CCTV channel interview with A&S International feature concering how Controlware can help CCTV installers and integrators get the most out of IP systems.
Q1. In what capacity do you work with traditional installers specializing in analogue technology? How do you complement each other?
Controlware: Due to our experience and skill set with IP video built up over the last 15 years we can offer the missing knowledge or support that the traditional analogue installer doesn’t have – This could be system design, commissioning, hardware sourcing (switches, servers etc.) or maintenance.
Q2. What are the usual problem areas (such as technology integration and installation techniques), and how do you solve them? How are compromises made?
Controlware: The usual problems are either around migration and leveraging legacy equipment and correspondingly any proprietary issues that might be faced such as telemetry or integrating hybrid systems. The compromise is usually to either to have a managed migration plan that may involve additional hardware on a temporary basis or to accept reduced functionality for a period.
Q3. Has there been any case/project where it was simply easier to go all analog or all IP? Did you? Why or why not?
Controlware: We are currently rolling out a project for process control / improvement with a utilities company where, due to their IP VPN, it was easier to implement IP as all the WAN transmission infrastructure was already in place. Therefore we could save costs and still improve remote site functionality and Health and Safety.
Q4. What can traditional installers do to better learn the IP/IT language?
Controlware: If installers wish to learn more about IP / IT then they should work with a trusted partner who has experience in IP and can help them develop their skills by working closely on projects and can then continue to help them in future opportunities through improved pre / post sales support. This type of relationship is core to the Controlware partnership ethos.
Q5. What are you doing to better learn the analog/installation language?
Controlware: We understand the challenges that our installer partners face and we have a good knowledge basis on analogue implementation through undertaking industry recognized training but as we see IP as the future we don’t feel the need to invest heavily in this area.
Q6. What training programs are offered by manufacturers? What training programs are offered by IP/IT specialists like you?
Controlware: One of the challenges with manufacturer led training is that they are very product specific to that manufacturer whereas what the industry needs is wider IP / IT training on system design and networking such as switching technology, server specification or operating systems. Within the Controlware group of companies we have a dedicated training organization called ExperTeach to provide exactly this missing link to our partners.
Q7. Is there any other support available, from manufacturers and from you?
Controlware: Most manufacturers can help with system design but again this tends to be limited to their own products and misses components like servers or switching or integration with legacy equipment. Controlware are able to supply a complete consultancy, design and implementation service to what level the integrator requires.
Q8. How is effectiveness measured — number of new customers?
Controlware: This is difficult to measure – What I think you are seeing is different types of engineers coming through which allows traditional installers to bid on more and more IP based projects. This in turn is opening up more business to them in different areas / verticals.
Q9. What is the working dynamics like between your company and the manufacturer partners when it comes to after-sales customer service/maintenance/troubleshooting of integrated, IP-based systems?
Controlware: We are able to provide 1st, 2nd and even 3rd line technical support as we understand IP completely and test / train all our pre / post sales engineers on all the products we supply and additional training on software and networking qualifications and undertake a lot of testing and systems approvals before signing over a project. This is backed up by a full test and evaluation lab where we can fault find in the event of issues being highlighted by our integrators.
Q10. What issues can your company handle on itself, and what issues get referred back to the manufacturer partners?
Controlware: Due to the high level of training, test equipment and experience we can handle most problems ourselves and only refer back issues with things like firmware / software faults or clearly faulty hardware. Most times we are able to give these manufacturer partners detailed feedback on the issues such as how and when the fault occurs and can be replicated, additional logging information or isolation testing to be able to eliminate other factors.
Q11. For customers who have come to adopt IP-based security products, what were the top three driving forces?
Controlware: I would say the drive is improved functionality and reliability, IP being seen as the technology of the future (increased deployment of structured cabling, remote communications etc.) and not having to rely on proprietary equipment.
Q12. How was the higher cost justified? How was ROI proved or improved?
Controlware: While the item to item cost maybe higher IP based systems have been shown to have a lower TCO than analogue and also RoI is shown through higher uptimes, greater resilience / redundancy and improved functionality and flexibility in deployment.
Q13. Among your customers, what verticals lean more toward using IP-based security equipment?
Controlware: Education is a key adopter of IP as they tend to be more forward looking but we are seeing more and more utility suppliers and infrastructure partners looking at IP as they upgrade networks and also Healthcare are looking more and more at IP.
Q14. Any specific vertical(s) that your company wishes to break into with networked security products? Why?
Controlware: Retail is always of interest due to the size of the estate and deploy base. I also think that, with proper planning and implementation, that IP has a lot to offer in both legal compliance, health and safety and marketing as well as traditional security.
