Flexible Video Wall Anchors Metro DC Security Center

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Washington Professional Systems recently installed a new security system for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Washington Professional Systems recently won a competitive award for the new Security Operations Command Center for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA SOCC). The goals of the project included incorporating flexible video wall technology into the existing, system-wide CCTV, multi-desktop control capability, VTC, and streaming media sources. The CCTV alone is comprised of some 12,000 cameras, deployed across the Washington, D.C. Metro region in both Metrorail and Metrobus locations.

The WMATA has 90 rail stations, 10 rail yards, 10 bus garages, and 10 miscellaneous buildings, which posed numerous challenges for each installation. Among those challenges were technical performance issues (fast video wall template switching, low frame latency, overall system flexibility, fault-tolerant 24/7 operation, and low maintenance) to planning for serviceability (strategic spares, staff training, operations and maintenance documentation, and other logistical considerations).

For Washington Professional Systems, the contract was split into two separate awards—all of the displays, VTC, and some portions of the audio systems were awarded in a separate contract, which posed a challenge for them. “From an engineering point of view, it was all one project, but it was challenging to track it that way,” explained Eric Choucroun, senior account executive, Washington Professional Systems. “The Crestron programming hierarchy was challenging, the coordination with the WMATA IT department regarding the Crestron X-Panel usage, and the mechanical aspects of the CDS pedestal for the main Mitsubishi cube products were also challenging. All of these things were solved by our submitting detailed RFIs and weekly meetings by the WPS team members."

“They use a single Crestron DM switcher for the entire building. It is a secure facility, so the employees themselves have tiered access to the systems. The facility is unique in that there are portions of the building that are only accessible to senior management,” Choucroun said.

Washington Professional Systems designed a sophisticated solution that includes digital media switching, flexible video wall processing and service-free, LED light engines. The controls are accessed from both dedicated touchpanels and desktop workstations. Five distinct subsystems share the complex mix of remote and local sources needed to satisfy the customer’s full performance specification.

“WPS has built other 24/7 command and control rooms for WMATA using projection technology, and changing lamps has been a problem. This project needed to be as maintenance free as possible, therefore the use of LED light source cube products and commercial-grade flat panel displays was a must,” explained Choucroun.

Notable components in this installation include NEC V423, P552, and V652 flat panel displays mounted to the walls with a NEC WMK- 3257 kit. Crestron and Extron control systems are the heart of the installation, with Jupiter Systems processing the video wall. Contemporary Research’s 232-ATSC+1 HD tuner, RK2EZ dual-rack kit, and RF-AB switch sourced the video screens.

The audio system consists of Crown CTS600 and CTS1200 amplifiers, with BSS BLUCARD-IN/OUT cards, and EAW LS823i line array speakers, and EAW SB48zP subs. JBL CONTROL 47LP ceiling speakers were also installed for low-profile sound. Finally, a variety of Middle Atlantic and equipment racks were used.

Kelleigh Welch is managing editor at SCN. Follow her on Twitter @kelleighwelch.

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