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images from Samsung dome cameras 
 Millwall FC's stadium ground has thirty-eight dome cameras

Thirty-eight dome cameras are deployed at carefully selected locations both inside and outside Millwall FC's ground, known as "The Den", to monitor crowd activity and to ensure everyone visiting the club on match days can do so in a safe environment.

The images from the dome cameras, which were installed five years ago at the South East London stadium, were until recently recorded on S-VHS analogue video recorders. Colin Sayer, explains: "We did consider investing in a digital video recording system when we refitted the control room and the domes were first installed but we were not convinced that what was available at the time could adequately do the job and it seemed an expensive option."

Colin is Millwall FC's Stadium Manager and Safety Officer. He has the important responsibility of ensuring all necessary measures have been taken to ensure crowd safety and that includes the deployment of an effective CCTV system.

Five years on and not only has the cost of digital recording decreased substantially, but the technology employed has also significantly advanced dramatically and bears no resemblance to what was available when Colin Sayer and his colleagues first considered digital video recording as an option.

"One of the most valuable features now available to us via the Samsung Techwin DVRs is the ability to cost effectively record high quality D1 resolution images from all the cameras in real time. We are using three Samsung Techwin SVR-1680 DVRs to achieve this, each having 4TB of internal storage capacity. This means they can collectively store all the video recorded for in excess of twenty separate match days. With our previous analogue recording system we would have had to use a very large number of tapes to do the same job, which would have to be managed too."

Equally important to Colin is how easy it is for his control room colleagues to extract video evidence from the DVRs to allow the police to investigate any incident. Small amounts of video can easily be copied onto a DVD using the SVR-1680's built-in DVD writer or onto a storage device such as a memory stick by utilising one of the machine's two front panel USBs. When required, all the recorded match day video can be copied via a server onto a hard drive, which the police can then remove from site.

The DVRs were commissioned by CCTV specialists ScanGuard who originally installed the dome cameras and the analogue recording system 
Colin Sayer is Millwall's FC Stadium Manager and Safety Officer 

"Compared to how the analogue system used to work, it is a big step forward for us to be able to look at recorded video or back it up, without in anyway affecting the continuous real time recording of ‘live' images," added Colin who has worked at Millwall FC for over twenty-three years. "Investing in this latest recoding solution demonstrates the Chairman's and Club's continuing commitment to make Millwall football club a safe and enjoyable place to visit."

The DVR's were commissioned by CCTV specialists ScanGuard who originally installed the dome cameras and the analogue recording system. ScanGuard's Managing Director, Richard Frere said: "With 38 cameras on site, we did not expect to find such a cost effective solution to do this job. We looked closely at a large number of manufacturers' DVRs before arriving at the decision to recommend the solution offered by Samsung Techwin. The SVR-1680's ability to record at D1 resolution in real time made our decision relatively easy." 

In addition to the SVR-1680s, ScanGuard has also installed a Samsung Techwin SVR-1645 DVR, which is used for 24 hour general security purposes including images from the dome cameras observing the outside of the stadium and the car park.

ScanGuard sourced the DVRs from ADI Global Distribution, one of the UK's leading specialist security distributors.

Millwall Football Club currently play in the Coca-Cola Football League One. The construction of The Den was completed in 1993. It is a 20,000 all seater stadium and was the first new stadium construction following the Taylor Report.
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