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  • How to choose the right HD CCTV System

    As analogue CCTV is being rapidly replaced with HD CCTV solutions how do you know what the best system to buy will be? In the past it was always advisable to go with the bigger names such as Panasonic, Sony or Bosch when buying analogue solutions, the same may be true now but there are many specialised players in the market place now that are only just starting to make a name for themselves and sometimes these can be a wise choice when going for HD CCTV.

    The basic principles with HD that must be considered are simple though. Pixels on target is a new term in the industry but one that makes all the difference when you specify a system. Deciding what you need before you buy is a must. There are choices of cameras ranging from 1 meg to 29 meg from various manufacturers but as well as pixel density scene width also plays a part. Many manufacturers will supply a design tool with their software and  we always recommend that a design tool is used when you specify an HD CCTV system.

    The second critical factor is lighting. Poor lighting is biggest enemy of HD. It is pointless having amazing daytime images only to be bitterly disappointed by the night-time pictures. Using IR illuminators will hugely improve your experience of HD,  never specify a system without considering how light will play a part.

    Finally HD CCTV offers big improvements on analogue but without using the right software to get the very best from HD you could be wasting your money. The big players have made vast investment into their VMS solutions and rightly so. We are starting to see analytics integrated into software as well as ANPR. However simply put it is all about the way we are able to interrogate our software for information that makes all the difference.

    In summary all three of the above points must combine to give you the perfect HD CCTV solution. Always deal with experts when you make the leap to HD and always take time to ensure you buy the very best equipment on the market

  • Hikvision HD static dome camera


    This compact HD static dome from Hikvision is a networked camera capable of delivering 1080p streams in triplicate. As  standard the camera comes with a 2.8 -12mm varifocal lens with integrated IR leds for night time viewing. The range of the high powered LEDs can operate up to 30 metres. As this is a networked camera it comes with Video motion detection built in and is able to activate alarms on facial detection. Audio is also a feature of this camera and as with all the top cameras in the Hikvision suite it supports edge recording via it's SD slot. You can also choose how to power this unit, POE or 12V DC are both provided for.


    A recent independent assessment  of the camera carried out by Benchmark magazine gave this camera an 80% mark, a percentage ranking that was only bettered by the AXISP3365-V, no disgrace there.

    Setting up the unit is simple but any problems are easily solved by reading through the CD provided with the camera. Image quality is not the best when compared with the AXIS camera equivalent . The pictures are darker than some may expect and this has been noted but from a price point much lower than most HD static domes it can be overlooked.

    Hikvision have also been able to gain a large amount of the monitoring market place. Their NVR and DVR integrate nicely into the IMMIX monitoring platform and as result Hikvision are selling into the UK on a huge scale. It looks like Hivision are here to stay.

  • Video Encoders

    Video encoders are taken for granted in the CCTV industry today but perhaps without realizing it they are the most underestimated tool in the box. Traditionally expensive, with little thought as to how they may be best deployed, manufacturers have been churning out various offerings in the last few years. Used to transform analogue cameras onto an IP platform they offer the ability to re-use existing infrastructure and insert it into new Video management software to give end users an upgrade path to IP.


    There are an estimated 100 million or more analogue CCTV cameras installed in the world today . With IP grabbing all the headlines most would have you believe that they are of no use going forward. Nothing could be further from the truth. The average lifetime of many of these cameras is six to eight years, so many systems out there have plenty of life left in them yet.

    Video encoders can bridge between analogue CCTV and IP this offers a world of opportunity.


    As a result we would expect to see the following happen.


    1)      The price of encoders to half in the next year.

    2)      More companies who have committed to IP appreciate that supplying a cost effective encoder will mean more chance of sales further down the line.

    3)      More installers encouraging the use of encoders to prolong the life of existing infrastructure.


    Slow growth of IP has been blamed on analogue technology becoming cheaper, but in reality it is more likely people are reluctant to throw away what they have. It seems that if we make it easier for people to get into a position where they can have HD cameras without losing what they have already installed then we will all be onto a winner.



  • Hikvision HD CCTV

    Once again Hikvision is making the headlines for all the right reasons. Their market share has risen significantly last year and is expected to continue this trend during 2014. This was outlined when for the third year on the run, Hikvision has dominated the rankings for sales of CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment. The 10.9% market share makes it the largest seller of CCTV products in the world. The upward trend in 2013 means that sales are up from 8% in 2012 an advance of over 30%.

    Hikvision HD-SDI IR Bullet Camera DS-2CC11D3S-IR 3.6

    BUY Hikvision

    What is more Hikvison either maintained or advanced its stake in every single market segment that was measured. Perhaps the biggest achievement was becoming the top Hardware NVR manufacturer and this from an almost standing start as in 2012. Remember Hikvision did not even appear in the top ten NVR providers last year.


    Other factors to note is that Hikvision maintained its run at the top as the world number 1 DVR manufacturer, this was the for the fifth year in a row that this feat has been achieved . Analogue CCTV cameras are another big area of growth seeing an 11.9% market share. Network Security Cameras with a 13% share of the market signals a heavy bias on the growing demand for HD CCTV. Hikvision continue to work on VMS solutions and these are expected to figure heavily next year in the growth of this remarkable success storey



    The outstanding performance across the board does seem to prove that Hikvision's continued investment and innovation in the field of video surveillance products is paying off. In addition they have made a heavy investment into marketing. In the UK the Hikvison brand is now easily recognisable and HD CCTV solutions are proud to be selling the Hikvision brand as part of its portfolio of  HD cameras and NVRs. Increased sales are also evidence of a quality product at the right price.


