How Interoperable and Modular Video Wall Technology Improves Processes and Efficiencies in Security Monitoring Operation Centers and Control Rooms
In a volatile and interconnected world where cybersecurity is increasingly coming under attack with more sophisticated methods, it is imperative that organizations scrupulously monitor information streams and make informed decisions that are vital to the safety and security of the organization. Whether it is Homeland Security, airport and transit security, computer and data security, or other essential applications, video wall technology gives stakeholders critical information on a single display surface be it from single or multiple sources such as cameras, maps, operators, computers, or dashboards. This common operational picture is at the heart of a timely and comprehensive response.
However, despite advances in technology, there are significant challenges in monitoring control room environments. These include a constant data flow from disparate sources and networks as well as working with a VMS (Video Management System) like Genetec and Milestone. There is also the issue of managing different software applications. In summary, the biggest challenge of all is managing all the data coming from different systems efficiently while ensuring users see what they need to see when they need to see it without compromising the data.
The Challenge in Security Operation Centers
Video walls are among the most expensive and complex AV systems to design and integrate since they require specialized hardware and software to enable the system to effectively work together. However, the lack of interoperability among the various systems does not provide users with a seamless experience. Traditional video wall controllers are custom-built and not scalable on-site and meant for passive environments like lobbies and boardrooms. These controllers also represent a single point of failure; requiring them to be deployed in an expensive, redundant setup. Until recently, this was the only technology available for reliable and high-performance video wall control. While this technology is still sufficient for some control room applications, it is no longer the most cost-effective, reliable, versatile, or future-proof solution.
Security Operation Centers (SOC) typically utilize a software-based video management solution (VMS) to manage the security infrastructure. The VMS is the primary tool operators use daily and, although optimized for desktop work at the operator station, it is not designed to manage content on video walls where operators need to share information with colleagues in the SOC. The video wall is also used to show general information valuable to all operators that is not part of the VMS – such as social media feeds, weather information, cable TV, and maps.
The video wall in a control room is typically managed through a separate software application, meaning operators are switching between their VMS and the video wall management system, which is cumbersome and time consuming. The result is a labor intensive, non-intuitive solution requiring complex management and increased decision-making time which impacts operations and response time.
UNLOCKING Scalability and Interoperability
The introduction of video over IP simplifies delivery of video content across a network; enabling users to seamlessly visualize real-time video and audio on any display. Specifically for video walls, networked video distribution facilitates reliable video distribution and seamless content management to create a simplified and flexible user experience. IP-based network protocols enable users to distribute high-quality, low-latency video and audio content over standard networks in real-time.
Some video wall over IP solutions are scalable, modular, and interoperable with third-party technology and applications. A modular architecture seamlessly supports future deployments and promotes better redundancy. Additionally, IP-based video wall technology can eliminate familiar challenges of interoperability with existing infrastructure. The recent progress in AV-over-IP technology is transforming methods for content distribution by creating cost-effective, future-proof solutions.
By Nick Mathis, Director of Business Development, VuWall USA
Nick Mathis, CTS-I, serves as director of business development at VuWall. Mathis graduated with honors from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. He earned his AVIXA CTS credential in 2014 followed by his CTS-I in 2017. Prior to joining VuWall, he was a regional sales manager at Matrox. Previously, he worked as a solutions and AV systems engineer at Mechdyne Corporation in the U.S. and Europe for nearly six years.