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In Case of Fire, Choose Matrox Mura

Date: 2015-03-24
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Fire & Rescue Emergency Response Center in France relies on Matrox Mura MPX technology to capture & display numerous video sources on two video walls

Agelec deployed Matrox Mura MPX Series boards to capture & display sources on two video walls at the Bouches-du-Rhône Fire & Rescue Headquarters.

A Case Study via Matrox Graphics:
The Bouches-du-Rhône Fire & Rescue Department (SDIS 13) chose Agelec to design and integrate two new video walls in their emergency response center, in order to monitor ongoing interventions and operations across this largely urban area of France. SDIS 13 now relies on Matrox Mura MPX cards from Matrox Graphics (headquartered in Montreal, Canada) – installed within Agelec AGCWALL video wall processors – to capture and display real-time, high-quality video and data from multiple sources on a large 12-display wall and a smaller 4-display wall. Agelec’s AGCTOUCH control software completed the installation, with an intuitive touch screen interface adapted to meet the client’s needs.  Following this successful installation, SDIS 13 is in a better position to manage and respond to constantly evolving information.

Challenge:
The Bouches-du-Rhône Fire & Rescue Department (SDIS 13) is involved in over 115,000 interventions annually – including 6,481 fires in 2014. Their regional command headquarters, located in Marseille, France, is responsible for overseeing operations for 62 fire stations serving most of the 5,087 km2 (1,964 sq mi) Bouches-du-Rhône territory. Faced with a growing influx of real-time video and data in their emergency response center, SDIS 13 was looking for a better way to manage key information in order to respond as quickly as possible during interventions on the ground.

“Our plan was to install two video walls to facilitate decision-making,” said SDIS 13 commander Didier Margotto, head of the emergency response center. “A large one in our action room to monitor ongoing interventions and operations, and a smaller one in our reflection room to focus on critical problems or manage additional crisis situations.”  SDIS 13 favored new large-format LCD displays with ultra-thin bezels. The control room installation would require a custom support structure for these displays, in order to fit them within a constrained space.  

The winning video wall processing solution would have to capture and display a wide variety of video sources on both walls. Source content would include camera footage from Firewatch fire detection cameras, HD video from aerial forest surveillance cameras, Sony dome IP cameras, and video conferencing. A TV tuner input would provide breaking news and other updates. Météo Plus weather maps and maps showing physical features & roadways would also be shown. Hundreds of internet sources, data from virtual private networks, and video from remote PCs would need to be easily accessible. Not to mention SDIS 13’s dedicated software tools—automatic wildfire detection systems, strike team alert and dispatch, fire evaluation and monitoring, ops management, 2D/3D mapping, and localization with data integration, etc.

Solution:
SDIS 13 evaluated various options and chose to deploy Agelec’s AGCWALL video wall processors, which incorporate Matrox Mura MPX PCIe boards to capture and display real-time, high-quality video and data from multiple sources. 

“We appreciate the flexibility of having both inputs and outputs on a single Matrox Mura MPX board and the large number of formats that these boards can handle,” said Agelec CEO Jean-Michel Lanco. “Matrox Mura MPX boards perform really well and are easy to install, not to mention being totally compatible with our AGCTOUCH software—we have used these with great success in many multi-input, multi-output video wall projects.” 

The SDIS 13 video walls were built with NEC 50” X551UN displays and a custom support structure provided by Agelec. The main wall includes 12 displays in a 4x3 configuration. The small wall comprises 4 displays in a 2x2 configuration. “The NEC displays chosen for this project provide ultra-narrow bezels (5.7mm content to content) and superior-quality readability compared to competitive 50” displays,” said Lanco.

The video wall processors were placed in an equipment room located behind the displays, together with some sources connected directly to Mura MPX boards. Additional sources found outside the equipment room are connected to the video wall processor using CAT6 extenders.

SDIS 13 controls their video wall layouts using a customized version of Agelec’s AGCTOUCH software running on touch screen displays. With so many video sources to monitor, video wall management is important. AGCTOUCH provides an easy way for SDIS 13 staff to position, switch, and zoom in on different content, using a 32” screen to control the smaller wall and a 46” screen for the larger one. The software also allows staff to control the video wall displays and other subsystems in the room with simple presets.

“Matrox Mura MPX input/output boards delivered universal input support, which was important given the variety of baseband and IP sources that we wanted to display on our video walls,” said Margotto. “Agelec’s video wall solution with Matrox Mura MPX inside helps us monitor a growing influx of real-time video and data, so we can make informed decisions more quickly during time-critical interventions. We are very happy with the results.”

For more information, see: www.matrox.com/graphics

- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Matrox Graphics, 3/24/15)

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