Techniques to Ensure Flawless Connectivity Between Video Surveillance Cameras and Command Centers

Video surveillance systems thrive on 24/7 monitoring. However, subpar connection between cameras and control facilities can lessen the systems’ effectiveness.

Readily Available Transmission Solutions

Selecting a means of connectivity is becoming more and more vital for managing congestion and wirelessly connecting cameras to a network. In today’s heavily utilized wireless networks, the wireless portion of the network often functions as a major performance bottleneck. When this occurs, quality of service deteriorates, and users experience problems such as queuing delays, packets loss and the blocking of new connections.

Several techniques may be used to transmit video feeds from cameras to monitors at command and control facilities. Selection of which video transmission method to use is often based upon a number of factors, such as cost, latency, location and distance of cameras to control rooms, existing available infrastructure and of course, signal velocity (speed).

There are two main technologies for transmitting video. The first is wired technology, which relies upon copper, coax cables or fiber to transmit the data. Copper and coax cables provide moderate reliability but limited capacity. As a result, this technology is cost effective for short distances. Fiber is often considered a reliable solution because it transmits at high bandwidths and is immune to electromagnetic interference. It is unequivocal that fiber is the optimal connectivity solution. However, fiber is not always available or practical due to the heavy in
vestments associated with trenching or fiber leasing.

As a second option, there are two additional wireless alternatives for video surveillance network connectivity:

  • Sub-6GHz Spectrum – These wireless products are the most widely deployed of wireless appliances today. They utilize the sub-6GHz spectrum with its underlying technology known as Wi-Fi, and are considered cost effective because they are license free and there is no need to register or obtain permits from the government for the use of the spectrum. Even though these products are easy to use, market development has put a severe strain on the scalability of Wi-Fi solutions at both the access and aggregation network layers. As a result, today’s Wi-Fi is susceptible to security problems, bandwidth degradation, radio interference and also network latency. Many of these shortcomings are especially noticeable in surveillance networks, where critical voice delivery and constant, high-bitrate video delivery applications are heavily at work. These systems lack the core capabilities to keep up with the exponential growth in capacity demand.
  • Millimeter Wave Wireless (mmW) – This technology uses higher frequencies of 40GHz (most prevalent 60, 70, 80GHz) and is considered to be a next-generation solution offering reliability with excellent throughput speeds. It is the closest alternative to fiber available today. As capacity is also dependent on the amount of spectrum (bandwidth) a service utilizes, the huge amount available in these waves inevitably facilitates incredible bandwidth. The technology is futureproof, scalable and provides excellent performance. Also, mmW solutions provide valuable advantages that are comparable to Wi-Fi.

Hybrid HD-CCTV and Wi-Fi services in Vail, Colo., are back-hauled over Siklu Communications’ EH-600T mmWave radio equipment.

Technological advances have made mmW technology possible for low-cost consumer devices. In addition, it is easy to use through the simple alignment of narrow beam angles, with no spectral analysis required prior to deployment. Its tiny size enables short and simple approval processes for deployments on existing street fixtures.

Because mmW technology provides advanced switching and heretical queuing technologies, it ensures that each camera receives the bandwidth necessary to deliver a constant, reliable video stream. With ample frequencies available, it provides the widest and most unpopulated spectrum available today to facilitate bandwidth-rich, high capacity wireless connectivity.

It is notable that mmW technology solutions facilitate a forward-looking architecture and are significantly more modular than their market alternatives. Their flexible topology allows for impressively scalable configurations, as new small-cell nodes may be added with minimal backhaul planning. The mmW solutions are exceptionally secure due to their essentially low beam widths and relatively low radio transmission power. This guarantees little probability of intercept and detection, which is vital for the transference of confidential material.

Using mmW wireless will also provide additional benefits, including high-resolution camera support. A greater bandwidth (up to 2GBps) provides support to multiple multi-megapixel cameras operating at full frame rate. By using an uncongested spectrum, users are assured interference-free performance and bandwidth usage is optimized to enhance connection speed and QoS. Finally, the solution is scalable and supports simple bandwidth and deployment expansion in confined spaces.

Future-Proofing Security Networks

Modern-day video surveillance networks are significantly more intelligent and dynamic than ever before, but smart as they might be they present their own challenges. Video surveillance has extended from local surveillance to remote surveillance, from indoor places to outdoor places, and from office environments to production environments. These changes make it more difficult to adopt and utilize video surveillance services, as surveillance networks need to adapt to multiple new and complex scenarios.

The high cost of fiber and the need for flexible deployment options make wireless solutions very attractive for network operators. However, the vulnerabilities presented by Wi-Fi networks are becoming increasingly evident, as surveillance solutions become more widely used and supplementary technology evolves.

Reliable network connectivity is crucial to the success of a network surveillance system. End users need wireless technology that is reliable and flexible, and that can leverage the components of an existing network. This is especially true as the demand for surveillance systems bandwidth with greater transmission speeds continues to grow.

Bio: Itzik Ben-Bassat is CEO of Israel-based Siklu Communications, a provider of Gigabit Ethernet radio products for mobile operators, Ethernet business service providers and enterprises.

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