done by using encoders to convert the analog signal to IP. In other cases,
portions of the existing network can be used in the camera installation.”
It is also important for the cabling plan to be robust enough to handle
what is being deployed and then some.
“As cameras continue to get better with higher image quality, more
bandwidth is needed,” Gorski said. “Start with a network plan that will
take care of today’s needs with an eye on tomorrow’s technology.”
Here are two examples of when coaxial cabling is used in IP video
network installations: when it is part of the existing cabling architecture
and the budget doesn’t allow for Ethernet cable to be installed in its
place, and when the distance from the nearest switch to the camera is
more than 100 meters and fiber or power over Ethernet (PoE) extenders
are not an option.
“Advantages come in the cost reduction of re-cabling versus the cost of
using media converters when upgrading from CC TV to IP cameras,” Gorski
said. “A prime example of this is when existing coaxial runs to a light post
in a parking lot. To replace the coaxial cabling could be cost prohibitive if
the asphalt needs to be dug up to install the Ethernet category or fiber.”
He said the use of a conversion product, such as Highwire by Veracity,
Glen Rock, N.J., can provide the network-compatible connection needed
for less money.
“Another advantage is that converters allow for cabling runs to be up
to 300-plus meters in distance compared with the traditional limitation
of 100 meters for Ethernet cable,” he said.
In video applications, fiber is most commonly used as a backbone for
the network, for example, a fiber ring around a campus environment, fiber
between buildings or even fiber between switches.
“It has many advantages, such as fastest methods for data transmis-
It is not recommended to install a new IP camera system on an exist-
sion, the ability to transmit data over great distances and to send large
amounts of data at one time,” he said. “However, the disadvantages are
in the cost: fiber is much more expensive than category cabling to deploy,
plus a fiber cable cannot be plugged directly into an IP camera.”
Deploying video on existing Ethernet can be done to save deployment
costs, but it may not be the best decision.
ing network, because it takes up a considerable amount of bandwidth,
“Having one or two IP cameras on an existing network may not cause
concerns, but a whole system could be problematic and bring a company’s
data network to its knees,” he said. “Rather than taking that risk and
upsetting the IT director who faults the IP cameras as the reason for the
network being down, set up the surveillance system on its own network.”
This tactic can be achieved by segmenting existing switches if they
are capable or by providing new switches in the network data closets for
the camera system.
“You can still use the existing cabling, patch panels and jacks to reduce
costs,” Gorski said. “This way, the only camera traffic that will be on the
existing data network is when someone logs into the surveillance system’s
video management system to view an event or a camera. It is a win-win.
The costs are reduced and the IT director is happy.”
When exploring network infrastructure options, consider the application and the devices running on the network, whether intrusion,
access control or video. Don’t forget to enlist the assistance of manufacturers and distributors, who also have a stake in helping to get the
O’MARA is a journalist with more than two decades
experience writing about security, life safety and systems
integration, and she is the managing director of DLO
Communications in Chicago. She can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.414.3573.
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