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Stadium switches

Managed Ethernet switches provide video surveillance and other data transmission at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Specified to integrate the stadium’s 170 IP video cameras, access control, alarm and building management systems into one single data network, 25 barox managed Ethernet PoE switches have been installed to deliver video and data to the on-site control room. The installer Ceaton Security Services replaced the stadium’s analogue cameras with new IP units, and consolidated legacy IP cameras into one network. Shane Gilgrass, Security Division Manager at Ceaton says: “We installed over 100 additional IP cameras to expand the areas under surveillance coverage. Integrating the existing IP units into one combined system required a considered topology, to successfully integrate the stadium’s building management system, alarm system and access control into the same network. Installing a dedicated 10 Gigabit fibre security network in the stadium and integrating all the building functionality into one network place meant the network switches needed to be reliable. Using barox video switches as opposed to inferior performing non-security data switches meant that we could have complete confidence in the speed, bandwidth and security of the network – no matter what the demands placed on it.”

Ceaton installed 25 barox RY-LGSP28-52/740 Managed Ethernet switches across six floors, including the roof gantry. Designed to cater for HD video networks, the barox RY-LGSP28-52/740 models deployed are a POE+ layer-2/3 switch, with L3 functionality suitable for video over IP and video streaming in multicast.

Like all barox products, the RY-LGSP28-52/740 video switch is designed for security networks and includes cyber security with network hygiene, and integrated cyber functions. Alongside this, the RY-LGSP28xx switch allows integration into video management systems, and active PoE management and reporting, with the ability to monitor and operate energy management for all connected devices across the network. This is supported with interactive topology maps for simplified device management in daily use.

Shane adds: “The unique interactive topology map feature means network and device management at the Principality Stadium is simple and effective. The GUI included with the barox products is designed specifically for video applications and its ease of use has made it the ‘go to’ tool for security systems management at the stadium.”

The barox GUI displays all connected devices graphically, displaying their power, connection and performance status. Connected devices can be re-booted via the GUI if a problem is detected or set to automatically re-boot. This can save time solving device issues.

With the greatly expanded and higher definition coverage from the new IP camera network, the stadium team has more surveillance camera detail. When events are not staged or in the transition between events, the security staff use the camera video to secure the city centre stadium, monitor health and safety procedures on site, and ensure only authorised personnel are accessing the stadium. Unlike with other non-video specific devices products, barox switches for video are designed not only to transmit Jumbo Frames but transmit them at 100 Mbps – essential for the reliable transmission of images from HD IP cameras.

Jumbo frames are a very important part of video transmission. They are generally attributed to Gigabit but in real world security applications are more usefully expressed at 100mbps. A standard switch may claim to handle Jumbo frames, but this will not be at the required rate of HD IP Cameras, the product firm says. If a standard switch only handles standard frames, or Jumbo frames but not at 100 Mbps – then video received in the control room will be ‘choppy’ and difficult for operators to work with.

Darren Crossman, Facilities and Safety Manager at the Principality Stadium says: “Since the commissioning of the barox based IP video surveillance system upgrade, the camera video received in the control room is not only of considerably increased quality over the old system, but is also reliable; something that is essential, and that we rely on to safely manage large scale events and crowd safety management.”

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