Samsung video surveillance posted to Houston’s premier entertainment area
By JOHN FERN, Communications Supply Corp. (CSC) -- The newly finished revitalization of a 570,000-square-foot mixed-use center in downtown Houston, known as GreenStreet, has transformed downtown into a new destination.
By JOHN FERN, Communications Supply Corp. (CSC) -- The newly finished revitalization of a 570,000-square-foot mixed-use center in downtown Houston, known as GreenStreet, has transformed downtown into a new destination. The center is an inviting, pedestrian-friendly green space in an urban setting, complete with a linear park in the center corridor, a lawn with a stage area for live events, and a variety of eateries, entertainment and shopping venues. Intended as a destination for both work and play, GreenStreet also offers high-end office space.
The large crowds that regularly flock to the GreenStreet area for a variety of events, or to the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center, Toyota Center, call for heightened security measures. A main challenge GreenStreet faced, however, was its sheer size: The multi-site property spans four city blocks. Of particular concern was the need to balance a high level of security while maintaining an open and inviting environment that accommodates numerous businesses, delivery drivers, service providers and others who need open access to the property.
Prior to renovations, GreenStreet’s surveillance system consisted of limited cameras and DVRs without any system management capabilities. In addition to performance issues, the system also lacked sufficient coverage. This drained the productivity of security personnel who were called upon to staff delivery bays to manually open and close bay doors for vendors, delivery drivers and others as needed. With an eye toward improving both security and efficiency, the property’s owners decided it was time for a system upgrade.
Working with Houston-based Today’s Integration Inc., GreenStreet evaluated offerings from a number of vendors before selecting Samsung Techwin as its video surveillance solutions provider. According to Howard Manson, CEO of Today’s Integration, the decision "was based on the quality, functionality, versatility and expandability of Samsung’s products." The systems integrator designed an advanced video surveillance solution built on Samsung Security Manager (SSM) video management software. The system allows GreenStreet’s security staff to monitor live and recorded video, control PTZ cameras and communicate via two-way audio from a central command center. The deployed platform employs multiple Samsung 5080R IP dome cameras, SNP-5200H PTZ dome cameras and 6084R fixed cameras.
The system’s NVRs are located in a server room and are connected directly to cameras for recording and to SSM for video playback. Video is transmitted across GreenStreet’s network via hybrid fiber, connecting the multi-site buildings to distribution switches, which also provide PoE to the Samsung cameras, for a complete turnkey solution. Today’s Integration also utilized SSM to eliminate the need to physically open bay doors by installing dome cameras inside and outside the bay doors with intercom boxes on the exterior. Using the cameras’ relay outputs and inputs, the systems integrator designed controls that remotely open and close the large bay doors.
Now when vendors, contractors or service providers arrive at the bay doors, they press the intercom’s call button to contact GreenStreet’s security staff at the control center. Simultaneously, a live video feed pops up on-screen in the security command center, allowing staff to see and communicate with the individual at the door. Through SSM, GreenStreet’s security personnel can also enter log notes to maintain detailed activity records.
“By allowing security staff to remotely view and interact with individuals requesting access to bay doors, SSM has saved GreenStreet a great deal of time and money, and has eased the burden placed on security staff. Because they no longer need to make the trek to physically open these doors, they can focus on ensuring safety and security at the property,” said Manson.
The system has also proven useful to the Houston Police Department, which requests video from time to time for resolving incidents, tracking vagrancy and undertaking other public safety tasks. Best of all, Manson reports that the Samsung video surveillance solution is easily scalable, allowing cameras and NVRs to be added as GreenStreet expands.