First Canadian Mall to go 100% with IP Cameras

Vancouver Island’s leading fashion focused shopping destination has invested in an IndigoVision integrated IP Video security system, in what is believed to be the first mall in Canada to deploy a surveillance solution with 100% IP cameras.

The 93-camera system, which covers the public areas inside the mall as well as the car parks and surrounding areas, was designed and installed by IndigoVision’s Approved Partner Laser Star Systems Ltd in partnership with Hoffman & Company Security Management Consultants Inc.

“One of the benefits of the new surveillance system is that it has helped us create an excellent partnership with local law enforcement,” explains Barry Greening, the centre’s Operations Manager. “Due to the exceptional quality and easy accessibility of the video, the local police force has shown an increasing interest in recorded footage from the system. They often analyse the system to see if ‘known individuals’ have been in an around the mall and have used exported evidential video in a number of investigations.”

When planning for the new surveillance system the shopping centre realised that an IP networked solution was the future of video security and ensured budget was made available for IT projects that would support the required network infrastructure. This forward thinking in combination with IndigoVision’s low-bandwidth technology allows the IP Video system to share network resources with access control, HVAC, Voice-over-IP and general IT traffic.

One workstation with four monitors running ‘Control Center’, IndigoVision’s Security Management Software, is used in the central control room to monitor and analyse live and recorded video. Commenting on its use Greening said, “It is remarkably good and inherently intuitive. The site plan is amazingly simple and easy to use and you can just drag and drop cameras into view. The ability to synchronise cameras and quickly access historical video is invaluable to us and the local police. IndigoVision also took on board our ideas for new features and included them in a future release of the software free-of-charge!”

All cameras are continuously recorded for a minimum of 30 days using IndigoVision’s Windows Network Video Recorder (NVR) software running on a custom built iSCSI server with 26TB of Raid 6 storage. IndigoVision’s class-leading compression technology in combination with a unique feature called Activity Controlled Framerate (ACF) helps reduce the overall storage requirement. ACF, which is built into IndigoVision’s IP cameras, has been deployed on a number of cameras located in hallways and storage areas. When the scene is inactive the camera streams video at a lower framerate and instantaneously ramps to maximum configured framerate when motion is detected. This feature is also enabled on many cameras based on time of day, e.g. when the centre is closed.

A combination of 26 PTZ and 67 fixed IndigoVision IP cameras were installed inside and outside the mall. The fixed cameras are Power-over-Internet (PoE) compliant allowing them to be powered from the network. This helped reduce the overall installation costs as only a single CAT-6 cable was required to connect the camera to the network.

Mayfair is now considering using the surveillance system for more than just security. Retailers are increasingly harnessing the power of high-quality video for marketing purposes. This can be an invaluable tool for analysing merchandising and promotions and monitoring the total number and movement of customers visiting the centre and individual stores.

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