Trading up with Axis video encoders

Chicago’s McCormick Place sees greater surveillance control over tradeshows and events with Axis video encoders

“The Axis encoders increase the resolution we’re able to get from our old analog cameras, giving us more actionable details about offenders such as distinct facial features and uniform insignias.” Frank Solano, Security Systems Engineer for SMG, management company for McCormick Place.


McCormick Place, the largest convention facility in North America, had been using analog surveillance equipment for more than 25 years. All that changed when they opened the state-of-the-art West Building in 2007. The new exhibit hall boasted more than 300 advanced Axis network cameras covering 800,000 square feet of space. Noting the contrast between the analog and IP-based systems, the convention center began looking for a way to increase the performance of their legacy investment and integrate it with their new digital technology.


With the help of Johnson Controls, an Axis National Systems Integrator partner that provides building security services for McCormick Place, the venue used Axis video encoders to network-enable hundreds of analog cameras in the North and South Buildings and the Lakeside Center. Once the video streams were digitized, the analog cameras could be managed under the same Milestone XProtect® Enterprise video management software (VMS) as the new, high-resolution Axis network cameras.


Even with reusing their existing analog cameras, the video resolution delivered by the Axis encoders far exceeded the image quality security was able to get from its old DVRs. With clearer forensic evidence from their analog cameras coupled with high-resolution video delivered by new Axis cameras, the staff has been better able to investigate incidents and prosecute offenders. Additionally, with an all-IP backbone, McCormick can now utilize more advanced analytics, such as BriefCam® Video Synopsis® software, to compress hours of video into a minutes-long synopsis.

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Stadiums & venues