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Surveillance of Crevier BMW Dealership

Established in 1971, Crevier BMW, Santa Ana, Calif., the largest BMW dealership in the United States, sells approximately 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles per year, including Mini Coopers, a BMW-owned brand. The Architects & Engineering Specification for the video surveillance system specified an IP solution because it was substantially less expensive in cabling and installation costs. In addition, the IP solution would lower infrastructure costs and provide better management.

Crevier compared the IP solution to traditional analog solutions and found there would be about a 60 percent difference in costs, mainly in reduced cabling costs for their campus environment. With an analog system, there would have been fiber, trenching, and other costs that were not required when using IP technology.

The IP solution included:

  • 16 PTZ IP dome cameras outside
  • 2 PTZ IP dome cameras inside
  • 8 stationary analog cameras
  • Model V2215 network video recorder

The 16 PTZ dome cameras were installed outdoors as part of the first phase of the IP-based video surveillance system. The proposal presented materials and labor, and initially the IP solution looked to be more expensive, but the labor balanced it all out and not just by a few thousand dollars, there was actually a large difference.

The IP system gave Crevier a significant saving over a traditional analog design, especially because there were no DVRs needed for the IP solution. The cost for the IP camera hardware was a little higher, but the Network Video Recorder (NVR) software could handle up to 64 cameras without a problem, and this is where they saw the big cost savings.

The installation used standard Cat 5e cable and the design called for a separate network for much of the video system to avoid overloading the data network.

One of the advantages of the Infinova IP cameras they chose was that they are able to pick on a camera-by-camera basis what size video they would get from the camera. The system uses MPEG4 compression, which only records frame changes, so with a reasonably static picture, there is very little data being recorded and transmitted. It reduces the network utilization on the camera system to about


One of two indoor Infinova PTZ dome cameras keeps a watchful eye on the BMW showroom. Another Infinova PTZ dome camera is used in the service entry area to check for any damage to cars and determine where it occurred. Because the installation was on an existing network, an integrator with data and security experience, Data Installers, Chino, Calif., was selected for the job.

“We did the installation of all the cameras and the running of the cable and conduit for all three buildings,” relates Edgar Estevez, Data Installers’ co-owner. “It took us a week – four guys, 10 hours a day to finish the installation.”

That bane of security installers – voltage drop over longer cable runs – figured in this installation. “We did have a problem with the distance of the Cat 5e for power,” Estevez concedes. “Around 200 feet, it started failing, so we had to run bigger gauge cable for the power for the cameras. We went to 16-gauge, and that worked a lot better.

For the car dealership, although security is an important element of the new surveillance system, quality control is at least as important. They need to know the exact location of every car, where it’s going and where it came from, and if the driver was authorized to make the move at that time. If there is a scratch on the car, a preparation or maintenance lapse, or any other problem, Crevier management needs to know when and why it happened. In the car business, it’s all about providing the customer with the highest level of satisfaction.

The cameras are able to capture numeric information from an identifier tag that hangs from the rear view mirror of each vehicle. All of the cameras are recorded into the network video recorder through Infinova VB2215 video management software. The information then can be recalled by any authorized user on his or her PC. The cost-effectiveness of this approach is yet another factor that motivated Crevier to select an IP solution.

The Infinova system covers each of four facilities that comprise the dealership. A total of 16 PTZ domes are installed in the main facility, which house administrative offices, new car sales and the service department. Additional cameras are located at a facility devoted to the Mini Coopers and another building considered a remote service facility.

Eight stationary cameras are traditional analog ones and are run through an analog to digital converter. The system will be expanded to cover a fourth six-story building, which will house a large parking garage and the resale department, will add about two dozen IP cameras to the system.

By helping channel partners provide their customers with complete, affordable, best-in-class, large and small video surveillance solutions, Infinova helps integrators generate more business more profitably. Leveraging a manufacturing process certified to ISO 9001:2000 standards and over 250 engineers with a list of video industry firsts, Infinova channel partners provide their end-users with industry-acknowledged product reliability and technical leadership.

So that Infinova channel partners can create complete solutions, Infinova provides IP surveillance cameras and components, CCTV analog cameras, DVRs and components, camera accessories, monitors, power supplies and fiber optics communications devices. Infinova also has the technical ability and manufacturing flexibility to let integrators propose customized solutions. In addition, Infinova will partner with other manufacturers making other surveillance equipment and software to help its channel partners create turnkey solutions. Contrary to most other companies, Infinova will back-up their partners’ products as well as its own to assure both the integrator and its customers that one call – to Infinova only – takes care of everything.

Infinova works diligently to assure its channel partners can provide cost-conscious solutions. With Infinova’s hybrid systems, channel partners can propose systems that protect a customer’s investment in its already-installed analog surveillance system but that also put them on a dynamic migration pathway to IP systems.

Infinova is lauded for its exceptional maintenance programs. A major highlight is the company’s 24-hour advanced replacement policy in which a substitute product is shipped immediately upon notice of a problem.

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