiber using existing runs in the building. From there, the stream was converted back to IP and into a NewTek Tricaster. Professional video output Being IP-based has made camera technology far more straightforward for individuals" “We are also planning to have the audio from all court rooms also over NDI in the future so that we can have networked video and audio over the existing building infrastructure. Being IP-based has made camera technology far more straightforward for individuals like ourselves to get to grips with providing a professional video output,” explains Dan. The communications team also wanted a HD output to enable the hosting of any events. The Supreme Courts broadcast contractor were engaged to support the Supreme Court with their broadcast operation needs and provide audio/visual engineers to operate the equipment. The first big test of the system was the high-profile Brexit prorogation-related judicial review. The case of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister investigated the decision to prorogue parliament in September 2019. 1080p network-based stream “We had originally planned to sign off the system during the recess period over the summer months – however, the case was scheduled two weeks before the system was scheduled to be implemented meaning that we had to push the project forward and deliver early to stream this case,” explains Dan. To deliver the streaming services, the team used Microsoft’s Azure Media Services platform. “This is what prompted us to implement the NDI architecture in the first place as the NewTek Tricaster is on their recommended equipment list. We had to work with the lead developer of Azure Media Services to tailor the platform to our requirements to run a 1080p network-based stream on the platform," says Dan. Two access points The R (Miller) v The Prime Minister case attracted widespread media interest and news agencies including both the BBC and Sky used the court’s live stream as part of their reporting. Two access points were installed at both the front and rear of the Supreme Court to take the camera streams accessed in the control room back to the broadcasters via an OB truck. PTZ cameras provided the correct combination of cost-efficiency, quality and service “This meant that if anything was to happen to the live stream on Azure, we had the redundancy in place so broadcasters would still be able to output video from the court room themselves,” explains Dan. This proved to be beneficial as the stream did get momentarily overloaded with an audience of four and a half million at its peak and ten million for the day. Cost-efficiency, quality and service Panasonic PTZ cameras provided the correct combination of cost-efficiency, quality and service that tended to the court’s needs. “From a feature perspective, we needed a system that was cost-effective in terms of an initial outlay but also to maintain and receive support as and when we need it. We wanted a long-term relationship, and with Panasonic we know that we’d get that. "We were very pleased with the feedback we have received on the picture quality, not only from those around the courts but also from feedback on the stream and the broadcasters too!" concludes Dan.
Chocolate Nation’s decision to partner with Panasonic for technology at the immersive Belgium museum has delivered the sweet taste of success. Having already attracted over 100,000 visitors in the first nine months of opening, the Antwerp museum says its technology partnership with Panasonic has underpinned its rapid rise as a visitor attraction. Panasonic security cameras Chocolate Nation has deployed Panasonic equipment throughout the museum, shop, restaurant, event and meeting rooms. The technology provides a truly immersive experience for visitors and underpins the effective operation of the business. The range of solutions includes 20 professional display screens, 10 laser projectors, security cameras and the latest telephony solution. Chocolate Nation has deployed Panasonic equipment throughout the museum, shop, restaurant, event and meeting rooms From initial concept, the museum set-out to be an immersive experience for visitors to discover the wonders of Belgium chocolate using their five senses. Through 14 thematic areas, visitors are taken on a journey from the jungle where cocoa beans are grown, through their transportation across the ocean to Antwerp (the world’s largest port for cocoa bean storage), to the making of exquisite chocolate delights and, of course, lots of tasting. High quality video security “The immersive experience is where Panasonic plays an important role,” explains Catherine Stuyck, Head of Marketing and Communications at Chocolate Nation. “Thanks to the large projections on the ceiling, walls, and floor, visitors can really have the feeling they’re standing on a floating container ship. Using light and sound effects, visitors can pass in front of a large imaginary machine in true Willy Wonka fashion to understand how chocolate is made. Afterwards, visitors virtually meet the great Antwerp chocolate makers and are seated in an experimental restaurant where surprising images are projected onto their plates.” More than three years in the planning, the Chocolate Nation founders knew that choosing the right technology partner for the brand-independent museum was going to be critical to creating the magical environment for visitors and a reliable and cost effective business infrastructure. Seamless, flexible