The Duval County School System in Jacksonville, Fla., is using Network Video Technologies (NVT's) equipment to transmit video signals from cameras to monitors via existing unshielded twisted pair (UTP) wire, saving about 20 percent on cable, equipment and installation versus the cost of using coaxial cable.
The first part of the district's security upgrade project includes initially installing 16 surveillance cameras per school at the district's high schools and middle schools, facilities with 59,000-plus students.
"Our goals were to provide a cost-effective solution for cable runs at the distances we needed for clarity in video and also to provide a stable video source with cost-effective wiring," reported Darin Buckner, President of Access Limited, the Florida integrator that provided the NVT equipment. "It was cost effective to utilize UTP rather than taking the coax approach."
Eventually most of Duval County Public Schools' middle schools and high schools will have 32 or more security cameras installed. The cameras are all GE, most of which have UTP transceivers built in.
"We are using Category 5e UTP cable, which was installed as part of the CCTV project," Buckner reported. "For every 16 cameras that go in, we put in an NVT 16-channel active receiver. At each camera location, either the camera is UTP-ready or we add a transceiver if the camera is not available with built-in UTP."
The cameras use various NVT transceivers based on the distance of the cable runs between the cameras and the video recorder. All of the cameras are connected by an NVT active, rack-mounted, 16-channel transceiver.
"We take six cameras and run them into the building where the head-end is located," Buckner explained. "Between buildings we can pull 25-pair Cat5 and, using punch downs, it's as easy to pull 25-pair UTP wire as it is to pull one coax cable. If we had to pull six or seven coaxial cables, we couldn't have gotten them in to the available pipeline."
Most of the cable runs in the Duval County Schools are between 600 to 800 feet, with some UTP runs as long as 3,000 feet and some as short as 100.
"If we were using coaxial cable, we'd have to use RG11 for runs that are 1,000 feet or more and that costs significantly more than UTP wire," Buckner explained. "I would say the school district saved probably 15 to 20 percent on installation and the cost of the cable itself, the wiring, and the cost of any associated equipment needed for the longer runs."
NVT's transmitters, transceivers, receivers and hubs allow the use of new or existing unshielded twisted pair wire, Category 2 or better, for video transmission. This allows end-users and installers to deliver a high quality picture over the same wire used by phone systems while simultaneously cutting costs and simplifying installation.
"NVT has always gotten the job done for us and they're competitive within the marketplace," Buckner emphasized. "We use it as a standard in our installs. I don't believe we've done a video install in the last couple years that hasn't used NVT. It is a product of choice."