Three years after negotiating a single source supply relationship which resulted in all of its luxury hotels being equipped with Samsung branded video surveillance solutions, Edwardian Hotels London has confirmed that it intends to continue to entrust Hanwha Techwin Europe to fulfil all its requirements for IP network cameras and video recording devices.
Edwardian Hotels London collection of hotels include, 11 Radisson Blu Edwardian hotels ranging in style from bijou boutique, to large-scale five star luxury. The company also owns The May Fair hotel. Tucked away in London’s luxury quarter in Mayfair, this has 400 beautifully crafted bedrooms, including twelve of the Capital’s most spectacular suites, a luxurious spa and a 201-seat screening room. A new 350 bedroom hotel in Leicester Square, London, is currently under construction.
“The safety of guests and staff is always on the top of the list of our priorities and so we are constantly reviewing the effectiveness of the video surveillance systems in operation at each of our hotels,” said Mohamed Elsebahy, Group CCTV Manager for Edwardian Hotels London. “As and when it has been appropriate to do so, we have not hesitated to invest in the latest camera and video recording technologies.”
Research & Development
Mohamed Elsebahy built an R&D facility at the company’s Heathrow hotel, where with the help of Technology Consultant, Nick Kalsi, he tested a wide range of cameras from Hanwha Techwin Europe and other manufacturers. “We have been very pleased with both the performance of the products and the quality of the support we have received from Hanwha Techwin Europe over the last three years,” said Mohamed Elsebahy. “The video surveillance system at our Heathrow hotel has even been complimented by local police officers. They have told us that they regard the system as the most reliable of all that are installed at the many hotels on the A4 strip and that they always have confidence in the system’s ability to provide them with high quality video evidence.
“I nevertheless have to be certain that Edwardian Hotels London achieves maximum ROI from their investment in video surveillance systems. The R&D facility has given us the opportunity to evaluate the price/performance ratio of the latest generation of high definition Wisenet cameras from Hanwha Techwin Europe, alongside cameras manufactured by some of their competitors. Our evaluation criteria was not though just about the features and functions of the cameras and recorders. It was important to also take into account the total cost of ownership and so reliability, warranties and the level of technical support provided by the manufacturer, were also important factors that we took into consideration.”
The evaluations resulted in Mohamed Elsebahy and Nick Kalsi establishing that they could achieve the objective of capturing evidence grade, high definition images 24/7 in all locations throughout the various hotels, with just three different types of WiseNet IP network based 2 Megapixel Full HD cameras. These were the WiseNetIII SNV-6084 vandal-resistant dome, WiseNet Lite SND-L6013R IR dome and WiseNet Lite SNO-L6083R weatherproof network IR bullet camera, which is equipped with a varifocal lens.
“The lighting conditions in public areas of the hotels such as the bars and reception can vary considerably depending on the time of day,” said Nick Kalsi. “The WiseNet cameras’ ability to generate high quality images even when the Lux levels are low and in the case of two of the models that have built-in IR LED illumination even in total darkness, makes them ideal for many different types of environments within the hotels.”
There are approximately 1,100 cameras currently installed throughout the Edwardian Hotels London estate. The majority of these are older generation cameras which are being replaced with SNV-6084, SND-L6013R and SNO-L6083R models, as and when various areas of the hotels are upgraded. The compact SND-L6013R dome is proving particularly popular with Edwardian Hotels London’s design team from an aesthetic point of view.
The images captured by the IP network cameras are being recorded on SRN-1673S 16 camera channel NVRs which are equipped with a built-in PoE+ switch. The SRN-1673S was an attractive option for Mohamed Elsebahy and Nick Kalsi as it offers the opportunity to significantly reduce installation costs by negating the need for the provision of separate power supplies and switches. PoE+ functionality means that the SRN-1673S provides sufficient power for any ONVIF compliant PoE+ camera, including speed domes and domes with heaters.
Nick Kalsi is overseeing a programme which will see Cat 6 cabling installed at all the hotels in order to achieve maximum advantage for the high definition IP cameras. “Migrating to an IP network based system will allow Mohamed Elsebahy and other authorised colleagues to be able to access live or recorded images captured by any of the cameras from any location on the network,” said Nick.
“If they wish to, they also have the ability to remotely view activity on their smartphones or tablets via the iPOLiS Mobile app. The good news is that we have been able to continue to use SmartViewer video management software which our control room operators are familiar with and find easy to use. It is a significant benefit that SmartViewer supports our older generation cameras, as well as the new WiseNet models.
“Our decision to continue to work closely with a single manufacturer has many benefits which include receiving expert, objective advice on the correct camera model for every location,” said Mohamed Elsebahy. “We will shortly be seeking further advice from Hanwha Techwin Europe on how we can best take advantage of the Open Platform technology built into WiseNetIII cameras. Having access to data captured by a people counting App running on a WiseNetIII camera could, for example, provide valuable information on when and how many people have entered the bar areas of our hotels.”