Customer: St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College
Requirement: Install new IP cameras and integrate existing analogue CCTV cameras into a single recording and playback platform
Solution: Mobotix M12 external day/night cameras, Mobotix D22 internal wide angle dome cameras, Wavestore Rock hybrid recorder
Services: Design of new camera coverage, installation, training
Customer’s View: “Ecl-ips really got to know St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College and worked in partnership with us. Their technical capability and responsiveness gave us great confidence.” Michael McConigley, Information Services Manager, St Dominic’s Sixth Form College
Do analogue and digital CCTV cameras work easily side-by-side?
It’s a question that St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College has now successfully answered. Thanks to Ecl-ips, the internet protocol integrator and Mayflex, St. Dominic’s has retained its old analogue cameras, added new digital IP cameras, and made its surveillance system much simpler to use.
St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College in Harrow-on-the-Hill was founded in 1979. With over 800 students and 100 staff, St. Dominic’s is one of the UK’s top-performing sixth form colleges.
Installed in 2001, the analogue cameras were connected to a digital recording system. While everything worked, there were significant issues with maintenance and supplier response times. When viewed live or replayed from storage, the image quality was no better than modest.
“The primary use was site security, and the security of our students,” said Information Services Manager Michael McConigley. “The only internal areas covered were reception and the canteen.”
A new science building then meant four additional exterior cameras were required. Three companies were approached, leaving the choice of analogue or IP technology open. The tenders were evaluated for comparable costs, services, and superior future-proof technology.
“The primary objective was to cover the building’s surroundings,” said McConigley. “We chose Ecl-ips for two reasons. We had an existing relationship with their sister company [Educonnect]. And secondly, the technology offered – which was IP-based – looked far more scalable.”
Educonnect had supplied and installed networking equipment for several years. Ecl-ips was involved in IP monitoring services such as computer room environmentals, building access control systems, and IP surveillance cameras.
Before tendering, Ecl-ips took time to understand St. Dominic’s requirements and planned to make best use of the site’s network infrastructure. New IP cameras were proposed to link into the science block’s network, comparable in cost to analogue cameras from the other suppliers.
The project turned into three phases with Ecl-ips providing design coverage, installation, and training services. Firstly, external Mobotix M12 day/night IP cameras were installed in winter 2006/2007. During the following summer, Ecl-ips added four domed internal Mobotix D22 IP cameras inside a refurbished canteen. The digital images were stored on a new network attached storage device.
“After the success of these two projects, we began to look at planning for the future,” said McConigley. “We had 20 analogue cameras and we didn’t want to replace them all at once.”
Ecl-ips then implemented a 6 terabyte Wavestore Rock hybrid recorder in December 2007. Taking feeds from 16 of the analogue cameras and all of the new IP cameras, it replaced the network attached storage and the old digital recorder. The Mobotix cameras and Wavestore recorder were supplied to Ecl-ips by the distributor, Mayflex.
“Wavestore protects your existing analogue cameras and is scalable too,” said McConigley “Ecl-ips proved very technically competent and customer focussed. You always get a nice feeling working with them.”
Good technical training by Ecl-ips quickly gave St. Dominic’s staff the right operational skills. Access to individual IP cameras is via a web browser or, for multiple cameras, through the Wavestore Rock system. The new cameras record up to six frames per second with images stored for 14 days. The Wavestore search facility and improved camera resolution has made a big difference too.
“For the first time, one of the college’s senior managers was able to investigate an incident without involving me,” said McConigley. “Navigation is super fast. I can now find a time and incident in a two week period within a minute.”
By using a hybrid storage and playback system, St. Dominic’s has also saved thousands of pounds by avoiding premature analogue camera replacement.
“The confidence of senior management in our system is overwhelmingly positive,” said McConigley. “We have future proofed the system and we have a scalable infrastructure. And we’ve done it in less time and for less money than we ever envisaged.”
“We value the close working relationship we have with Mayflex.
As a professional distributor, they’re fair on price and are proactive in telling us about any new products. Mayflex went the extra mile on the St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College project by providing detailed specification advice. And everything we needed was promptly delivered from stock too.”
Aaron Kernaghan, Managing Director, Ecl-ips
St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College has protected its investment in analogue CCTV camera technology. At the same time, it’s added the power and flexibility of digital (IP) cameras to implement a fully-scalable surveillance system.
Retained analogue CCTV cameras, New digital IP technology, Single storage/playback platform.