4K Surveillance - The Future of Video Security in Shopping Centres is Here

Eden Shopping Centre, a large retail and entertainment complex in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, has taken the giant leap from an analogue to a HD video surveillance system. Upgrading the recorders, matrix, and priority cameras has provided the Centre with enhanced optical clarity, high-definition images and the flexibility of future-proofing the system – ready for technological advances.

The FLIR Quasar 4K cameras deliver four times more detail at full 30 fps than today’s best HD1080 cameras and also more detail than legacy 10MP

Together with experienced UK system integrator Link CCTV Systems, Eden Shopping Centre opted for a totally new, IP based video surveillance system from FLIR - completely replacing their obsolete system. Ryan Mitchinson, Head of Commercial Operations at Link CCTV Systems advises: "When we originally inherited Eden Shopping Centre’s CCTV system, we were tasked with providing a solution to upgrade the existing analogue platform with a HD solution that was not only capable of capturing and controlling CCTV cameras, but a solution that was capable of a multitude of modern functionalities that would enhance the security operation on site. We opted to install a FLIR Latitude virtual matrix and recording solution due to its flexibility and ongoing software upgrades that would allow various additional technologies to be integrated at a later date." The system is not only capable of capturing and controlling the CCTV cameras but it provides a multitude of modern functionalities that have enhanced the security operation on site.

Growing with the Needs

The installation of this discreet innovative surveillance system has future-proofed and equipped the centre to hold its promise of security for many years to come. "Security technology is constantly developing so from the Centre’s perspective it was imperative to develop a futureproof system, preventing the need for expensive replacements down the line," says Paul Maddox, Security Manager at Eden Shopping Centre. "In doing so we ensure amendments can be made with ease whether it’s an installation of additional equipment or updates to software."

First of all, it’s very difficult for security patrols to be everywhere all the time, certainly with the size of the perimeter in mind, so 100% coverage is not possible this way. Second, CCTV cameras cannot see during the night without lighting, which would be very costly to install along a 16 km perimeter. Once inside the perimeter area, it would be almost impossible to install lighting poles across the airfield to support CCTV cameras, because they could possibly obstruct the movements of the aircraft on the runways and taxiways.

Paul Maddox: "The easy to use client software has allowed the Centre to easily hand over high quality evidence to the Police force in just a few clicks, which is exceptional."

As security within shopping centres turns towards bodycams, FLIR created Truwitness software that allows remote guards to stream video directly to the control rooms monitor wall from anywhere within the centre using their smart device. This is a two way communication which also allows the control room staff to transmit video streams to playback on their smart device. In addition, the software can also track members of staff, display their location on a map and panic buttons can also be programmed to alert the control staff of any issues.

Ryan Mitchinson comments: "People counting software upgrades can also be integrated alongside ANPR, Facial Recognition and many more analytic packages. This flexibility coupled with the ongoing software upgrade package that FLIR provide allows Eden Shopping Centre to always have the latest technology in use when required."

Better Images, Better Evidence

Prior to their system upgrade, the Eden Shopping Centre was confronted with insufficient image quality from the surveillance cameras. In addition, the limited resolution of the obsolete camera technology resulted in the fact that not all critical areas were completely covered.

One of the new technologies that Link CCTV Systems brought into the Eden Shopping Centre was the Quasar 4K (Ultra HD) Mini-dome camera from FLIR. The Quasar camera has provided the Centre with broadcast quality video and multi-streaming atzero frame drops. Ryan Mitchinson confirms this improvement, stating that "the Quasar 4K cameras have not only significantly improved the overall image quality; thanks to their high resolution, they also cover twice as much floor space in comparison to the previous systems, so the evidentiary use of the video surveillance system has improved tremendously. Every critical square metre is now covered." Ray Walker, Centre Manager at Eden Shopping Centre, agrees that the upgraded system has had a considerable influence on the centre: "We are very proud to have such an innovative and impressive surveillance system here at Eden. From the beginning we were excited with the quality of image presented and our local Police force has found the improvements invaluable, often requesting to share video evidence. Overall we are delighted with the results and feel satisfied that Eden Shopping Centre offers a highly effective and pioneering video surveillance system."

The Centre now has stunning forensic-quality imaging and user-friendly operations (consisting of web-based and mobile client software).

Easy to Use

All camera video feeds are terminated within the Centre’s control room, which is manned 24/7. Paul Maddox, Security Manager at Eden Shopping Centre, says that the operators’ comments have been phenomenal so far. The innovative surveillance system has notably made a dramatic difference to the shopping centre’s ability to gather evidence in the case of an incident.

Paul Maddox comments "moving from an analogue system to a digital system has had a positive reaction from the controllers using the equipment and also a very positive line of feedback from the local police that come to view footage for various reasons. With everything being PC based it has become much easier to manage and monitor different video streams. The easy to use client software has allowed the Centre to easily hand over high quality evidence to the Police force in just a few clicks, which is exceptional."

This virtual solution has provided Eden Shopping Centre with an easy migration path between their obsolete legacy system and cutting edge technology from FLIR. The Centre’s remarkable modern surveillance system has provided them with a future-proof, cost-effective solution that will keep them at the forefront of surveillance technology for years to come

All camera video feeds are terminated within the Centre’s control room, which is manned 24/7.