The ABCs of Wireless Video Networks

Security Sales & Integration‘s “Tech Talk” columnist Bob Dolph examines some of the specifics of making wireless local area networks (WLAN) run smoothly.

There is a lot of opportunity and profit for those dealers that are willing to commit to the design, installation, and service of wireless local area networks (WLAN). One hot specific are in WLAN is that of wireless video systems.

However, as many of us have experienced, running HD video over a wireless network can be demanding and disappointing if one does not understand the technology and apply the proper equipment. As an extension of my monthly Tech Talk column we will look into some of the specifics of making these WLAN video systems operate smoothly.

Understand the Terminology

There are many terms used in this technology that might not seem familiar to everyday security people. Getting to know and understand these terms are important.

Wireless Mesh Network – Complex, yet self-configuring connectivity among neighboring network nodes. Vastly different from the hierarchical hub and spoke topology in most enterprise networks. Paper provided by CABA.

Tech Talk Treasure Chest

Welcome to the new Tech Talk “Treasure Chest” online. The hope is that readers will now be able to take monthly Tech Talk themes to the next level with a selection of exciting and clickable resources. 

Firetide Training – If nothing else make sure you take the FREE online “Introduction to Wireless Systems Basic” course.

Fluidmesh Training  – Another great way to understand wireless system technologies and product applications. FREE online training opportunities.

Waterproofing the Connectors  – One of the worst failure points on exterior antenna systems in water intrusion. Learn from the experts with this short video on how to do it right.

Handheld Spectrum Analyzer  – One of the best ways to survey WLAN sites is to scan frequencies with a spectrum analyzer. In the past these devices were pretty expensive. This RF Explorer gives you this functionality in low cost handheld unit. Check out the short demo video.

Moonblink Resources  – Moonblink is a wireless systems distributor. They have a good selection of info on frequency charts, coax cable, and FCC licensing.

Public Safety License  – How to get a public safety license in five easy steps. (AvaLAN)

Wireless Networks Blog  – Keep up to date on mesh networks and wireless surveillance. (Firetide)

Paper: DFS – Good paper on Dynamic Frequency Selection (Cisco)

Winncom Resources  – Good resources pages and manufacturer white papers on wireless network products.

Wireless Community – A good location for forums, knowledge base, blogs, and stories. (Ubiquiti)

Backhauling – The use of wireless communications systems to get data from an end user to a node in a major network such as the Internet or other type of proprietary network. Sometimes referred to as the “middle mile”.

RELATED: Wide-Ranging Wireless Video Surveillance Opportunities on Tap

Wireless MIMO – Technique for sending and receiving more than one data signal on the same radio channel at the same time via multipath propagation.

TDWR/WISPA – It is important to plan the proper frequencies and system configuration so as not to interfere with Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). Reference on locations of concern can be found at Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA).

DFS – A channel allocation scheme required to allocate bandwidth and communication channels to base stations, access points and terminal equipment.

PTP/PTMP – Communication that is achieved via a distinct type of one-to-many connection, providing multiple paths from a single location to multiple locations. One should check competitive options such as Fluidmesh’s “AutoMesh

802.11 – An IEEE standard which is a set of media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication in the 2.4, 3.6, 5, and 60 GHz frequency bands.


If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

Security Is Our Business, Too

For professionals who recommend, buy and install all types of electronic security equipment, a free subscription to Security Sales & Integration is like having a consultant on call. You’ll find an ideal balance of technology and business coverage, with installation tips and techniques for products and updates on how to add sales to your bottom line.

A free subscription to the #1 resource for the residential and commercial security industry will prove to be invaluable. Subscribe today!

Subscribe Today!

Get Our Newsletters