installation "After extensive market research, we chose Panasonic as our technology partner for Chocolate Nation," said Jeroen Jespers, Co-Founder of Chocolate Nation. “Panasonic had all the product categories we required and solid in-house expertise. The result is a visitor attraction of the highest quality and an outstanding experience. Obviously, it is only possible because of the absolute reliability of the technology provided by Panasonic”. Jeroen adds, “In addition, their flexible installation outside opening hours and the low maintenance equipment saves a lot of time. If we decide to expand our activities to other countries, we will quickly have a full on-site service with Panasonic, a global player in the sector.” Panasonic LCD and DLP projectors A variety of Panasonic LCD and DLP projectors, ranging from 32” to 65”, have been used in the museum A variety of Panasonic LCD and DLP projectors, ranging from 32” to 65”, have been used in the museum to create the immersive tourist installations and to provide the quality audio visual experience in the event and meeting spaces. The highest levels of security with the lowest total cost of ownership are ensured with the effective use of Panasonic’s 360 degree and indoor dome cameras combined with Panasonic’s Video Insight system management solution. KX-NS700 Smart hybrid communication system The extensive coverage from the 360 degree cameras reduced the number required across the venue and minimised the bandwidth impact on the network. For its unified communication system, Chocolate Nation chose Panasonic’s KX-NS700 Smart hybrid communication system. By using the Panasonic desktop phones, DECT handsets and intercoms as one integrated system, the guests are supported directly when needed. The size of the system ensures Chocolate Nation can expand its communications infrastructure quickly and efficiently as the organisation grows.
Danish Superliga Football Club Brøndby IF has enhanced fan safety by using Panasonic security solutions to prevent banned football hooligans from entering the stadium, whilst maintaining visitor privacy and complying with European Union General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Installing Panasonic’s FacePRO facial recognition system at the entrances to the stadium has helped to more effectively identify those on the banned list. The club had been aware that family attendance had fallen at some of the more high-profile games, such as the local derby with F.C. Copenhagen, due to concerns over hooliganism, illegal use of flares and safety. Family-friendly stadium With an average attendance of 14,000 people per game, and up to 100 registered persons on the stadium blacklist for causing trouble, the football club wanted to find a way to make genuine fans feel even safer at the family-friendly stadium by preventing any problems before they could occur. Up until this point, lists of banned people were distributed to security staff at the entrance gates. They would manually check each person coming into the stadium but the process was time consuming and not always effective. With the use of Panasonic’s security solution, blacklisted offenders can now be automatically identified in the crowd before they attempt to enter the stadium. System operators in the surveillance room double check matches made by the system before sending notification to the stewards at the gates to prevent them from entering. Panasonic FacePro solution Brøndby IF sought approval on its approach to GDPR compliance from the Danish Data Protection Agency The automated procedure at the stadium entrance also decreases congestion at the gates, so genuine fans can get into the stadium faster. As well as improving security outside, the system allows staff more time to focus their attention on creating a safe and entertaining environment for those inside the stadium. Another issue important to address in the implementation was compliance with European Union GDPR. The Panasonic FacePro solution is very flexible and can be configured to delete or store data as required. To meet Brøndby IF’s requirements, data from the camera is encrypted and the data and images of people not on the blacklist are never stored. In addition, the details of banned individuals are encrypted and only stored on a server blocked from the Internet and all other external systems. Brøndby IF sought permission and approval on its approach to GDPR compliance from the Danish Data Protection Agency. Facial recognition system Mickel Lauritsen, Head of Security at Brøndby IF, said: “We can see that we have decreased the amount of flares being used within the stadium during our matches. It has been a success and it’s an absolutely vital tool in order to maintain safety and security.” Gerard Figols, Head of the European security business at Panasonic, commented: “Panasonic’s facial recognition system contributes to a safer stadium environment by alleviating security pressure on the ground, while ensuring that all data is protected from unauthorised external access." "The accuracy and processing capacity of Panasonic FacePRO means that it is ideal for football, and other sporting stadiums around the world, as well as many other venues where security and high visitor numbers are a factor. Besides the pure security factor, our facial recognition system can also help to enhance the customer experience by providing quicker, more streamlined access or tailored services.”
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