IP CCTV testing guide for installers
With numerous types of CCTV camera, plus many different configurations and connection methods, the installation and troubleshooting of an IP CCTV system can be complex.
Ideal Networks has released a ‘How to Apply Network Testing Practices to CCTV System Installations’ guide that discusses solutions to the common CCTV challenges encountered due to network performance issues.
“Virtually all new CCTV systems are digital/IP, running over Ethernet cabling and often on the same network as other business systems to keep costs down,” said Tim Widdershoven, Global Marketing Manager for IDEAL Networks. “The result of this is that network congestion and bandwidth limitations may result in poor CCTV performance — from choppy video and reduced image clarity to buffering.”
The difficulty for the installer is identifying whether the fault is with the CCTV system or the network itself, so the guide explains what to test on the network and why this is beneficial, said Widdershoven.
There are multiple network tests that should be done to diagnose and fix faults when working with IP CCTV, and some of these may be new to installers/integrators. Rather than using a certifier to measure the characteristics of the cabling, a CCTV test tool should be used to capture network and video information to provide a snapshot of each camera’s configuration.
A CCTV test report can capture a wide range of information, such as the camera IP address, network address, network details and MAC address, as well as showing where the camera is installed and what it is aimed at. To prove the camera is filming at the resolution required by the client, the resolution of the video stream can be tested. Tests can also be used to capture and report the frame rate and bandwidth.
“As well as understanding the different types of tests and measurements, installers also need to understand the benefits of documentation,” said Widdershoven.
“It’s not just about closing out a project with test reports. Reports also arm installers with the right information and tools to maximise efficiency on service calls and make time and cost savings.”
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