HDcctv: Back to the Future, or Ahead to the Past?

SSI blogger Bob Grossman digs into HDcctv and shares his thoughts on who should implement the technology.

In addressing some of these limitations, the HDcctv 2.0 standard muddies the waters somewhat. There are now two different types of HDcctv, NR (normal reach) and AT (advanced transmission). They both add a data channel so you can control cameras, and AT allows a signal to degrade over distance so it should be more resilient. There’s still no power option, no higher resolution cameras, no support for UTP or fiber optic cable, wireless, higher frame rates, and so on. And, by splitting the standard, we’ve moved away from the “plug and play” nature of the beast; you need to plug an HDcctv 2.0 AT camera into an HDcctv 2.0 AT DVR – it won’t work if you plug it into an HDcctv 2.0 NR DVR or an HDcctv 1.0 DVR. Whew!

So, I am back where I started, wondering just who the customer is for this technology. If you are looking for an inexpensive system, you are likely looking at a relatively small monitor, in which case plain old analog looks pretty darn good. If you are for simplicity, there are a number of IP cameras on the market that utilize local storage (no DVR needed) and connect to the internet via WiFi, so you only need to worry about power (WitnessAll even provides remote management and video alarm reporting for about $4 a month per camera). And if you are looking for higher quality images, there are far more options in the IP video world.

Want to use existing cable? Nitek, NVT, and a host of other companies provide products that let you do that. In fact, while the cost of HDcctv cameras may be lower – and I question whether that will be the case long term – the cost of IP accessory devices may well offset that on all but the smallest installations.

I’m not the only one who sees it this way, either. The list of manufacturing members in the HDcctv Alliance does not include a single first tier manufacturer. No Axis, Bosch, Honeywell, Panasonic, Pelco, Sony, UTC – I’m sorry if I left you out, Mr. Major Manufacturer, but you’re not on the list either.

In summary, if you are thinking of implementing this technology for your customers, my opinion, as previously disclaimed, is that you should steer clear. The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

You may now return to the normal spelling of CCTV.

About the Author


Bob Grossman has held positions in all areas of the security industry — giving him plenty of opportunity to learn from his mistakes! Bob has authored articles for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION and other publications and has spoken at numerous industry events both internationally and in the United States. Currently the founder and president of R. Grossman and Associates, a consulting firm, he divides his time between project-based work for large integrated systems and product consulting for a variety of cutting-edge manufacturers. For more information, visit www.tech-answers.com.

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