Mark Harraway, Country Manager at Controlware explains why CCTV consultants are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea….
Consultants are also placed in a difficult position of having to talk to manufacturers to understand what is being developed and what can be offered to their clients as “the best solution” or deliver solutions that are “fit for purpose”, but they also must remain neutral in their selections in order to meet due diligence requirements. There is also the need for them to learn a different set of regulations, system specifications and terminology in order to specify either Cat-5 or Cat-6 cable, HD or megapixel, RAID5 or RAID6. And it also doesn’t help that the IT industry regards CCTV as a big margin opportunity because of high bandwidth, storage requirements and associated hardware – but yet they don’t understand the Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines, Home Office evidence submission guidelines, transmission without pixilation, reliability of storage and footage retention, camera / lens selection or positioning. This results in conflicting or plain misleading information being given and passed on by the IT industry.
The following statements have been taken from real tenders provided by consultants, where I have been asked to help design solutions:
All new IP static domes are to be IEEE Power over Internet powered. – Power over Internet – or should that be Power over Ethernet.
All new IP static domes are to be 802.3af PoE compliant and powered from a local fused spur – Why would you want to do this? – Either you want PoE or not?
Storage Profile: 48 Cameras / D1 resolution / 25fps / zero compression / MPEG4 / 31 days retention = 3 Tb storage – So zero compression? – How are you going to fit that on 3TB without sacrificing one of the other elements?
All new IP camera points are to be cabled to CAT-5 standards using STP cable and 75ohm termination. – Does the installation require Cat-5 or Coax?
These errors highlight the issues facing our industry. The future of CCTV requires a knowledge-base which spans both in-depth knowledge of operational security requirements and also in-depth IT and IP knowledge, so that the best and most efficient security systems can be deployed.