I know of casinos that use 180-degree and 360-degree cameras. We have resisted the urge. There are several issues with them in my mind:
- Like high-megapixel cameras, many panoramic cameras are not capable of delivering 30fps video. This is a regulatory issue, since our regulations require 30fps for all cameras.
- As pointed out, panoramic cameras tend to have poor resolution. We would have to use a large number of them to adequately cover any given area. High ceilings in many areas would accentuate the problem.
- Panoramic cameras will not see through objects any more than any other camera type. Camera locations and fields of view are typically optimized to cover specific areas from specific vantage points. A panoramic camera located to see in one direction would not necessarily see well in another direction.
In my opinion, the Pelco ad displays a lack of knowledge of casino requirements on Pelco's part.
Depends on the purpose you have, but certainly not to get players details.
For Identification (300 to 500 ppm) and close details (800 to 1200 ppm) forget it. For general movements, circulation and target tracking it's very good with correct lighting: so reco ( > 100 ppm) and detect ( > 30 ppm) That kind of camera are good for hotels too (I've done a complete webinar on that, with on site testing) in halls and and any busy crossing path.
Just to detect where people have been moving around. It's so just a complement that facilitate general surveillance. Security Managers love it. Same for 180° behind the reception desk.
Several casinos that use this technology rely on it to supplement their coverage currently in place. As Carl mentioned because the units are typically not capable of 30FPS their use in general casino environments is limited. I think this may change this year as manufacturers come out with 360 cameras capable of 30FPS with higher MP abilities.
My desire is to maximize the return on these camera investments in a space such as yours and to achieve that I am of the opinion the cameras need to be UHD resolutions so minimally 10MP or above and 30IPS.
This is based on as you said 90 degree FOV as well as length of FOV. While you are going to get more out of a Cage or Count Room because the ceiling height is much less for general use on the gaming floor, which most people, are after it has been my experience that many more pixels are needed to avoid the "ohhh" moment indicating the dreaded expectation gap!
A couple different manufactures are promising products next which aim to eradicate this gap so we will see.
In France, camera covering public places should record at 6 fps minimum with a large angle and 12 fps when covering a thin area. That said , some SI install all cameras at 25 fps (PAL) to be sure to get better results even when cameras won't be used by police because far too high, or far too bad to export anything usuable to identify somebody. (very large FOV and lack of contrast) Obvioulsy cameras viewing and recording crabs and poker tables with be set to 50 fps in every country...
My feelling is, if you don't have the budget to have all cameras at the maximum view/ rec better apply a differenciated strategy by camera type. Only "strategic" identification camera (400 ppm in France) should really be set to the maximum fps to garanty max quality during an exportation and avoid the bloody blury frame effect. Strategy is often 50 cameras to find the target and only 5 able to export in the correct quality.(in Casino, financial stakes make it easier to justify a maximum of high quality lenses and high fps because ROI is easier to demonstrate, which isn't the case for hotels for example)
You are correct that a balance needs to be found between resolution, FPS and bandwidth as all affect storage costing as well as evidentiary quality. I have seen much more focus on roulette for higher frame rate needs than craps, which I assume you meant, or table games.
While I fully agree that most would consider going to 60FPS over all money operations in a casino of they could most will not at the cost of resolution due to the positioning of the cameras. This is why resolutions such as 4K at 30FPS and lower at 60FPS hold such promise. When they become commercially popular I am sure you are correct that many will want to turn down a few of the 8.3MP to go to 60FPS but not many will do that that to the 2.1MP of 1080p.
I totally agree with you. I even did a theoretical study to prove that. You can read it at my website: http://www.cctvinstitute.com.br/fisheyecamera.html
One of the newer properties on the Vegas strip uses many 5MP/360 cameras mounted on the high ceilings of the casino floor. They're not running at 30 FPS and they're not used for capturing detailed video of gaming tables. They're used for overview / situational awareness. One real world example was a guest who forgot her purse at a blackjack table and soon after someone else picked it up and walked away. The 360 cameras were used to track the path of the thief throughout the casino until he walked into view of a choke point camera where it was much easier to see face details. Casinos are very large and the 360 cameras are a great tool to track movement and activity on the floor. Needles to say this is part of general surveillance at the casino and not part of the gaming table cameras that are monitored live for tells.
It's been over a year since I did the security tour there. If memory serves, it was about 10 FPS.
On the close-up gaming table cameras, the 30 FPS and minimum 8-camera failure point rule strongly applies, but it seems they had more wiggle room for general surveillance applications, especially when new technology was involved.
But you're right, evey jurisdition has their own set of rules.
The casino chain in Vegas that I know uses 360 cameras does as indicated not run them at 30IPS but the cameras are classified as "Supplemental" as the NGC would not approve them as "Primary" coverage cameras for the gaming floor. This chain of properties dies rely heavily on these camera for image acquisition once they have located the region and time of the incident.
We find that the best value proposition that 5-12MP fisheye cameras offer is in tracking. Determining where people were and where they went without having to review alot of different cameras.
Before we deployed fisheye cameras we wasted a lot of time jumping from one narrow FoV camera to the next in order to document a subjects location during a relevant time period.
'People surfing for slot machine tickets have a tendency to cover great distances quickly and sustain this behavior for hours on end.'
Additionally, we see value in the sense that it compares to installing a nest of analog cameras without the overhead for the seperate power supply, VMSlicenses and associated cables and encoders.
We call our fisheye cameras "trackers" and have them deployed "between" chokepoints and other sensitive areas where we use a high-res IP cameras with traditional fields of view for greater forensic detail.
In a nut shell we find panoramic cameras to be invaluable time savers.