Video Optimization and Cost Reduction Drives George Mason Univ. Surveillance Decision
By Arecont Vision
Located in the heart of Northern Virginia's technology corridor, George Mason University is one of Virginia's fastest growing higher education institutions with four campuses and 35,000 students.
The previous video system at George Mason University suffered from poor video quality and a lack of standardization. The legacy system could not provide the needed levels of video surveillance, either related to the area being viewed or the quality of images needed to identify events and/or individuals.
A need for better image quality led George Mason University to IP-based megapixel camera technology. The University evaluated several well-known camera suppliers before deciding on Arecont Vision. Processing power, compression technology and breadth of choices became some of the value drivers of the decisions.
After choosing the surveillance technology, George Mason placed two SurroundView® panoramic 360 degree cameras over a broad plaza area to enable surveillance of activity while also covering doors leading into an adjacent building. Each camera's 8 megapixel images provide 360 degree coverage from inside a 6 inch dome. Each camera provides up to 6,400 x 1,200 resolution at 5.5 frames per second (fps), or can be set for lower resolutions at higher frame speeds, such as 1,600 x1,200 resolution at 22fps. The cameras use Arecont Vision's MegaVideo® image processing at billions of operations per second. The cameras also provide image cropping and up to four regions of interest.
As well, several 180 degree cameras cover the pools and gym floors in George Mason's athletic facilities.
Covering hallways and drives are 3 and 5 megapixel cameras. Arecont Vision’s 5 megapixel camera provided 2,592 x 1,944 resolution at 9fps. Light sensitivity is 0.3 lux at F1.4. The camera can output multiple image formats, allowing the simultaneous viewing of the full-resolution field-of-view and regions of interest for high-definition forensic zooming. Arecont Vision's 3 megapixel camera provides 2,048 x 1,536 resolution at 15fps. Light sensitivity is 0.2 lux at F1.4.
Parking garages are monitored with Arecont Vision day/night cameras, which use a motorized infrared (IR) cut filter to maximize low-light performance. These cameras can monitor license plates and increase the productivity of garage personnel by monitoring tasks like credit card transactions.
George Mason sought to install fewer cameras so one of the main attributes they looked for was the ability to capture clear, detailed video from a larger area. As well, fixed megapixel cameras providing virtual pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) within captured images translates into fewer moving parts than traditional PTZ systems, which reduces overall maintenance cost and the potential for system failure.
The picture quality and digital zoom capabilities of Arecont Vision cameras far exceeded George Mason’s installed analog technology and allowed them to retrieve usable video. Combined with recent cost reductions in NVR storage and network switches, the use of fewer cameras allows George Mason University to transition to higher-quality video at a minimum increase in cost.