When You Say 'CCTV,' What Do You Mean?
The term "CCTV" is a challenge for me as a marketing guy. Today, it is both a specific definition and a generic.

It is like, "Do you want a Coke®?" "Yeah, do you have root beer or orange?"

As such, CCTV today describes both analog and IP video surveillance.

There are some in the video surveillance industry that want you to choose one or the other, analog or IP. However, we live in a world where the integrator has the ability to provide high resolution video using analog AND IP. After all, only two things matter: the end user getting a good system and the integrator getting paid.

And everyone needs the solution to be easy. Whether it is a transition to IP or HD analog, it should "just work."

Because I am an early adopter of technology wanna' be, it is easy for me to fall into the IP trap. My rationale is that I gravitate to new construction or renewal/remodels and say to myself, "The infrastructure will be IP."

That is true most of the time, but what is the ratio of new to existing buildings in the world? If an existing building already has a surveillance system installed, odds are it was traditional CCTV over coax. There is also the possibility that IP infrastructure has been added to the building to support the computer/phone system. But unless it is an extensive remodel, there is no reason for the integrator or end user to say, "While we're running the Cat 6, let's just rip out all that coax." Why? It isn't hurting anybody. Nobody can see it. Maybe you'll need it.

Maybe indeed.

As a marketing guy for DW®, it is a luxury for me in regard to analog and IP because we have you covered either way: we sell both analog and IP equipment and complete solutions.

We think there are advantages for the integrator to buy complete systems from us. However, our components, for the most part, work and play well with others, so we also want to be included in the conversation of an a la carte solution. That said, we think that the "one throat to choke" single source is a benefit to both the integrator and the end user before, during and after the installation.

Because of our diverse product selection, we are more than happy to discuss use of Cat 6 or coax for an HD video surveillance system.

The IP proponents have long used high resolution as the argument to transition away from analog. Unfortunately for the one trick ponies, the world has passed them by as HD analog offers higher and higher resolutions. The industry has raised the standard to 1080p resolution, now easily available on both platforms. With the adoption of 4K monitors, it will be interesting to see if users leapfrog 5MP to 4K as the next minimum standard.

Just as "Rome was not built in a day," neither is the 5MP camera going to become the standard tomorrow and the 48MP multi-sensor panoramic camera is not going to cause everyone to throw out their existing system designs the day after that. Baby steps. "Small victories." The adoption of 1080p as a standard in both analog and IP systems is a H-U-G-E improvement in image quality over 960H, VGA or even 720p. "Free the masses! Megapixel for everyone!"

When a customer talks to an integrator today, the customer is expecting at least 1080p image quality because that is what they are now used to seeing when they watch TV. They may or may not understand the megapixel value proposition and that the resolution of those cameras can also result in fewer cameras being needed for the system. That is where the integrator has the opportunity to educate about resolution and why a 5MP, 4K or higher resolution camera might make sense in some applications, and the further value proposition of a multi-sensor panoramic camera.

At DW®, it is easy to get excited about our enterprise-level IP solutions. We are talking about some pretty powerful and easy to use Blackjack™ NVRs powered by DW Spectrum™ IPVMS managing single- and multi-sensor MEGApix® Cameras. For a hybrid solution, you can bring in your existing analog cameras with a Compressor™ Analog to IP Encoder.

But what about the integrator whose bread and butter is the single store or small office? The enterprise solution will work, but may not be the most efficient solution either to install or manage. If the application does not call for a complex video surveillance system, great results can be delivered by the way the system design positions and manages 1080p cameras.

DW® was built upon dependable DVRs with an intuitive user interface and easy to use management software. Our business model has been to apply higher and higher resolution cameras to that familiar user experience. Today, with the proliferation of HD analog (AHD, TVI and CVI), our installer customers can now provide the megapixel value proposition to their customers over existing coax infrastructure with our VMAX A1™ Universal HD Analog DVRs (that also support all analog to 960H) with single- and multi-sensor STAR-LIGHT™ HD Analog Cameras.

And if the end user customers have enjoyed the easy nature of their analog systems but feel that IP is an update they need to make, we have taken that same easy user experience and software and applied it to an IP plug and play NVR solution supporting up to 16 IP 1080p cameras including the added benefit of PoE, VMAX IP Plus™ NVRs (and MEGApix® single- and multi-sensor cameras up to 5MP resolution).

If you are an integrator, the infrastructure of your customer's current facility is neither a pro nor a con for you today. Whether it is coax or Cat 6, it is an opportunity for you to educate the customer and sell the megapixel value proposition of improved image quality with fewer cameras required in the system. Analog or IP, you can easily deliver a high resolution solution.
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