Abus Provides Video Surveillance Security for The Ritz-Carlton
Business leaders, state presidents and major stars from the world of show business number among the discerning guests of a modern luxury hotel such as The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. Therefore, in addition to the best possible service and amenities of a centrally located luxury hotel, the Ritz-Carlton also provides its guests with a higher standard of security and it is in this area that the Abus video surveillance system makes a vital contribution.
The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, located on the Potsdamer Platz, is considered to be one of the most luxurious hotels in Germany with one of the highest levels of security. The luxury hotel was opened in 2004. With its central location in the heart of Germany's capital, its distinctive architecture and 303 exclusively furnished rooms, including 40 suites as well as The Ritz-Carlton Apartment, the hotel attracts a clientèle for whom style, service and discretion are of the utmost importance. On a regular basis, prominent business leaders, politicians and international stars from the world of music and film number among the hotel's guests, together with those who favor a high quality hotel experience. An inconspicuous yet highly-efficient security concept ensures that, even during visits from state presidents, the hotel continues to operate normally and without disruption.
Thanks to the additional electronic ‘eyes', very little which is out of the ordinary escapes the attention of the vigilant security staff. "At The Ritz-Carlton, the security of our guests is a top priority - the video surveillance enables us to provide the high degree of security required", explains Robert Petrović, General Manager at the Ritz-Carlton, Berlin, since 2009. He adds, "The video surveillance monitors all the important public areas for us, such as spa, lobby, banqueting area, emergency exits, garage etc."
Complex Yet Simple Due to the high level of security required, the existing analog video surveillance system was ready for extensive modernization in October 2012. Robert Petrović had clear and precise ideas about what ought to be achievable through the video surveillance system: The analog technology was to be gradually converted to the HD standard.
The operation of the system was to be as simple as possible, despite the complexity of the video surveillance functions needed. Further items on the manager's list of priorities were the option to later extend the video surveillance as well as a good price-performance ratio.
The Berlin-based company BTV Systemhaus won the contract when the modernization was put out to tender. The proven ability of the 20 strong team, led by Managing Director Jörg Held, together with the technology proposed clinched the deal. As well as modern IP cameras for both internal and external use, two powerful HDVR digital video recorders were included in the proposal. The highlight: as an option, the HDVR recorders are able to simultaneously process signals from IP, HD-SDI and analog cameras, depending on the application and requirements. "Given the large number of cameras here in The Ritz-Carlton, some other manufacturers would have required four recorders, and sometimes more - by contrast Abus only requires two HDVR machines", said Jörg Held, when asked to comment on the performance of the system.
Old And New Together
Intuitive operation is vital for the efficiency of the new video surveillance system. The company's integrated video management software, made in Germany, ensures that the video image data created are managed quickly and easily. It also enables remote access, independent of location, via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers. Cameras and recorders can be viewed on a clearly designed user interface and moved using the familiar drag and drop. Switching between individual live images and playback is achieved through the use of commonly recognized symbols as found on digital cameras and video recorders. "After checking different proposals against the security standards we required, this system met all our relevant criteria", said Robert Petrović in justifying his decision to opt for the Abus solution.
The intention of the BTV Systemhaus plan was to initially replace only those analog cameras which were in need of replacement with IP cameras and to continue operating existing cameras which were in good working order. This meant that a significant number of Abus IP cameras were installed at the outset. Both HDVRs were configured in line with security staff requirements: one recorder records analog camera images; the second captures image material from both analog and IP cameras.
Installation Within a Week
"Following a thorough on-site inspection by a two-person installation team, the HDVR recorders were configured and all existing analog cameras as well as the new IP cameras were then gradually connected up to these", commented Jörg Held as he recalled the installation process. Working together with an Abus programmer, it was possible to integrate existing PTZ cameras already in place into the new system and to retain their full range of functions. "We just had to lay new network cables for the new IP cameras. The existing cable network is still used for the analog cameras", explained Jörg Held, a graduate telecommunications engineer. The entire installation took about a week and the hotel has been secured by round the clock by Abus video surveillance since November 2012.
And how does the video surveillance system now function one year after completion? "The system helps to detect incidents and clarify issues in the course of day-to-day business. I would prefer not to mention specifics here, but just to say that the video system is a great support for our security staff", commented the hotel's General Manager Robert Petrović, with his usual discretion.