Articles by Liam McShane
Everybody has been hooked on the discussions about Analogue HD or IP systems, but shouldn’t we really be thinking about WiFi and 5G connectivity, removing the need for expensive cabling? Are wireless networks secure enough? What is the potential range? Even the basic question about whether or not the network is capable of transferring the huge (and growing) amount of data required for High Res Video, which will soon be quadrupled with the advent of 4K and higher resolutions. The future of video surveillance monitors We have seen a massive uptake in 4K monitors in the security industry. While they have been relatively common in the consumer market, they are only now beginning to really take off in the CCTV market, and the advances in Analogue HD and IP technology mean that 4K is no longer the limited application technology it was just a few years ago. Relatively easy and inexpensive access to huge amounts of storage space, either on physical storage servers or in the cloud, both of which have their own positives and negatives, have really helped with the adoption of 4K. Having said that the consensus seems to be, at least where displays are concerned, there is very little need for any higher resolution. So, where next for monitors in CCTV? 8K monitors are present, but are currently prohibitively expensive, and content is in short supply (although the Japanese want to broadcast the Tokyo Olympics in 8K in 2020). Do we really need 8K and higher displays in the security industry? In my own opinion, not for anything smaller than 100-150+ inches, as the pictures displayed on a 4K resolution monitor are photo realistic without pixilation on anything I’ve seen in that range of sizes. The consensus seems to be, at least where displays are concerned, there is very little need for any higher resolution Yes, users many want ultra-high resolution video recording in order to capture every minute detail, but I feel there is absolutely no practical application for anything more than 4K displays below around 120”, just as I feel there is no practical application for 4K resolution below 24”. The higher resolution camera images can be zoomed in and viewed perfectly well on FHD and 4K monitors. That means there has to be development in other areas. Developments in WiFi and 5G What we have started to see entering the market are Analogue HD and IP RJ45 native input monitors. Whilst you would be forgiven for thinking they are very similar, there are in fact some huge differences. The IP monitors are essentially like All-In-One Android based computers, capable of running various versions of popular VMS software and some with the option to save to onboard memory or external drives and memory cards. These are becoming very popular with new smaller (8-16 camera) IP installs as they basically remove the need for an NVR or dedicated storage server. Developments in the area of WiFi and 5G connectivity are showing great promise of being capable of transferring the amount of data generated meaning the next step in this market would maybe be to incorporate wireless connectivity in the IP monitor and camera setup. This brings its own issues with data security and network reliability, but for small retail or commercial systems where the data isn’t sensitive it represents a very viable option, doing away with both expensive installation of cabling and the need for an NVR. Larger systems would in all likelihood be unable to cope with the sheer amount of data required to be transmitted over the network, and the limited range of current wireless technologies would be incompatible with the scale of such installs, so hard wiring will still be the best option for these for the foreseeable future. There will be a decline in the physical display market as more development goes into Augmented and Virtual Reality Analogue HD options Analogue HD options have come a long way in a quite short time, with the latest developments able to support over 4MP (2K resolution), and 4K almost here. This has meant that for older legacy installations the systems can be upgraded with newer AHD/TVI/CVI cameras and monitors while using existing cabling. The main benefit of the monitors with native AHD/TVI/CVI loopthrough connections is their ability to work as a spot monitor a long distance from the DVR/NVR. While co-axial systems seem to be gradually reducing in number there will still be older systems in place that want to take advantage of the benefits of co-axial technology, including network security and transmission range. Analogue technologies will eventually become obsolete, but there is still much to recommend them for the next few years. Analogue technologies will eventually become obsolete, but there is still much to recommend them for the next few years Another more niche development is the D2IP monitor, which instead of having IP input has HDMI input and IP output, sending all activity on the screen to the NVR. This is mainly a defence against corporate espionage, fraud and other sensitive actions. While this has limited application those who do need it find it a very useful technology, but it’s very unlikely to become mainstream in the near future. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Does the monitor industry as a whole have a future? In the longer term (decades rather than years) there will definitely be a decline in the physical display market as more and more development goes into AR (Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality depending on who’s definition you want to take) and VR (Virtual Reality). Currently AR is limited to devices such as smartphones (think Pokémon Go) and eyewear, such as the ill-fated Google Glass, but in the future, I think we’ll all have optical implants (who doesn’t want to be The Terminator or RoboCop?), allowing us to see whatever we decide we want to as an overlay on the world around us, like a high-tech HUD (Heads Up Display). VR on the other hand is fully immersive, and for playback or monitoring of camera feeds would provide a great solution, but lacks the ability to be truly useful in the outside world the way that AR could be. Something not directly related to the monitor industry, but which has a huge effect on the entire security industry is also the one thing I feel a lot of us have been oblivious to is the introduction of quantum computers, which we really need to get our heads around in the medium to long term. Most current encryption technology will be rendered useless overnight when quantum computers become more widespread. So, where does that leave us? Who will be the most vulnerable? What can we do now to mitigate the potential upheaval? All I can say for sure is that smarter people than me need to be working on that, alongside the development of the quantum computer itself. Newer methods of encryption are going to be needed to deal with the massive jump in processing power that comes with quantum. I’m not saying it will happen this year, but it is definitely on the way and something to be planned for.
