Is the positive buzz around high-definition CCTV (HDcctv or HD CCTV) cameras justified? Are they really the next best thing or just a passing craze?
Tristram Borgmann, account manager for Grundig, believes that HD CCTV does offer definite advantages for the end-user. “HD CCTV is high-definition over a coax cable. HD CCTV system installations require no training and no IT knowledge since anyone who can install an analogue system can readily install an HD CCTV system. In addition, you get a real-time, uncompressed high definition picture.”
According to MJ Oosthuizen, sales manager at Reditron, “Analogue is not yet dead. The problem is that HD over coax is not a cost-effective solution, as both camera and recording device need to be changed, combined with the lack of the majority of features of analogue or IP solutions. There are two main, overriding issues with HD CCTV: storage and lack of intelligence.
“When you replace the existing camera with an HD solution, you will need to change the recording platform. This makes the system more expensive than analogue or even IP solutions where modular migration is possible. This is because HD SDI (serial digital interface) is uncompressed video data that requires expanded amounts of storage, and the technology on both ends of the solution needs to be compatible,” said Oosthuizen.
He continued: “An HD CCTV system does not have onboard analytics or storage and uncompressed video is sent in HD format to recorder to be captured and compressed. I do believe however, that HD CCTV systems will become more intelligent and cost effective as the technology matures. Bearing these factors in mind, it is a good idea to look at the client’s total solution rather than costing HD-SDI products individually.”
Borgmann said that an increasing number of installers are becoming aware of the advantages of HD CCTV, but that there is still a long road for these systems to travel. “Until recently, 80% of installations, with less than 12 cameras and within a range of 200 m, were analogue. In this arena, there is huge potential for HD CCTV, where users are implementing HD CCTV into their existing analogue system. This is especially true where it is critical to receive live pictures in areas like petrol stations, retail shops, cashier zones and banks.”
“At least 65% of all analogue sales are for cameras that can record on a standard higher resolution DVR. The demand for HD-SDI solutions are minor, but the offering on 960H platform or even D1, is currently still popular and drives sales strongly. We have found that even in instances where there are requests for HD-SDI, it forms part of a hybrid solution,” said Oosthuizen.
Oosthuizen added that installer education plays a large role in the system selection. “Many installers do not understand the new technology; they are more focused on finding the most cost-effective solution, rather than a best-fit solution. Our larger system integrators, on the other hand, require a flexible solution that can be integrated into a feature-rich IP platform.
“The new 960H technology is fractionally more expensive than current standard 4CIF/D1 solutions but is higher-end analogue with built-in prediction capabilities, thus placing it in a firm position to overtake the HD-SDI CCTV offering to the traditional market. Users should be cautioned that they need to establish whether, if they replace an existing camera, it will communicate with an HD-SDI system and assess the clients’ true requirement and budget,” Oosthuizen said.
“HD CCTV is ideal where you need HD with awesome picture quality. However, if you need analytics or the installation is large, over long distances, then IP is the route to go,” Borgmann concluded.
Simple analogue upgrades
Grundig has added a four channel, analogue to single channel HD-SDI converter to its HD-SDI product range. The CVBS composite video converter, GTH-C0041C, streams four analogue D1 video channels into one, Full HD, 1920 x 1080p HD-SDI video channel. The four analogue video channels can be displayed in quad format, within a single camera view of the HD-SDI DVR, or each analogue channel can be displayed individually.
Andreas Kronwald, product manager at Grundig, explains, “The four channel, analogue to HD-SDI converter makes upgrading existing analogue systems to HD-SDI quick, simple and cost effective. It allows installers to consider re-using existing analogue cameras and coaxial cabling within a new CCTV system, perhaps in less critical positions on-site, reducing costs. Later, if budgets permit, the analogue cameras can be upgraded.
“Each analogue channel is recorded as one quarter of the Full HD, HD-SDI channel. The resulting video is of similar resolution to D1, the highest available for analogue video.”
Grundig’s full HD-SDI range includes a box camera; outdoor bullet; fixed dome and vandal-resistant fixed dome, with IR LED options and true day/night functionality; an 18x, external, PTZ dome; and 4, 8 and 16 channel DVRs.
For more information on Grundig Security products contact +49 2191 374 9883 or visit www.grundig-security.com
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