The Opera, Ballet and ViconNet® All Provide Top Performances at Birmingham Hippodrome



The 1,850 seat Birmingham Hippodrome, one of the largest theatre complexes in the UK, is home to the acclaimed Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange. It also attracts international companies, top West End productions and full scale ballet and opera. But, it is the new ViconNet digital video surveillance system that is performing everyday behind the scenes.

In addition to the main auditorium, Birmingham Hippodrome boasts a studio theatre, rehearsal studios and state-of-the-art conference facilities made possible by a major £30m redevelopment project. The move to replace outdated first generation DVRs throughout the complex has been part of a two-and-a-half year project undertaken by national installer ADT.

Birmingham Hippodrome Director of Operations Mike Bradford, said: “We wanted to modernise the way that CCTV at Birmingham Hippodrome was managed and maintained as it plays an important security and safety role for staff and visitors. Sixteen of our thirty cameras are now linked up to a Kollector DVR and we’ll be upgrading the rest in the second phase.”

The Kollector is Vicon’s top of the range DVR capable of recording at up to 400 frames per second with storage configurations up to 1.6TB internally and a further 8TB with optional external RAIDS. When working in conjunction with ViconNet software the result is a total system control station, allowing users to view, control and configure any ViconNet DVR or IP device from any PC workstation on the network.

Having the Kollector DVR and ViconNet software will make key tasks easier for the Hippodrome team, explains Mr Bradford. “We’ve started by linking up the external cameras because those are the ones where the risks are higher and where we are more likely to need to provide evidence for the police. The whole job will now be much less time consuming. The new equipment also gives us improved functionality, better image quality and greatly increased storage capacity: 30 days instead of the three days which the old recorder provided.”

The ViconNet software will also allow Mr Bradford or any of his colleagues to view images from any authorised PC workstation, including PC’s at home should that be necessary. As a result, checking, searching through and copying recorded images is much quicker. “In the past it could take us hours to find a particular incident recording and copy it for the police. Now we can do everything in a few seconds, literally by dragging and dropping the icons on our PC monitors.”