IP Video Monitors Animal Behavior At Vienna Zoo

IndigoVision’s integrated IP video security surveillance system has been adopted by Vienna Zoo for use in some ground-breaking research. Pandas, rhinos and penguins are being continuously monitored by CCTV cameras as part of an animal behavior research program. The system was designed and installed by IndigoVision’s local partner C&C Salzgeber GmbH.

‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s IP video management software, provides complete control for the 15 fixed and PTZ cameras being used to monitor the animal enclosures. Research technicians and students can control the cameras in real time and view live and recorded video from any of the enclosures. IndigoVision’s ‘Control Center’ software is licensed on a per seat basis free of charge, allowing researchers to deploy 10 workstations throughout the zoo at no additional cost. Recorded video is also copied onto external hard disks so students can analyze the video remotely on their own laptops installed with ‘Control Center’.

The analog CCTV cameras and microphones are connected to IndigoVision’s 8000 transmitter/receiver modules. The 8000 digitally compresses the video and audio for transmission over the network. IndigoVision’s advanced compression technology ensures minimal impact on the IP network. The ability to transmit and record high-quality audio was an important criteria for the zoo when choosing IndigoVision’s solution.

“A key factor for us when selecting the video system was to find a future-proof solution that was easy to operate and could be incorporated into our existing infrastructure,” said Dagmar Schratter, the zoo's director. “Excellent compression means that all the video can be transferred via our existing network backbone.”

All the cameras are continuously recorded on an IndigoVision standalone NVR with 1 Terabyte of storage. The amount of video stored is considerably reduced by using the Activity Controlled Framerate (ACF) function built into the 8000 modules.

When a scene is inactive the video can be streamed at a much lower frame rate. As soon as the motion analysis software detects movement the video is streamed at full frame rate. This allows the Zoo to keep up to 1 year of recordings on a single NVR. A secondary NVR mirrors the primary NVR to provide redundancy in the event of an NVR failure or during maintenance. Video is also exported for use by local TV stations as was the case recently when viewers were enthralled by the birth of a baby panda recorded by the IP video system.

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