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Casino Rebuilds With Robust AV

Deftly staying afloat amid the aftermath of Katrina, a New Orleans systems integrator works quickly to build a sprawling surveillance system for a rebuilding casino.

The Baton Rouge office served as IES' headquarters until November of last year, when the New Orleans headquarters once again became inhabitable. But facilities were only one challenge for the firm; communications provided another tough hurdle.

Since the flood wreaked havoc on both land-line and wireless telephone service, Francioni purchased Nextel two-way radio phones for his key staffers.

“We also went to Comp USA and bought a bunch of notebooks so everyone would have a computer,” he adds.

In all, Francioni estimates that IES incurred about half a million dollars in extra business expenses just to stay up and running in the aftermath of Katrina. However, enduring tribulation allowed the company to seize opportunities like the Boomtown.


Casino surveillance systems require head-end viewing environments capable of displaying many images at once. And usually, these rooms are crowded with CRT or LCD monitors.

“Most security guys just don't get the display part,” says Lloyd Francioni, managing partner at New Orleans-based AV systems integrator Interstate Electronic Systems (IES). “They're so used to building racks that look like they were designed in 1975. The only thing they've done lately is update the bulky CRT monitors with LCD panels, but these still take up a lot of geography. We raised the bar by putting in a videowall.”

At the newly rebuilt Boomtown Casino in Biloxi, MS, IES designed a head-end monitoring environment around a one-by-three display wall featuring three Mitsubishi 60-inch rear projection XGA-resolution display cubes and a Jupiter 980 display wall processor.

IES integrated Jupiter's ControlPoint software inside a custom GUI created in Version 4 of 360 Surveillance's Cameleon. Using that interface, Boomtown security staffers can put up to 45 camera images on the screen simultaneously in a variety of configurations. Each image can be freely moved about the wall and sized according to preference.

The huge XGA display lets Boomtown operators get more cameras on the screen simultaneously, Francioni says.

“To put it in perspective, the screen size of each of the 60-inch monitors is roughly equivalent to more than 45 10-inch monitors,” he says. “But very rarely does the casino distribute all of the video to the same size window. For example, they may choose to set most of the images to be approximately that of a 20-inch display and then enlarge a specific camera image of particular interest. Besides being eye candy, the videowall provides a much more functional display for the operation.”

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