Since joining The Security Centre Limited in 2005, Shaun Devine has successfully designed some of Cayman’s largest security contracts including the Walkers Building, the new Government Administration Building, and the Public CCTV Project.
As recent as the 1980s closed circuit television surveillance systems entered into the security industry with large, poor quality and technically challenged monochrome (black and white) cameras without pan, tilt or zoom functions. In the early days, this level of quality was the norm, however, advancement in this area of security have been vast.
Today, CCTV surveillance systems use much smaller and more powerful colour cameras that deliver higher definition colour reproduction pictures on small fixed cameras, sometimes hidden, through to functional with pan, tilt and zoom cameras. Modern cameras can raise the game from producing a 540TVL image with an analogue camera, through to HD 1080p quality results with Internet protocol cameras. HD 1080p quality is similar to the transmission of WestStar’s HD TV channels. These IP cameras can provide the clarity to allow vehicle license plate lettering to be captured while moving at speeds of 70mph.
The first CCTV surveillance systems were typically observation or view only systems without a recorder. The best option for recording was connecting to a time lapse video cassette recorder, which delivered poor quality recordings. The timing of recorded frames would often miss the quick occurring incident due to the jump in the video. Another disabling factor to early stage CCTV systems was relying on the system administrator to change the tape regularly ensuring that the crucial moments were recorded.
The most common CCTV surveillance systems today comprise of cameras which are recorded on a digital video recorder with analogue cameras or a network video recorder with Internet protocol cameras. With images stored on internal hard drives, these recorders provide a vast improvement on the VCR medium. With no tapes to change on a daily basis the recordings on a DVR or NVR are easily accessible with events such as motion detection triggered recordings stored and created as bookmarked activity on the hard drive. These digital recorders are also Internet ready allowing home or business owners to remotely log-in to their systems and view live, recorded or stored footage and also receive e-mail alerts for events such as motion detection whilst anywhere in the world.
CCTV systems have embraced the same technology advancements over the years that the computer age has afforded the IT industry. If you think of the quantum leap between the old ZX spectrum type computers, through to the power in applications the latest computers can provide, CCTV systems have benefitted from similar advancements.
The larger modern CCTV systems driven by video management software can provide processor generated solutions, which can act quicker than a human eye, waiting for events to happen. Real time recording speeds coupled with digital image analysis of a video management system can ensure even the quickest of the ‘slight of hand’ casino card trickster is caught plying his trade.
Using digital image analysis modern CCTV surveillance systems can be programmed to monitor specific items, such as a valuable piece in a museum that shouldn’t move. If the piece moves, an alarm is activated. Likewise systems can be programmed to alert officials if there is an unfamiliar stationary object, such as an abandoned bag or package at an airport. Trip lines can be set-up to monitor border crossing violations and even traffic lane violations.
Behavioural science applications can allow surveillance systems to analyse human movement and behaviour among crowds and create an alarm for any irregular or sudden movements. Facial recognition, coupled with video tracking, can also create profiles of known criminals or terrorists which can alert the authorities should there be a match with a wanted person at their border or even high security level event.
Whilst incorporating the latest technical advancements, the most modern of CCTV surveillance systems do not require security personnel to actively monitor the system 24/7 and they can be passively monitored to allow for the review of any public safety or criminal activity.
Take advantage of the technological advances of CCTV surveillance systems and contact our technical sales teams for a free assessment for your home or business. Protect what matters most.
Shaun Devine is senior sales technician at The Security Centre and has 18 years of experience in the security industry including extensive international security design and implementation work.