The Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas recently finished a complete overhaul of its surveillance network, upgrading its analog VCR and matrix system to a new digital recording and virtual matrix solution.
According to Todd Flowers, president of Surveillance Systems Integration, which designed and installed the resort’s video management system, the project took nearly a year to complete.
"All the work that we did was in the head-end. We basically did all the work in the server room, in the surveillance observation room and in the security observation room," Flowers explained. "We completely removed their old system."
SSI Business Development Manager Rick Phan said that 1,250 cameras were integrated into the Pelco Endura system with the capability to expand up to 1,400 immediately.
In addition to integrating the resort’s cameras, SSI was also responsible for outfitting the surveillance and security observation rooms with new operator consoles and video walls.
"I think its one of the most aesthetically designs that we’ve had," Phan said. "What TI had envisioned was to have monitors really just stand out, keep the operators alert and awake, and keep everything in plain view basically."
To accomplish this goal, Phan said SSI used eight, 46-inch LED monitors installed on a black backdrop, which really helps the video images stand out. The video walls are powered by a Pelco Endura Virtual Matrix Switch, which allows surveillance operators to control cameras and call up video instantly.
According to Phan, the system resulted in immediate return-on-investment in terms of efficiency and manpower as they would no longer have to conduct tape changes and other maintenance hassles associated with a VCR-based recording infrastructure. The removal of the VCR racks also resulted in increased space in the surveillance rooms.
"We not only did their (video) system and got it up and running, but we were also able to do their equipment room and clean up all of their cable management," Phan said. "Because of patch panels, color-coded wiring, future servers and future troubleshooting is going to be a lot easier because it’s very efficient and very clean."
Flowers said one of the challenges involved with installing the matrix and video system was space.
"Real estate in itself is a major issue in Vegas normally. So, we had very tight quarters in which to build a new system and start cutting over simultaneously from the old one to the new one," he said. "You almost had to do it in stages, you just couldn’t build an entirely brand new system and then cut them over all at once."
Another challenge that Flowers said they faced was working with legacy surveillance equipment from various manufacturers.
"They still had VCRs in there, which is not completely uncommon around the country, but there have been multiple generations of IP video over the last five years or longer even," Flowers explained. "The migration was from moving mass amounts of VCRs to more of a server-based platform."
The new system also has the capability to scale quickly, allowing the resort to increase the size of the network as need be.
"We left room in there for immediate growth," Phan explained.