Northern Rail plays a vital role in the north of England by servicing a population of nearly 15 million people. With 4,900 employees and offering approximately 2500 local and regional train services every weekday, Northern Rail is the largest train operator in the UK. The company’s ability to maintain a safe environment for its customers and staff is undoubtedly of the highest priority. CCTV has for many years been utilised in support of ensuring that there is strict adherence to health and safety procedures, as well as to deter and detect anti-social behaviour, vandalism and other forms of criminal activity that may occur at any of the stations.
Roger Houldsworth, CCTV Technical Manager for Northern Rail, has recently overseen the installation by an in-house engineer of two sixteen channel Samsung Techwin SRD-1673D DVRs at Horwich Station, Lancashire. “We wanted to see if we could improve the playback image quality of video captured by all the cameras installed at the station, and to do so at a higher frame whilst maintaining the ability to store the recorded video for up to 31 days,” said Roger. “I am pleased to report that the SRD-1673Ds, which incorporate 960H technology and have 4TB of on-board storage capacity, have allowed us to effortlessly and cost-effectively achieve these objectives.”
Samsung Techwin’s 960H technology offers an instant upgrade in the resolution of the live or recorded video that can be displayed on a high definition monitor from images captured by analogue cameras. Replacing industry standard DVRs with a model that is equipped with 960H technology provides therefore a method of upgrading an existing analogue system for users, such as Northern Rail, who do not feel a need or wish to incur the cost at this time of changing to a Video over IP system.
The SRD-1673D is able to record 650TVL in real-time across all 16 channels and with HDMI available as a main monitor video output, images in a 16 way-split screen can each be displayed at considerably clearer 480 x 270 resolution compared to what is possible with an SD video output. It also features enhanced network bandwidth of up to 32Mbp, which is four times faster than can normally be expected from industry standard DVRs. This ensures that there is no ‘jitter’ or distortion in the display of video transmitted over a network.
The two SRD-1673D DVRs are recording images captured by Samsung Techwin SCB-3000 600 TV lines Day/Night cameras which offer Intelligent Video Analytics and also feature Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology which makes it ideal for locations where there may be strong contrasting lighting conditions.
“Our in-house engineer has told me that the SRD-1673D is one of the easiest DVR’s he has ever set up. The on screen menus are very well set up and comprehensible, which is very good news from our point of view because it means that we do not need to allow for his valuable time to be spent in configuring the system,” said Roger. “Most importantly, from an operational point of view, the ticket office staff at the station commented on the clarity of the video from the old system. Simply put, the quality of the live and recorded video is superb and has exceeded our expectations. Our station CCTV systems are set in quite harsh electrical environments and we have therefore tried DVRs from quite a few different manufactures. The Samsung DVR is by far the best we have used.”
Following the success of the CCTV upgrade project at Horwich Station, SRD-1673Ds are being installed at four other Northern Rail stations, with plans for a much larger number of stations to be upgraded in the future.
“We are naturally delighted to receive great feedback from such an important customer as Northern Rail,” said Peter Ainsworth, Senior product Manager for Samsung Techwin Europe Ltd. “Whilst there is no doubt that the longer term future is all about offering integrated security systems which take full advantage of the benefits afforded by IP Network based solutions, we will continue to provide support for projects where an analogue solution is still required. The introduction of 960H technology DVRs is an excellent example of our ability to provide transport sector organisations, and railway companies in particular, with robust and reliable video surveillance solutions which, although keenly priced, are packed full of technically advanced features offering tangible, practice benefits to the customer. It follows on from the successful testing to the EN-50121 and EN-50155 standards of a number of our cameras which verify that they can operate effectively in demanding environments such as onboard trains and at stations.”