IP is the only viable option when compared to analogue or hybrid CCTV systems

October 9, 2009

Even if an existing CCTV network has analogue cameras we can take these analogue feeds and convert them to IP via encoders either at the edge or in the control room, and once they are converted to IP, they are simply treated in the same way as any IP camera.  At this point some people will say that this is a hybrid solution, which in the truest sense of the word it is.  However, what we have achieved here is to start to implement IP at the edge which then allows us to build a complete IP infrastructure with all the benefits this brings rather than having the unhappy compromise of a hybrid solution at the most critical point of recording.

The benefits of IP that hybrid can’t offer are features such as iSCSI recording through RAID arrays to provide a 100% fail proof redundancy.  There is no single point of failure in the recording and storage system either in the individual discs, the recording servers or RAIDs.  The use of RAID arrays also brings in another key element in IP superiority – namely that as these solutions run over an IT platform, such a Windows Server, linked to industry standard storage. It becomes so much easier to build a scalable system, because the boxes have a larger capacity (the latest iSCSI are taking 16 x 2TB drives – so 28 TB of useable storage in only 7 inches / 17 ½ cm!) and you can just add additional capacity as required.  Standard IT platforms also deliver a more competitive market approach for purchasing additional or future upgrades of security systems and software capability.  IP based solutions offer further benefits such as intelligent alarm handling, and integration with other systems, such as intruder or access control, to promote a completely integrated solution.

If you are looking at expanding, migrating or a new CCTV solution, there should be no reason not to look at IP.  IP is here today. It’s reliable and offers so much more than hybrid. So why buy twice? Don’t Go Hybrid. Choose the superior IP option.

Taken from Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway’s “Why go hybrid?” article as published in the September edition of Professional Security Magazine. To read the complete article click here.

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Running CCTV over IP delivers key advantages

October 8, 2009

When migrating CCTV from an analogue system it is essential that users avoid marketing messages from major players to “Go hybrid”. The main thrust of the Going hybrid messaging seems to be driven from the storage platform manufacturers.  There are now a large number of NVR’s or DVR’s that position themselves as “Hybrid”.  And by “Hybrid” they mean that they can record analogue BNC feeds and IP feeds at the same time.  But here is the rub – they don’t give the detail on which IP cameras they support as a recording platform, because the customer’s main focus is on quality of systems for current use i.e. frame rate or resolution, and what recording profile can be supported for the available storage. Unfortunately this can lead to a world of difference on how future-proofed each customer’s security system will be.

The other issues I see in the Going hybrid message are:
1.    You are still limited to a certain number of frames per second per box – therefore not allowing you to be flexible in storage profiles or indeed having to waste ports to meet an fps target.

2.    There seems to be a maximum frame rate of 12.5fps per channel when the industry is looking at better quality images for legal evidential purposes – Will 12.5 fps give you that perfect freeze frame face shot?  In many cases, as well, if you were to load up a DVR / NVR with the full complement of channels then you wouldn’t even get 12.5fps.

3.    While some recorders can have additional storage added, these are still limited in total available size, so creating an untidy solution with little or no resilience or failover, as you have to connect the cameras to that NVR / DVR which may become a single point of failure.

Other market messaging behind Going hybrid is that it allows end users to protect their existing infrastructure by not having to rip out existing analogue cameras, cables or control room equipment.  While this has historically been used as a scare tactic to force up the “perceived” cost of an IP solution, Controlware agree that this is a key factor in choosing a cost-effective security solution. If an end user has an investment in analogue cameras, transmission or back office they wish to retain, there is another way to migrate these installations to IP and still allow them to add IP cameras in the future.

System integrators and end-users who wish to see the benefits of an IP-based solution should look to someone who really knows the technology and can give an impartial view. It is common sense that manufacturers will only support their own hardware and will promise the earth for it, whereas a distributor will have evaluated a number of solutions from different vendors and be able to say that product A is the best for solution B because of XYZ whereas product Y is the best for solution C because of etc etc.

Taken from Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway’s “Why go hybrid?” article as published in the September edition of Professional Security Magazine. To read the complete article click here.


Can hybrid recording platforms deliver the flexibility required by today’s CCTV systems?

October 7, 2009

An excerpt from Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway’s “Why go hybrid?” article that was published in the September edition of Professional Security Magazine.

The “Hybrid” commercial strategy seems to encourage NVR / DVR sales teams to push their products under an unconvincing banner of “Hybrid”; thus tying the end user to them for all future upgrades / additions; or restricting the ability of the end user to tailor or even meet their operational requirements e.g. I might want company X for high end external PTZ’s but company Y for low cost internal cameras but if company Y are not supported in the “Hybrid” recorder then you can’t use them and you are unlucky to get them supported if the manufacturer has an equivalent product.

In a company review of manufacturers IP commitments, most of the manufacturers supported their own IP cameras, with non-committal open/cross-platform statements such as:

“It is compatible with all of company x’s analogue and IP cameras, plus all third-party analogue cameras and many third-party IP”
or
“The inclusion of support for selected third party IP cameras provides users with a central recording, telemetry control and viewing solution for a mixed installation (analogue and IP).”

So there is a key market issue around clarity concerning what is supported, or how a “Hybrid” recording systems can meet the goals of an IP solution by offering a totally open and flexible future proof platform.

To read the complete article click here.


Are hybrid CCTV recording platforms worth it?

October 6, 2009

An excerpt from Controlware Country Manager Mark Harraway’s “Why go hybrid?” article as published in the September edition of Professional Security Magazine.

The main thrust of the Going hybrid messaging seems to be driven from the storage platform manufacturers.  There are now a large number of NVR’s or DVR’s that position themselves as “Hybrid”.  And by “Hybrid” they mean that they can record analogue BNC feeds and IP feeds at the same time.  But here is the rub – they don’t give the detail on which IP cameras they support as a recording platform, because the customer’s main focus is on quality of systems for current use i.e. frame rate or resolution, and what recording profile can be supported for the available storage. Unfortunately this can lead to a world of difference on how future-proofed each customer’s security system will be.

Like many sectors of our industry, the devil is in the detail and system integrators and end-users who wish to see the benefits of an IP-based solution should look to someone who really knows the technology and can give an impartial view. It is common sense that manufacturers will only support their own hardware and will promise the earth for it, whereas a distributor will have evaluated a number of solutions from different vendors and be able to say that product A is the best for solution B because of XYZ whereas product Y is the best for solution C because of etc etc.

To read the complete article click here.