Balancing Security and Privacy at St. Andrew’s Village in New Zealand

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St. Andrew’s Village in Glendowie, Auckland, New Zealand, has provided multiple lifestyle options for the elderly for more than 52 years, ranging from independent living accommodations to hospital and dementia care. About 150 dedicated staff members provide 24-hour services including management, nursing, catering, building and grounds maintenance for some 180 village residents. About 130 retirees live independently in comfortable, ”license to occupy” homes and rental cottages within the Village’s 35+ acres of park-like grounds providing a tranquil haven with a panoramic view of the Tamaki Estuary.


In a caring environment for society’s vulnerable elderly citizens, lifestyle and security need to strike a delicate balance. Security must be maintained while respecting residents’ privacy and facilitate freedom of movement for patients, staff and visitors. St. Andrew’s especially wanted to capture high-quality images of vulnerable areas such as entrances and parking lots to ensure a safe environment for residents and staff members.

Megapixel Solution

Management at St. Andrew’s Village achieved the balance between security and privacy with the strategic placement of 15 megapixel IP network video cameras from Arecont Vision. By employing megapixel technology, fewer cameras were required to cover the expansive facility’s grounds. This enables security personnel to keep a close watch on activities without imposing the feeling of “big brother” that is typical when dozens of cameras occupy a site. To document and archive activities, all of the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras are recorded on a 16-channel NetStation Network Video Recorder from Alnet Systems.

To oversee the daily and nightly activities of residents, staff and visitors, 13 Arecont Vision Model AV3130 and two Model AV1300DN megapixel cameras have been strategically positioned to monitor vulnerable areas.

Arecont Vision’s AV3130 Series network camera is a unique dual-sensor, day/night 3/1.3 megapixel IP camera that delivers up to 15 frames per second (fps) at 2,048 x 1,536 pixels of high-definition color resolution using a 1/2-inch, 3.0 megapixel CMOS color sensor. It is a unique camera suited to the variable 24-hour lighting conditions in the St. Andrew’s Village environment. In low light conditions, the AV3130 changes from color to black-and-white mode (using a separate 1/2-in, 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor), and the camera’s frame rate increases to a maximum of 30 fps at 1,280 x 1,024 pixels. Light sensitivity is 0.02 lux at F1.4. The camera also offers simultaneous full field-of-view and region-of-interest (ROI) video. Model AV3130 also provides on-camera motion detection.

Arecont Vision Model AV1300 1.3 megapixel camera captures1,280 x 1,024-pixel video at 32 frames per second and has light sensitivity of 0.1 lux at F1.4. It also provides features such as forensic zooming, region-of-interest (ROI), image cropping and motion detection. The day/night version used at St. Andrew’s Village uses a motorized infrared (IR) cut filter.

A wireless connection set up by Wireless and Optical Networks Limited, Glenfield, Auckland, is used to transmit the images from one of the AV1300s, positioned to monitor an unused rear gate at the Village, to the Alnet Systems 16-channel NetStation NVR situated in the administration offices.

The NetStation NVR is a Network Video Surveillance System using NetStation software, an advanced video and sound recording system based on the VDR-S application used in PC-based DVR systems by Alnet Systems. The open-platform system is compatible Arecont Vision cameras.

Megapixel Benefits

Arecont Vision cameras, made in the USA, employ the company’s patented MegaVideo® technology to provide the world’s fastest, multi-megapixel network cameras supporting full-motion video frame rates. The Arecont Vision 3.0 megapixel camera provides up to ten times the resolution of a high-quality analog camera. The ability of these cameras to be connected to an existing network provides installation flexibility and keeps costs low.

Chris Dale, General Manager of St. Andrew’s Village for nearly 13 years, appreciates the importance of a low-key but effective security policy to ensure that the community runs smoothly. “To date, we have not received any complaints about the use of cameras in the Village,” said Dale. “On the contrary, residents and staff are reassured by their presence, and [the cameras] are accepted as part of the environment in which we live and work. I am very pleased with the dependability and quality of the images produced by the cameras and [with] the efficient way those images can be viewed on our PC network at all times.”

Dale confirms that, using the NetStation’s Archive Menu and high-quality archived images from the Arecont Vision cameras,St. Andrew’s has been able to quickly and easily confi rm the true circumstances concerning some recent minor incidents at the Village. Arecont Vision megapixel IP cameras provide coverage with higher resolution for superior picture quality and better results.