Wireless CCTV …..to be or not to be

By on December 19th, 2018

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CCTV Camera London are often asked about wireless CCTV transmission it would be so convenient to place cameras at the required locations, locate the digital video recorder at a suitable location and let the images drift over the airwaves without the burden of having to run any cables. This ideal is possible, sort of. The snags are cost and quality.

The starting point is that cable connections are cost effective, without quality issues, and power cables have to be attached to the cameras anyway, so that the wireless option only makes sense when a road, or someone else property, needs to be crossed. The extra cost of between £8.00 and £15.00 per camera can then be justified. The issues are power source, and distance. Distance determines whether an analogue or digital signal is required. Power: All cameras require power to operate. Even the best battery will only keep a camera powered for days rather than weeks, creating a high level of maintenance. While solar power can be theoretically be used, existing technology for 24/7 operation, in all circumstances, is too complicated and expensive. A wireless camera really must be placed where there is mains power. Analogue systems are the most cost effective, but they have distance limitations. Analogue systems are free to air and will allow you to cross a road etc., but their useful range is realistically capped at 80 meters. This can be expanded to 250 meters with specialised beam antennas. There will, however, be a marked reduction in picture resolution as the signal band-with needs to be reduced to transmit. As a rule of thumb the picture degradation would be comparable to the difference of a DVD picture over VHS. Where pictures might be used for evidence in a court this degradation in quality should be avoided. Digital transmission systems must be deployed to achieve ranges of up to 800 meters at full image quality. Digital systems have a cost of £2k to air. A license from XXXXXX is required. The determining factor is the picture quality relative to the potential uses of the recorded pictures. Thus digital cameras are required over distances greater than 80 meters if the identification of people is required, while if the camera is required to merely monitor an area, a poorer analogue signal might be sufficient. Line of sight: Both analogue and digital systems rely on line of sight that is both transmit and receive antennas need to be able to see each other clearly. Low density vegetation like leaves can play havoc on a transmission path “ it is not unusual for a wireless system to function perfectly in winter only to stop working in the spring when foliage gets in the way. One quirk of the high frequency waves is that they can often be reflected by flat dense surfaces like walls etc. This can lead to a non line of sight, or rather a reflected path transmission, in special circumstances. CCTV Camera Europe advice is to use a cable link wherever possible. We deliver the most cost effective solutions using traditional cabling. If you need, or really want, to use wireless, we would be delighted to advise you, and offer an intelligent and good value, solution to your unique requirement. If you are interested in a wireless CCTV call us now on 07977 177775 or email [email protected].

This article was compiled by Kilian Clissmann Technical Director for CCTV Camera London Ltd. Questions are welcomed to [email protected]

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