UK-based Verdant Technologies has won a £45,000 SMART award from the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to develop a power transceiver that enables closed circuit television (CCTV) signals to be distributed over existing analogue co-axial cabling.
The technique could reduce the cost of ownership of digital CCTV systems by allowing users to use their existing analogue transmission lines as a digital network, offering them an increased capacity of10Mbit/sec, without the problems and costs associated with re-cabling.
John Douglass, founder and chief executive officer of Verdant Technologies, believes that this technology could stimulate growth in the digital CCTV market.
‘The digital CCTV market has been held back because the only way for security managers to get the bandwidth they need is to invest in their own cabling – an expensive option – or to negotiate with their IT colleagues for a share of the closely guarded office network. Our transceiver provides a compelling and cost effective alternative,’ he said.
Early tests have proved successful using four real-time independent IP video camera sources connected to a single cable of up to 200-metres. The company will use the Smart Award funds to carry out further trials using a variety of IP cameras from leading manufacturers. The test data should be available in the first quarter of 2004.
In the meantime, the company is pressing ahead with working prototypes and is seeking trade partnerships to commercialise the technology ready for a formal launch later this year. The company also has plans to improve both bandwidth and maximum cable length in the future.
‘What’s exciting our customers is not just the re-use of cable issue but also the fact that by using existing co-axial cabling, the digital network can be used for the transmission of other information, such as access control data,’ added Douglass.
‘Customers can also increase effective bandwidth to support up to 40 cameras over a typical CCTV network.’
According to a 2003 report on the CCTV market from MSI Marketing Research for Industry, the installation of the video cabling infrastructure is expensive and labour intensive and typically accounts for over 40% of the cost of a new system. It is estimated that in the last decade, in the UK alone, over £200 million has been invested in video cabling infrastructure.