Security on a High Note
Musical instrument museum implement surveillance system upgrade with intelligent devices
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 01, 2018
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix is
a 200,000 square-foot building with two floors of spacious,
light-filled galleries and a collection of nearly
13,000 instruments and associated objects. The distinctive
architecture evokes the topography of the Southwest,
suggests the museum’s international scope, and expresses the
universal role of music across all cultures.
MIM hosts more than 300,000 guests each year. As the world’s
only global musical instrument museum, MIM creates an exciting
experience for guests, immersing them in cultural traditions from
around the world. Each exhibit includes high-quality audio and video
that allows guests to see and hear the instruments being played in
the cultures where they originate. Other popular attractions include
MIM’s Artist Gallery, which features musical instruments linked to
world-renowned musicians and music innovators, such as the Steinway
piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine.”
Spanning the two floors of the museum is the 300-seat MIM
Music Theater. Designed with spacious seating and state-of-the-art
acoustics, the intimate hall is a premier venue for performances, films
and seminars about musical traditions from around the world.
With a mission to collect, preserve, and make accessible an astonishing
variety of musical instruments and performance videos
from every country in the world, MIM offers guests a welcoming and
fun experience throughout the day with multiple live evening performances
each week. The safety and security of visitors and staff and
the protection of the museum’s extensive collection is an essential aspect
of fulfilling its mission. With an active facility during both day
and evening hours, the museum sought to upgrade its outdoor security
surveillance system to improve the quality of the images around
The museum worked with IES Communications, a nationwide
provider of integrated security solutions, to upgrade its outdoor
surveillance system. Choosing HD cameras to replace the existing
cameras, the system now consists of a combination of Bosch
AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD, FLEXIDOME IP starlight
6000 VR, and AUTODOME IP 5000 IR cameras. The cameras provide
high-quality images of the museum’s outdoor areas, which include
an impressive courtyard at the main entrance, an additional
courtyard at the student entry, an outdoor café and seating area for
guests, as well as special events, and two parking lots.
Cameras with starlight technology provide clear images regardless
of lighting conditions, delivering full-color images in the dark
beyond the point where other cameras turn to monochrome images.
As part of the project, the museum also installed new exterior LED lights, which enables the starlight cameras to produce full-color images
throughout the night. The intelligent cameras feature built-in
video analytics to alert the museum’s security operators to possible
risks, such as detecting objects left behind or the gathering of large
crowds that may create congestion in an area. With Intelligent Tracking,
AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras can also automatically
track objects of interest as they move throughout a scene.
“The low-light performance of the starlight cameras is completely
unmatched. They are producing beautiful color images all through
the night,” said David Burger, security manager at the Musical Instrument
In addition, Bosch AUTODOME IP 5000 IR cameras are strategically
placed in perimeter and other areas of the museum exterior
where there is limited lighting at night. These pan-tilt-zoom cameras
deliver 30x optical zoom and 1080p resolution and also feature
a built-in intelligent IR beam that ensures optimum illumination of
objects regardless of the level of zoom. This makes it possible to
identify objects of interest at night.
“The quality of the images, the onboard video analytics that are
included without an additional cost, and the reliability of the moving
cameras were key factors in our decision,” continued Burger. “Our
security operators are thrilled with the quality and operation of the
One challenge with the installation was how to deliver data from
the security cameras over long distances between remote locations
and the headend network switches and servers. After receiving recommendations
from IES Communications and Bosch, the museum
selected Altronix’s Pace Long-Range Ethernet Solutions. Its capabilities
translate into a highly-efficient and cost-effective solution
that both improves overall security and reduces end users’ total cost
Using a Pace8PRM multi-port receiver at the headend, along
with Pace1ST transceivers at each device, the museum successfully
deployed the Bosch high-resolution IP cameras beyond the standard
Ethernet range of 100 meters. Using existing Cat-6 cable, Pace transmits
Ethernet data at 100 MBps at distances of up to 500 meters,
which exceeded the museum‘s requirements.
With the Altronix Pace solution, the museum did not need to replace
existing cabling, which delivered a cost savings for the overall
project without sacrificing performance. It also provided a higher return
on the museum’s initial infrastructure investment.
“We are definitely pleased with the ease of use of the Pace system,”
Burger said. “It’s a completely plug-and-play system. It works great
with all of our existing network equipment and infrastructure. It was
pretty seamless for us to achieve integration with the new cameras.”
In addition, the design of the Pace solution is rugged enough to
handle the intense heat and other weather conditions related to Arizona’s
climate, where temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit are
normal throughout the summer months. “It speaks to the quality of
the manufacturers,” Burger said.
Video throughout the exterior and interior of the museum is
monitored around the clock by using Security Center from Genetec.
The seamless integration of Bosch IP cameras with the unified
security platform ensures security operators can receive video
analytic alerts directly within Security Center.
Real-time monitoring allows museum staff to
proactively address possible risks, as they are
happening, to enhance overall security and safety
at the museum.
This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Security Today.