Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels has agreed a long term single source supply relationship with the professional security division of Samsung Techwin, which will see all of its luxury hotels equipped with a Samsung video surveillance solution.
Ranging from bijou boutique to large-scale luxury, the 14 distinctive hotels are located in London, Heathrow, Guildford and Manchester. Each has its own unique character with individually designed rooms, the latest technology, meeting facilities and chic restaurants.
The safety of guests and staff has always been at the top of the list of priorities and with this in mind, Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels has never hesitated to invest in the latest video surveillance technology. This however has led to many different types of cameras and recording devices from a number of manufacturers being deployed across the 14 hotels. Mohamed Elsebahy, Group CCTV Manager, was strongly of the opinion that significant operational advantages could be achieved by a process of standardisation.
“The decision to carry out a complete review of our physical security in order to ensure that we were taking advantage of the very latest available technology, prompted our research as to whether it was possible to single source all the component parts of a video surveillance system from one manufacturer,” said Mohamed Elsebahy. “Not surprisingly there was no shortage of suppliers who were keen to compete for our business, but with the help of our Technology consultant, Nick Kalsi, I was able to narrow our research to a shortlist of five manufacturers. A key part of our selection criteria was that we wanted to work with a manufacturer that not only had products which had a reputation for reliability, but in order to have peace of mind, we wanted that reliability to be backed up by good warranty terms and a very high level of post sales technical support.”
The starting point for the detailed research as to what products would best match Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels’ demanding requirements was the video recording solution. Although images from the 700 plus dome cameras installed across the 14 hotels can be viewed live at control rooms located at Heathrow and London, the key objective has always been to record activity captured by the cameras so that any incidents or suspicious activity can be investigated, and if appropriate, video evidence can be retrieved and passed onto the police for prosecution purposes.
On paper, Samsung’s SRD-1670D DVR, which can simultaneously record real time images across all of its sixteen channels at 4CIF, came out the clear winner after a number of different DVRs were evaluated and the selection of this model was confirmed after it was trialled over a four month period. The order to supply 40 SRD-1670D DVRs however was subject to Samsung making some changes to the specifications.
“We identified from our operational perspective some shortcomings in the list of features available in the SmartViewer video management software that is provided with the SRD-1670D DVR,” said Nick Kalsi. “What we felt was missing was the ability to name the DVRs, make brightness adjustments and also to manage the printing of images via the software. To their credit, the Samsung software team in Korea responded to our feedback without hesitation and the changes were made very quickly.”
Images from the 700 domes are recorded at different frame rates depending on the type and level of activity anticipated at each camera location and all of the images are stored for 30 days. So far 200 units have been replaced with either Samsung SCD-2080 internal domes with built-in IR LED illuminators, SCD-3080 internal domes with Wide Dynamic range or with SCV-2080R vandal-resistant external domes. The remaining 500 units will be replaced in the near future as part of a phased upgrade programme.
“Working closely with a single manufacturer has proved to be a great success as they have been able to provide objective advice on the correct camera model for every location,” said Mohamed Elsebahy. “Our control room operators are happy because the system is easy to operate, but perhaps the greatest compliment has come from local police officers. They have told us that they regard the video surveillance system at our Heathrow hotel as the most reliable of all the many hotels that are on the A4 strip and that they always have confidence in the systems’ ability to provide them with high quality video evidence.”
Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels are in the process of testing Samsung’s NVRs with a view to migrating from an analogue based system to a networked IP solution, and the company’s commitment to work in long term partnership with the Samsung Group as a whole has been demonstrated by a recent order for Samsung Smart TVs to be installed in all of the bedrooms in the 14 hotels. Samsung technicians have again responded to Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels’ specific requirements, which have led to what is believed to be the most technologically advanced and reliable guest friendly TV system in the UK.