Hikvision’s H264 compression cards make a splash at Universal Studios.
Hikvision’s H264 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) and a Jaws harbour.
Universal Studios was faced with theft and vandalism in their gaming locations where petty thieves prey on parents who may be distracted while attending to children. Continuous high-quality video footage of incidents at dining facilities was also required in the event of spurious insurance claims. 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 which uses CCTV images for evidential purposes when securing convictions.
Fort Lauderdale-based integrator National Security is using Hikvision’s dual-stream cards which offer H264 (MPEG-4/Part 10) real-time video compression. These units also allow audio compression in the open-source Ogg Vorbis format. The cards provide end-users who need to examine footage closely with display resolution of up to 4CIF.
In this application, the end-user receives a constant feed, but clients can also monitor activity according to predetermined schedules or opt for footage that is triggered by motion detection. 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 that are empowering staff at the resort’s guardhouse with comprehensive footage of the 160-acre (64-hectare) site. Universal 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, predominantly Cat5. Users report that these H264 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, MD 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. 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.
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 7620 square metres of children’s play facilities. More than half of the restaurant is set aside for video arcades and prize redemption games, an area where camera footage is valuable since purse snatching is a frequent problem.
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