Studio Babelsberg

Thanks to Synology’s all-in-one solution, which immediately convinced our security team, we were able to integrate comprehensive video management software into our IT infrastructure without any additional expense for new hardware. Tilo Meisel, IT Manager - Studio Babelsberg AG

The Company

Founded in 1912, Studio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Today, Babelsberg is one of Europe‘s leading hubs for film and TV production engaging countless distinguished filmmakers to produce legendary movies, such as Inglourious Basterds, Grand Budapest Hotel or the TV series Homeland.


Studio Babelsberg acts as service provider and "one-stop-shop" for German and international producers: With an exceptional range of services, all phases and areas of the film production are covered in one location. With 20 state-of-the-art sound stages, various backlots and exterior sets on a 41-acre lot, as well as attractive shooting locations in the capital region, the Studio provides optimal conditions for any production.

The Challenge

 In 2016, Studio Babelsberg opened a new state-of-the-art backlot set "Metropolitan Backlot / Neue Berliner Straße", for which a solution for comprehensive video surveillance was required to ensure the security even outside of filming times. An ideal solution includes the use of IP cameras and network video recorder (NVR), support for a minimum of 2K resolution, motion detection feature that controls recording and facilitates locating specific motion events, and a user-friendly multi-stream user interface for security staff to easily manage the higher number of cameras deployed in the Studio. In addition, it was also required that the NVR be located in a secured server room to prevent any unwanted physical access, while still being accessible from the Security office using a client software program for active monitoring.


The Solution

Originally, a standalone single-purpose NVR was planned to record videos from multiple IP cameras; these include relatively cost-effective 2K cameras that offer required functionality and image quality, and 4K cameras deployed only at selected locations. The Studio tested three NVR devices from different manufacturers and observed problems on all of them due to the number of cameras, among others are false display of camera images, bandwidth or connection problems, failure of motion detection feature, and absence of a satisfactory client solution.

Surveillance Station: high functionality and easy to use

Since a pure NVR solution was not ideal, another research led to Synology's software solution -- Surveillance Station. Having deployed Synology NAS servers for a long time, the Studio was convinced of its functionality and has been satisfied with its well-designed and user-friendly web interface. A free software package on the DiskStation Manager, Surveillance Station was thus installed for the first time on an RS3614xs+, which had only been used for classic file-and web-services at the Studio. Before all cameras were included in the system, the Studio was able to test the comprehensive features on Surveillance Station with two IP-camera licenses installed by default on the NAS. Additionally, Surveillance Station also comes with feature-rich client software compatible with various platforms.

It is also worth highlighting that Synology's surveillance solution supports a large selection of IP cameras from various manufacturers – including those already in use at Studio Babelsberg. The motion detection feature, which was unsuccessfully tested on the NVRs previously, also worked for the first time with Synology Surveillance Station. Even after integrating all additional cameras, the system is able to run smoothly without any problem. What's more, only less than 5% of additional CPU utilization was observed when running Surveillance Station along with file service on the powerful RS3614xs+. 

The Benefits

High-performance client software

With Surveillance Station software, Studio Babelsberg did not have to purchase additional hardware to fulfill its surveillance needs. With smart multi-stream switching technology, bandwidth for live view and storage consumption can be reduced. Moreover, with user policies, security guards can be authorized necessary access to cameras for flexible management.

Extensive camera support

With Synology's extensive support for IP camera, existing camera devices at the Studio can be easily integrated into the new surveillance solution. Furthermore, necessary features such as motion detection works hassle-free on Surveillance Station.

Resource-saving video management software

Since Surveillance Station has low requirements for processor load and memory, it could be efficiently run on top of the file server RS3614xs+ without more than 5% increase of CPU utilization. The access speed was not affected even when deploying many high-resolution cameras, proving Surveillance Station a resource -saving VMS solution.

Recommended Models

  • RS3614xs+

Recommended Features

  • Video management with Surveillance Station
  • High-performance client software
  • Extensive camera support
  • Scalable file server
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