Sony’s security cameras secure Yicheng Prison

Sony's security cameras secure Yicheng Prison

Sony's security cameras secure Yicheng Prison

Yicheng Prison has upgraded its analogue CCTV system with Sony’s brand new video security and monitoring solution. Sony security cameras offer the benefit of crisp, clear Full HD image quality and reliability - necessary in such a demanding environment - plus lowered maintenance costs compared with the prison’s previous analogue installation.

Yicheng Prison is located in the district of Hefei, in Anhui Province in the People's Republic of China. Originally constructed in 1983, it houses up to 1,000 inmates.


Budget constrains have traditionally seen Chinese prisons and detention centres being forced to install low-quality video monitoring and security systems from domestic vendors. This often led to significant operational and security challenges in such inhospitable environment. Cameras delivering poor images led to security issues whereas unreliability led to increased maintenance and repair costs – particularly as prison security cameras are used in all-weather outdoor environment.

The antiquated analogue CCTV system previously installed at Yicheng Prison caused number of specific problems. For cameras used in outdoor areas of the facility, poor standard of environmental shielding often led to the dust entering into the camera body and optics, causing blurred images. Extreme temperatures, rain, snow and fog – all presented additional challenges. Electrical interference affecting the ageing cameras contributed further to inferior images. In practice, this meant that the domestically-branded cameras needed expensive annual repairs – with some devices being scrapped after as little as a year in service.

The old system also presented a big security challenge. Prisons, especially, are inhospitable environment with little tolerance for surveillance breakdown. When a camera malfunctioned at a monitoring point in the peripheral zone of the prison, it became a security issue for the prison management and system integrator to test, install and replace the camera.

Sony Solution

To increase reliability, improve image quality and reduce maintenance costs, Yicheng Prison opted to install Sony Full HD video security cameras across all outdoor areas of the facility. 

In total, the prison has installed 25 units of SNC-ER580 PTZ cameras, together with 176 units of SNC-CH240 box-type cameras.

The SNC-ER580 delivers detail-packed Full HD (1080p) images over a wide area of view, with excellent low-light sensitivity. The IP camera’s high-speed 360-degree endless rotation and powerful 20x optical zoom helps ensure that fast-developing incidents aren’t missed by security personnel. 

The SNC-CH240 is a fixed IP camera that also captures crisply-detailed Full HD images. Sony’s Exmor CMOS sensor ensures excellent noise performance in low light conditions. 

Both cameras feature powerful on-board analytics at the front end based on user needs, such as identifying a gathering or abnormal brawls via voice frequencies or delimiting warning lines, helping Prison staff with more systematic monitoring and analysis of prisoner movement and behaviours.


The Sony video surveillance solution, with its intelligent monitoring system, has made it possible for prison management personnel to identify and respond quickly to potentially disruptive or dangerous situations. The stability and reliability of the Sony solution platform also meant Yicheng Prison maintain greater accountability, as high-quality Full HD monitoring images are always available to the prison staff when needed.

Why Sony was selected

Sony’s reputation for image quality and reliability were instrumental in Yicheng Prison’s choice of video security cameras for its outdoor areas. Furthermore, the facility’s existing Sony video conference system offered further reassurance to the prison’s system integration teams of the image quality and reliability of Sony products.

The project manager responsible for integration confirmed that Sony security cameras offer significantly enhanced image quality than domestic security products, in terms of image definition, smoothness and noise performance in low-light conditions.

Potential concerns about the compatibility of the Sony outdoor cameras with other Chinese-manufactured cameras used indoors at the prison turned out to be unfounded. The respective vendors are both members of ONVIF – the industry association that promotes reliable interoperability between different security products.

Going forward, Yicheng Prison plans to compile a detailed operating manual and invite Sony security professionals to provide training for the project integrator, and even prison staff, to help them use the system to its full potential. It is clear that Sony’s security solution goes beyond the simple implementation of hardware and software.

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