Q15. What are some issues that need to be addressed in order for networked security products to gain further traction and adoption?
Controlware: The knowledge base is a key point both in the installer base and system specifiers as is the entry price point of IP in certain areas. Recording platforms / hardware also needs to be reviewed to make IP easier to adopt for both end users and the installers.
Q16. Any other anecdotal success stories? For the geographical markets/regions that you are active in (please identify which), what kind of growth in IP-based security systems are you expecting for 2011?
Controlware: We expect to see good growth in IP through 2011 but it is difficult to put an exact number on it due to the challenging global conditions in different regions. What we are seeing, however, is not only a migration of traditional security to IP but also projects around process control and health and safety compliance – IP fits these types of installations due to their flexibility and reduced TCO costs as they are easier to install, integrate with existing infrastructure and provide far better redundancy options and these arguments can be carried back into the traditional installation base.
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Improve quality while reducing costs
There are few media available in the video surveillance industry that improve image quality while at the same time reducing costs. Yet fiber optic networks do just that. They also maintain the integrity of signals over longer distances and offer more bandwidth than twisted-pair or coax cables. Not to mention that fiber cabling is impervious to electromagnetic interference, such as that caused by high-voltage power lines and lightning.
Due to the ubiquitous nature and the advantages of fiber optic networks, as well as the current migration from analog to IP streaming, Optelecom-NKF is now offering its Siqura IP PTZ dome cameras with a fiber optic connector option. With a flexible SFP interface built into the PTZ body, a wide range of single mode, multimode, and CDWM modules can be used and an impressive range of mounting options are available.
“Network equipment being developed today needs to be able to handle IP traffic, regardless of the medium connecting it to the network,” said Roger Decker, Director of Solutions and Marketing at Optelecom-NKF. “That is why Optelecom-NKF recently developed five new IP PTZ dome cameras that can connect directly to a fixed network or wireless bridge via either twisted-pair or fiber optic cabling. We want customers to be able to select hardware based on its ability to withstand variances on the network and to provide high-quality streams.”
A solution for every situation
This new camera line consists of five cameras, each optimized for its application, with indoor, outdoor, compact (MSD), and high-speed (HSD) dome camera options. Each camera is capable of quad-streaming, supporting dual H.264 streams in addition to highly configurable MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and MJPEG. This flexibility in compression standards makes it easy for these Siqura cameras to offer the best quality video while at the same time streamlining network performance.
All the Siqura cameras are designed to comply with worldwide adopted standards and are tested with leading VMS vendors. This makes it possible to query or set PTZ coordinate positions or to integrate Siqura cameras into third-party systems. Furthermore, the new Siqura IP PTZ camera line comes with an easy-to-use, access-controlled, Web-based user interface, allowing users to configure or view video streams from a PC or even via handheld devices, such as PDAs.
Since surveillance conditions can vary widely even for just one camera, this Siqura IP PTZ camera series also includes a day/night (IR-cut filter) and backlight compensation as standard features that can be applied manually or automatically when lighting conditions require it. The wide dynamic range functionality ensures excellent video quality, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Additionally, the Siqura HSD and MSD cameras are part of the Siqura product line, an extensive collection of video surveillance equipment offering complete solutions and reputed for quality and reliability.
For more information and to see the new cameras live contact Controlware on 0844 225 9 225.
Open Standards are the Future of IP Networking where everything seems possible
Integration is the key for CCTV
If your mobile phone can connect with Facebook and give you someone’s contact info or you can have a video conference with people on the other side of the planet for free, it does not seem as though managing and monitoring surveillance cameras just a block away should be much of a problem. However, the world of video networking is not as simple as it might seem. This booming industry contains many devices and technologies from an array of manufacturers and vendors, all vying for the best solutions to meet the problem of how to keep people and places secure.
With such an abundance of options, it would be a pity to limit a surveillance system to a single brand or technology. System designers and owners need to be able to easily connect their systems with other networks and to incorporate new and innovative solutions into the technology of their legacy systems. It is therefore imperative to create standards to ensure that the apparatuses in surveillance systems can communicate with each other as well as interface with other networks.
Blending sundry backgrounds
Standardizing video surveillance technology is no easy feat. The advent of IP networking ultimately merged the broadcast, telecom, and CCTV industries together, each of which had their own way of working with and producing new products and ideas. Even within a single industry, technology diverged greatly.
The broadcast industry started out, for example, with watertight standards (PAL and NTSC) that could literally be used anywhere in the world; they were always the same. Digital streaming changed all of that simply because video compression standards work quite differently. There are many standards and a wide spectrum of implementations is available for each standard; that is, MPEG-2 in one system is not necessarily compatible with the devices in another network. The standard allows for a broad range of profiles and applications that advantageously let users and developers customise their systems and solutions. However, the disadvantage of this is that networks cannot interface with one another.
