Solutions beyond surveillance

July 2012 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

The new buzzword in the CCTV industry is remote video monitoring. It is not a new concept and has been around for some time, so why the increasing interest in the concept?

Well, if we were in the developed world there would be a plethora of reasons mostly starting with ‘In the IT Industry….’ which would be perfectly valid. Here in SA, the CCTV industry has to a large extent crossed over into that information technology domain. Additionally, clients now expect a more pro-active and secure approach to the use of CCTV footage with a cost benefit similar to what has been experienced with the IT outsourcing of services.

Essentially, video monitoring has increased in popularity worldwide for the same reason that outsourcing services to the cloud have become popular – bandwidth has become more available and more affordable. All the other justifications for video monitoring were always in existence, but bandwidth availability has been the catalyst to make it commercially viable.

However, here in South Africa we are not quite there yet. We do not have 2 Mbps and 3 Mbps dedicated ADSL lines available – most of us have to share 1 Mbps ADSL line with 12 other subscribers. When we do have the luxury of a service provider that can supply us with a 2 Mbps dedicated line, the cost is prohibitive and therein lies the problem – CCTV video footage consumes massive amounts of bandwidth.

Bandwidth concerns

We need to stream CCTV footage across extremely restricted telecommunications infrastructure. Most imported products that are purpose designed for the streaming of CCTV do not cater for low-bandwidth, although they would claim to be designed specifically for that purpose. Imported products that really do have the capability to utilise very low-bandwidth tend to have a price tag that makes one’s hair stand on end and when a product has both the ability and is affordable the value-added extras and future-proofing is suspect.

So, where to from here? Do we give up and hope the next big thing in CCTV does not also pass us by? Not necessarily. We luckily have the option of local products. South African products researched, developed, engineered and manufactured specifically for our local conditions.

Mass’s focus is not only on the distribution of product, but also on the quality of the products we distribute and the application of those products. So when we chose a product that meets our stringent criteria, we decided on Cathexis Systems for its range of hybrid hardware products and their software management products.

Cathexis has long had a proven track record of remote transmission in many different environments, but they have also acquired a reputation for transmitting quality images across an extremely restricted infrastructure, while providing extra features and functions that create more than just surveillance solutions but rather security management solutions.

With Cathexis it is no longer a case of merely viewing CCTV images in a remote location – no, now it is viewing true incident related images whilst managing disparate electronic security systems at the same time – all from a single Graphic User Interface.

The Cathexis GUI is an interactive, intuitive and easily understandable interface that has the simple principle of point-click-drag-drop and pre-populated commands – operators do not need exceptional cognitive skills to manage the system and manage it well.

Remote management

The integration of third-party systems such as access control, intruder detection, and fire- detection, point of sale/serial text or any serial communication devices allows the operator to manage all these devices from the single GUI. Dependent on the level of integration required the operator will have the ability to arm/disarm alarm systems, open doors or trigger a PLC from an I/O to perform a multitude of tasks.

Third-party devices will also generate events and alarms managed by an alarm gateway whose sole function is the management of alarms and events. These can be handled quite easily by the operator on the GUI and together with the embedded layered map function can then be pre-defined to open either a map of the site where the event occurred to opening a sequence of cameras in the vicinity of where the event occurred.

But what really impresses is the Health Monitoring Function of the ROM system. Anyone that has been even remotely involved with the CCTV industry will know that hard disk drives have the ability to become useless at the most inopportune time and the footage required after an event will invariably be on the HDD that is no longer operational. Cathexis monitors HDD, system temperature, hardware activity and a multitude of other mission critical components specifically so that a problem is identified long before it actually becomes a problem.

Is remote video monitoring just surveillance? No, not anymore. Video monitoring has become, by necessity, a management tool and for it to be successful in that specific function it needs to be a solution beyond surveillance. If the service provider wants to be a step ahead of his rivals then value-added features are the way to go.

For more information contact Management and Supply of Security Solutions, +27 (0)83 309 4230,,


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Body-worn cameras transforming security
October 2019 , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Security Services & Risk Management
Police Service Northern Ireland now has over 7 000 officers using 2 500 cameras covering approximately 173 000 incidents each year.

Camera Selection Guide 2019
CCTV Handbook 2019 , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
The Camera Selection Guide 2019 includes a range of IP, analogue, thermal and speciality cameras aimed at a broad range of surveillance functions.

Intelligent analytics and the brains to match
September 2019, Bosch Building Technologies , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
What if the brains behind our security cameras could be trained to improve their cognitive ability to pay attention, learn, and problem-solve according to specific rules and situations?

AI-powered autonomous Drone-in-a-Box
September 2019 , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
Organisations in the mining, energy and industrial, oil and gas, ports and terminals sectors can optimise security and business operations, whilst reducing risks and operational costs

Cybersecurity for video surveillance systems
September 2019 , Cyber Security, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Video surveillance systems are increasingly accessible over any IP network, which has led to the rise of potential cyberattack.

A platform approach to innovation and value
CCTV Handbook 2019, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
Moving to the platform model of doing business holds tremendous advantages for end users and smaller developers, but also for the whole technology supply chain.

Back to manufacturer uniformity?
CCTV Handbook 2019, Dallmeier Electronic Southern Africa , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Decision makers often have to choose between an all-inclusive, complete solution from one manufacturer and the products and services of several different providers.

Open does not always mean easy integration
CCTV Handbook 2019, VERACITECH, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
Customers who opt for best-of-breed solutions will have to rely on their integrators to develop customised integrated solutions for them.

The impact of AI on the surveillance industry
CCTV Handbook 2019, G4S South Africa, Hikvision South Africa, Myertal Tactical Security, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
What the impact of AI will be on companies, the services and solutions they supply, as well as on the jobs people do.

Video analytics and AI
CCTV Handbook 2019, Axis Communications SA, Dallmeier Electronic Southern Africa , Hikvision South Africa, Technews Publishing, Dahua Technology South Africa , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
Artificial intelligence has the potential to deliver real benefits in the world of video analytics and many companies are already delivering customer benefits.