Shopping Mall Migrates To IP Video

Meadowhall Shopping Center in the United Kingdom is using IP video technology to replace its obsolete DVR based CCTV recording system. Located in Sheffield, Meadowhall is one of the UK’s largest shopping malls with hundred’s of retail outlets and requires high quality CCTV surveillance to ensure safety and security inside and outside of the mall.

MITIE Security Systems designed and installed the IndigoVision system having worked closely with the mall to select the best solution to replace the aging DVR recording system. Meadowhall’s IT department wanted a scalable, modular and flexible solution to replace proprietary “black box” DVR technology that was difficult and costly to develop further.

It was important that the new system could be supported by its own IT department and that standard network attached storage, such as NVRs, could be used.

The flexibility of IndigoVision’s IP video technology allows ‘hybrid’ analog and digital systems to be easily developed. This means ageing analog systems can be updated or expanded with IP-based digital technology, whilst maintaining much of the original investment in CCTV equipment.

In the mall’s case, this was achieved by replacing the old DVR equipment with 12 IndigoVision standalone NVRs. The original 120 cameras, analog matrix and control room monitors were all kept. More than 120 IndigoVision 8000 modules, configured in 12, 10-channel racks, were connected to each of the camera feeds.

The 8000 converts the analog signal into MPEG-4, full framerate digital video for recording onto the NVRs. ‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s IP Video and alarm management software, provides a suite of tools that allows the operators to quickly analyze and retrieve recorded footage. Tamper-proof, high-quality video clips can be easily exported for the police for evidential purposes should the need arise. The 12 NVRs provide the mall with more than 30 days of recording. The upgrade was achieved in less than a week with both recording systems running in parallel ensuring zero-downtime during the migration.

Meadowhall is now trialing standalone 8000 modules with separate analog cameras and IndigoVision’s IP cameras connected directly to the existing corporate IP network in remote parts of the mall. This is the next logical step in the migration process to a full IP solution. IndigoVision’s compression technology ensures the highest-quality video can be transmitted around the network with minimal impact on the available bandwidth.

Meadowhall officials see this as a strategic phased approach to replacing the current analog CCTV system while taking advantage of existing IT infrastructure.

“Meadowhall was one of the first shopping malls to install site wide data network infrastructure to utilize building control systems,” said Mark Higgins of Meadowhall. “We are now pleased to use it for delivering high quality CCTV without the need for an additional communication network. Our IT department has more control and knowledge than ever before for the delivery and support of CCTV across the site and this has utilized our in house skills further, providing increased service for the center.”

IndigoVision’s IP video solution can also be used to provide benefits beyond store security. Many retailers are accessing in-store footage to help analyze merchandising, in-store promotions and footfall trends. This can be achieved locally and nationally, with central marketing teams accessing live and recorded video from any store at any location across their corporate networks.

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