Standardisation involves generating unified platforms. The systems deployed upon these open standards need to be capable of interfacing with the outside world while still allowing for internal customisation. This latter aspect can, at times, prove itself to be an exceedingly challenging part of video networking. As a result, although great strides have been made to simplify system integration, creating universal standards is and will remain a dynamic process; the varied and rich backgrounds from which the technology develops exclude straightforward answers and force standardisation to exist only as an ongoing struggle to conform to specific needs while building networks that can openly interface with each other.
Integrating different technologies in disparate systems
Optelecom-NKF (manufacturer of Siqura®) believes that video surveillance owners and designers benefit from the ability to select their own hardware, try out new technologies in existing systems, and draw from the diverse disciplines amalgamated in IP networking. Therefore, Optelecom-NKF has for many years now offered its customers an open streaming architecture (OSA) API based on acknowledged standards. This ultimately allows video streams to be viewed anywhere in the world over RTSP, even via handheld devices, such as PDAs, or through applications, such as QuickTime and VLC. Optelecom-NKF has also integrated its products into major video management systems (VMS), such as, XProtect (Milestone), Omnicast (Genetec), Security Center (Genetec), and many others.
In addition, Optelecom-NKF is a contributing member and strong supporter of the ONVIF and PSIA initiatives, the leading efforts in standardization. These movements have already made excellent achievements in helping companies work together to create open platforms for IP video networking.
Meeting the CCTV needs of the future
Optelecom-NKF recently developed an ONVIF-compliant, high-definition (HD) H.264 IP camera series. The traditional box-style BC6x cameras and the vandal-proof fixed dome FD6x cameras provide HD resolution images in H.264, MPEG-4, and MJPEG. With the option to configure multiple combinations of resolution and frame rate, it is possible to satisfy a variety of different live-viewing and recording scenarios, making these cameras ideal for large professional installations where high resolutions and quality images are needed.
The Siqura 6x cameras offer true day/night and backlight compensation as standard features, as well as wide dynamic range (WDR) functionality in some models, to ensure quality images in difficult lighting conditions. Since surveillance solutions need to be flexible when it comes to installation, these new cameras can be powered from AC, DC, or Power over Ethernet (PoE) power sources. Through an intuitive and straightforward Web interface, users can configure features such as motion detection and privacy masks to ensure the security of the surveillance system.
The development of these ONVIF-compliant HD cameras is just another step towards ensuring that Siqura surveillance solutions offer the best system for even the most demanding surveillance situations.
The future of video streaming for CCTV
Video surveillance systems have changed a lot since the arrival of IP technology. Technological advancements make it seem as though anything is possible. Devices in your car can tell you where to go; you can watch what’s happening anywhere in the world almost instantaneously through someone’s cell phone. It seems that networking video surveillance systems should be really simple.
Yet, the video networking industry stems from a disparate collection of companies and technologies, challenging manufacturers today to change the way they think about networks. While analogue CCTV installations were inherently closed (as the name closed circuit television or CCTV indicates), system owners and administrators today need to be able to connect their systems with outside networks, as well as have various devices within a single system that can easily interface with one another. Inventing new solutions, such as the upcoming Siqura ONVIF-compliant HD IP cameras, based on open standards for specific applications is an inevitable aspect of the future of this vibrant industry.
See the best CCTV equipment from leading manufacturers such as Bosch, JVC, Optelecom-NKF, Pelco, Samsung and Sanyo in a single location.
Distributor Controlware’s new demo facility at their UK offices in Newbury enables existing and new partners to see and trial different manufacturers CCTV equipment back to back.
Partner companies, installers, consultants and end users are able to arrange a visit and get a feel for the CCTV equipment and technologies they want to use in a working environment.
CCTV equipment from leading manufacturers such as Bosch, JVC, Optelecom-NKF, Pelco, Samsung and Sanyo, is available to see and trial live in action. Since the system is based around an open management platform different cameras and encoders can be monitored in the same system.
Behind the CCTV equipment there is also a range of networking equipment that forms the basis of the IP CCTV system. CCTV management platforms, CCTV cameras, CCTV encoder’s, network switches, routers and hubs as well as technologies such as IP, wireless, MPEG-4, H.264, Megapixel and HD all interact to provide one of the most advanced demo suites in the UK – coupled with the widest choice of CCTV equipment.
Anyone who wants to learn more about IP CCTV systems be they reseller, installer, consultant or end user is welcome to visit, discuss their requirements and technical questions with Controlware.
Arrange a visit by calling +44 (0)1635 884800 or email email@example.com.