At the seaside resort of Weston super Mare in Somerset, 360 Vision Technology, the UK manufacturer of HD, radar and thermal PTZ imaging cameras, reports a roll-out of its TX Direct, wireless static IP address PTZ cameras. Not yet covered by the fixed cable North Somerset Council CCTV system, the cameras have been installed by Select Electrics, primarily to protect areas identified where women may be vulnerable when heading home after evenings out.
Money has come from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund. Some ten TX Direct wireless cameras have been installed on routes out of the town centre and a car park.
Ray Murphy of the local installer, Select Electrics says: “The latest TX Direct version of the Invictus camera from 360 Vision Technology was simply the best solution for the challenge. We have deployed 360 Vision Technology cameras across varied applications over many years and we’ve always been delighted with their results. The quality of construction of the camera, combined with the advanced TX Direct wireless transmission technology, meant that not only was it the most economical choice, but it was also the best performing solution for the demanding requirements at Weston super Mare.”
Offered alongside 360’s wireless TX camera range, 360 Vision TX Direct camera provides ONVIF integration into Video Management Systems (VMS), rather than via a hosted server or third-party software. This meant that locations for each of the cameras could be prioritised without the constraints of ‘line-of sight’ or problematic cable routing associated with traditional fixed cable dependant camera video transmission methods.
Providing high definition 1080p, 25fps, 2048 kbps, CVBR images, the TX Direct cameras enabled Select to add and set-up new surveillance cameras beyond the coverage of hardwired CCTV cable, and as an alternative to using leased fibre networks. The makers add that unlike other wireless transmission solutions, TX Direct cameras drive down the cost of ownership even further, as the wireless camera comes ‘license free’, without recurring fees to pay.
Using 4/5G networks for CCTV connectivity has traditionally been limited due to the lack of large data cellular connections with a static IP address, which is required to access and control the camera. Rapid deployment systems either record locally with footage downloaded as required, or their data streams are highly compressed and frame rates are reduced to cut data usage. A typical traditional static IP address solution will consume 20Gb of data at best per month. If streamed live and uncompressed, this allowance might be used in less than a day. With its fixed IP address, TX Direct offers North Somerset an alternative, delivering data allowances of 1000Gb and above, allowing cameras to be streamed 24/7 to central monitoring.
Chris Harrison, CCTV Manager, Corporate Services, North Somerset Council, was featured in the August 2021 print edition of Professional Security Magazine. He says: “Up until recently the cost of transmission using a SIM card has been financially prohibitive to most councils and authorities. 360 Vision have changed this with their TX Direct, which has no competition in the current camera marketplace. We know this because here at North Somerset, we trialled ‘market leading’ SIM package alternatives, which ran through data so fast that cameras could only realistically be used for a few minutes a day – a solution that was not fit for purpose.
“Our yearly transmission costs with the 360 TX Direct solution are just £480 per year, just a fraction of the cost of the SIM alternative or rented fibre-optic solution. Wireless is cheaper, but its coverage is limited to an unusable amount. With 360 TX Direct, whatever the mobile network used, there is always over 95% coverage. So as long as you have power and somewhere to mount the camera it’s a highly practical solution.”
TX Direct cameras also provide cyber security, in the form of AES (256 bit) encryption. Suitable for many applications, TX Direct is network agnostic, providing flexibility to perform with any carrier and take advantage of the best available SIM contracts, the makers add.
In the control room, the ten TX Direct cameras are integrated into the North Somerset VMS (Video Management Solution) via the ONVIF protocol. If any suspicious activity is detected, or a person appears vulnerable or needs help, control room operators can contact police, to assist via the Police Airwave network, which is linked to the control room.
Chris adds: “We chose 360 Vision Technology as their deployable cameras are head and shoulders above competitors. The quality of the camera unit is the starting point but the fact that we could integrate them seamlessly into our VMS was invaluable. In fact, our operators don’t even know it’s a deployable solution. So, from an operator point-of-view, it’s no different than any other fixed camera, meaning no additional training for staff or additional equipment required in the control room, a true plug and play solution.”
Jason Wyatt, 360 Vision Technology’s Business Development Manager adds: “With the potential to change the face of public space and remote surveillance camera deployment in towns like Weston-Super-Mare, TX Direct wireless PTZ cameras provide a high performance, supremely cost-effective alternative to any traditionally wired solution. With easy deployment in areas where additional coverage is required, and flexible mobile network connectivity combined with very low operational costs, the TX Direct camera solution has proven to be the perfect, safe and secure way to expand camera surveillance capacity and protect people enjoying their nights out in Weston super Mare.”
In the October print edition of Professional Security, Taunton’s public space CCTV upgrade is featured; the district councils of the county are due to merge next year.