First Digital Matrix Security System in the U.S.
Dallmeier, one of the world’s leading developers and manufacturers of CCTV systems and established specialist for top solutions in the field of casino surveillance is once again demonstrating its competence in a project of enormous scale and magnitude: The German company has joined hands with the Barona Gaming Commission in launching the first real-time CCTV/IP system with digital matrix in the United States. Since its commissioning in September 2006 the fully digital surveillance system is running without any errors and to all satisfaction of the client.
After a two year search for the best available system, the Barona Gaming Commission, an independent regulatory body that also monitors casino surveillance in the Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, selected the Dallmeier Casino Team to design a tailor-made surveillance solution. The result is the first fully Digital Matrix system in North America with real-time monitoring 24 hours a day 7 days a week
“We previously used an analogue monitoring system and we decided to implement a more innovative program,” said Raymond Welch, Director of Surveillance with the Barona Gaming Commission. “Regularly changing the tapes and archiving them was simply too expensive and searching for relevant pictures was very laborious and tedious. While analogue systems are easy to use, the simplicity, reliability and functionality of the Dallmeier digital system are even better.”
Since the award-winning property opened in 2003, Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino has been heralded in the gaming industry as being the first to develop and adopt a number of technological innovations. Barona developed and launched the gaming industry’s first cross platform “ticket-in and ticket-out” technology which is now found on almost every casino floor in the country. Barona’s next innovation was a patented thumb-print technology used by guests in the resort’s high-end private gaming rooms. In December 2005, Barona became the first casino in America to offer Server Based Gaming. Barona and IGT are jointly developing games and attributes for IGT’s server-based platform on the floor at Barona, which has the potential to significantly change the way casinos deliver new games, themes and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to their guests.
Given the Barona Tribe and casino management’s penchant for embracing leading technology, the system offered by Dallmeier was a natural choice.
“Dallmeier develops and produces products for the future,” said Raymond Welch. “Barona’s new monitoring system will become a model for many other casinos in North America.”
Welch continued, “One of the most important factors in choosing Dallmeier was their understanding of our vision to create a customized solution using the best available technology. With the launch of this new system, Barona is once again raising the bar for technology not only for Native American casinos but across the industry.”
When the Dallmeier Casino Team visited the site they got a first impression of the situation and designed a tailor-made surveillance solution to meet the needs of the Barona Gaming Commission. The result was the first fully digital matrix in North America with real time monitoring 24 hours a day 7 days a week. More than 1100 DIS-2/M MPEG encoders with a total recording capacity of more than 330 TB record with full redundancy.
The DIS-2/M is a modular audio/video recording and transmission system in a 19" rack construction with slide-in units. Its construction makes it the ideal solution for monitoring critical areas in casinos where compact high-quality recording and real-time transmission are required (broadcast quality).
The system consists of modules, each based on the Linux secure operating system. In each module the connection to one video and one audio signal is possible. The video input has been designed as a composite and Y/C input. Four input contacts and four output contacts are available on each channel for control and switching tasks. In addition, each module features a RS232/485 interface for controlling PTZ cameras.
The modular construction of the system and the hot-plug function of the individual modules, that the redundant power supply units of the rack also possess, ensure highest availability of the complete solution. An additional advantage is the space saving of over 50% in the IT rooms which obviously has a positive impact on the costs.
The systems record directly to the integrated memory and thus ensure maximum availability of the recorded data, even in cases where the network experiences problems or fails. Furthermore, the requirements to the network (e.g. the bandwidth) are minimised through this memory concept. It is possible to simultaneously record, transmit live video signals and replay recorded images in an unrestricted manner.
Furthermore the Barona Casino started replacing existing cameras by Dallmeier CasinoCams with Cam_inPIX® technology. Through the innovative sensor concept of Cam_inPIX® technology, based on the most up-to-date ”Digital Pixel System® (DPS)” platform from Pixim, every individual pixel of the picture information is converted digitally as soon as the picture is taken and then optimally processed. This means that even sites affected by high-contrast lighting conditions can be captured and documented with an outstanding picture quality that was simply not possible previously. Thanks to specially developed software the CasinoCam® supplies top quality picture material in specific casino conditions. There is, for example, the “Gambling” preset for the surveillance of roulette tables. The clear colour playback makes it possible to reconstruct disputed situations correctly so as to resolve problems once and for all. The reflections from shiny chips are suppressed. The “Poker Table” preset is ideal for the clear identification of playing cards on various felt surfaces (green, blue, black, brown, etc.). Thanks to the high-contrast and true colour playback, it is possible to identify the print on playing cards, for example, perfectly. The CasinoCam® also includes a “Wheel” and a “Slot Machine” preset. The members of the Barona Tribe are convinced by the high quality of the Dallmeier cameras; further camera installations are already planned.
To operate the system, workstations and analogue monitor walls with a number of monitors were installed. The system can be controlled and managed using keyboard, jog-shuttle and graphical user interface which is specially customized for Barona Casinos.
Tested in every detail
“To ensure optimum reliability and functionality the system was tested in every detail before being put into service”, says Konrad Hechtbauer, Manager of the Dallmeier Projects and Applications Team. “The complete installation was assembled 1:1 in the Dallmeier works in Regensburg so that when it had its works inspection, not just part, but the whole system had been examined and tested, including the complete infrastructure and the network environment. Because of the flexibility of the management software further adjustments could be made for the special conditions in the Barona Casino during the works inspection and before the commissioning.”
To ensure that the change-over to the digital solution goes smoothly and without any interruptions to the continuous operation, for a time the new system was running alongside its predecessor. Some of the security staff was working with the new system and was trained so that there were no hitches caused by human-error either. Only once this was completed satisfactorily the old system was switched off completely. In this way the customer is guaranteed to get a solution which is ideal for his requirements.
With the CCTV system running faultlessly since September 2006, the decision makers already plan further expansions of the video surveillance system with Dallmeier.
The members of the Barona tribe are very impressed. Director of Surveillance Raymond Welch commented, “Surely the most important factor in choosing Dallmeier was that our vision was correctly understood for the first time. Dallmeier did not just try to sell us some products – they developed an individual solution which met our requirements perfectly.”