IP delivers increased flexibility when specifying CCTV project options

March 18, 2010

Many CCTV projects begin with looking into the features required and the amount of integration needed with other systems. These discussions run along the lines of producing a Must Have / Nice to have / Wish list of features. We recently worked with a Systems Integrator (SI) to develop a CCTV system for a company from the petro-chemical industry. It provided an interesting insight into how many Wish list items we were able to include in the system simply by specifying IP.

The end customers key Must Have was a reliable and robust system; but they also wanted enhanced functionality for communications and public address broadcasting, as well as remote lighting management and proactive alert systems. And cost, like most projects, was a key concern.

To cut project costs existing analogue cameras were utilised by being connected to an IP encoder for transmission over a local 5GHz wireless LAN from Infinet. This helped avoid cable runs from difficult areas and enhanced project savings by cutting the costs of digging trenches to new camera locations. Another requirement was met by the use of Mesh network topology to provide resilience in the transmission of the CCTV.

It was at this point that we could start ticking off the main Wishlist items as the encoder could support local I/O devices such as Redwall’s and also be connected to local tannoy systems from TOA in the event that communications needed to be broadcast, such as safety announcements or to get a remote site worker to come to a site office or rendezvous with other colleagues.

We could also support other I/O devices through the use of Adams boards to convert I/O to IP and then link this data to either display the cameras signalling alarms or make a PTZ go to a preset position to give a visual overview of events; allow for process control and ensuring contracted works had been carried out; or even provide lone worker protection.

If you would like to find out more about working in partnership with Controlware, please drop me an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk .

Open CCTV management software the best way forward for CCTV systems

February 11, 2010

It is plain to see that the CCTV market will embrace IP as the dominant technology for CCTV systems very soon. The next thing to examine is how the industry is able to quickly integrate IP into today’s new and existing installations.

One of the most attractive things about the IP-based open management platform is the ability to help migrate existing systems to IP without replacing existing infrastructure or the cost of upgrading relatively new components in order to get an attractive new feature. This is why one of Controlware’s fundamental approaches when working alongside partners is to make system design as modular as possible so that components can be integrated as and when required to meet operational requirements, phased project management or simply budgetary needs. By utilising an open management platform over the life of the project (be this one month, one year, 10 years) it allows us to work with partners to meet these requirements in a flexible and logical way.

It would be very difficult to achieve a project successfully if you were tied to a proprietary system because you would need to be able to ensure that you could get all the interoperable components over the lifetime of the system (How many times have we been involved with projects where a key component has gone end of life and the replacement isn’t similar at all?). The use of a proprietary solution could also force you to use inferior parts of that vendor’s overall system that don’t meet your requirements. Other vendors’ products would probably fit your needs much better but you can’t use them because you are held hostage by the very nature of selecting a proprietary system!

By taking the open management platform route the future is far easier. You can mix and match non-compatible edge devices from different manufacturers, you are free to choose which storage and recording hardware vendor you want to work with and also how storage is deployed in relation network topology to help with redundancy or resilience continuity planning. Also you can integrate other technology options including analytics or access control and actively manage migration of legacy systems to meet operational / budgetary requirements.  This is an example of how  Controlware works with its partners – We ensure that the operational requirement of the end user is met rather than just sell you tin.  In order to meet the needs of our customers and partners we work closely to ensure you don’t buy a square peg to fit a round hole – and have to live with the consequences.

If you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that open management can be just as cost effective as proprietary systems, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact Controlware or have a look at the Cware open management platform.