The PoE Factor

The most prevalent systems trend driving integrated security and surveillance solutions is networking. As security contractors continue adapting network technologies, the industry as a whole continues to define system parameters and standards – and the devices required to meet both. Altronix Corp. President Alan Forman joins the Hot Seat to discuss Power over Ethernet (PoE) and how it helps solve the logistical and budgetary issues of prior IP-based solutions.

How have networked security devices changed the way power systems are designed?

The most significant change is the means by which power is delivered to edge devices. New network technologies – specifically PoE solutions – enable system designers and users to take full advantage of the inherent benefits networked systems provide while significantly reducing total cost of ownership.

With the increasing amount of applications using PoE-enabled devices, what is the burden placed on today’s power supply solutions?

The biggest issues are the ability to deliver consistent and reliable power over longer distances to PoE cameras, deliver power to non-PoE-compliant IP cameras, and provide sufficient power for p/t/z devices – all over the same network infrastructure. New PoE solutions have eliminated these issues, further enhancing the versatility and cost efficiency of networked security and video surveillance systems.

For installation companies entering the PoE realm, what do they need to understand most about installing networked power solutions?

PoE solutions simplify the design and installation process, reduce equipment costs and deliver greater versatility since edge devices can be easily installed or placed anywhere on a network. This is a tremendous selling point for system designers/installers.

Cameras are often installed in locations where A/C power may not be readily available. How do midspan power devices optimize cost savings in these situations?

Newly developed midspan PoE devices provide a centralized power solution. Since power (and data) is injected into the network’s structured cable directly from the midspan device, they eliminate the need for localized power supplies at individual camera locations. This provides tremendous savings relative to both initial equipment purchase and installation costs.

Reflecting back, what amazes you today about the electronic security industry since the time you started Altronix?

Systems technology has improved tremendously but their primary function is the same -to provide the best security solutions available to protect people, property and assets.


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