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.

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Key reasons to select IP CCTV in 2010 #4 Total Cost of Ownership

January 26, 2010

Here we look at the key drivers for selecting IP over analogue, and what people should be aware of when looking at specifying CCTV projects.

Total Cost of Ownership

It is recognised that some components of an IP solution may be more expensive than an analogue one.  However when the total cost of the deployed solution is calculated, IP has been shown to be more cost effective overall than analogue systems.  These savings can be made in reduced cabling costs by only using one cable to carry video, audio, telemetry and in most cases power to the camera through PoE (Power over Ethernet).  Further savings can also be made in reduced storage costs by use of different compression techniques such as H.264 and recording profile planning by using the on-board memory of the camera or encoder to only record on alarm or at different frame rates / resolutions.  With advances in hardware platforms such as the servers and RAID arrays more and more cameras can be supported per server (We can currently support 64 cameras at 4CIF / 25 fps per server today for instance).  Operational costs can also be offset by using IP CCTV systems for other purposes such as ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) or using them for measurement of marketing and promotional activities as shown in retail applications.

If you or one of your clients is debating whether to go IP then the decision has to be Yes! You should not only consider IP on its technical merits raised here but also look more widely to see if there are any other benefits that can be gained. If you are looking at challenges in your business and want to improve efficiencies then look at IP to see what can be achieved.

Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk or visit www.controlware.co.uk/tco.

Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.


Key reasons to select IP CCTV in 2010 #2 Resilience

January 20, 2010

Here we look at the key drivers for selecting IP over analogue, and what people should be aware of when looking at specifying CCTV projects.

Resilience

IP based solutions can give you the power to have a zero point of failure through the use of industry standard architecture such as SMART, RAID, iSCSI, multiple controllers, network interfaces and also through using good system design to have failover and multiple pathways / switching.  When this is linked through software features such as SNMP and “heartbeat” monitoring, end users or the systems integrators supporting them can be made aware of any problems before serious service effecting issues or loss of footage occur.  This level of redundancy or failover can be further enhanced by the use of video management software features such as disaster recovery so that even in the event of a major incident or accident systems can be up and running in minutes even in completely different control rooms in different geographical areas.

Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email at ipcctv@controlware.co.uk or visit www.controlware.co.uk/tco.

Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.


CCTV prevents drunk driver causing mayhem – video released

December 10, 2009

CCTV video has been released of the moment that a seriously inebriated individual returned to his car after a night out and drove off.

Having drunken too much the unnamed man can be seen stumbling up to his car, kissing both sides and urinating on it before managing to open the door and driving off narrowly missing a parked vehicle.

Luckily CCTV operators were able to alert police who were able to pull him over before he could inflict any harm to himself, property or others. This is another example of CCTV in Action where we have shown that CCTV has proved its worth time and time again.

The incident that happened in March 2007 in Ely, Cambridgeshire is to be used by Cambridgeshire police as part of their “Dont drink and drive” Christmas campaign. The 36-year-old man who was eventually stopped and arrested for drink-driving was later banned from driving for 20months, given a referral order, fined £190 and ordered to pay £100 costs.

This is another example of how well monitored CCTV management systems can helpfight crime by targeting police resources to incidents as they happen. The recordings from CCTV systems like this are recorded digitally in high quality video resolutions so can be used to identify suspects and be used for evidence in court.


Understanding CCTV: Does H.264 mean more processing power?

September 14, 2009

The sixth part of the case for H.264 by Mark Harraway, UK Country Manager

Q. Sceptics allege that H.264 necessitates higher-powered processing and there are higher lag times. But elsewhere industry pundits argue that the exact opposite is the case. What is your position on this?

It is true that as you do more work at the encoding end to compress the stream. More processing power is required and this is why you are seeing manufacturers release new hardware platforms for H.264. But as with all hardware, the processing power of the chipsets is increasing exponentially so I don’t see why this should cause more lag on the network since you are reducing the transmitted bandwidth.  What may be happening is that certain manufacturers are using poor quality chipsets or are trying to cut costs generally. Similarly, such scare-mongering could be analogue adherents trying to discourage end-users from deploying H.264 yet again.

Part 7 continues tomorrow…