In the security industry today we see many installers and integrators using standard consumer grade monitors for video surveillance. This is primarily due to budget constraints, but can end up costing significantly more over the life of the install. This is because most installs are now using HDMI connections primarily. A consumer monitor has HDMI input, so why isn’t it good enough? Well, consider the average cost of a 19.5” consumer monitor. The retail price is around $80-100 compared to the MRRP of a commercial grade monitor of around $150-200. Yes, it’s a premium of 50-100%, but there are a few important criteria that differentiate the products.* 1. A consumer grade monitor isn’t designed to run 24/7 If you look at most consumer grade monitor user manuals they will explicitly state that they should only be used continuously for up to 14-16 hours per day due to using lower quality resistors and capacitors on the mainboard. What about your security in the hours the monitor shouldn’t be running? OK, so let’s ignore that and run the monitor 24/7. It will usually burn out within a year, leading you to replace the monitor. Already the commercial grade monitor has been worth the premium, and that’s in the first year. 2. Consumer grade monitors don’t have Anti Pixel Burn Given that most CCTV monitors are connected to static cameras they will usually have the same image on the screen for 24 hours a day. Remember why computers have “Screen Savers”? A few months of displaying a static image will cause ghost images to burn onto the screen due to overheated pixels, causing image degradation and the need to replace the monitor. These ghost images are even visible when the monitor is powered off! Anti Pixel Burn prevents this by imperceptibly shifting the image by a few pixels periodically to prevent the individual pixels from overheating and thus causing these problems. 3. Many co-axial inputs won’t be supported by a consumer grade monitor Commercial grade monitors may or may not need to use co-axial inputs including CVBS, AHD, HD-TVI, HD-CVI and HD-SDI, but one thing for sure is that a consumer grade monitor just won’t support them. Most consumer grade monitors should only be used continuously for up to 14-16 hours per day 4. When using 4K, consumer grade products more often than not use upscaled 4K This causes the image reproduction on the monitor to not be the true image being sent from the camera or input device. Commercial grade products from most specialist commercial monitor manufacturers use true 4K, recreating the image exactly as has been sent from the input device. We have heard from many distributors and OEM customers who have tested true 4K models side by side with products from LG, Samsung and others, and they have have been blown away by the difference in image and colour reproduction. 5. Consumer grade products generally come with a 1-year warranty Many commercial grade products come with a 3-year warranty as standard, but are generally expected to last much longer. The MTBF (minimum time before failure) of the panels that most commercial grade monitor manufacturers use is 50,000+ hours, which at 24 hours a day is almost 6 years! There are many commercial grade monitors out in the market still being used after 8-10 years or more, so they stand up to the test of time. Even if they only last the warranty period of 3 years that’s still as long as 2-3 consumer grade monitors. Why choose a commercial grade monitor? It’s time to ask if commercial grade monitors might be worth the premium. What are you using for your installs? Are end user budget constraints the sole driver for the use of consumer monitors, or is it that the installers aren’t explaining (or don’t know) the reasons why a commercial grade monitor is usually much better value? Let’s start the discussion. *Prices estimated July 2017
Technology, products and services are vital to the security market, but so are the people behind them. This year, SourceSecurity.com has been highlighting some of the key characters who make up the security market. Along the way, we’ve discovered a broad spectrum of experiences and viewpoints that make up the industry. Many of the most insightful responses were to the question: What is the best professional advice you have received (and from whom)? Don’t underestimate yourself, says Don Erickson, CEO of the Security Industry Association Scott Brothers, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, Oncam Listen, listen and listen some more. Which continues to take real training because of my passion over spilling into a “need to be heard” when really, I should be listening. It’s a trait I continually work on and seek feedback on. Listening for me equals learning and the best ideas sometimes come from the unexpected voice in the room. The open environment we cultivate at Oncam really promotes this kind of interaction at all levels. Don Erickson, CEO of the Security Industry Association Don’t underestimate yourself. John Stroia who is a former chairman of SIA and presently the president of Hamilton was literally the first person who encouraged me to apply for the CEO role at SIA. I was perfectly content handling government relations at the time the position opened. I also hadn’t aspired to the role. John actively encouraged me to go for it despite my reservations about whether I was ready for it. Liam McShane, Sales Director at Perfect Display Technology Take whatever chances come along. It’s much better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do! (From a mentor at my first financial services company) Return all calls as soon as possible and no later than the end of each day, advises Scott Schafer Eddie Reynolds, President & CEO of Iluminar Many of my childhood friends' parents would always say to me, “If no one wants to give you an opportunity, create your own.” Scott Schafer, Chairman-elect of the Security Industry Association My father was in the major appliance industry and showed by example the importance of outworking your competitor. He also made sure to return all calls as soon as possible and no later than the end of each day. Kim Loy, Director of Marketing at Vanderbilt Industries The best advice I have received is that we are only in competition with ourselves. If we strive to always improve our knowledge and performance, success will follow. That there are no boundaries, we are all capable of doing anything we strive to do as long as we don’t set limits for ourselves. This advice is something that I heard from a very young age and grew up completely believing – it came from my dad, Chuck Robinson. Thomas J. Langer, President of ASIS International From my father and totally by accident. He was 60 and learning computer aided design which was making his drafting table obsolete. I asked him why, at 60, do that now? His response was that he doesn’t get to choose where advancements take his profession. I have never forgotten that and therefore never settled for the status quo. Change and advancement are a constant in everything. You have to have a work life balance and be resilient in order to manage the ups and downs of business and your career Thomas Cook, Vice President of Sales at Hanwha Techwin America My first manager, Marty Meyer, told me when to keep emotion out of everything you do at work; especially when you are negotiating and presenting your side or case. Fredrik Nilsson, Vice President of the Americas at Axis Communications My manager, Bodil Sonesson, VP of Global Sales at Axis has given me great advice over the years. She says that your career “is a marathon not a sprint,” meaning, in order to be successful long-term you have to have a work life balance and be resilient in order to manage the ups and downs of business and your career. Kenneth Hune Petersen, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Milestone Systems Flemming Tamstorf, CEO of my former company, showed me by example that you should never tell anyone “See, I told you so.” He never did it himself. If you play to the limit, there is a risk that you will fail. If you’re taking a risk, things can go wrong. And he never said “I told you so.”
