Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) is the public transit service that operates in the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. ETS provides multiple modes of transportation, including busses and light-rail transit (LRT) to patrons. They have 18 LRT stations throughout Edmonton and service about 100,000 boardings per day.
EIZO talked with Alan Baird, Senior Core Communications Engineer at ETS, about their most recent installation of EIZO DuraVision FDF2304W-IP monitors and how the solution works with the Genetec Security Center VMS (video management system) as part of their greater security framework.
Tell us about what issues you are addressing with this installation.
Currently we have roughly 1,100 cameras across the system with multiple generations of products. University LRT Station is a large underground station and we monitor many different levels - the main platform area where the trains come in, the mezzanine, and the concourse area. A large majority of our patrons going through there are students and faculty of the University of Alberta.
We were looking at some of our stairwells where you potentially have people late at night, not sure if there's somebody inside there waiting for them. By putting in the EIZO monitors, our patrons have more situational awareness in those stairwells. Before entering a stairwell, the monitor is right there, and they can decide whether they want to go that way. I think people typically feel safer through just having that presence that an area is being monitored, so this is one of the things that we are doing to try and facilitate that.
How has the EIZO solution benefitted ETS in terms of the physical installation?
The big challenge at that station was that it is an older station installed with analog cameras, so we have a lot of coax cable. In making the transition from analog to IP, getting IP connections to them can be somewhat problematic. The biggest issue with working in these types of older stations is trying to replace the cabling. With the EIZO monitors we could connect them directly to the network and manage them remotely with Genetec. So we avoided analog to IP issues and improved the setup. The monitors are also very good since they do not require a Windows box or another computer that we have to maintain and protect. Everything is integrated into the monitor and that additionally reduces the system's vulnerability from a cyber security perspective.
How has the EIZO plugin for Genetec Security Center benefitted the system?
Prior with our analog system, it was limited. There were no remote capabilities to change cameras if we needed to and that was becoming very difficult for us to manage and maintain. Just the fact that the EIZO monitor was able to integrate into Genetec seamlessly with the plugin was really key. Being able to easily just drag and drop to make changes and to see the status of the monitor when you log in through the web interface - that remote manageability makes things a lot easier from a maintenance standpoint. By going to a more centralized VMS solution from Genetec and the EIZO monitors, we did not need as much equipment in all the stations, and I can do more from my office without having to go out to site. It makes things a lot more efficient.
Do you have any considerations for additional future installations of EIZO products?
One of the things we would like to do is put monitors in a few locations where we have access control, such as facilities with a gate or a door. We would put it near the desk of the receptionist, for example, so they can see who is there before they let them in. Again, we would not have to put in another computer. Another use case would be to use them as a replacement for our large video walls - driving multiple video sources in our control room and sending alerts from Genetec to the monitor. Something like a pop up that displays on a monitor somewhere else with important notifications for our security staff.
In summary, what are the main benefits of choosing the EIZO and Genetec solution?
The main benefits of the partnership that we have with EIZO and Genetec is maintaining the security of our patrons and keeping the system running smoothly. The more we can do for our controllers to make their jobs easier and more efficient, the better.
EIZO discussed further with technology partners about the installation at ETS.
Convergint Technologies is a global systems integrator working with Edmonton Transit Service to provide the best solutions to meet their needs.
Davacon Systems Ltd. is a subcontractor for Convergint Technologies that works closely with EIZO and other partners to deploy technical solutions to its customers, such as ETS.
The plugin designed together between EIZO and Genetec was the result of highly requested end user requirements. The plugin provides added value with enhanced capabilities for the greater security framework, through centralized management of EIZO IP decoding monitors through the Genetec Security Center platform.
Special thanks Edmonton Transit Service and our technology partners for their cooperation.