The software interface used at the high-rise integrates alarms, CCTV and access controls as this system does.

An inexpensive fix helped a high-rise significantly upgrade its aging CCTV security system’s functionality and combine analog video, digital monitoring and analysis. The upgraded system turbo-charges the facility’s original analog cameras, patching them into a digital video recording system with smart analytics, and integrating them with access control.

The high-tech, multi-use building with office, retail and parking was completed less than five years ago, but its 1999 security system specifications did not anticipate modern IP-based digital security. Analog cameras monitored the structure’s interior and perimeters and the recording system logged time-lapsed video on VHS tapes.

The facility decided on a security system upgrade, and Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. won the bid.

As the centerpiece of the upgrade, Johnson Controls installed its Digital Vision Network (DVN). The DVN converts signals from analog security cameras into digital video and then delivers the video and audio streams in real time over low-bandwidth conditions.

The system made use of existing infrastructure including analog security cameras. Security data travels over the same Ethernet network used for building controls.

“We had some challenges to get the cameras and everything looking exactly right,” conceded John McInnes, fire and security manager for Johnson Controls. “The expectation goes up as you increase the capability of the system. Some of the older cameras needed to be readjusted to compare more favorably with some of the newer ones.”

The DVN includes advanced analytics. It also features cutting-edge image analysis software. This can be activated to search recorded footage for motion in user-defined areas.

“Schedule was a big crunch,” McInnes admitted. “We needed to get this done in a few months time. Working around the marble lobbies was a challenge. We did not go with wireless cameras — we had wired cameras.”

Installing new cable behind, in and around marble columns and cladding was necessary. “We had to literally open up the wall and remove portions of the marble wall or columns to get the cameras in place, and then replace them,” McInnes related.

Installers seized the opportunity to integrate the video surveillance with a Johnson Controls P2000 security management system that upgraded the building’s existing access control.

The DVN user interface is highly intuitive and easy for temporary security guards to learn.

McInnes remarked, “With a modest amount of training, they just ran with it and declined additional training because it’s so easy. That was kind of a non-challenge.”

However, the project’s greatest benefit is its cost effectiveness. The high-rise received what feels like a brand new integrated security system, but which leverages its original investment in analog technology.

Sidebar: On the Job

  • Johnson Controls DVN 5000 (DVN5016RT-L) Series digital audio/video recording and management system
  • Johnson Controls P2000-SW-UPG security management system
  • 30 Bosch Dinion XF cameras