Hikvision's H.264 compression cards are being used in Florida at Universal Studios, an amusement park themed on the entertainment industry where six million visitors a year are invited to "ride the movies"
The dual-stream video compression cards from the HCI series are part of custom-assembled PC-based recorders monitoring camera footage across a leisure site that includes the world's biggest McDonald's and attractions such as Springfield (home of the Simpsons), a "Jaws" harbor as well encounters with Shrek and Ghostbusters. The units are protecting exhibit locations, luxury resort hotels including the Hard Rock Hotel as well as video arcades and dining facilities such as Starbucks.
Universal Studios were faced with incidents of theft and vandalism in their many gaming locations where petty thieves prey on parents who may be distracted while attending to children. High-quality video footage of incidents at dining facilities was also required in the event of spurious insurance claims by guests. Shoplifting at boutique stores is also a significant problem and there is a requirement to monitor staff use of cash registers for their own protection. The resort works closely with the Orlando Police Department who use CCTV footage for evidential purposes when securing convictions.
National Security Inc, Fort Lauderdale-based integrator, is using Hikvision's dual-stream cards which offer H.264 (MPEG-4 / Part 10) real-time video compression. These units also allow real-time audio compression in the open source OggVorbis format. The cards provide end-users who need to examine footage closely with display resolution of up to 4CIF and they employ the PCI 2.2 local bus standard.
At this application the end-user is receiving a constant feed, but clients can also monitor activity according to predetermined schedules or opt for footage that is triggered by motion detection. The compression cards offer support for on-screen displays while the ability to overlay a privacy mask means that sensitive image sections are not seen by operatives.
The Hikvision compression cards are core components in custom-built PC-based video recorders which are empowering staff at the resort's guard house with comprehensive footage of the 160-acre (64-hectare) site. Universal Studios security staff can store video clips in high-definition display (HDD) as well as transferring data to removable media. With many large facilities employing a mix of analogue and IP-addressable cameras, the cards facilitate a hybrid solution.
The integrator has employed hard-wiring throughout, either RG59 coaxial cable or Cat5. Users report that these H.264 cards make minimal demands on their computer systems and that even multiple-camera units often occupy as little as 11% of system resources.
Anthony Dittolito, Managing Director of National Security, said: "Selecting compression cards from Hikvision is indicative of our freedom to use best-of-breed components. The products are well engineered and failure rate is minimal."
He continued: "If operatives understand Windows-based products they can run with the software immediately. This is a more intuitive approach than using conventional standalone digital video recorders."
The camera systems employing the Hikvision units are giving the client outstanding Return on Investment (ROI), with footage resulting in successful prosecutions. Expenditure on surveillance has paid for itself several times over within a few months of installation.
World's biggest McDonald's
A site within the complex making extensive use of the compression cards is the world's biggest McDonald's. A two-storey structure, the restaurant is designed to resemble a bag of fries and its claim in terms of size is based on 25,000 sq ft (7,620 square meters) of children's play facilities. More than half of the restaurant is set aside for 100 video arcades and prize redemption games, an area where camera footage is particularly valuable since purse snatching is a frequent problem.
Fort Lauderdale-based National Home Security Inc has 30 years' experience in the sector and is a full-service integrator covering camera surveillance, access control, fire prevention and perimeter intrusion. National's portfolio includes residential complexes, manufacturing facilities, theme parks, restaurants and gaming halls. The company is particularly strong in the leisure industry both for commercial and local government clients, priding it on supplying solutions that are designed from the ground up.