Lighting strike jolts college into IP surveillance upgrade

After a storm damaged numerous cameras and control equipment, Easton and Otley College opted for Samsung technology including DVRs and vandal-proof as well as 27x-zoom dome cameras.

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"Nature played its part," in a recent surveillance-system upgrade at the U.K.'s Easton and Otley College, according to Samsung, which provided the camera, DVR and other equipment for the new system. "The college, which is situated eight miles north of Ipswich, was recently struck by lightning during a ferocious storm and most of the cameras and control equipment were damaged," Samsung explained.

The facility manager at the learning institution's Otley campus, John Negus, said, "We were already considering upgrading the existing system as we wanted to ensure we were taking advantage of the latest technology to help us implement our anti-social behavior policy. Fortunately, we were therefore in a position to quickly replace the damaged cameras with those of a higher specification."

Ten of the newly installed cameras are Samsung domes, SCP-2270H, with 27x zoom capability. Another five cameras are Samsung SCV-2081 vandal-resistant domes. They were installed by Smarter Security Solutions Ltd. "We have successfully installed Samsung video surveillance equipment at many other sites and we were therefore able to confidently recommend a single source solution to Easton and Otley College," said Smarter Security Solutions' Paul Chater.

Both camera models are designed to provide "a cost-effective video surveillance solution for environments such as schools and colleges," says Samsung. "They are equipped to capture high resolution 600TV lines color image and incorporate advanced technology, much of which is unique to Samsung, such as Super Noise Reduction and Samsung Super Dynamic Range - a progression of backlight compensation that automatically enhances detail in dark areas across the entire scene to reveal objects hidden in shadow."

At the college, three Samsung SRD 1650DC 16-channel DVRs record all images from the new dome cameras. The DVRs use H.264 compression "to ensure superb picture quality while minimizing hard-drive space and bandwidth requirements," Samsung says. The DVRs also feature virtual progressive scan (VPS), which eliminates the problem of blurred edges on moving objects to provide clear still frames, Samsung adds. A Samsung SPC-6000 keyboard located in the college's control room controls the cameras and DVRs.

Negus recalled, "There have been some incidents which we have been able to act on as a result of the camera domes' ability to deliver high-quality images. In particular, we have been able to stamp out dangerous driving in our car-parking area as students are now very much aware that we can catch them on camera."

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