The importance of vocational training for CCTV

November 11, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the final part of his response to Mark Harraway of Controlware’s “Dont Go Hybrid”  article.

The security systems industry is one of exceptional challenge and reward. At Tavcom, we believe that the key to a successful future career in the sector lies with our special brand of vocational training – a careful blend and balance of classroom theory and ‘hands on’ practical experience that reinforces knowledge based learning. In a fast paced technological world we are not ashamed to state that some ‘old fashioned’ tried and tested methods of teaching still remain the best. In short, ‘Tell me and I will listen’, ‘Show me and I will observe’ and ‘Let me do it to demonstrate that I have learned’ are the maxims by which Tavcom’s team of experienced tutors continues to operate. Tavcom’s total independence of individual manufacturers or suppliers is fundamental to the success of training as students are able to observe and compare a selection of products side by side. This allows them to develop informed opinions of competing systems and support the choices and recommendations made within the workplace. In accordance with the sentiments expressed in this article, Tavcom’s policy is to utilise only equipment that is current and in general use – neither fully redundant nor excessively futuristic – for students to hone their skills.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Flexible system design is key for CCTV ROI

November 10, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

The sensible answer to all these issues (concering analogue, hybrid and IP technology) is for us to encourage progress and quality whilst coming to terms with the equipment we actually have available and using that to design cost effective solutions for the security and surveillance needs of clients that are both backwardly and forwardly compatible. Whatever the systems employed, the paramount consideration is to provide image quality that can be measured on a repeatable basis and will meet the expectations of the discerning user and the professional commissioning engineer.

In this way, system designs and installations should never need to come under the critical, eagle eyes of the expert witnesses! Tavcom’s consultants will not mind losing that strand of business if systems are working efficiently for the benefit of people and property.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Can you compare IP CCTV to CB radio?

November 9, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

Progress for the CCTV industry is still in an embryonic state and we must ensure that we do not stifle positive technological advancements by insisting that one form of protocol is the only way forward. We cannot foresee the future and it may therefore be that IP itself may be destined to enjoy only a very limited life span. Alternative means of getting better quality, more manageable CCTV images from A to B in faster and cheaper ways are almost certain to appear. How many of you happen to remember the surge and equally fast decline of CB radio that we experienced many moons ago? History has a way of repeating itself.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


HD can improve the quality of CCTV

November 5, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response to Controlware’s Mark Harraway argument that IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. 

In the face of this Beauty and Beast IP conundrum there is a very strong case for enterprising suppliers and integrators to provide hybrid security solutions for their clients. Cost effective systems can be deployed – and sensible Operational Requirements achieved – by using the best of the client’s existing equipment whilst bringing the control and management of the scheme ‘bang up to date’.

For example, I am aware of the new technology from JVC that enables the use of High Definition (HD) cameras across existing coaxial cable runs and produces quite stunning real time pictures of 25 to 30 images per second over 500 metres or so. This sort of innovative design thinking will save the user thousands of pounds, dollars or yen because, when using this system, there is only a need to upgrade to HD technology when the picture quality being produced by conventional cameras fails to meet a specific need.

HD is upon us and it will be commonly available in the 16:9 format in the blink of an eye. That, of course, means we will require even MORE bandwidth for IP solutions, even more storage space for the recorded images although – if we don’t compress or manipulate the CCTV images any more than we do nowadays with the resultant alarming reduction in picture quality – there will certainly be a marked improvement in imagery!

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Is IP CCTV Beauty and the Beast rolled into one?

November 3, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training responds to “Dont go hybrid” by Mark Harraway of Controlware.

A simple analogy is that TCP resembles the sending of a registered envelope to a customer who must acknowledge receipt of the consignment with a signature. UDP is like sending an ordinary letter … you never really know if it arrives! So, in essence, this is really no different, in transmission terms, from coaxial cable, optical fibre, twisted pair, microwave, laser or other free space methods.

I suppose cynically-minded people would identify IP as Beauty and the Beast rolled into one! The beauties of IP are that today’s world is increasingly computer-based, the infrastructure of cable is built in, the young people of today are largely computer literate and the transfer of information from computer to computer is so much easier and quicker to perform than old, traditional methods of tape. The beastly part of the analogy is the inability to get a picture from A to B as quickly as you can on many other other forms of transmission. IP produces some form of latency (delay) across the newtwork. This may be perfectly acceptable to many but totally inappropriate in other cases. There is also an issue as to how many cameras can be used on one system at a time.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


The nuts and bolts of IP CCTV

October 30, 2009

Mark Harraway argues IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

Let’s examine the basic operation of IP (Internet Protocol) and the terminology used for transmitting data and, in this instance, closed-circuit television across a series of cables, local area networks, wide area networks and indeed through the Internet.

IP generally uses a protocol called TCP which sends the information and data in ‘packets’. At their destination the receiver will then sent back to the transmitter an acknowledgement that it has received the information safely. The transmitter will then issue the next packet of data and await confirmation that it has been received before moving on to the next and the next … ad infinitum. This form of protocol is really quite impractical for sending CCTV images because each picture comprises such a vast amount of data that standard transmission lines currently used in networking are unable to adequately cope in real-time streaming terms. Instead we use another protocol called UDP which, quite simply, only sends the information to the receiver with no acknowledgement that it has been received safely and all in one piece.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


The evolution of CCTV, Is change a good thing? Tavcom explains

October 28, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the second part of his response below.

Out with the old and in with the new
Such change is inevitable. In my own career I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have seen and experienced the most amazingly and widespread technical developments in security systems. In the world of CCTV the real revolution began some 23 years ago, in 1986, when the first CCD camera waltzed into our industry, warts and all, to virtually wipe out the supply of tube cameras overnight in much the same way as CD-ROMs sounded the death knell for vinyl in the music industry. Of course, many of us more ‘mature’ individuals still shake our heads and wonder when the new digital products in use in our industry will catch up with even the cheapest vidicon tubes we used all those years ago! But, no complaints from this quarter at all … and no looking back. This is merely an observation that we sometimes tend to accept changes simply because they are new and exciting without giving enough thought to whether they really have the qualities to do a better job. On the positive side we must remember that new technologies have inspired our manufacturers, design specialists and installers to reach for new heights.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.