IP Video System Protect Sears Canada’s Corporate Office
IndigoVision’s complete IP security system is providing an integrated surveillance solution for Sears Canada’s new head office located on the top four floors of its flagship store at the Eaton Centre in the heart of Toronto.
The retail group recently relocated its head office to the Eaton Centre following a renovation of the multi-story office space located above what is Sears Group’s largest department store.
The 76-camera system was designed and installed by IndigoVision’s local approved partner Quinn Digital Asset Protection. The system is used for staff security and safety as well as asset protection, with cameras monitoring office areas, emergency exits and public/staff entrances at street level.
Sears explored DVR-based technology before choosing an IndigoVision IP Video solution, which offered significant benefits. Apart from the superior video quality, IndigoVision’s networked video system realized significant cost savings for labor and materials by being able to cable to the nearest network point as opposed to a centralized DVR and by using PoE switches to power the cameras.
“The excellent video quality and unlimited expansion potential of the system are two major benefits for Sears,” said Don Beresowski, Sears Canada’s divisional vice president loss prevention. “We have also been very impressed with the broad functionality and ease of use of the security management software that drives the system.”
‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s Security Management Software is at the heart of the system and allows operators to view live and recorded video from any camera and to manage all system alarms. A suite of tools enables fast retrieval and analysis of recorded video ensuring fast incident response.
The IndigoVision system is truly distributed allowing cameras, NVRs and SMS workstations to be located anywhere on the network -- a feature that Sears has exploited by locating workstations at different locations around the office complex. ‘Control Center’ is licensed on an unrestricted basis within the cost of IndigoVision hardware allowing Sears to deploy workstations for no more than the cost of a PC, realizing further cost reductions.
“The advanced alarm management features of ‘Control Center’ are being used to good effect by Sears,” Beresowski said. “When an alarm is generated from the door access system live video from the nearest camera is automatically displayed on the monitor and the location of the alarm depicted on a map of the building.”
Alarm outputs from the door access control system are wired into an IndigoVision IP Alarm Panel, where they are transmitted across the network to ‘Control Center’. The Alarm Panel is a general purpose interface that provides interconnection of discrete I/O from external systems on to the IP network.
Alarms can also be generated from magnetic locking devices on the lobby elevators on the top three floors, should the power fail to these devices. The locks are normally released by swiping an access card by each elevator, but automatically release if power fails, removing controlled access. The alarm output from each mag-lock is connected to a digital input on the nearest IP camera, which then transmits the alarm data over the network. This is just another example of the way third-party systems can be integrated with the IndigoVision system.
The five standalone NVRs and network equipment are located in a central loss prevention office next to the main reception where a three-monitor ‘Control Center’ workstation provides the main surveillance for the head office. An additional three workstations are located around the building in different security offices. IndigoVision’s flexible recording architecture allows different cameras to be recorded at different framerates and for different periods. Sears are recording most cameras for 31 days, with five sensitive cameras for 90 days.
The 76 cameras are a mix of IndigoVision’s fixed and PTZ IP domes, which only require a single CAT-5 cable connection to the nearest network point. They are powered directly from the network through PoE network switches.
Each IP dome contains a high-quality Sony camera and the MPEG-4 compression hardware. DVD-quality video can therefore be streamed directly from the camera on to the network without the need for an external codec. Each IP camera has the ability to run real-time analytics and deploy a unique feature call Activity Controlled Framerate (ACF) which Sears is using to minimize bandwidth and storage requirements.
ACF controls the amount of video that is transmitted on to the network. When the scene is inactive, the framerate is reduced, as soon as any motion is detected in the scene the framerate is automatically set to maximum. Integrated real-time features such as ACF and analytics that operate in the camera at the network edge can only be fully realized because IndigoVision’s system is a complete end-to-end solution, with all components designed by IndigoVision. This ensures maximum performance in any environment.