We all realize the CCTV industry is migrating forward to an all digital approach. The speed of that migration is dependant on performance (video quality) and cost. For similar quality, today's IP video is still quite pricey, especially when viewed from a total cost of ownership basis. Given the current economic pressures, most end-users are confronting shrinking surveillance budgets. The good news is that you can move forward in a way that supports this migration and still meets your budget.
First, stop installing coaxial cable. Instead, use a structured cabling network to deploy a hybrid video system. The migration to IP does not necessarily mean your systems are limited to IP cameras on unshielded twisted pair (UTP) or fiber, or only analog cameras on coaxial. Instead, a hybrid UTP system makes the best use of a blend of analog cameras, encoders and cost effective hybrid DVRs on a structured wiring network.
The trends in surveillance network transmission have been dramatically changing.
• Coaxial dominated
• Other technologies were used to solve problems
• Convergence was a term used in other industries
• UTP has gained widespread acceptance
• IP has experienced much hype, but is moving more slowly than predicted
• All technologies growing at the expense of coax
• Hybrid video solutions will be core to the market
• IP will continue to experience growth
• Convergence of IT and physical security will accelerate. The push for convergence will come from enterprise organizations need to bring all physical security network functionality under one platform of management and service.
Why a structured cabling infrastructure?
Structured cabling should be used in all hybrid surveillance systems. Here, the media deployed can drive down system cost and increase product choice whether or not you are using analog or Ethernet as the transmission method for video. Structured cabling has been used in the LAN data and telecommunications world for decades. It is quick to install, easy to change and can be performance certified to an industry standard. This performance standard rating is dependent on whether Category 5e, Category 6, or augmented Category 6 components are used and EIA/TIA installation rules are followed.
UTP–the basis of all modern digital networks
Four-pair UTP is a true utility for both analog and IP surveillance system transmission. For a hybrid video system, only one pair of UTP is needed to transmit analog video, allowing the other three pairs to be used for other things, typically power and telemetry. When using coaxial, you would have to pull three separate wire types to get the same functionality. The same advantages of four-pair UTP cable applies to IP based systems; a single four-pair can transport the Ethernet IP video signal, power the camera via power over Ethernet (PoE), and control the PTZ.
Hybrid video advantages include being cost effective
Structured cabling via hybrid is an economic and intelligent choice. Labor is a big component of the cost of any installation. When deploying an analog camera system, large cost reductions can be achieved by using a multi-pair UTP cable (25, 50, 100 pair etc.) between the IDF and MDF wiring closets.
When the time is right to take the digital plunge, simply disconnect the transceivers and install the digital camera and related PoE equipment as specified with no changes needed to the cabling infrastructure. That largest part is already installed and expensed.
There are choices regarding the media used for cabling infrastructure which lend themselves to flexible migration choices. The most common media for IP transmission is UTP. UTP will surely support both LANs and data centers to the next level of transmission performance and match the current highest speed offered by fiber, in 10G. As a result, physical security networks, LANs and data centers can be upgraded today for the protocol of tomorrow, all at a better price and in a well recognized and standard footprint. Whether you are deploying an analog, a hybrid, or a purely IP-based system, UTP is worthy of review and consideration.