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Taking a closer view of CCTV with high definition solutions

Published on 3 June, 2008

Pauline Norstrom, Worldwide Head of Marketing at Dedicated MicrosBy Pauline Norstrom Worldwide Head of Marketing, Dedicated Micros

Considering trends in CCTV technology, the introduction of High Definition (HD) megapixel CCTV cameras, such as our own CamVu 2000, and associated HD recording and display solutions reflect a major watershed in the capability of CCTV systems from the enterprise level HighVu Excel to the new DV-IP HD.  Specifically in terms of the quality of images which can now be provided and, crucially, the potential to accurately identify suspects and achieve successful convictions.

In fact, if current trends continue, it is highly likely that High Definition (HD) CCTV will become the de facto standard for CCTV users and providers over the next few years.

As with the move in the 1990s from analogue to digital CCTV technology the appearance of HD CCTV parallels, very much, the experience in the consumer electronics market.  Here we are seeing High Definition (HD) televisions and broadcast channels becoming the technology of choice and, as a result, taking an ever greater share of the market.

Dedicated Micros' new HD megapixel CCTV cameras reflect a major watershed in the capability of CCTV systems

Key benefits

From a security and risk management perspective I believe that the transition to High Definition (HD) CCTV brings with it a number of concrete benefits, in particular, as mentioned, allowing the delivery of more detailed images than ever before.  With this in mind we are likely to see HD CCTV being particularly favoured for high-risk environments such as banking where the identification of faces is a prerequisite.  Until relatively recently film was really the only way by which banks could achieve the kind of detail which they required for evidential purposes.  In this case the flexibility which comes with digital HD CCTV, in terms of the handling of images, makes it much more attractive and cost effective than recording onto specialised film.

Other sectors where we will find the early users of HD CCTV concentrated include: retail, corporate headquarters, urban centres and security sensitive military installations.

Implementation matters

Of course, as with any new technology, the advent of HD CCTV is not without some potential implementation issues which installers and end users should be aware of.  Amongst the issues which should be considered are how to view, record and store CCTV images which are typically much larger than before.

One approach is simply to have a closed CCTV recording system whose only role is to locally store images taken directly from the megapixel cameras.  The downside of this is the inability to make the content of the images available more widely, by for example using an IP connection.

Another option is to link the megapixel cameras on site, via IP, to a network video recorder which can sit at a convenient point on the network.  Here care needs to be taken that transmitting the images will not overload the network with data.

With some solutions it is possible to combine local recording with IP connectivity by adopting a digital video recorder which can readily store high resolution images, as close as possible the mega pixel cameras, but also offer an ability to reduce the size of the images so they are optimised for transmission across a network.

Dedicated Micros DV-IP HDThis is the path we would advocate and have taken with solutions such as the HighVu Excel and DV-IP HD.  The advantage here is that a remote operator can call up the images without overloading the network and also, crucially, be confident that a highly detailed version has been recorded locally for evidential purposes.

Optimised for HD CCTV

Looking in more detail at the DV-IP HD (High Definition) video server, this powerful addition to the DV-IP family has been developed specifically to offer a full desktop High Definition CCTV system which can operate in association with up to 8 of our advanced CamVu 2000 mega pixel cameras.

The cost effective NetVu Connected DV-IP HD video server readily supports High Definition CCTV recording, playback and local HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) monitor output.  In addition, a built-in TransCoding capability allows bandwidth optimised images to be streamed to remote operators without impacting the network.

Other key features of the DV-IP HD include:1.5TB - 2TB of storage (depending on model), 8 analogue inputs, Gigabit Ethernet input, HDMI output, embedded user interface, USB mouse, keyboard interface, IR remote control, DVD writer for archive, remote alarm reporting and dual channel bi-directional audio.

Crucially, the DV-IP HD breaks down the barriers which to date have prevented economical high definition recording becoming a reality.  Coax cable as a technology is a non-starter for High Definition CCTV as the resolution available is severely limited and while IP opens the door to high resolution image capture and recording, in practice, this typically means that users are forcing large amounts of data onto the network to record images, potentially crippling the network.

The solution provided by the DV-IP HD overcomes these hurdles by allowing high definition recording to be delivered as a single, standalone, solution without necessarily having to transmit the data over the network.Dedicated Micros CamVu 2000

Camera technology

When it comes to cameras, as mentioned, the CamVu 2000 is the ideal choice to be deployed in conjunction with our latest HD recording solutions.  The CamVu 2000's high resolution - mega pixel - technology is based on the award-winning NetVu Connected architecture.  This ensures that deep integration is possible with a wide range of DVRs and devices, as well as supporting simplified integration into larger scale systems.

Specialised ChipWrights Visual Signal Processing (ViSP) technology, incorporated into the new CamVu 2000, allows it to transmit simultaneous MPEG-4 and JPEG images to be recorded on an associated NetVu Connected DVR such as the DV-IP HD for image capture.  In addition an integrated pre-alarm feature within the CamVu 2000 ensures that critical pre-event movement can be recorded.

A high definition future

To conclude, there is little doubt that the advent of HD CCTV opens up tremendous opportunities in terms of the high quality of images which can be captured and looks set to revolutionise how we use CCTV to secure sites and identify offenders.

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