CBSA deploys HD IP video system monitoring for U.S.-Canadian border crossings

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has deployed what is believed to be the largest ever High-Definition (HD) IP Video surveillance system to monitor its customs operation on the US-Canadian border and at Vancouver Airport.

CBSA chose IndigoVision’s complete IP Video system to upgrade 30 of its land border crossings, transitioning its surveillance from analog/DVR technology to a fully distributed, scalable IP-network based platform. The enhanced video surveillance images and tools assist the CBSA with the enforcement of illegal and threatening acts through the collection of useable evidentiary video images.
“With the new HD cameras, CBSA officers can more easily identify critical information that was not perceivable before,” explains Terry Hoffman, CPP, CBCP, Principal Hoffman & Company, Security Management Consultants Inc, the company which designed and project managed the upgrade. “They can now display dozens of cameras on multiple screens and analyze video much quicker, resulting in incidents being resolved in a fraction of the time.”
Five-hundred IndigoVision HD cameras were installed alongside 500 of the original analog cameras, which are connected to the network using IndigoVision’s 9000 series transmitter modules. The megapixel HD cameras stream high-quality H.264 video at 15 fps. Due to its advanced H.264 compression technology and unique architecture, IndigoVision allows both standard definition and HD video to be streamed and recorded side-by-side using standard IP networks and storage. This has allowed CBSA to significantly improve its retention period for recorded video, even when taking into account the increased storage requirements of HD video.
“IndigoVision’s robust, scalable technology has been field-proven worldwide in large enterprise projects,” continued Hoffman. “However, it was also their local support and Partner network that were major reasons for choosing them. The scale of the project meant a number of installers were required across the country and IndigoVision partnered with Intercon ADT Advanced Integration, Chubb Canada and Southwest Surveillance to achieve this.”
Currently, each border crossing has their own self-contained surveillance system with video being monitored on workstations running IndigoVision’s ‘Control Center’ Security Management Software and recorded on IndigoVision standalone Network Video Recorders (NVRs). The distributed architecture however, will allow live and recorded video from each border crossing to be viewed regionally or nationally if required in the future. Over 200 standalone NVRs were deployed locally across the system, configured as RAID 1 discs and with failover redundancy, which automatically records video on a back-up NVR should a primary NVR fail. Evidential quality video clips can be exported from any NVR for use by other agencies following an incident.
“CBSA will benefit from IndigoVision’s flexible licensing, as they will not have to pay for expensive software licenses every time they add a video workstation or pay for yearly maintenance upgrades,” added Hoffman. “This will ensure that their surveillance solution remains leading-edge for years to come.”
With its distributed architecture, live and recorded viewing of multiple cameras, thumbnail displays, motion search and unique features such as Activity Controlled Framerate (ACF), IndigoVision is helping CBSA meet its new surveillance objectives and at the same time ensure future requirements are accommodated. As IndigoVision’s system is a complete solution, including everything from the cameras to video management software designed in-house, it can offer advanced analytics features such as ACF, which has been implemented in many cameras by CBSA. ACF reduces the overall bandwidth and storage requirement by reducing the framerate of the transmitted video from a camera to a preconfigured minimum when its scene is inactive. The instant that motion is detected in the scene, the camera automatically begins streaming at maximum framerate.

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