At Universal Systems Solutions we have the IT expertise to fully embrace the digital revolution which is transforming the CCTV and access control industries. Modern technology is replacing the old traditional analogue cameras to provide users with systems that have better imagery, more flexibility, better storage capacity, are scalable and are more cost effective.
Digital CCTV systems use digital cameras to transmit video streams via standard Internet Protocol (IP) networks. This video is sent to a device for monitoring, and then stored digitally on a recorder for easy search and retrieval. In contrast, traditional CCTV have to rely on their own dedicated cabling which is less flexible and prone to reducing the quality of the data being transmitted.
There are many advantages to choosing digital CCTV systems over traditional cameras. Though there are three key drivers that are influencing decision makers to opt for digital: IP technology, functionality and control and return on investment.
Digital CCTV systems utilise Internet Protocol (IP) to stream video data across standard networks – which is the same technology you use to send and receive data over the Internet. Therefore IP cameras can be connected to existing network infrastructures quickly and easily – in the same way you would deploy a new server, PC or printer. They use standard Ethernet cabling or wireless protocols, so unlike traditional CCTV cameras, you don’t have to spend time and money on a dedicated analogue infrastructure. Which allows greater flexibility over where to physically position your cameras, and the freedom to re-deploy them easily to meet changing business needs.
IP-based cameras can stream video to anywhere in the world. All you need is an Internet connection and the right access permissions. You can then monitor an IP camera from your desk, your home, your hotel room, wherever. And multiple users can access the same video stream simultaneously.
Functionality and control
Digital CCTV systems have enhanced functionality and control compared to traditional analogue cameras.
As IP networking allows cameras to be viewed remotely over the Internet, similarly cameras with pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) mechanisms can also be controlled remotely as well. This allows you to track moving objects in real time via your PC, or check the focus and aim of a camera prior to a scheduled event – without having to physically visit the camera.
Digital cameras can do so much more than simply record video. For example, they can be used to talk to those being viewed. This can be pre-recorded audio files or live audio feeds from those monitoring the cameras.
Intelligent Video Analysis is perhaps the most significant technological advance provided by digital cameras.
Traditionally CCTV has always relied on human monitoring, with staff in control rooms viewing multiple screens to identify potential threats or record live incidents, with the inherent risk that somebody will miss something.
Some digital cameras now have in-built Intelligent Video Analysis, which means that the cameras will monitor what they are viewing thereby eliminating the risk of human error.
Intelligent Motion Detection (IMD) distinguishes between ‘real’ movement and ‘environmental’ movement therefore false alarms are minimised and real incidents are relayed to the relevant personnel.
Intelligent Object Detection (IOD) detects when objects enter or leave a designated area within the cameras view. An alert is raised when the camera detects that a pre-determined rule has been broken.
Return on Investment
The functionality of digital cameras is generally delivered by their software, therefore future enhancements in technology may be made by a simple software upgrade rather than replacing hardware.
IP-based solutions are also more scalable than analogue systems. You can add more cameras, recorders and servers as you need them – simply by installing them on your IP network. With traditional CCTV system, you are limited by the reach of your analogue cabling.
An analogue system will also consume more processing power, storage and network bandwidth. This is because all analogue video signals have to be converted to digital and processed before being compressed onto hard disk, whereas digital cameras compress the video signal themselves thereby minimising the amount of bandwidth required.