We know that CCTV offers fantastic protection for both homes and businesses, but our customers often have lots of questions so we thought it would be useful to put together a short post answering some of these questions as well as giving you some extra information on CCTV.
The difference between analogue (now analogue HD) and IP CCTV systems?
Traditionally most CCTV footage was analogue with the signal transmitted via coaxial cable from a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to each camera. The camera would need power either from a power supply local to the camera or from a power cable which is run in parallel to the coax cable carrying the signal.
IP CCTV systems have been around for a long time but they have only recently become a more financially viable solution. Both the signal and the power for a camera can be carried via a single cat 5 or cat 6 ethernet cable either directly from the NVR (Network Video Recorder) to each camera or several cameras can be wired back to a (power over ethernet (or POE) network switch and the camera streams can be linked to the NVR as long as both the NVR and the network switch are connected to the same network.
Some of the Pros & Cons of a IP system: There can be a good savings to be made on cabling as some of the buildings existing network infrastructure can be utilised as part of the CCTV installation, although camera streams can be prone to lag or disruption as the images are heavily reliant on network speeds. IP CCTV hardware is also generally more expensive than analogue hardware but there is a greater range of IP cameras available to suit a wider variety of solutions with features such as facial and number plate recognition.
Some of the Pros & Cons of an analogue system: A complete stand-alone solution which is not affected by network speed issues but we have found that sometimes images can be prone to interference which would not be the case with an IP system. The cost of the hardware is lower than IP but every camera will need cabling back to the DVR which can significantly increase the costs for cameras that need to be located a good distance away from the DVR as these can involve lots of cabling. We are also now also finding that most new features are only being released in the IP range and not analogue meaning that only a new IP installation would future-proof you.
Who is hik?
Hikvision was only founded in 2001 but they are already one of the world’s largest CCTV manufacturers employing over 42,000 people across more than 150 countries worldwide. As Hikvision is a Chinese-owned company they have recently been the subject of USA-led politics. We have been working with them since 2016 and we are one of their approved VASP partners.
Evolution of CCTV
The purpose of CCTV has evolved over time from it previously just being used as a visual deterrent and to retrieve evidence of crime to now being an intrusion detection system designed to prevent crime by protecting the perimeter through the use of advanced analytics which can now trigger notifications either directly to a smartphone or to a 24/7 monitoring centre. These systems are now also used for parcel tracking, personnel health and safety protection and some of the new features such as facial and number plate recognition can integrate with an access control system to control the entry of vehicles through your automated gates or the entry of people into or around your premises.
Remote access into a system via the smartphone app, web browser, or PC software can either be configured directly or via Hikvision’s hik-connect cloud platform. We can usually set this up directly for our residential customers but for our commercial and public sector customers we usually work with their IT department to configure the customer’s remote requirements where our network access is restricted. We also offer Hikvision’s powerful HikCentral software for managing an estate of systems across multiple sites.