CCTV –Control Room-Operational Command Centre


Mirror: G K Bhat
The sole aim of the surveillance system is to have a control on the entire operation of the premises. The control will be fool proof if the system is put to its maximum use. The maximum use is possible only if the system is monitored round the clock. Therefore there is a requirement of a monitoring station which is called control room. It is not necessary that there should only one control room. We can establish control room as many as required according to our  operational requirements. Basically a control room is nothing but a monitoring and control station, connected with certain number of CCTV Cameras through a network, where the video output of the cameras are viewed. Meanwhile the control room operator, controls the PTZ type cameras to view the required locations/operations according to the requirements. If more than one location is required to be connected and these locations are away from the control room, the connectivity is done through a wide area network system.
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For the purpose of monitoring the CCTV Cameras, we can use simple monitors or we can go for Video walls. Video walls are generally used ,if number of cameras are very high. The video walls are available as LED and LCD, both type. LED is a better option over LCD. For a better understanding the schematic diagram is given below.
The network is connected through a network gateway (MGS Gateway) and the entire system is controlled through a CMS server loaded with required type of software. A network switch is used to receive and distribute the input signal from the out stations/devices. To the video wall ,incoming signals are connected through a controller device. This arrangement is done to select the required station and view it according to our requirement, rather than viewing all stations together. All stations /devices can be viewed together but due to large screen, to view many number of devices/stations together is cumbersome. The entire operation is controlled by a PC connected to the system.
Generally the video wall is used to monitor different stations at a time. The video wall can be divided into more than one station and monitored. The operators sitting in the control room are assigned with the responsibility of monitoring one or more stations. These operators keep monitoring the stations assigned to them and keep logging the incidents. If VAS software is used at the CCTV stations connected to the Operational Control Centre, we can make arrangements in such a way that the alarms raised at the out stations/by CCTV cameras connected to the control room is popped up and taken extra care. This helps to attract the attention of the operator from overriding the priority of a routine viewing into a priority incident viewing. The same can be recorded in the storage server provided at control room if needed for further anlysis/records.
The cost of the Video wall being a high, we can go for simple multiple monitors system also. The disadvantage of the multiple monitor is, each monitor should have a separate PC Connected to it. If there are more stations than the requirement of monitors goes high. If less monitors , PCs and Operators are used , then there is possibility of getting bottle neck of the traffic thus missing the important events. Due to this many a time important alarms are missed out without recording/monitoring. The functions of Operational Control Rooms used with simple monitors is shown below in the schematic diagram.
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If we carefully study above schematic, we can see that there is a network switch where the input is received from out stations/devices. Further the network switch is connected to a server loaded with control software. Also we can see number of PCs, which works as Clint PCs of main server. These PCs are connected with monitors. Each PC works as a Clint station and monitors the respective station. The monitor/Video output of the PC is fed to the monitor to view the Clint station. Therefore requirement of number of PCs are as per number of monitors connected at Operational Control room.  The system is cost affective but there are many disadvantages. Like bottle neck of traffic during peak alarm hours, more number of operators are required, missing of important events/alarms etc. therefore it is better to go for video wall if number of out stations/CCTV Cameras are more and the same are required to be monitored at a OCC.
With this we came to an end of the surveillance system through CCTV.
The fire safety system is one of the most important system to be understood by a security person. In loss prevention process of business continuity plan, the fire prevention takes a major roll.  We will start discussing the fire safety system in our subsequent topics.
G K Bhat
[email protected]


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