The main advantage customers get from going with UTP is that they are installing a cable type that is completely compatible with the existing IT network platform. As a transmission medium, UTP is robust and durable, and it employs a balanced mode of transmission which makes it highly immune to interference. It supports long distances and is color-coded to ease termination. UTP is easier to pull and terminate than RG-59 (a common type of coax), so installation can require less labor time. With the high price of copper, UTP is less expensive than coax, especially if it is plenum rated. And, finally, the really cool thing for our industry is that UTP allows for analog or IP video, AC or PoE power and data signals to reside in the same bundle. The reality is that UTP-based transmission meets today's budget while supporting the future as a system upgrade cost reducer.
The reality is that analog video surveillance units aren't being yanked out just for the sake of new technology upgrades; and the reality is that analog cameras are still being installed. Certainly the future of video surveillance is heading toward networked systems, but for now, hybrid video is dominating the marketplace.
When it comes to connecting this equipment, a UTP-based system is today's reality, because a UTP-based hybrid video solution provides a convenient, cost-effective and future-proof way to connect power, video and data from the camera to the control room. This allows the installer -- whether in small or large projects -- to fully leverage the existing cabling infrastructure in accordance with structured wiring standards, taking full advantage of the variety and economies of analog cameras while allowing the connection and/or migration to IP technologies tomorrow.
About the author: Guy Apple is vice president at Network Video Technologies (NVT), which produces connectivity systems for video surveillance systems.