MGX breaks into the surveillance market

August 2002 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Storage Solutions at MGX has entered into a joint marketing alliance with video surveillance company Techpro to bring an automated digital surveillance solution to market. Techpro established a new division, SecureI.Te, to achieve this aim.

The initial thrust of the solution was at the casino and gaming markets but other markets are now following and include sporting events and stadiums, financial organisations, urban surveillance system projects and security services. "We have been in the storage market for 20 years and have been doing integration for over 10, while Techpro has more than 20 years' experience in the surveillance business," says Derek House, strategic account director at MGX. "By marrying the skills of the two companies we are able to deliver broadcast quality video of over 25 frames per second on thousands of concurrent cameras with audio, which other companies playing in this space cannot do."

The casino and gaming market was targeted first because of its stringent security requirements. South African casinos typically have between 600 and 2000 cameras per site attached to a dedicated videocassette recorder (VCR) using four cassettes per day. According to local legislation, said to be tougher than the US, this data must be stored onsite and remain available for recall for at least 30 days. In the case of the largest casino in the country, this equals 240 000 cassettes per month. "Everything regarding the storage and recall of this data is currently manual," says House.

"To review an incident that occurred 10 seconds ago is a major mission, so you can imagine the problems of trying to view a specific incident from the previous week." MGX and its partner are aiming to automate this surveillance process, replacing all VCRs with a combination of media servers, a redundant array of independent disk (RAID) devices, and automated tape libraries and drivers. The move from analog to digital will provide instant recall in an unmanned, automated environment while feeds from cameras are processed through a media server, stored on disk for instant viewing and also archived to an automated tape system," says House. The system is adaptable and is now also Web-enabled."

Surveillance can be done from a central location with the ability to control and deploy reaction units from that control centre. This means the security industry and urban surveillance projects can view incidents many kilometres away and dispatch the correct response unit.

SecureI.Te has launched the solution in Europe, the US and Australia. In Australia the solution is being installed at football stadiums, which also doubles as some of the biggest casinos in the world. "The stadium in Sydney has over 3000 slot machines and is treated as a casino," says House. A working model has been set up at MGX's Linbro Park office in Sandton to demonstrate the solution. It has 16 cameras trained on a roulette table and on other parts of the MGX facility. The facility consists of cameras, a media server, a RAID device, a tape library with drives and a roulette wheel with casino chips. "The important issue is that we show continuous movement at broadcast quality, so although some cameras will be monitoring things other than the dummy casino, the objective will still be achieved," concludes House.

For more information: Derek House, MGX, 011 695 2000,

Alan Gien, Techpro, 011 807 4261,

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