03 June 2016

Comelit’s IP Video Surveillance solution installed at major restaurant chain

A McDonald’s restaurant within a retail park in County Durham is using an IP CCTV system supplied by Comelit UK. Systems integrators See-AV are installing a 32-camera network video system, including a 36-channel NVR, for recording images. McDonald’s is currently refurbishing hundreds of its premises across the UK including the option to order food from touchscreens to minimise queuing time, the introduction of table service at many locations and upgrading of the CCTV. See-AV specified Comelit’s full-HD (1080p) mini-dome IP colour cameras for use internally so that staff would benefit from the security and operational benefits that come with high-quality, real-time images. Use of the H.264 compression codec within the NVR means that this image quality is being achieved with low bandwidth requirements meaning that camera images can be viewed easily over a network or remotely using a Smartphone or tablet. Comelit’s ONVIF-compatible IP mini-domes have a 3.6mm fixed-lens and are waterproof to IP66 making them ideal for installation within a kitchen environment. The cameras have been installed to monitor customers (both eat-in and drive-through) as well as staff at the tills and in the kitchens where food is prepared. McDonald’s is recording video from more than 30 IP cameras at the site using a Comelit network video recorder (NVR). These are available as pure network devices or hybrid units with various combinations of IP, AHD 2.0, TVI and analogue inputs. Up to 36 simultaneous connections can be achieved with a single NVR and video monitoring is possible from network video transmitters, cameras and legacy DVRs. The NVR being used at this particular restaurant has a capacity of 16TB allowing continuous recording for up to 31 days.

Rapid retrieval and export

The restaurant will begin to exploit the remote viewing and diagnostic capabilities of the central management software (CMS) within the Comelit recorders as the project matures. There is a facility for ‘panic’ recording that can be controlled remotely if required. The equipment has only recently been installed but staff have already benefited from the ability to quickly isolate a relevant piece of footage and export the clip to a USB drive for viewing by third parties. This can be done directly from the NVR or via the connected PC. The external cameras are Comelit’s vandal-resistant varifocal 2.8-12mm full-HD IP mini domes for day-night use. Each of these cameras features 30 infrared LEDs with a range of up to 30 metres that are used extensively at the McDonald’s drive-through lane and car park. Impact resistance is rated at IK10 and the IR cut filter is mechanical. The cameras offer three-axis adjustment and, as with the internal units, they are IP66 rated and ONVIF compatible.

Rapid return on investment

The installation has replaced an old analogue system with Comelit working with See-AV at another McDonald’s restaurant in Hartlepool to demonstrate the optical performance of its cameras and the functionality of the NVR prior to this installation. The video footage is being viewed on Comelit’s 21.5-inch full HD LED monitors that include VGA, HDMI and BNC video inputs. Francesca Boeris, Managing Director, Comelit UK, said: “Comelit’s IP CCTV solution is proving versatile and producing a rapid return on investment (ROI) for users. In addition to their mainstream security function, the cameras can be used by McDonald’s managers to analyse flow of customers around the restaurant and fine-tune safety practice as well as distinguishing between genuine accidents and spurious trip & fall claims, something they would have struggled to do with the old D1 analogue system.”

Outperformed prominent competitor

Francesca continued: “Managers at the restaurant indicated they wanted superior image quality with easy-to-use software. During testing, our cameras outperformed comparable units from one of the largest Chinese manufacturers in the world. Our equipment is now proving an integral part of a high-tech refurbishment at the restaurant.” The integrator for the project is Manchester-based See-AV who work on security and audiovisual assignments across the UK. The company is a division of PV Audio Video and has particular strengths in automated access control, gate entry systems and perimeter detection. The installation took one week and was completed within budget and deadline. McDonald’s expects to refurbish its UK premises during 2016 at an average of one restaurant per day. The last quarter of 2015 was the company’s busiest ever period for UK operations. It now caters for an increasingly diverse customer base and the traditional red and yellow livery is more muted. The in-store digital equipment allows customers to check on the nutritional content of their menu choices.