Government Palace, Chihuahua, Mexico
Photo credit: Photo courtesy IndigoVision
Chihuahua State in Northern Mexico has deployed a wide-area distributed surveillance system based on IndigoVision’s IP Video technology. Covering nearly 100,000 square miles, Chihuahua is the largest of Mexico’s states. Its capital and largest city has the same name, Chihuahua and it includes the other major cities of Delicias, Cuauhtemoc, Parral, Nuevo Casas Grandes, Camargo, Creel, Meoqui and Jimenez. The truly distributed nature of the system allows an operator in the state capital to view video from any other city in the region from a PTZ camera that they can control!
Over 270 cameras have been installed across the region. The systems in each city are deployed using wireless networks supplied by Redline Communications. Each city is connected to the state capital via fixed network links. One of the reasons IndigoVision was chosen for this project and the reason such a wide-area surveillance system can be envisaged is because of the company’s advanced H.264 compression technology. Evidential quality video can be streamed across standard IP networks over enormous distances with minimal bandwidth requirement. This allows wireless networks to be easily deployed and latency kept to a minimum, enabling operators to smoothly control PTZ cameras in one city from another city across the state. Many of the cameras used in the original standalone analog and digital IP systems have been reused.
"IndigoVision has been very successful with urban monitoring projects in Latin America, with over 25 cities currently using our IP video solution," said José López Martin, IndigoVision’s VP Sales for Latin America. "Traditional analog technology is not suited to the large distances involved in wide-area monitoring applications such the Chihuahua State project. IP-based systems are ideal for extending existing surveillance installations and creating a hybrid solution that utilizes existing investment and creates a foundation for migration to full IP Video in the future."
Implementing video security over large urban areas is technically very demanding. Whether it is to monitor criminal activity or manage traffic, remote wide-area monitoring creates a challenging environment for surveillance systems – even more so with the high crime rates found in many inner city areas. It is therefore important for different agencies and authorities to access live and recorded video from the cameras relevant to their operation, no matter where they are located. This can only be achieved with a de-centralized distributed system.
In Chihuahua State, operators from CIPOL (Central de Inteligencia Policial) located in one of the three main command centers in Chihuahua City and police in other cities use 'Control Center', IndigoVision’s Security Management Software, to monitor the system. Currently 25 'Control Center' workstations are used across the State. There is no additional cost for deploying 'Control Center' workstations as the software is licensed on an unrestricted basis within the cost of IndigoVision’s hardware.
Another key benefit for the Chihuahua State authorities was the implementation of multicast network technology. IP Multicasting is an extremely powerful feature that allows video from the same camera to be efficiently viewed and recorded by multiple operators at the same time, with the same network bandwidth requirement as would be for a single operator. This coupled with IndigoVision’s advanced compression technology ensures available bandwidth is maximized, which is particularly important for areas with a less developed communication infrastructure.
IndigoVision’s distributed architecture allows any system component to be located at any point on the IP network, including Network Video Recorders (NVRs). IndigoVision’s NVRs record camera video directly from the network and can be distributed around the network to minimize bandwidth usage. This creates a fault tolerant solution by removing the single point of failure associated with analog/DVR systems. NVRs are installed locally in each city, i.e. at the edge of the network, reducing the overall bandwidth required. With the correct access permissions, video from any NVR can be viewed and analyzed from any 'Control Center' workstation, no matter where it is located.