The ‘Ins & Outs’ of Remote & Network Surveillance
The ‘Ins & Outs’ of Remote & Network Surveillance
How do you keep a watchful eye on your premises when you aren’t there? Remote surveillance of closed circuit television (CCTV) systems adds flexibility and confidence to your security arrangements.
Whether you operate a standalone system or have several premises, the ability to link in to your surveillance system remotely gives you more peace of mind and greater ability to respond to emergency situations. You can check on your system from a remote office, home after hours, or contract a professional security firm to monitor your premises around the clock from anywhere in the country.
Selecting the best remote surveillance system for your situation will be influenced by factors such as what communications resources are available to you, and the level of performance you require. For example, is high-speed data communication available in your area/building? And, do you need to review between 5 to 25 pictures per second, or will two or three pictures per second suffice?
Linking your remote surveillance system up to the Internet is one way to keep an eye on your premises. For transmitting large amounts of data, such as digital video, at high speed, you’ll need to be in an area that has access to broadband or high-speed Internet (ASDL or Jet Stream). Currently, these services are restricted to major metropolitan areas.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN), maybe used, and sets up a secure ‘private’ network over the Internet, which is itself a ‘public’ network. Wireless options are also available for companies with staff out on the road, although these require a larger budget.
While the Internet has provided us with many benefits, it’s not necessarily the most effective option for remote surveillance, and can even have huge disadvantages over other systems, says Bruce Young, National Manager of C.R. Kennedy’s CCTV Division. “Any web based solution needs full time connection to the Internet, and is at the mercy of common limitations of the World Wide Web. This includes busy traffic times, occasional drop outs of service, potential of high costs and the higher security risks inherent in using a ‘public’ communication network.”
PSTN, ISDN, LANs and WANs
The above collection of acronyms can provide effective remote surveillance solutions to most users. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is the basic telephone network throughout the country, while the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a faster, digital phone network available in larger city areas. Local area networks and wide area networks (LANs and WANs) are company-specific computer networks. All of these options can support a high quality remote surveillance CCTV system. They can provide secure, stable and easy to manage solutions. Before choosing one of these solutions you’ll need to consider how you need your remote surveillance system to perform, as some are better suited than others to particular applications. CR Kennedy NZ Ltd can help you with this.
Like many things, CCTV systems have now entered the digital age. Digital recording brings several benefits over conventional tape systems, including no more tape handling, less maintenance and better all-round performance. One of the world wide market leaders in CCTV digital recording and software is the German-engineered Dallmeier range. “Dallmeier’s digital recorders are recognised for superior picture quality and great stability due to the use of a Linux operating platform. They are user-friendly, cost effective and are supported by excellent software programmes,” says Bruce Young.
Dallmeier’s two leading remote review software programs are PRemote and PView, and are designed to meet demands from different types of users. Remote review is achieved via Windows navigation and therefore makes them simple to use.
“PRemote puts the remote user in complete control, giving them full remote access to all system parameters. It can provide up to 25 pictures per second on Networked solutions, dependant on bandwidth availability, and between one and three pictures per second using a standard PSTN solution.” says Bruce. He describes PRemote as the most sensible solution for a PSTN system, and provides a very good option for end-users, because of its performance, versatility and cost effectiveness.
Dallmeier PView II software has the added benefit of being able to view multiple cameras and \ or multiple sites on screen simultaneously, and can download digital video to a remote PC. “PView is designed for the most demanding security situations. It uses Wavelet compression technology to compress images and is suited to higher speed data communications, such as LAN, WAN and ADSL or Jet Stream.
“Digital technology, especially of the quality from the likes of Dallmeier, puts great security options at people’s fingertips,” says Bruce. “With the right advice, everyone should be able to find a solution that meets their needs, is reliable and cost effective.”