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IP CCTV – Moving Video Surveillance to the Future

Video Surveillance has been used for some time as a method to deter crime.   While the use of various types of cameras – fixed cameras, dome cameras, pan-tilt-zoom cameras has remained essentially unchanged, the technology behind these cameras is changing at a rapid pace.  Where cameras have traditionally been run on a backbone of RG-59U coaxial cable with separate power, cameras are now able to be installed through an IT network infrastructure through a single CAT5E or CAT6 Ethernet cable. This post shall be one in a series that speaks to the benefits of moving to an IT-based IP CCTV surveillance set-up in your business or facility. Improved Video Quality The technology which IP-based cameras utilize to create video is far superior to that which analog-based systems can provide.  An analogy we can use to demonstrate this difference in quality is comparing analog and digital television sets.  Analog cameras produce video which is measure in “TVL”, or TV Lines.  Typically, analog cameras can produce a resolution of 540 or 600 TVL – about the same quality you would expect to see out of a “tube” television set.  While these sets are still functional and produce a viewable image, a trip to your local technology store shows that these sets have been surpassed in quality by their plasma and LCD/LED counterparts.  This is also true in the CCTV surveillance world, where IP cameras, particularly their megapixel counter parts, can produce video which is equivalent to high-definition television and 1080P Blu-Ray quality.  IP megapixel cameras can produce images which are larger and clearer than their analog counter parts.  A video produced by Vivotek, who FMC uses in IP camera installations, vividly demonstrates this improvement in video quality: Reduced Installation Costs While the cameras being used are of higher quality, IP camera installations can also come at a cost that is equivalent or reduced when compared to analog systems.  This can be done in a number of ways: –        Reduced cabling:  as only a single CAT5E is required, less material and labour is needed to  complete an installation, reducing your installation costs –        Distributed systems:  IP camera installations can become distributed, meaning each camera does not need to be “home run” to the local recording device – nodes can be designed throughout your facility to facilitate shorter wire runs and economize labour. –        Fewer cameras: as demonstrated in the video above, a single megapixel IP surveillance camera can be used where multiple analog cameras would have been installed previously, due to the improve quality of the image from the camera –        Reduced recording hardware:  Where analog systems had a set number of cameras qhich were able to be recorded (usually multiple of 4 – 4, 8, 16, etc) IP-based systems are able to accommodate virtually a limitless number of cameras on a single system, depending on the size of hard drive installed.  For example, his means that a single system could start with only 4 cameras and move to 20 without installing new hardware.  In an “Old” analog system, a new DVR would have had to have been installed to accommodate this expanding system. As you can clearly see, there are many benefits in moving to an IP based CCTV video surveillance system.  FMC is experienced in working with IP-based systems of any size, and has implemented hybrid systems which accommodate both analog and IP-based cameras.  This allows for a slower migration to an IP-based set-up, while not wasting a previous investment in analog CCTV video surveillance. As always, FMC’s Client Services Representatives can identify exactly the right fit for your facility during one of our no-obligation visits.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at 888-789-FIRE and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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