The gates at a business area in Cape Town, South Africa, are now connected thanks to recently installed IP security video cameras and intercom stations. The system is located at all entrance points, which connect to a central control room over a high speed, high capacity wireless IP network.

Century City, a large business precinct on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, is home to a large shopping center, theme park and various corporate facilities. The Canal Walk shopping center is the largest regional shopping center in Africa, with a large variety of shops, restaurants and cinemas. Canal Walk is also home to Intaka Island, a bird conservation area. Adding to the foot traffic is Ratanga Junction, with over 30 theme park attractions, restaurants, bars and a variety of evening entertainment venues.

The Century City Property Owners Association (CCPOA) recently voted to upgrade its aging security system based on 2-way radio communications between the control center and security guards. The upgrade called for security video cameras and intercom stations at all entrance points that connected to a central control room over a high speed, high capacity wireless IP network.

“Century City has a number of controlled entrance points, linking the public roadways to the internal road network, and the security guards at these outstations rely on clear voice communication between these sites and the main control room to address security issues,” said Lawrence Bricknell, partner and co-owner of Audiotech, a South African audio/visual integration firm that built and supplied the new system. “The 2-way radio system simply became unreliable; suffering from misuse, damaged antennas and most seriously, flat batteries. It was important the guards had a system that was always on and working to deal with security issues in a timely manner.”

CCPOA appointed Basix Technologies, a systems integration company based in Johannesburg, to handle the systems integration. Basix installed a wireless network spanning the property and expanded the existing security video network with 18 new Samsung cameras, using high-speed dome cameras and day/night cameras. The dome cameras connect to analog-to-IP video converters and communicate over the wireless network to DVRs for recording.

The master intercom, located in the central control room, is connected to all outstations. The system was based on 2-way radio technology, and communication is available at the push of a button.

“The cameras are located at strategic positions along the boulevards and trouble areas and the recorders can all be monitored from the control center by way of the wireless network,” said Johann von Noordwyk, systems and software engineer for Basix Technologies. “The wireless network was the preferred method of connecting remote cameras to the system as physical cabling was quite expensive. Each remote camera is equipped with a wireless subscriber unit and a UPS for one hour of back-up power in case of power failures.”

The intercom specification called for a master station in the security control room capable of selectively communicating with eight outstations, with the capacity to expand to 20 sites. Barix AG of Switzerland supplied its Annuncicom addressable IP modules, which were integrated into door stations at each outstation to produce strong microphone/loudspeaker/pushbutton systems.

At the outstation, the IP modules were installed inside a master station. The internal electronics were removed to accommodate the modules, leaving only the call button, speaker and microphone, all of which were reconnected to the IP modules. The result is an IP-based connection using IP intercom technology for clear two-way voice communications to and from the control center. Meanwhile, guards at the control center can connect to any outstation using an automation controller, selecting certain buttons to initiate a voice connection to a specific outstation.

The system is designed as a continuously operating system, and the PC-free architecture eliminates the risk of crashes and viruses. The Basix Technologies integration team assigned permanent IP addresses to each IP module, all of which the automation controller immediately recognizes to ensure the modules are always on and operating. The purpose of the automation, according to von Noordwyk, was to facilitate both the calling of single stations as well as an “All Call” configuration for urgent messaging. The master intercom is shared between all control center operators, with both von Noordwyk and Bricknell stressing ease of use as a main reason for choosing Barix.

“This system provides the Century City staff with the familiarity and functionality of a traditional intercom system while harnessing the power, ease of installation and flexibility of an IP based system,” said Bricknell. “The overall installation was very simple and finalized within a week. Basix Technologies provided network points at each intercom location, where the intercom stations were plugged in for immediate operation.”

Bricknell added that the engineer who wrote the specifications requested IP intercoms not only due to ease of installation, but also to drastically lower costs. “To do it any other way would have been prohibitively expensive,” he said. “Some of the outstations are nearly a kilometer from the control room. Digging up roads to lay cables simply was not an option.” UK Car Dealership Deploys Video Analytics After Damages

Car dealerships can be vulnerable to thefts and vandalism, and a U.K. BMW dealership is all too familiar with such events. Prior to installing video analytics, the Nick Whale BMW dealership located in Warwick, England, had deployed an external passive sensor system that failed to deliver complete site coverage. Due to blockages caused by continuously moving stock, the dealership suffered an average of five thefts per year, with each incident involving as many as five stolen cars. Average theft and vandalism at the dealership added up to $1 million in damages each year.

Nick Whale BMW recently installed a video surveillance system to safeguard its outdoor sales site from any more costly damage. Deployed this summer, the installation featuring advanced tracking and intrusion detection capabilities has already helped the dealership detect and remove several intruders from the premises. Given the rapid success of the cost-effective solution, the group plans to deploy a similar system at additional car dealerships this summer.

The ioimage solution provides the dealership with full coverage of the sales lot, which holds about 100 new and used cars worth some $4 million.

“As far as intelligent video goes, ioimage systems are probably the most easy to install, operate and maintain,” said Philip Atkinson, owner of systems integrator Executive Security. “They also provide better perimeter detection and set off fewer false alarms. The solution we installed at the Nick Whale dealership required no additional wiring, and each channel took just minutes to set up. Once things were up and running, users experienced a fast and simple learning curve to master the system.”

“We are extremely pleased with the ioimage system,” said Frank Kinner, dealer principal of Nick Whale. “Since our previous system was passive, we were never sure that it was functioning properly. With this solution, we are confident that we’re getting the best coverage possible at all times. The system has proved itself in just a short time.”