STUDIO CITY, Calif. — The 40-acre CBS Studio Center, not far from Hollywood, is home to 18 cavernous sound stages, outdoor sets and other production facilities where such TV shows as “CSI:NY” and “According to Jim” are taped. Reality is recorded around the clock here, too, which is why Security Sales & Integration came for a recent tour led by security systems manager Rob Haggard.
Haggard just completed an overhaul of the facility’s video surveillance solution that did away with a number of 16-channel DVRs and an aged matrix switch. Enter a versatile hybrid analog/IP video solution powered by Bosch Security Systems technology.
The CBS center uses about 160 Bosch analog AutoDome and Dinion cameras, plus IP video encoders and decoders, to provide surveillance for the entire grounds that include more than 200 celebrity dressing rooms and 180,000 square feet of production office space. The cameras stream high resolution video to Bosch VideoJet 8008 multichannel encoders, which convert multiple analog camera signals into digital format and transmit them across CBS Studio Center’s network. The facility’s video is stored with a centralized network video recorder (NVR), while the VideoJet 8008s’ internal hard disks can also record video at the network’s edge.
“When I first started looking, one of the things about Bosch I liked right up front was it had the local recording capability. Networks go down. That is a given,” Haggard says. “If an incident happens while a network is down, I am still able to record. That was one of the biggest advantages I saw to their equipment.”
Haggard’s surveillance expansion design also entailed adding many cameras to watch over the facility’s new all-digital, high-definition broadcast center, which houses two 5,000-square-foot newsroom sound stages and 600 employees.
Bosch VIP XD decoders send video to a 12-monitor wall in the facility’s cramped security command center. The inherent expandability of the Bosch technology has allowed Haggard to design his system without having to shoehorn equipment into a command center that was built at a time when only 10 cameras were in use for the entire property.
Network switches and VideoJet 8008 encoders are housed in 15 locations spread throughout the lot. Coaxial cabling for new cameras is pulled from one of the 15 closets, instead of the complete distance to the command center. The network drops in each closet, where cameras are terminated, also provides an added layer of protection.
“If I lose a fiber in one area I don’t lose half my cameras,” Haggard says. “I’ll only lose eight to 16 cameras. Spreading it out makes it less vulnerable.”
The Bosch IP-based recording system, with video management software provided by Genetec, also provides Haggard the versatility for future expansion. “I am already figuring within a year I am going to be adding probably another server and increasing to a 300-camera system,” he says. “One thing I’ve learned: Don’t ever say never. If you would have told me six years ago we’d have over 160 cameras at CBS, I would have said, ‘Where would we put them all?’ Well, we did.”