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Sears deploys IndigoVision IP

Sears Canada's new head office has chosen IndigoVision’s IP security system to serve as an integrated surveillance system on the top four floors of its flagship store at the Eaton Centre in the heart of Toronto.

October 26, 2009  By Staff

The retail group recently relocated its head office to the Eaton Centre
following a renovation of the multi-storey office space located above
what is Sears Group’s largest department store.

The 76-camera system was designed and installed by IndigoVision’s local
approved partner Quinn Digital Asset Protection. The system is used for
staff security and safety as well as asset protection, with cameras
monitoring office areas, emergency exits and public/staff entrances at
street level.

Sears explored DVR-based technology before choosing an IndigoVision IP
Video solution, which offered significant benefits. Apart from the
superior video quality, IndigoVision’s networked video system realized
significant cost savings for labour and materials by being able to cable
to the nearest network point as opposed to a centralized DVR and by
using Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) switches to power the cameras.

“The excellent video quality and unlimited expansion potential of the
system are two major benefits for Sears,” explains Don Beresowski,
Sears Canada’s divisional vice-president loss prevention. “We have also
been very impressed with the broad functionality and ease of use of the
security management software that drives the system.”


Control Center, IndigoVision’s Security Management Software (SMS) is
at the heart of the system and allows operators to view live and
recorded video from any camera and to manage all system alarms. A suite
of tools enables fast retrieval and analysis of recorded video ensuring
fast incident response. The IndigoVision system is truly distributed
allowing cameras, Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and SMS workstations
to be located anywhere on the network — a feature that Sears has
exploited by locating workstations at different locations around the
office complex. ‘Control Center’ is licensed on an unrestricted basis
within the cost of IndigoVision hardware allowing Sears to deploy
workstations for no more than the cost of a PC, realizing further cost

“The advanced alarm management features of Control Center are being
used to good effect by Sears,” added Beresowski. “When an alarm is
generated from the door access system live video from the nearest
camera is automatically displayed on the monitor and the location of
the alarm depicted on a map of the building.”

Alarm outputs from the door access control system are wired into an
IndigoVision IP Alarm Panel, where they are transmitted across the
network to ‘Control Center’. The Alarm Panel is a general purpose
interface that provides interconnection of discrete I/O from external
systems on to the IP network.

Alarms can also be generated from magnetic locking devices on the lobby
elevators on the top three floors, should the power fail to these
devices. The locks are normally released by swiping an access card by
each elevator, but automatically release if power fails, removing
controlled access. The alarm output from each mag-lock is connected to
a digital input on the nearest IP camera, which then transmits the
alarm data over the network. This is just another example of the way
third-party systems can be integrated with the IndigoVision system.

The five standalone NVRs and network equipment are located in a central
loss prevention office next to the main reception where a 3-monitor
‘Control Center’ workstation provides the main surveillance for the
head office. An additional three workstations are located around the
building in different security offices. IndigoVision’s flexible
recording architecture allows different cameras to be recorded at
different framerates and for different periods. Sears are recording
most cameras for 31 days, with five sensitive cameras for 90 days.

The 76 cameras are a mix of IndigoVision’s fixed and PTZ IP domes,
which only require a single CAT-5 cable connection to the nearest
network point. They are powered directly from the network through POE
network switches. Each IP dome contains a high-quality Sony camera and
the MPEG-4 compression hardware. DVD-quality video can therefore be
streamed directly from the camera on to the network without the need
for an external codec. Each IP camera has the ability to run real-time
analytics and deploy a unique feature call Activity Controlled
Framerate (ACF) which Sears is using to minimize bandwidth and storage

ACF controls the amount of video that is transmitted on to the network.
When the scene is inactive, the framerate is reduced, as soon as any
motion is detected in the scene the framerate is automatically set to
maximum. Integrated real-time features such as ACF and analytics that
operate in the camera at the network edge can only be fully realized
because IndigoVision’s system is a complete end-to-end solution, with
all components designed by IndigoVision. This ensures maximum
performance in any environment.

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