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Network / IP - Case Studies

Mirasys secures world class entertainment venue


Hartwall Areena needed a top-of-the-class security solution to secure the organised events and the attendees.  To be able to offer an enjoyable experience at the Hartwall Areena, disorderly behaviour, such as misdemeanour, sabotage, vandalism and fights had to be prevented.


Mirasys V series was installed to meet todays and the future's requirements and security standards of huge public venues.  Mirasys V series is exceptional as it can receive video data from both analogue and IP cameras.


The security staff are now able to react quickly to incidences.  Rapid search results and crystal-clear images have improved crowd management, helped identifying unwanted persons and resolved brawls.  Watermarked images can be printed and video clips saved on a CD or DVD for possible court proceedings.

The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) filled Helsinki and specifically the Hartwall Areena with thousands of Eurovision enthusiasts from all over Europe.  To help secure the event, the security systems at Hartwall Arena were updated to match the exceptional demands through the newest and most advanced surveillance technology.  The ESC, televised globally to over a hundred million viewers, created a unique security situation that requires the outmost stability and performance from the surveillance system.  The security personnel had to be able to recognise dangerous situations and prevent them - preferably even before they had the occasion to occur.  Video surveillance played a critical role in this task.

As the new surveillance system had to combine extreme precision with a virtually unlimited scalability and customisability, Hartwall Areena decided on implementing a solution based on Mirasys V series - the latest and most advanced video surveillance system available.

The Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland, is one of Europe's most actively used entertainment venues with a non-stop calendar of concerts, operas, dance performances, major sporting events, world class ice hockey, conferences and corporate events.  The Hartwall Areena has a capacity of 15 000 seats and it is unique in having a large retail focus within the building, which houses a multitude of restaurants, bars and event shops.

In May 2007 the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) was held in Hartwall Areena and the event, contestants and audience was protected by Mirasys security solution.  ESC is a huge public event, televised to some forty countries with a total of around 100 million viewers.

"During the Eurovision Song Contest airport-level security was implemented at the Arena.  In addition to Mirasys security solution, metal detectors and X-ray equipment were used.  Hartwall Areena was also cooperating with the police, customs, rescue and border authorities," explains Nalle Åkerblom, Security Manager for the song event. 

Mirasys security solution since 2003

The Hartwall Areena has had a first-class Mirasys security solution to secure all kinds of events and protect its properties since 2003.  However, upon the construction of the arena in 1997 a security system based on analogue CCTV system was installed, but it soon proved to be slow and expensive to manage.  Poor picture quality associated with VCR tapes, delays in the motion detection system and service costs associated with machine maintenance forced the Security Manager to look for a new security solution.  A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) system which was reliable in providing rapid search results through a user friendly interface was wanted for Hartwall Areena's security staff.

A public tender was arranged and three security solutions, including Mirasys' solution, were chosen for a six month assessment project.  Finnish Mirasys came out as a winner, able to offer highly efficient operations of video, audio and alarm management, as well as analysis.  Two DINA recorders connected to 28 cameras were installed in 2003.

"Huge public venues require top-of-the-class security arrangements," says Jari Väänänen, Property manager of Hartwall Areena.  To meet today's and the future's requirements and security standards, the security system was further upgraded to Mirasys V series in 2006 when a Mirasys V3032 recorder and 36 new cameras were installed.

"The upgrade brings the security personnel access to the exceptional integrity and unique features offered by V series and allow them to employ the newest technology," states Leo Vilkka, Security Manager at Hartwall Areena.

Unrivalled hybrid DVR

"We are pleased that Mirasys security systems can be easily updated and upgraded in a cost-efficient way," informs Vilkka.  Mirasys security solutions are constructed so that a DVR system can be easily built up from four camera channels to 50 camera channels simply by updating the licence.  Up to 100 recorders can be used to build a system.

"What makes Mirasys V series unrivalled is that it consists of analogue DVRs, which can be extended to hybrid DVRs, simply by adding network cameras to the basic unit!" says an excited Vilkka.  The recorders receive video data from both analogue and IP cameras and the software sets no limits to the resolution of video images.  Mirasys V series is capable of handling high-resolution images up to several megapixels in PAL and NTSC formats.

Preventative measures important

"Our biggest security challenges at the Hartwall Areena are to prevent all kinds of disorderly behaviour, from misdemeanour, sabotage and vandalism to fights.  One important preventive measure is security checks at the entrance.  All objects that can be used as a weapon, alcoholic beverages and other dangerous items are removed at the entrance," explains Vilkka.

"But people can be very ingenious about smuggling things in.  We are also monitoring the movements of the crowds, especially when entering and exiting the events, to prevent misbehaviour.  Depending on the results, people can get very expressive after sports events and if needed, we have to be able to intervene immediately to prevent unwanted behaviour."

"Mirasys software has been phenomenal when it comes to spot and identify unwanted persons in the crowds and at the entrance.  We are able to react straight away and turn away or evict these unwanted persons before they cause any misconduct," says a grateful Vilkka.

"We are also using Mirasys solution to solve fights and brawls.  We have a close cooperation with the police; video clips will immediately be sent for review to the police, and thanks to the clear and sharp images there will be no misunderstandings who started the fight and who did what."

"With Mirasys software data can be exported to a CD or DVD with just a mouse-click.  Single images can also be printed, and several media clips can even be saved on the same CD or DVD.  In addition, the authenticities of the clips are verified by a Mirasys watermark, which is approved by the police.  If necessary, recorded evidence can be used in court proceedings."

Vilkka praises the Mirasys system:  "Mirasys solutions are so easy to use!" he says.

"We use the system every day, even though there are no events.  The calendar tool where specific calendar masks can be created helps us daily to keep control of what is happening, and who is where, here at the Hartwall Areena.  We are extremely happy with Mirasys security solution; we have now a significantly improved overview of the arena.  But first and foremost, we are able to react promptly to incidences to keep the people attending our events safe and protected," concludes Vilkka with a smile.

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