Surveillance Equipment | News

Texas District Adds IP Video Management for Security and Ops

Water Valley Independent School District in Texas has adopted a new application for managing its IP video cameras. The district, which has 14 cameras, began working with Wren Solutions' Encapsulon Video this last summer.

Water Valley began using Wren gear in April 2007, when it implemented three IP cameras to do video surveillance in the high school gym. According to James Ditmore, director of IT for the 300-student district, he recommended the school move to IP video after operating for years on low-end cameras attached to a VCR. Ditmore was looking for a simple, streamlined, expandable video system that would be easy for administrators to use.

Over the last three years, the district has added additional cameras indoors and outdoors.

"The purpose-built appliances made upgrading our video surveillance system to IP an easy plug-and-play process and we can add cameras on demand, as budget funds become available," said Ditmore. "It's a very practical solution that will accommodate our needs for the long-term, and even allow us to integrate IP access control with our video in the future, should we decide to do so."

Encapsulon Video is a Web-based application that lets authorized users access video being captured on cameras anywhere on the network. Installation was a turnkey operation. "After installing the cameras, we simply added the rack-mounted appliances to our [wiring] closet," Ditmore explained. "All equipment--cameras, recording and hosting appliances--were staged at the factory... The Encapsulon Video software was preloaded and the cameras were preconfigured to our specifications."

The district hopes to use video beyond security functions to improve operations, such as for evaluating student traffic patterns at the start and end of the school day.

"The principal or superintendent can log in from anywhere to view live and recorded video," Ditmore added. "The software interface is very intuitive and they have found it easy to acclimate to the system. This increases use of the system and means that we are getting more out of video than ever before. I fully expect we will find new ways to leverage video."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.