‘Keep it simple’ – now more than ever
June 2018, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
The rate of change in the technology industry is not slowing down. The blistering pace has its pros and cons. A good example, Facebook and the brilliant algorithms they made available became the very rod for their back. The mess companies such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica are finding themselves in is the double-edged sword of significant gains and then big blows – some fatal for the businesses. The surveillance industry is just as vulnerable. The rapid rate of development tends to leave behind the basics, common sense or worse still, a purge of useful and relevant features.
While many CCTV brands have jumped on the me-too ‘brand-wagon’, some brands have taken a step back to focus on the practical user experience. The age-old adage KISS ‘Keep it simple, stupid’ rings true now more than ever.
One of the brands that impressed us in all three areas is TVT. In our selection of brands to present to the South African market, TVT scored tops in all our tests. The technology behind the brand has been around for 13 years in various OEM formats for some of the big local names. In recent years the brand has undergone a massive transformation, cleaning up the OEM segment and building brand awareness. This strategy means a stronger drive behind the name. For distributors, it means a collective gain from awareness of a renowned TOP 30 (A&S) industry brand and piggybacking on all marketing and awareness created in various formats.
Why the GUI scores high
After a successful installation, the first point of contact between you and your customer is the GUI (graphical user interface). All too often the focus has been on designing GUIs for the installer, but the reality is their contact with it dissipates after the installation. A complicated, non-intuitive GUI means many of the features may never be used.
TVT has a different focus. One more click than necessary is one click too many. It may seem like a small tweak, but that is their attention to detail right down to minimising the menu depth.
The GUI, transformed in recent times to their all-new N9000 interface, allows for easy, convenient access to menus – the ‘modular design format’. This offers quick access to different menus and eliminates the pesky right click. Is it minor? Maybe for some, but for the end user, it is easier, more manageable and quicker. No end user has ever complained about fewer clicks – at least that we know of.
Safety and convenience built-in
Another function that has been moved from the camera to the GUI is COC on all cameras. This gives one the ability to control the camera and set sensor settings from the convenience of your armchair. We have seen too many installers performing this function from a stepladder, with a test monitor sometimes in less than ideal weather conditions. Again, in practice it is simple – but the ability to set up your camera from the display means a more straightforward, user-friendly experience.
Searching is also simplified via Thumbnail Search. This gives one the ability to search across a 24-hour day via thumbnails.
Backup – simple
Another simple but often unnecessarily complicated feature is backup. While in playback mode one can select the area of backup and then back it up to USB directly from the playback interface. No need for any other menus.
Audio, PTZ and TV-out as a standard
It is common practice to cut the costs of entry-level DVRs by removing features such as audio, PTZ control and TV-out. Not with TVT. Forbatt offers the above for entry-level DVRs. Also, the graphical user interface is the same when working with the entry level DVR or enterprise NVR, giving one a consistent experience and simpler learning curve as you upgrade.
When the focus is on perfecting the user experience first and then the bells-and-whistles, you get a brand that has a reputation for reliability and people first. That is the TVT brand.