Sound Security at Carnegie Hall

When Carnegie Hall needed a security upgrade, it turned to an integrator that was intimately familiar with its current system. TriTech Communication teamed with Carnegie’s IT staff, building engineers and electricians to upgrade the hall’s access control and video surveillance systems.

Carnegie Hall is home to the most prestigious concert stage in the United States. The historic building, known for its brilliant musical performances, has nearly 250 concerts each season. With an average of 2,700 attendees flooding the concert hall 44 weeks out of the year, Carnegie Hall staff knew it was time to upgrade its outdated video surveillance and access control systems.[IMAGE]carnegie-open.jpg[/IMAGE]

The hall’s main security issue began at the access control level. AMAG Technology’s Symmetry Professional was already installed; however, the system needed to integrate its existing analog cameras, as well as provide the option for upgrades in the future.

Carnegie Hall Director of Security Tony Strano turned to Garden City, N.Y. -based TriTech Communications to complete the $70,000 project. Since the end user was already familiar with AMAG’s technology, it was an easy choice for Strano to select TriTech, an authorized dealer for the manufacturer.

“We were representing what they already have and what is one of our primary go-to-market products,” says Alex Aristides, vice president and operations manager for TriTech. “We were able to offer them a solution they were already familiar with – just more advanced and more integrated.”

While TriTech has installed a fair share of systems for Fortune 500 and 1,000 companies, the Carnegie Hall installation posed a unique challenge of its own.

Because of the hall’s historical property and concert schedule, it became imperative for TriTech to build a close relationship with Carnegie Hall’s IT department and building experts.


Outdated System Poses Concerns

Carnegie Hall’s security staff had long struggled with keeping account of who entered the building. Prior to the Symmetry integration, the security officers were tasked with physically watching each door on a single monitor. The challenge was too daunting and presented too many opportunities for mistakes.

The staff also needed to control the access of people coming onto the stage entrance. The building, which takes up an entire city block, is also used as a residential and commercial facility. The numerous studios, offices and rehearsal rooms required card readers at every entry point since Carnegie remains active from 8 a.m. until midnight and runs its core business on a 9-to-5 schedule.

“Our main concern is controlling the access because we have artists from all over the world here and we wanted to make sure we safeguard everyone who comes into the building,” Strano says.

With throngs of people passing by Carnegie Hall each day, it also became critical to monitor public spaces and access points behind the building; however, the DVRs were not on the network. Because the cumbersome system was separate from the access control system, the security staff was forced to manage two systems simultaneously.

The solution was AMAG’s Symmetry Video system and Edge Network Video Server (ENVS). The ENVS system not only allowed Carnegie to use its existing analog cameras, but it integrated with the hall’s existing access control system and gave Strano the option to upgrade to IP cameras down the line.

Carnegie was now able to link its 57 legacy cameras to all its door contacts, something that was not possible on the old system. The new ENVS was dedicated to security and rack-mounted network video servers replaced the existing DVRs.

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