“Portman Road has four large stands, with the existing CCTV system utilising analogue coaxial cables that ran over the roofs of those stands,” said Paul Main, Strategy Director at ClearView. “The system we wanted to deliver Ipswich Town was based around the 8MP IP PTZ cameras from Hikvision. This was because the club needed the ability to deliver high resolution, evidence-quality images for crowd monitoring and safety purposes. With that in mind, we had to devise a solution to ensure those IP images could be transmitted over long-distance coax cable.”
The solution ClearView designed was to utilise eight Hikvision 8MP Network Speed Domes, which are able to operate in very low light conditions. These cameras were positioned strategically around the stands of Portman Road so as to monitor crowd activities and safety at all times. Crucially, they were able to send their ultra-high-resolution images over a conventional analogue coaxial cable.
The issue of transmitting these high-quality images over the existing coaxial cable was also complicated by the extreme lengths of cable over the roofs of the stadium. Working at such heights is always tricky and investing in all new cabling was not a cost-effective option. ClearView opted instead to use HighWire Longstar products from Veracity. They offered the necessary high-speed Ethernet and reliable power delivery over the long lengths of coaxial cable.
An additional seven Hikvision 2MP Turbo PTZ cameras were installed around the outer perimeter of the stadium, also monitoring crowd and safety conditions. Whilst not the high 8MP resolution of the internal stadium PTZs, the quality of these images over the shorter distance being covered far exceeded the original analogue images and allowed the club to keep their costs within the budget.
An additional thirty-three 8MP Turbo Dome cameras, which are vandal resistant and have a low-light capability as well, were deployed strategically throughout the Portman Road facilities, including outside the stadium covering surrounding buildings, and in various locations under the stands. These were for crowd monitoring in public areas such as bars, corridors and function rooms.
All the images are stored on 48TB of Seagate Skyhawk hard drives using three Hikvision Turbo HD recorders, all running Hikvision’s HikCentral video management software. These, together with three separate PC workstations, each allocated sixteen specified cameras, allow users to monitor the whole stadium during match days. Three 48-inch high-resolution wall-mounted monitors, each displaying 16 cameras, allow for continued overall viewing should an incident occur while one of the workstations is being used to focus on that situation.