Designing the ultimate stadium surveillance system

Johannesburg, 2010-Jan-25
This content is available in the following languages: English

Roy Alves, country manager, Axis Communications

Just like every door needs a special key to open, every surveillance scenario has its specific surveillance requirements, and each has its challenges and advantages. Unlike private locations, public areas pose the greater challenge for the setup of surveillance systems and soccer stadia are no different. There are numerous factors that need to be taken into consideration when setting up a surveillance system. Some of these are explored below.

The surveillance location has the most influence on the overall system installation as it affects numerous other factors such as lighting, weather, as well as the angle of coverage required. Being typically outdoors, stadia require robust solutions that can withstand the elements and work in varying lighting conditions.

Lighting conditions
Unlike factories or stores that operate during the day and are often well lit in the evenings, soccer stadia are unpredictable in its lighting, ranging from bright sunshine during the day to the selective flood lights if the venue is used in the evening. To ensure that a surveillance system captures clear and crisp images, the correct cameras need to be chosen. Internet Protocol (IP) cameras provide the option of varifocal lenses. This means the camera automatically adjusts the lens iris to counter low light or extremely bright conditions.

Distance and angle of view
To effectively cover vast, open spaces, one not only requires a network of cameras situated at strategic points, but it is as important that the right camera be placed at these points. There are two options to go with when deploying an IP camera solution. There is the fixed angle camera, which focuses on one area only. These are useful for monitoring high activity areas or trouble zones. The other option is the Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) camera, which offers ultimate flexibility with its wide area coverage.

Viewing and recording needs
Football matches are generally high tempo occasions both on and off the field, requiring constant monitoring and recording for effective review of crowd movement. However, when not in use, stadia are practically deserted, requiring little or no recording at all. Intelligent technologies such as recording triggers, which are found in network camera systems, allow operators to programme the cameras to begin recording only when the set trigger is activated, and this can either be sound or visual. This feature keeps bandwidth and storage requirements at a minimum.

Using existing infrastructure
Most stadia are equipped with a surveillance system; however, these are generally legacy systems in need of an upgrade. Whether it is an existing digital IP system or an analogue system that is already in existence, upgrading the system to a fully digital one is cost effective and relatively easy. Both additional IP cameras and existing analogue cameras can be integrated into the system through an IP video server.

Notes to editors
1 Axis Communications is the global market leader in the network video market with a market share of network cameras of 33.5%. The world market for network cameras alone is forecast to be worth more than $2.5 Billion by 2012. The network camera market is set to have a CAGR of more than 35 per cent per year over the next three years, according to industry analyst house IMS Research ( in its latest market report entitled ‘The World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment 2008 Edition’ published in November 2008.

About Axis
Axis is an IT company offering network video solutions for professional installations. The company is the global market leader in network video, driving the ongoing shift from analogue to digital video surveillance. Axis products and solutions focus on security surveillance and remote monitoring, and are based on innovative, open technology platforms.

Axis is a Swedish-based company, operating worldwide with offices in more than 20 countries and cooperating with partners in more than 70 countries. Founded in 1984, Axis is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the ticker AXIS. For more information about Axis, please visit our website at

For further information about Axis Communications, please contact:
Roy Alves, country manager, Axis Communications
Phone: +27 11 548 6780, E-mail:

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Rochelle de Paiva, account manager, Text 100Johannesburg
Phone: +27 11 803 2800, E-mail: