Surveillance is a mainstay in the casino and gaming industry because it supports a range of business imperatives, including not only the protection of employees, patrons and assets, but also compliance with stringent gaming regulations.
Analog surveillance systems have been the standard for decades in this industry, and are still widely viewed as a safe and secure solution. But the combination of recent advances in IP-based systems, including strong encryption and other new functions, with far superior images and other benefits, have led the migration of casinos to IP-based systems.
The general security surveillance market has already widely embraced IP-based technologies, driving costs down and fueling the continuing addition of new capabilities made possible by digital imaging. These additions include analytics and improved WDR performance, as well as heightened access and transmission security. Understanding the potential benefits of these capabilities will help casino managers determine the right time to upgrade from analog to IP, and how to best employ digital functions to achieve important business objectives.
While analog technology met basic needs at one time, analog systems have inherent qualities that limited their effectiveness, including lower image resolution and the need for time-consuming manual review. Today, digital surveillance systems offer the gaming industry outstanding image quality and a full range of benefits that let casinos meet their business needs with lower operational costs.
When considering a surveillance system upgrade, casinos and the gaming industry look for options that are cost effective, scalable, and provide the best technology for operators in terms of image quality, retention and retrieval of needed video, and user interaction. Upgrading from an analog system to an IP-based digital system will provide these desired qualities and capabilities.
Here are five key benefits of upgrading from an analog to a digital IP system:
- Affordability: Upgrading to an IP system doesn’t require breaking the bank. A property can quickly recoup upgrade costs by reducing losses associated with theft and physical damage, as well as by improving operator efficiency. An IP system can run in parallel with an existing analog system, allowing a property to upgrade using a phased approach or taking part in a complete overhaul. And, the cost of digital components has come down significantly in recent years even as capabilities have increased.
- Scalability: Casinos and gaming properties continue to expand their physical footprints, adding both gaming spaces and non-gaming spaces such as retail, restaurants, and meeting rooms. A digital surveillance and video management system built on an open platform can easily integrate with your analog and IP equipment, and has the flexibility to scale to meet evolving needs.
- Image Quality: Digital camera technology has made impressive advances in offering state of the art image quality, far exceeding that available from analog cameras. High definition signals from current digital cameras are encrypted and transmitted quickly, increasing system security. Among many benefits, sensors now provide better clarity, wider fields of view, and the ability to tackle difficult lighting conditions. Providing these improved views to the operators results in better monitoring, less guesswork, and more efficient investigations.
- Storage: Retention is a key component of casino regulations. Upgrading to a digital system lets a facility implement a far more efficient and secure storage strategy. For example, the best systems can not only provide near-instant random access to desired footage based on timecode or metadata tags, but can also use smart compression techniques to increase the reliability and capacity of stored data. These capabilities often let facilities increase the retention time of stored video, while allowing for automated analytics and search functions that are impossible to implement with older analog systems. Further, digital storage systems can easily be configured for RAID redundancy, ensuring critical video can be retrieved when needed.
- User Experience: Current IP surveillance systems have also leveraged years of learning in their user interfaces, minimizing the amount of user training required when upgrading. Features and functions are familiar to current operators, and easy for new operators to learn. Improved ease of use benefits normal operations, but really pays off in the response to critical situations, where intuitive interfaces let operators focus on the situation, rather than struggling with controls and settings when seconds count most.
Upgrading an analog system to IP reaps benefits for your casino surveillance operation, and the transition will be easier than you might have expected.