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News

UK department stores group upgrades to IP video surveillance technology

IndigoVision : 16 September, 2008  (Application Story)
IndigoVision has installed IP video technology at John Lewis group department stores in migration program from analogue systems to the latest technology in digital surveillance
UK department stores group upgrades to IP video surveillance technology
John Lewis Department Stores, one of the UK's leading retail groups, has invested in IndigoVision's complete end-to-end IP Video technology for its CCTV surveillance. IndigoVision has been working with John Lewis over the last year to migrate 9 of its existing stores from analogue CCTV to a digital IP solution. IndigoVision has now been chosen to provide the CCTV surveillance for the first 3 of the planned 10 new stores, including the recently opened branch in Liverpool, its largest store outside of central London. The 130 camera system in Liverpool was installed by IndigoVision's approved partner Orion Security Solutions in collaboration with security consultants, Dowling Blunt.

As with any large retail operation John Lewis faces a myriad of security issues including theft, staff protection, wastage and health & safety. It is vitally important therefore, to have a surveillance system with the very highest-quality video and tools to provide fast search and analysis of recorded footage in the event of an incident. IndigoVision's advanced MPEG-4 compression technology delivers class-leading video quality with a minimum bandwidth and storage requirement. This coupled with the powerful features of 'Control Center', IndigoVision's IP Video and alarm management software, are why John Lewis has invested in IndigoVision's solution.

"IndigoVision's IP Video system provides us with excellent quality video, which can be delivered with minimum impact on our IT network," said Paul Newbury, John Lewis' Development Manager for Business Protection. "IP Video gives us a scalable, future-proof, CCTV strategy that has already been field proven in a number of our existing stores."

The 240,000 sq ft Liverpool building is one of the first in the 'next generation' of John Lewis department stores with new-concept fittings creating a superb retail environment. It was therefore important for John Lewis, as it is with many retailers, to ensure that any CCTV cameras are small, unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing. This was achieved in part by using IndigoVision's compact high-performance fixed and PTZ IP domes for the majority of the cameras installed.

All cameras are recorded for 31 days on a single 1 TB standalone fault-tolerant IndigoVision Network Video Recorder (NVR). This low storage requirement is achieved through split recording rates (12 fps for fixed cameras and 25 fps for PTZs), efficient compression technology and the use of advanced features such Activity Controlled Framerate (ACF). Built into the IP cameras and transmitter modules, ACF reduces the amount of Digital Video that is transmitted and stored when the camera scene is inactive. As soon as motion is detected video is instantaneously streamed at the full configured framerate.

The CCTV operators use 'Control Center' workstations to view and analyse live and recorded video from any camera. 'Control Center' workstations can be located at any point on the IP network, providing maximum flexibility for the system designer and user. 'Control Center' software is licence-free, so workstations can be deployed for no more than the cost of a PC.

"The features in 'Control Center' are very powerful, we particularly like the playback and search tools and the snapshot feature that allows us to capture and print off pictures of suspects in the store," adds Paul Newbury. "We can also export high-quality evidential video for use by the police if necessary."

IndigoVision's complete IP Video system is ideal for migrating existing analogue CCTV systems to digital solutions, re-using much of the original investment such as cameras and control room equipment. Analogue systems can also be expanded using IP video, creating a hybrid solution. This flexibility was demonstrated with the upgrade of the nine existing John Lewis stores that had their own unique analogue CCTV configurations.

Commenting on the project, Steve Taylor, Orion Security's Managing Director, said: "Working in retail is a challenging environment and it is essential to partner with suppliers that provide quality product on time, to ensure the efficient and managed delivery of quality security installations. IndigoVision have provided that level of service - and a support and technical team that allow us to deliver to the exacting standards and timetable demanded by retail customers."

Jeff Scott, Dowling Blunt's Security Systems Accounts Manager said: "Out of all the manufacturers of IP-CCTV technology we chose to present IndigoVision to our client, as they ticked all the right boxes with regards to supplying high-performance quality products while remaining within the constraints of a realistic budget, which is so important to the high street retail sector today."

IndigoVision's IP Video technology can also be used to provide benefits beyond store security. Many retailers are accessing in-store footage to help analyse merchandising, in-store promotions and footfall trends. This can be achieved locally and nationally, with central marketing teams accessing live and recorded video from any store at any location across their corporate networks.

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