One of the challenges businesses face today as they expand their global footprint is monitor their sites – in real time – without blowing up their operational costs. This is especially relevant in instances where these businesses venture into areas that have limited communication infrastructure, or where they have so many sites across borders that their monitoring activities could become costly unless consolidated.
The good news is that CCTV technology has made huge strides with the introduction of compression capabilities that enable live video transmission over low-bandwidth networks.
Developed by SerVision, this technology can compress a video stream to four frames per second (fps) at 1 kilobyte per second (KBps), making it easier to stream live and recorded video footage, even from areas that are limited to GPRS or EDGE networks.
Compression technology is key
A standard CCTV camera may record three to 30 frames per second, requiring up to 1 megabyte per second (MBps) to transmit this video stream to a control room or other location.
A CCTV camera that uses compression, such as SerVision’s UVG400, allows the user to, in theory, stream footage from around 1000 cameras over a 1 Megabyte (MB) link relatively easily. This is a big difference in the amount of data that one can transmit, allowing companies to expand their potential exponentially to oversee multiple sites regardless of their location and seamlessly creating CCTV networks across localities, provinces and countries.
Cameras that use compression technology are ideal for deployment at any location where cabled Internet connections are not readily available, making it easy to stream live and recorded video footage, even from areas that do not have broadband coverage.
The UVG400 DVR also has the ability to stream bi-directional audio, enabling the security operator to not only listen to sounds transmitted by the microphone at the remote site, but also to transmit audio back to the remote site. By connecting external speakers to the DVR, operators can talk to the local guards, give instructions or give verbal warnings to intruders, or even play pre-recorded audio sequences such as police sirens or warning messages to warn off intruders.
CCTV compression technology is ideal for deployment at any location where cabled Internet connections are not readily available, or at fixed sites where a backup cellular connection is required. As an example: suppose your company is in the process of constructing a building at a remote location where you do not have broadband access. This technology allows you run live video footage from any site as long as you can push this footage onto a number of IP networks, whether it’s ADSL, DigiNet, VSAT or GSM.
From a security standpoint, this enhances the ability to monitor the site remotely. For example, a supervisor or manager can remotely observe delivery of materials, how they are stored and if unauthorised persons are on site, assisting to reduce theft or shrinkage.
Analyses of CCTV footage also assists at a project management level by enabling key personnel to better plan and monitor operational activities at the site. This ensures that important tasks take place on schedule and in the prescribed manner.
Staff members who have project oversight are also able to view live video footage from multiple sites – different locations, even different countries – on their computers, tablets and mobile phones. This cuts down on travel time and financial resources spent on physical site inspections while still enabling staff to review the operations on site without actually being there.
These principles apply to all types of businesses including retail stores, where you can for example, monitor multiple stores and warehouses simultaneously or, financial services companies who can monitor their ATMs set up in remote locations. Mining sites can also be reviewed from head office to see what is happening on site without having to be physically present.
Savings in operational costs
While the initial investment to install high-compression video systems must be considered, the savings in the company’s operational costs generally offer enough savings to make up for the expense. Because the system compresses video four times better than traditional technology, the data costs are typically around three to four times cheaper. It also allows the ability to get the video offsite, even if there is no 3G environment.
In conclusion, compression has made remote CCTV monitoring easier and more cost effective, enabling companies to plan and manage their remote projects more effectively. It is an innovation that is quietly making a difference in the business sector’s ability to venture into under-resourced territories.
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