CCTV systems need to be more resilient after UK riots
We should never lose sight of the fact that one; if not the most important reason for any CCTV system is to produce high quality video images. This was brought home to us all during the recent UK riots where many images from the CCTV systems were unable to be used because the CCTV images were not of high enough quality to make a positive identification of suspects.
Looking back IP based CCTV products have been with us for a while and having distributed cameras, encoders and management software products since 1998 we at Controlware have seen the technology develop and progress. While in the beginning IP camera image quality was at the same level as analogue alternatives today with the arrival of HD / megapixel cameras if you are looking to improve the image quality of your system then HD / megapixel is the ideal way to go.
Uk riots signal the need for CCTV redundancy
Going Megapixel solves the image quality problem but what do you do if as we have seen in the UK riots premises are burned to the ground along with the CCTV system? This is where adding resilience comes in.
IP based solutions can give you the power to have a zero point of failure through the use of industry standard architecture such as SMART, RAID, iSCSI, multiple controllers, network interfaces and also through using best practice system design to benefit from failover and multiple pathways / switching. When this is linked through software features such as SNMP and “heartbeat” monitoring, end users or the systems integrators supporting them can be made aware of any issues before serious service effecting problems or loss of footage occur. This level of redundancy or failover can be further enhanced by the use of video management software features such as disaster recovery so that even in the event of a major incident or accident systems can be up and running in minutes even in completely different control rooms in different geographical areas.
Omnicast CCTV Video Management Software provides the ability to redundantly record the video so evidence is preserved in the case of local hardware failure or distruction. In fact, all applications and settings running under Omnicast can be made redundant, making it a truly resilient system. One of the biggest limitations of analogue and DVR technology for retail is accessing stored video from remote locations. In a typical loss prevention department, a retailer will have multiple regional loss prevention managers responsible for large geographic areas. In some cases, a single manager may be assigned to 100 or more stores, covering multiple states or regions. The ability to connect to these stores remotely is paramount, but yet is often hampered by bandwidth restrictions set forth by their telecommunications infrastructure.
Data from point of sale (POS) and credit card verification always take network priority in order for a retailer to conduct daily business. Current DVR technology offers very limited options for accessing and transferring the video. Omnicast offers multiple options for compressing video files and transmitting the data for optimal bandwidth usage. Eventually, Omnicast will be able to transmit these files, in batch, during non-peak hours back to a centralized location or multiple locations. One of Omnicast’s most important benefits is multicasting, which replicates an existing video stream, rather than opening a separate stream, so multiple users are not putting undue strain on network resources. The ability to easily access live and recorded security video is one of the biggest catalyst for the change to intelligent video surveillance.
Previously we have spoken specifically about the cost advantages of IP over analogue systems. If you would like to read these arguments and a detailed cost breakdown then please drop us an email to ipcctv(at)controlware.co.uk or visit The True Cost of IP CCTV here. Also if you would like to challenge Controlware to prove that IP can be just as cost effective, provide a better service than analogue or allow you to enable an upgrade to IP without replacing your entire system then please contact us.
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