A bit of this and that

April 2011 News

Welcome to the CCTV Handbook 2011, brought to you by Hi-Tech Security Solutions.

When it comes to surveillance, humans have a bad reputation. Statistics often quoted, or perhaps the appropriate term is misquoted, say that after 20 minutes of staring at a video wall (or is it 30 minutes, how about 40?), people miss most of the action. And when it comes to action, it could be anywhere between 40% to 80% that goes missing after the particular time limit has passed.

I am sure there is a real bit of statistical evidence that supports some of the figures quoted, but the numbers are just too juicy for intelligent analytics sales people to ignore. The common sales pitch is, “you know your operators miss much of the action, so rely on technology instead”.

Our Q&A on analytics will show that while analytics is a growing field and getting better all the time, it is still not at a place where it can be 100% relied upon. Perhaps the answer is to take more care in selecting and training your operators. Getting the cheapest body you can find and slapping it behind a video wall is not going to do your company or your customer any long-term favours, nor is skimping on the training budget.

That is not to say there is not a balance in offering the optimal use of technology and people to achieve an effective surveillance solution. There definitely is, but there is no set formula defining how to achieve this. And this is the hard part for customers; the formula for your company is unique to the requirements and threats facing each business. The time and money spent setting up surveillance in a casino is vastly different to that of a manufacturing plant.

The selection of technology is also different for each situation. Some installations may call for the latest in IP video solutions with intelligent analytics and all the bells and whistles. Others may deliver the required goods with old-fashioned analogue products. And on the topic of analogue, the HDcctv Alliance will probably ensure that good-ol’ analogue remains on the scene for much longer than anyone likes to admit. Analogue products are supposedly going to be cheaper and faster than their IP counterparts; that has to hurt.

In this year’s edition of the CCTV Handbook, we take a look at a range of issues in the surveillance market. We start with a look at what some of the major players in South Africa expect to see happening, move on to discussions on analytics, hybrid technology and even the fast growing thermal market. Then we have opinions from a number of players before we get into the juicy stuff and start looking at case studies of where and how surveillance solutions have made an impact in the real world.

As always, your comments and suggestions on how to improve the handbook, including what topics we should include or exclude in the next publications are always welcome. The e-mail address is andrew@technews.co.za

Enjoy the CCTV Handbook 2011.

Andrew Seldon, editor



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