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Arecont Vision® cameras now provide increased coverage with superior image quality while delivering outstanding return on investment (ROI)
The Fort Washington Golf and Country Club in Fresno, California opened in 1923. “The Fort” is a private club that is owned by its membership, drawing its name from the military installation used by the area’s early pioneers and settlers. Today The Fort features a competitive 18-hole golf course with lush fairways and perfectly manicured greens. In addition, it offers 5-star dining and banquet facilities catering to its membership.
The analog surveillance system The Fort had in place for over 15 years consisted of two analog cameras to cover the club’s main parking lot and a third analog camera on a pan/tilt mechanism to view the driving range.
The cameras covering the parking lot were installed on the clubhouse to view cars and people entering and exiting club grounds from a distance of approximately 100 yards. Along with the driving range camera, the main function of these cameras was to watch for theft, vandalism, and other incidents.
“The previously installed cameras were very poor quality, so when an incident occurred we could not really see what happened,” said Alan Ehnes, Fort Washington’s Director of Golf. “And when we took the video recordings to the police department, the image quality was so poor they couldn’t enhance it beyond a blurred vision of a face.”
After growing tired of dealing with their ineffective and outdated video system, The Fort’s management and Board of Directors decided to upgrade to a higher-quality IP surveillance system.
“After all the options were laid out, we looked at the pros and cons of each and determined that an IP surveillance system utilizing megapixel cameras would be a much better choice in terms of growth and expansion potential,” Ehnes said.
The club began its search with Arecont Vision’s megapixel IP cameras. After management saw the cameras in action, the search was over.
The Fort’s management team collaborated on the design of the system with Matson Alarm Company, also located in Fresno, California. The system comprises one Arecont Vision® MegaView® AV3226PMIR 3 Megapixel Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) camera, one MegaVideo® Compact AV5115DNv1 5 Megapixel camera with 8-80 mm lens, and three SurroundVideo® AV12186DN 12 Megapixel 180˚ WDR Panoramic IP cameras. With these five cameras, The Fort’s personnel are able to view a much larger coverage area with significantly greater detail than with its previous system.
“The Fort wanted a surveillance system capable of providing more detail than any analog system could possibly offer. We were able to give them the ability to view the entire parking lot and surrounding areas with Arecont Vision’s megapixel SurroundVideo panoramic cameras,” said Ben Kiser, Matson Alarm’s IT Manager. “There is not any analog camera that could possibly capture the detail and coverage we are able to achieve using Arecont Vision’s IP cameras.”
While all of the Arecont Vision® cameras deliver outstanding performance and reliability, The Fort’s team was most impressed by the SurroundVideo® IP cameras, which deliver superior wide area coverage.
“Arecont Vision’s SurroundVideo® 180˚ cameras deliver wide area coverage with better resolution and lower total cost of ownership versus the poor performance and higher associated costs of deploying several conventional cameras. It’s much easier using these panoramic cameras than having to monitor and record multiple cameras and deal with gaps in coverage or overlapping coverage. The Arecont Vision® cameras provide superior performance for reading license plates and for more advanced applications like facial recognition as well,” Kiser said.
Video from the Arecont Vision® cameras feeds into an office inside the pro shop for viewing and recording. The video is monitored at all times when the shop is open.
“We connected the Arecont Vision® cameras to a monitor so they are able to see all the cameras at all times, rather than having to run back to check their computer,” Kiser said. “Club personnel can simply view all the cameras on a single large screen very easily.”
If a problem occurs at night, The Fort’s staff can view recorded images to investigate what happened. Not long after the system was installed, the club got a glimpse of how beneficial this capability would be.
“We experienced a problem about a month and half after we installed the new IP surveillance system at The Fort. Someone drove onto the property after hours, parked, entered the clubhouse, stole keys out of a purse in the coatroom, and then proceeded to steal their car,” Ehnes said. “We called up the video recordings taken with our new Arecont Vision® cameras and were able to easily determine when and what happened. We were able to watch a woman drive into our parking lot, get out of her car and leave with the stolen vehicle. With the level of detail the cameras picked up, the car license plate and perpetrator could easily be identified. We turned that surveillance over to the police and two days later she was arrested.”
The aesthetics of the Arecont Vision® cameras have also been a big hit with Fort Washington management and its members, Ehnes said. “They’re small and non-intrusive, so they blend in really well with the clubhouse,” he said.
Ehnes said attributing a specific cost savings to the system is difficult because it’s impossible to determine how many incidents or crimes it has deterred. However, the return on investment (ROI) that The Fort has realized from having the Arecont Vision® cameras in place has more than justified the up-front equipment and installation costs for the new improved surveillance system.
“The losses we were experiencing certainly outweigh the cost of installing the new cameras. Besides insurance deductibles, we were having a lot of problems with break-ins where people were having wallets and other belongings stolen from their cars,” Ehnes says. “The individual who was committing the majority of those crimes was actually identified and located.”
Ehnes summed the project up in a final quote. “I think these Arecont Vision® cameras are priceless!”