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Dealing With Networks

by msecadm4921

If you aren’t dealing with networks now, the chances are that you may well be in a couple of years.

Your organisation’s networks, that pass data from place to place, can also transmit CCTV images. What is a network’ It’s been described as a ‘pink fluffy cloud’ – what passes data for instance from the CCTV camera to your PC. Mark Bouldin of Telindus, the Europe-wide network services and solutions provider, seeks to make matters clearer.
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Camera technology has improved significantly, with the ability to make visible images from almost pitch-black conditions. Nonetheless, the deficiencies of older, analogue systems are illustrated weekly on television programmes, such as Crimewatch, which rely on the video evidence of poor quality CCTV recording. Until recently, the quality that digital cameras could produce was roughly the same as that of an analogue system. Following advances in the digital imaging industry and the advent of mega pixel technology in consumer-lead digital photographic cameras, surveillance cameras now have the ability to capture high quality digital video footage. Add to that the increased speed of networks and better image compression algorithms and it becomes clear that digital CCTV is rapidly becoming the preferred option for customers as it solves a number of the problems that have irritated Security for years. Analogue capabilities have started to look lacklustre in comparison.
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Head to head
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The disadvantage of analogue CCTV systems, over the newer digital systems, lies mainly in their configuration. Based around a star configuration, the analogue system works by wiring all cameras back to one central control system. This greatly reduces its flexibility as images can only be viewed and controlled via one fixed place, the control centre, with huge cost implications, if, and when, the control centre needs to be moved. Furthermore, in places such as airports, stadiums and shopping centres where multiple places of control are required by multiple agencies, it soon becomes an expensive operation. Digital CCTV allows video to be viewed at any place on the network and at more than one place at the same time. Robustness of digital CCTV is far superior than analogue. In an analogue set-up, cameras are connected through a series of dedicated links to a central point, which can fail from a single point; for example, when a fuse blows on the central matrix. The digital system, however, has the ability to self-heal, and if the network is broken, has the capability to use hot-backups to help ensure that all images are still available.
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Greater integration of a digital system allows the CCTV system to work more effectively with an organisation and can raise alarm far quicker than that of a similar analogue network. Rather than simply contacting the police or showing an image to a (sleeping’) guard, a digital system can communicate with the relevant people in a wider variety of ways. The need, therefore, for expensive on-site security can potentially be scaled back and sites could be managed locally by day and then from a remote location by night. Recording of this data is not prone to the same restrictions that can eventually affect analogue recordings. Images are sent directly to server, catalogued and stored until recalled upon. The same is similar for the analogue system with the difference being that video, once recorded, begins to degrade just like an over used domestic video-tape.
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The case for digital
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Multidiscipline digital networks cannot only reduce cost, they also allow much greater flexibility in accessing your data, whether from on or off site. Add to the equation better image transmission and recording quality and no wonder analogue is rapidly becoming the poor cousin of digital surveillance systems. To integrate surveillance onto a scalable network platform, businesses need a partner who can provide objective advice. For details ring Mark Bouldin, Security and Surveillance Product Manager at Telindus on 01256 709200.
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At IFSEC
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Network digital CCTV firm Telindus hall 6, stand H86 are demonstrating how a multi-service network solution can help increase security and surveillance capability, lower business costs and provide revenue-generating opportunities. The Hamshire-based firm reports that organisations that need to provide a safer environment for the public, monitor secure areas and access points or protect vital company assets, need to deliver a security solution that meets business requirements efficiently. Telindus’ digital surveillance solutions enable organisations to maximise the benefits of a fully integrated, serviced and managed multi-service communications infrastructure.

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