High-end video keeps watch
- By Del V. Salvi
- Oct 01, 2011
When a golf cart went missing at CordeValle, a 44-room Rosewood
golf resort on 1,700 acres in the foothills of the Santa
Cruz mountains about 25 miles south of San Jose, Calif.,
it was a wakeup call about the resort’s need to upgrade its
aging video surveillance system. The analog CCTV system
was more than 8 years old, and some of the cameras were no longer operating.
The resort also wanted to add video coverage to reduce or eliminate risk and to
CordeValle has been ranked as the No. 14 golf resort in North America, and
amenities include the Clos LaChance winery located adjacent to the sixth hole, a
5,000-square-foot full-service spa, hiking, tennis and complete relaxation.
The resort first approached Sean Toland, vice president of Engineered Lifestyles,
a San Francisco Bay-area integrator that specializes in hospitality technology,
to assess the property and propose a new video system. Toland specified a
new networked system using cameras and recording technology from Panasonic
System Networks Company of America. The new 46-camera system was a natural
choice because the video technology had already proven effective in an installation
at Rosewood’s Silicon Valley Sand Hill Resort in Menlo Park, Calif., which Toland
had completed the year prior.
“We had good experience with Engineered Lifestyles at Sand Hill,” said Charif
Zahrane, IT manager at CordeValle. “They were very happy with the product after
they had it for more than a year.”
Zahrane said his biggest concern was the possibility of downtime, but he heard
from colleagues that the system was dependable and that the cameras “never go down.”
Planning the New System
In planning the new system, Toland surveyed the property to identify camera locations,
making sure areas of concern were covered and ensuring there would be no
issues related to guest privacy. He interviewed each department head, noted areas
of importance and made an overall list of proposed camera locations. All areas
were evaluated both by day and by night to determine lighting and lens requirements.
Toland proposed that all parking lot-based cameras would be IP-based
network PTZ cameras, given the need to monitor cars and guest safety.
The Panasonic system’s ease of use is ideal in the hospitality environment,
where there may not be dedicated security personnel on duty at all times, he said.
“It’s a high-end quality solution that doesn’t require full-time management,”
Toland said. “It lends itself perfectly to this environment, and they don’t have to
worry about a Windows server or the need to bring in other experts. Employees
with proper authorization can access the system through a browser anywhere on
Another benefit of the IP-based system is the ability for resort management to
access the system from home or from any laptop computer.
New Installation at CordeValle
For areas requiring a fixed day/night camera, Toland chose Panasonic’s i-PRO
WV-NW484S Super Dynamic III vandal-proof network fixed-dome camera. He
installed three of these cameras outside the security bunker near the entrance to
the parking area and put others on the tennis court, at the side of the building,
above the cart garage entry door, at the swimming pool and on the loading dock.
Toland said the camera is easy to work with for a number of reasons. Users can
make adjustments and modifications directly on the unit itself, which allows sitespecific
modifications. A ruggedized dome housing protects it in outdoor environments,
and the IP66-rated dome is resistant to water and dust, as well. At the right
angle and with the right lens in use, the camera can show the license plates of cars
entering the property, even at night.
“The quality of the camera gives great clarity day or night,” Toland said.
For well-lit indoor areas, Toland chose Panasonic’s i-PRO WV-NW284 network
color dome camera.
“Management liked that you can recess the dome so the amount of the camera
visible is minimal . . . especially in public areas,” Toland said.
Locations for the indoor model included the front desk, the lobby to the wine
storage area, the lobby bar, the spa shop, the kitchen ceiling, the loading dock hall
and the entrance to the human resources department.
For outdoor day/night applications that need PTZ functionality, CordeValle
uses the Panasonic i-PRO WV-NW964 all-in-one network day/night PTZ camera.
Features include an auto image stabilizer for applications where vibration or
wind is a concern and a built-in sun shield to permit camera installation in direct
sunlight. The PTZ model is used on light poles in the parking lot, at the entry
driveway of the executive offices, at the bar patio and at the employee back lot.
The resort likes the responsiveness of the PTZ movement, which has no lag even
though some of the cameras are hundreds of feet away and connected by fiberoptic
cabling. The staff also appreciate the quality of the images and the weatherproof
dome. For day/night indoor PTZ applications, CordeValle uses Panasonic’s
i-PRO WV-NW202 color network PTZ dome camera. Locations include the pro
shop and the hall outside the spa shop.
Video is recorded on Panasonic’s i-PRO ND400 with 9 TB of storage, which
provides up to about 30 days of archived video—even more than the integrator
expected. The human resource department also uses an off-site, cloud-based digital
storage area to keep video for longer periods. The cameras accept PoE through
user-owned PoE switches.
The installation uses a rack-mounted patch panel to accommodate cable connections.
The use of patch-panel ports facilitates troubleshooting and keeps the
cable connections clean, organized and easily managed inside the data closet.
Camera connections are identified by different color patch ports to aid technicians.
Access to various ports is restricted to authorized users.
The new system also ties into the corporate
network to provide video access
throughout the enterprise. However,
“the camera side is untouchable,” Toland
said. In the security bunker, there
are four monitors operating Panasonic’s
WV-ASM100 monitoring and
management software, and security
employees stationed at the bunker gate
house control the cameras from 7 a.m.
to 8 p.m. Front desk staff have access
to cameras through a Web interface to
view the parking gate and other key areas
“The image quality is a whole lot
better than what we had,” Zahrane
said. “It’s amazing. It’s an engineered
solution, so there are no other products
in the mix.”
Almost immediately, the new system
demonstrated the value of improved
video surveillance. For example, now
if there is an incident, the resort can
view recorded video of the event. One
morning, the resort once again couldn’t
locate one of the golf carts. In reviewing
the video from the night before,
resort staff found video of a vehicle
driving through the parking lot after
hours. They saw that a passenger exited
the car and then drove one of the golf
carts away. Staff were even able to see
the face of a person waiting outside the
gate house on the video.
In another incident, when a guest
lost his watch and wallet on the golf
course after leaving them in a golf cart,
the video showed which employee got
into the guest’s golf cart right after the
guest parked it.
“We looked at the recordings and
knew exactly what happened,” Zahrane
said. “The guest’s belongings were
successfully returned, but we wouldn’t
have known which employee to approach
without the video footage.”
A Standard of Performance
Rosewood plans to move toward standardizing
the use of video surveillance
in its various properties, which include
17 hotels and resorts in six countries.
Toland said he has already completed
two installations at Rosewood properties,
has an additional one in design,
and has others still pending. One advantage
of uniformity across Rosewood
properties is the ability for employees to
move from one property to the next and
be able to operate the system. “It makes
life easier,” Toland said.
Ed Alvarado of Premier Systems
Group, a Panasonic manufacturer’s
representative firm, was instrumental in
facilitating the sale and in making sure
the customer’s needs were met.
“They liked the fact that Panasonic
was there, which they didn’t get from
any other vendor,” said Toland. “Involvement
by the local rep firm helped
to legitimize the sale, and he is my direct
line to Panasonic.”
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Security Today.