Video Surveillance Technology Trends for the Locksmith

Sept. 4, 2017
Some basics about IP cameras, High Definition Closed Circuit Television, Video Analytics and Recurring Revenue from cloud-based storage

There are three significant trends in video surveillance technology and one service-oriented cloud offering that locksmiths can leverage. Technology wise, they are

  1. Analog to Internet Protocol Cameras, also known as IP Cameras;
  2. HDcctv (High Definition Closed Circuit TeleVision);
  3. Video Analytics.

On the service side, we’re seeing huge strides made involving a cloud-based offering called VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a Service), which is actually a combination of SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service).

The technologies themselves provide new and exciting opportunities that savvy locksmiths can make good use of in their ongoing effort to stay in front of past customers. The objective, of course, is to interest them in new security services. The VSaaS side also offers an even greater financial opportunity where locksmiths can stand to gain additional RMR (Recurring Monthly Revenue).

There are many more trends to talk about, but there’s not enough room to address them all in this story.

Migration From Analog to IP

For those who may not be familiar with the various camera technologies on the market, conventional analog was the first and foremost method of operation employed in cameras. It put CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) on the map as a legitimate security technology and it’s given security providers a chance to put more dollars that traditionally sit on the table into their pockets.

Where conventional analog cameras are designed to work with coaxial cable, such as RG59 and RG6, IP cameras are designed for UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair), such as Category 5e and Category 6, also referred to as CAT 5e and CAT 6 respectively. From a signaling standpoint, you can expect to realize a transmission distance of 750 feet when using RG59, 1,200 feet with RG6; whereas with CAT 5e/6 the horizontal distance allowable is 300 feet (, which is a network standard.

IP cameras are “network enabled,” which means all you have to do is plug them into a network. IP cameras come from the factory with a MAC address (Media Access Control), which is an equipment identifier, as well as an IP address. The IP address is associated with networking software that uses the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) format, and the MAC address is tied to a network’s hardware adapters.

The advantage of IP over that of analog relates to the fact that a multitude of people can review streaming video from a single security camera at the same time. Another advantage associated with networked IP cameras is that these cameras can be accessed from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The resolution of IP-based cameras also is generally better, from HD720P, HD1080P, all the way to 4K. Conventional analog cannot come close to this performance wise.

It is possible to convert the analog images from an older analog camera to IP using an encoder. This method is often used when it’s necessary to slowly migrate a client to IP over a period of time, usually because of budgeting issues. By the same token, IP cameras can be installed in place of the older analog models and then converted to analog using a decoder at the camera so all the coaxial cable in the facility can remain in place. An encoder at the head-end can then be used to convert each one back to IP.

In modern technological environment, transmitting, storing, and interpreting information plays a key role in the operation of all the electronic based systems, whether it is a digital device or an analog device or a computer system or a software system. In the general sense, an encoder is a component in a system that converts (or codes) information from one form to another. A decoder is a component which reveres the process; that is, convert the information back to the previous or original form. (

Growing Use of HDcctv

About now, even locksmiths who are experienced with conventional CCTV may be asking, “What on earth is HDcctv?”

According to a fair write up in Wikipedia, “HDcctv (High Definition Closed Circuit Television) is an open industrial standard for transmitting uncompressed high-definition digital video over point-to-point coaxial cable links for video surveillance applications. HDcctv uses the SMPTE HD-SDI protocol and can transmit 720p or 1080p video over at least 100 m [300 feet] of RG59 cable” (

The standard for basic HDcctv was developed by a consortium of camera manufacturers that, together, are called the  HDcctv Alliance. “The HDcctv Alliance is a non-profit, global consortium that develops and promotes the HDcctv standard. Advantages over IP video surveillance are claimed to include low latency and zero configuration” (

Even greater distances are possible using HDcctv technology using coaxial cable instead of CAT 5e and 6. The usual transmission distance is actually as much as three times that of a network IP-based system (900+ feet using RG59). There are different standards associated with HDcctv. The greatest advantages associated with HDcctv are transmission distance, quality per dollar, and the fact that you do not have to rip out existing coaxial cable to upgrade a client to HD-quality video surveillance. The downside to this is that, in most cases. those cameras must be matched at the head-end with equipment made by the same manufacturer.

For more information on this issue, visit the HDcctv Alliance at, or call 408-512-1351.

Video Analytics

Of all the trends presently in motion within the video surveillance market probably the most dynamic and promising one involves the use of special software capable of performing almost human-like actions. For example, 10 years ago it wasn’t uncommon to see a wall of video displays and five operators manning them in order to assure the security of a huge super store. Today, all of this can be reduced to a  handful of displays and one or two operators. The other three or four security personnel can be deployed on the retail sales floor where they can do the most good.

The reason for the dynamic change is the fact that today’s VMS (Video Management System) has the added capability of detecting unacceptable behavior on the part of individuals on the sales floor, or anywhere else for that matter.

Retail isn’t the only application where video analytics shines. It can effectively detect when one or more people are moving in the wrong direction, as in an airport jetway, or when someone leaves a package behind. Another application is in outdoor environments where it can detect possible car accidents and at universities and other public places when a demonstration is forming by movement detected from a number of directions as people converge.