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Premier League system

Watford Football Club has recently had installed a 70-camera IP CCTV system. Designed for spectator safety during matches and other events, the new system also provides site security and site management.

Full HD cameras now cover the stadium bowl and pitch; protect key external approaches and turnstiles; and view the internal concourse. Since 2015, Watford FC has been in English football’s FA Premier League. This added to demand on the safety and security provision.

Watford FC is owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and Granada CF in Spain. Watford FC, whose stadium is at Vicarage Road in the town, appointed digital CCTV installer Videcom Security Ltd, to upgrade its CCTV system just before the start of the 2016-17 season. Videcom had two weeks before Watford’s first home game of the season against Manchester United on September 18

Waltham Abbey-based Videcom has been designing and installing commercial, CCTV security for nearly 30 years. It has worked with municipal authorities, industrial customers, housing associations, schools and colleges and is used to deadlines. The system was analogue, with limited resolution and quality. Videcom’s Microsoft-certified engineers set about upgrading the system. A dedicated fibre circuit was run around the internal perimeter of the stadium and an integrated VLAN secure network was set up to handle the necessary IP video streams.

Videcom chose Luxriot EVO Global video management software. Ten Redvision RV30, 1080p, PTZ cameras were installed in the stadium bowl. Further IP cameras have been installed around Vicarage Road, as well as internally across the terraces, entrances and retail areas. Some analogue cameras have been kept and encoded into the IP system using Axis Communications encoders. Static IP vandal-dome cameras from LG have also been added. The system has the capacity to be expanded on the present IT infrastructure, if required. Plans are to carry out further upgrades in 2017.

Videcom Managing Director, Bill Mead said: “We used the Redvision RV30 PTZs due to their rugged construction, options for IR or white lights, built-in wiper and easy servicing. The Luxriot VMS supports the Redvision and LG IP cameras we have used at the club, as well as the Axis digital encoders. The enterprise VMS also supports a wide range of other cameras; allows multiple operator access; enables videowall displays in the control room; and has a wide range of remote viewing options.

“The combination of Redvision and Luxriot is a proven solution for large, high-end, Full HD systems. Videcom has tried and tested them successfully in many other locations. Integration is through the open ONVIF protocol for most cameras positions, with an SDK integration option for Redvision cameras in some cases. We take advantage of the multi-stream capabilities of the RV30 cameras, using the Full HD, 1080p version. The Full HD video stream is used for recording and a lower resolution stream is used for the videowall and viewing platforms that do not need to display Full HD. This reduces network bandwidth use and allows efficient image processing.”

Videcom have helped broker an agreement to share street-side cameras resources with Watford Borough Council, where Redvision RX30 cameras are also used within the town centre CCTV scheme, also installed and maintained by Videcom.
The town centre cameras are operated through a Synectics Synergy platform. The club and town centre CCTV systems share video streams from some of the public space cameras, to aid safety management on match days in areas leading up to the club.