Leigh Visual designs, installs and maintains electronic security systems, particularly larger CCTV and Access Control systems for public sector and commercial customers.
Many larger customers require fully integrated security systems, incorporating perimeter, intruder and fire detection systems as well as CCTV and Access Control, generally managed via a Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) such as Cortech or CNL. Once a system is installed it is necessary to maintain it regularly if optimum performance is to be maintained and service callouts due to equipment failure minimized. Leigh Visual can provide a 4 hour service response 365 days a year.
CCTV
CCTV is currently in a state of transition, moving from traditional analogue technology utilising coaxial cabling to digital CCTV using local and wide area networks for transmission of video (IP CCTV or Network Video).

CCTV installations are now usually IP based. IP cameras are plugged into a network socket on a Local Area Network (LAN) in the same way as a PC. This then makes the camera’s video available to all network users who have the necessary passwords.

IP camera images are viewed on Video Management Software (VMS) run on a computer, such as Milestone.

IP CCTV has many advantages, including the ability to capture and transmit images of much higher quality (Megapixel Cameras) and removing the need for specialist CCTV recording hardware such as DVRs (digital video recorders), which are replaced by standard IT servers.

The move to network video has increased the ability to analyse video data, both live and stored. Video analytics enables live images to be monitored by software for suspicious incidents, for example by drawing “virtual tripwires” on a scene. Forensic search enables the intelligent searching of stored video for incidents by specifying image characteristics such as colour and direction of movement.

The migration of an analogue CCTV system to an IP CCTV system is possible using encoders and decoders which convert video signals to and from digital or analogue format. There are a number of algorithms which are used to encode video, with H.264 being popular..

Good CCTV system design remains fundamental. Whether to use CCTV, where to place cameras and which cameras to use so as to maximise effectiveness in enhancing security remains key.

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Access Control
An access control system is used to restrict access to buildings or rooms to those with acceptable identification.

The means of identification can include items that are carried such as cards and tags or characteristics of the individual such as retinal or fingerprint patterns, known as biometrics. These identifying items are “read” by a reader and if the individual has the correct permissions, entry is granted by releasing the locking mechanism. The entry of the individual through the entrance is usually recorded on a database.

The design of an access control system usually focuses on four areas. These are 1) selection of the identifying token or characteristic, 2) selection of the door locking mechanism and 3) selection of the door controllers and finally 4) the access control system software which will run on a remote server and monitor the system.

Access Control systems are usually IP based, though most means of communication can be utilised, as the communications method is usually transparent to the system.

Access Control systems vary in their capability and price, with multi-site and multi-country capabilities being one differentiating criteria.

It is particularly important with access control to ensure that one is not locked in to a proprietary system.

Integrated Systems
Many larger customers require a fully integrated security system, incorporating perimeter, intruder and fire detection systems as well as CCTV and Access Control.

Usually these systems will be managed via specialist software such as Milestone or Cortech.

Leigh Visual has designed and installed many integrated security systems, primarily for government customers. They are usually designed to counter a threat level greater than the simply criminal.

Whilst intruder and fire are common disciplines the design of perimeter systems requires specialist knowledge. Many detection technologies exist including buried cable, fence mounted alarms, microwave or IR fences and long range PIRs. Usually there is a requirement for CCTV to verify alarms, with pre- and post- event recordings. Lighting design is also important.

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Maintenance
Once a system is installed it is necessary to maintain it regularly if optimum performance is to be maintained and service callouts due to equipment failure minimised.

Leigh Visual recommends a contract providing for a regular number of maintenance visits and a chargeable callout service (a “Standard” contract).

Customers can report callouts by telephone or by using the web based reporting facility.

All service engineer vehicles have tracking units installed. Using the tracking data Leigh Visual can automatically generate emails to say when an engineer has arrived or left a customer’s site.

First Time Fix (FTF) is a key factor in service performance and achieving high levels of FTF is a goal of ours. Factors which affect this include engineer expertise and spares holdings. All Leigh Visual engineers are experienced with dealing with large CCTV and access control systems and engineer spares holdings are carefully planned.

Engineers use handheld barcode scanners which allow them to keep service records for each item of equipment that is maintained on a customer’s site. During a maintenance visit or callout the engineer uses the barcode scanner to scan the barcode for the item of equipment in question and this brings up the history of that item of equipment on the engineers PDA, detailing the last maintenance visit, fault history, and age of the equipment. When work is completed the activity is logged by the engineer on his PDA, thereby providing the customer with a full history of all service activity relating to that item of equipment.