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A lightning install

Nature played a part in helping Easton and Otley College bring forward a decision to upgrade its CCTV. The college, some eight miles north of Ipswich, was recently struck by lightning during a storm and most of the cameras and control equipment were damaged. 



John Negus, Facility Manager at the Otley College campus of Easton and Otley College, pictured, said: “We were already considering upgrading the existing system as we wanted to ensure we were taking advantage of the latest technology to help us implement our anti-social behaviour policy. Fortunately, we were therefore in a position to quickly replace the damaged cameras with those of a higher specification.”


Originally created as an agricultural educational establishment, Otley College was established at its present site in 1970 with, as legend has it, a couple of tractors, a barn, two lecturers and 60 students. Today the college provides further education for around 5,000 students. Most recent developments have included an Equestrian Centre, a farmhouse business, a conference facility and an aquatics zone that houses Piranhas. Most recently they have joined forces with Easton College in Norfolk and the new college has been named Easton and Otley College. 


The college commissioned Smarter Security Solutions Ltd, based in Earls Barton, Northampton, to install new dome cameras and DVRs, all  made by Samsung. Paul Chater of Smarter Security said: “We have successfully installed Samsung video surveillance equipment at many other sites and we were therefore able to confidently recommend a single source solution to Easton and Otley College.” 


Ten of the Samsung domes are SCP-2270H which have a 27x zoom capability allowing John Negus and other authorised users to observe close up activity of any suspicious activity, whilst five others are Samsung  SCV-2081 vandal resistant domes. 


Both models are designed to provide a cost effective video surveillance solution for environments such as schools and colleges. They are equipped to capture high resolution 600TV lines colour images and incorporate features, many unique to Samsung, such as Super Noise Reduction (SSNRIII) and Samsung Super Dynamic Range (SSDR), which is a progression of backlight compensation that automatically enhances detail in dark areas across the entire scene to reveal objects hidden in shadow.


All of the images from the new domes, as well as from the cameras which survived the lightning strike, are recorded 24-7 onto one of three Samsung SRD 1650DC 16 channel digital video recorders which use Samsung’s H.264 compression method.  The products also feature Virtual Progressive Scan (VPS) to counter the problem of blurred edges on moving objects to provide picture-perfect still frames.


The domes and DVRs are controlled via a Samsung SPC-6000 keyboard, in the college’s control room utilising Samsung licence free NET-i Viewer software.


John Negus. said: “The camera domes have been located throughout the college in order to ensure we deter and detect any anti-social behaviour that has the potential to disrupt the excellent educational programmes that the College provides for our students. There have been some incidents which we have been able to act on as a result of the camera domes’ ability to deliver high quality images. In particular, we have been able to stamp out dangerous driving in our car parking area as students are now very much aware that we can catch them on camera.”   


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