Heifer International in Little Rock, Ark., works with communities globally to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Heifer provides gifts of livestock and training to help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. The non-profit organization refers to the animals as “living loans” because, in exchange for their livestock and training, each family agrees to give one of its animal’s offspring to another family in need. Heifer’s world headquarters facility in Little Rock blends art and eco-friendly innovation and serves as a testament to its purpose and desire to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth.
Heifer International was expanding its campus and needed a surveillance system in a new warehouse. When designing the system, it was impossible to ignore the flaws of the existing system. The previous analog system had been problematic and expensive to maintain as well as poorly designed and implemented. The customer sought a solution based on better technology to address surveillance needs both in the new construction and to upgrade the existing system. Four weeks of additional consulting and design were invested to ensure the new system would be effective.
When choosing IP-based cameras, the end-user and integrator decided on Arecont Vision to provide megapixel cameras for the new surveillance system.
“Analog solutions are not in our arsenal,” said Zachary Wirges, president, Genesis Datacom LLC, the integrator. “In today’s world, IT professionals are making the decisions for security in their environments. We want to make sure we provide a solution that is IT-friendly, and rich with features that make sense to IT staffers.”
Genesis Datacom is a new player in the structured cabling arena, but the company’s staff members average 15 years of experience as reflected in their certifications and portfolios. The company emphasizes stellar service to clients — no shortcuts allowed — and seeks to be the premier integrator of structured cabling systems and IP technology in the state of Arkansas. The company says its focus does not stop at the “jack,” but extends to providing solid, applicable IP solutions, including Arecont Vision megapixel cameras that are “edge devices” on the network.
The new system at Heifer International provides surveillance for three buildings, and cameras are monitored by a central guard station. The IP-based system also makes it possible for multiple departments to monitor their areas, according to Tom Spinnato, facilities/IT specialist, Heifer International.
“Arecont Vision provided the most robust features, and the panoramic options are beyond impressive,” Wirges said. “The customer easily perceived the quality of the product, which allowed performance and versatility to be the focus of the design rather than price.” Wirges and Neil Jones designed the video system and performed the installation.
At Heifer International, three Arecont Vision AV8185DN SurroundVideo® Day/Night 8-megapixel H.264 cameras are now being used. The cameras are designed for applications where mechanical pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) devices might otherwise be used or where multiple cameras would be needed to view expansive areas.
Arecont Vision Model AV8185DN is an 8 megapixel, 180-degree panoramic H.264 IP camera that incorporates four 2 megapixel CMOS image sensors that can be switched between day and night manually or automatically to provide 6400 x 1200-pixel panoramic images at 5.5 frames-per-second (fps). The panoramic view can also be set at lower resolutions to provide faster frame rates. The 180-degree panoramic camera can substitute for up to 24 analog cameras. Features include image cropping and up to four regions of interest.
In addition, Heifer International uses an Arecont Vision AV365DN camera, which is a SurroundVideo® Day/Night 8-megapixel H.264 camera providing 360-degree panoramic views, the Arecont Vision AV2825IR camera, a full-HD mode, 1080p H.264 MegaView IP camera that includes an IR illuminator, and two Arecont Vision AV3155DN cameras, each a 3-megapixel H.264 network (IP) MegaDome integrated camera, lens and IP66-rated dome. The AV3155DN cameras employ H.264 (MPEG 4, Part 10) compression to minimize bandwidth and storage requirements while maintaining real-time image resolution.
Finally, four Arecont Vision AV1355 H.264 MegaDome® IP cameras provide 1.3 megapixel (1280 x 1024-pixel) images at 32 frames per second in an integrated all-in-one camera, lens and dome. The cameras have features similar to the other models.
The cameras all use power-over-Ethernet (PoE), and there are fiber connections between network switches. Two Gateway GW-500 systems by Next Level Security Systems provide analytics and network video recording.
The increased image quality of megapixel video played the largest role in solving surveillance system issues at Heifer International. Expanded coverage areas and day/night options of Arecont Vision cameras also contribute to a successful and effective new system.
Image detail at the forensic level gave Heifer International the confidence in its surveillance system it previously lacked.
“The system can clearly deliver faces, license plates, vehicle details, physical details and even capture video in low light,” Wirges said.
Wirges said the picture quality and digital zoom capabilities of Arecont Vision cameras far exceeded the previous analog technology and allow Heifer International to retrieve usable video. Combined with recent cost reductions in NVR storage and network switches, the use of fewer cameras allowed Heifer to transition to high-quality video at a minimum cost.
In addition to lower bandwidth and storage requirements, the megapixel cameras also helped decrease costs related to other elements of the system, such as fewer software licenses, fewer lenses, and a decrease in man-hours needed to install the system.