Perfect Display Technology Co. Ltd. has announced the factory has passed its recent ISO9001:2015 audit, improving on the previous ISO9001:2000 standard, showing the company is still the best place to get your commercial grade monitors. Improving processes and products The company spokesperson, Sales Director Liam McShane said, “We are constantly striving to improve our processes and ultimately our products. We can only do this by implementing the proper processes and by listening to and acting on customer feedback. As well as spending a lot of time and money on product development, we also understand the need to constantly improve our internal systems to improve not only quality but productivity too. We have introduced a very strict QC process, right from the goods in to the goods out. This includes a new heat and humidity testing room and various other processes, giving my department, and our partners and their customers, much greater confidence in the quality of the products we provide.” Benefits to business and customers General Manager David He added, “We are very proud that our hard work over the past few months is showing benefits to our business and to our partners and customers. I’m very happy with the Production and QC teams for showing their ability and commitment to our mission to become one of the top suppliers in the industry. I would also like to thank our R&D team of engineers for the constant development of our existing and future products. I can confidently say that we produce the best PVMs in the world because of their hard work and dedication. It takes effort from everyone to build a successful business. As someone wiser than me once said, “It takes many years to become an overnight success!”” Perfect Display Technology Co Ltd have been a supplier of LCD and LED displays since 2006, and proudly provide OEM services to many household names and companies around the world.
Liam McShane is Sales Director at Perfect Display Technology Co Ltd., the provider of LCD and LED displays for surveillance and other applications. A Northern Irishman who’s been living in Shenzhen, China since 2014, Liam has a passion for technology and sales. Liam has had a long career in sales within many industries - helped by a strange mind for specifications and random trivia. SourceSecurity.com caught up with him to find out more: How did you come to work in the security industry? While working in China in the Financial Services Industry I met a guy who asked if I was interested in a career change, working in International Sales for a Monitor Manufacturer. I went along for an interview and found excellent products and saw great potential in the company for growth, so I decided to take a chance. I haven’t regretted it since! What is the best professional advice you have received? Take whatever chances come along. It’s much better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do! (From a mentor at my first financial services company) Quick Facts Biggest hero Valentino Rossi Favourite album Too many to list! I'm a DJ after all! First job Butcher Dogs or cats? Dogs (Cats are evil!) Ideal holiday Anything but the beach! What's something few people know about you? I have been a DJ since the age of 13 and I occasionally sing with a few different bands around Shenzhen City. I also used to be very active in Motorsports and have commentated for the Ulster Drift Championship and the Irish Drag Racing Championship. What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living? I’d have to say it’s the travelling, although it’s a double-edged sword. It can be very tiring, but I have been to many places I wouldn’t have otherwise been and seen things I didn’t ever expect to see. The drawback is the amount of time away from home. I sometimes think I live on a plane! Liam McShane has been a DJ since the age of 13 and occasionally sings with a few different bands around Shenzhen City What are your interests, hobbies and passions outside security? Well, being a long-time DJ I am very into music, and I also have a passion for a lot of sports including football, rugby, motorsport, boxing and MMA. I also enjoy riding my various skateboards (I’m still a big kid in my late 30s!), and I love technology in all forms, including games consoles, mobile phones and all sorts of gadgets. I even own 2 electric self-balancing unicycles! Where was your last vacation? Would you recommend it to others and why? Believe it or not, it was a vacation to Ireland (North and South) at Christmas 2016. Living away from “home” and travelling a lot for work means I tend to vacation in Ireland in order to visit family and friends. This time I brought my girlfriend and actually visited some places I’d never been, such as some of the Game of Thrones locations and the Cliffs of Moher, although I had the privilege of growing up near Winterfell! I would absolutely recommend Ireland as the people are some of the nicest in the world and the scenery some of the most beautiful!