Simplified control centre interfaces

October 2013 Surveillance

One of the UK’s latest camera control centres, the Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council’s CCTV control room in Pontefract, has used Eyevis a-v and security technology to simplify the operational interfaces and speed up incident response times.

The system now allows operators to see 160 camera feeds, out of a possible 176, at any one time on 5x3 array of 46 in high-definition LCD screens.

There is no need to switch and encode camera feeds because every one is live. Instead of having to redraw the whole screen area according to a series of rigid templates – the norm in such installations – the screen mapping is fluid and can be changed by the operators on the fly. This, for example, allows them to follow an incident by switching between camera views in real-time.

To speed up the process even further, the control for the cameras and screen displays has been integrated with other communications. The high level of system integration has also speeded up incident response rates, made it possible to provide camera window feeds to police area control rooms and reduced the time it takes to produce CCTV evidence. Previously, it could take up to 30 minutes to trace a record of an incident and retrieve the appropriate videotape.

Now, electronic recording to the centre’s 27 TB of storage means that a video report can be called up in 30 seconds and burned to a DVD.

In the new control room, up to seven operators manage cameras located across the area. Each operator station has a joystick device for camera control, a screen and a touch-screen system, so the operator can select the camera(s) being viewed by simply calling them up on a map. A video-wall in front of the room provides them – and the supervisor at the back of the room – with an overview of activity.

Touch-screen control systems allow operators to instantly assign any camera to a screen area and to dynamically change the display, without having to call up different templates and redraw the whole screen, losing camera views while the processors were coping. Eyevis also provided receiver units to link the control room with tracks of record and camera controllers installed in the Wakefield IT control room, which was 85 m from the main display area.

The 1366x768 resolution screens have a 1200:1 contrast ratio and a brightness of 700 cd/m, while the controller is configured to take in 176 direct CCTV inputs and output up to 160 real-time simultaneous displays. There are currently 17 display screens – 15 in the main wall, plus one in a separate review room and a spare – and control via Eyevis capture software, the control room LAN and an interface between the eyecon API and the Synectics Synergy control system. The camera feeds come in by a combination of BT fibre and Virgin Media/NTL broadband.

As a result of the new control system, Wakefield’s population should feel more secure. Different forces will now be able to act together more effectively and traffic should flow more evenly.

For more information contact Cliff Nel, IAC, +27 (0)12 657 3600, [email protected]



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