    The global CCTV market will continue to move towards HD CCTV as a minimum standard that the customer will be of expecting. As a result Hikvision has accelerated development of HD IP products and at the forefront of this is easy-to-use IP solution and Smart IP solution. It will be no surprise to see Hikvision continue to dominate the market with competitively priced systems for installers who need both quality and reliability to help their own businesses grow.

  • IDIS DirectIP. A high quality HD CCTV solution.

    IDIS DirectIP is system that has been developed to seriously address some of the issues with installing IPCCTV. Below is the review of  the DirectIP offering from IDIS, a combination of equipment that makes installation simple and brings HDCCTV solutions to many.

    Below is feature from the  IFSEC website listing the reasons why IDIS are now challenging in the marketplace when it comes to high quality HD CCTV over IP.


    "Produced in IDIS’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, DirectIP resoundingly meets these challenges.

    Surveillance solutions are rarely developed, designed and manufactured by a single company. Comprising all necessary cameras, recorders, video management software and accessories, DirectIP is a one-stop, end-to-end HD surveillance solution available from a single vendor.


    Complexity, cost and time: overwhelmingly the biggest installation, maintenance and usage challenges facing installers and end users of surveillance solutions.
    Installers struggle to absorb the cost of training staff or hiring IT engineers. Expensive, convoluted installation and maintenance, lengthy personnel training and burdensome annual software license fees, meanwhile, deter end users from upgrading their analogue systems.

    Small wonder that IP-surveillance adoption was slower than first predicted.

    DirectIP solves these problems: it’s quicker to install and maintain – and therefore cheaper, because time equals money – and requires little training and no software licences, bundling Video Management Software (VMS) for free.

    DirectIP cuts costs and frees up time and resources – for both installers and end users. Installers, who can service clients with fewer man hours and less training, become much more competitive in the price-sensitive SME markets.

    End users will relish the simplicity of DirectIP, as it’s so similar to their analogue systems that there’s little to no training required, making networked and HD surveillance possible without setting up a router or server, or configuring the network. IT expertise is not required.


    Until DirectIP, HD surveillance systems fell woefully short of home TV experiences, with real-time viewing scuppered by network latency. Early HD systems lacked recording, playback and simultaneous viewing capabilities too.EASY TO INSTALL_02

    DirectIP simultaneously performs multiple, full-HD, two-megapixel, 30ips, real-time streams per channel for up to 16 connections with live monitoring, playback and recording. Seeing is believing, so IDIS offer demos and training for end-users and installers at their dedicated training and demo facilities in Brentford, London as well as their other sites across the globe.

    Storage and reliability

    End users often view IP storage solutions as risky or expensive. SD cards and cloud storage are seen as vulnerable, while most organisations begrudge having to buy additional servers and IT equipment. At the same time, HD CCTV recording platforms are often sluggish in retrieving recorded footage because Windows file systems usually operate on a random access and random writing basis."

    Mindful of this, IDIS leveraged 17 years’ of recording expertise to develop a robust, resilient and compliant recording and storage capability through its DirectIP NVRs. Using patented technology, DirectIP NVRs achieve unprecedentedly rapid footage retrieval through its multimedia database, iBankDB. A highly optimised database designed for video footage, iBankDB uses very high input/output throughput combined with proprietary algorithms, to access data faster and operate even in the event of 90% damage to hard disks, ensuring recording and playback continues on the remaining 10%.

    The suite of DirectIP NVRs provide 6TB of storage for the 4-channel range and up to 18TB for 32-channels expanding to 66TB with DirectIP eSata devices. Featuring a patent-protected anti-shock and vibration design, combined with high-performance ventilation systems, DirectIP NVRs have a failure rate of below 0.5% per annum, making them financial institute level security standards, no less.

    Data security

    The integrity of footage is a paramount concern when organisations upgrade to network surveillance. A package of innovative security protections, such as “Chained Fingerprint”, a proprietary encryption algorithm, SSL encryption and password encryption protects data from tampering and unauthorised access.
    For more information on IDIS and DirectIP solutions, go to or e-mail

    Free Security and Fire Briefings

  • Are you a factory manager? Then read this. Clarius Illuminators for all your lighting needs

    We recently visited a site that had just had over 100 of their cameras either upgraded to HD or their existing cameras linked into an Avigilon software platform. The upgrade was designed to and sold to allow them better image quality both day and night. This is where the problems began because there was no doubt that the daytime images had been improved beyond all expectation. The HD cameras provided amazing clarity and crystal clear pictures, there is a but though, these pictures were only of any use during the day.

    At night the decline in the image quality was remarkable, although the cameras were dual chip and had adaptive IR, the pictures just did not live up to the customers expectations. Dark, blurred and grainy would be the best description and it seemed to be in areas where light was clearly present.

    The issue of course is where before the customers analogue cameras would work to a much lower LUX level his perception of the new images was that they were not good and rightly so.

    The solution was simple and cost effective. His maintenance department was in the the process of replacing some of the older sodium and Halogen lighting and having been recommended Clarius white light illuminators as a way of providing good working lighting for their employees they decided to take this route across the factory. This lighting on our recommendation was also added into the areas where the camera pictures had deteriorated.

    The results were stunning not only did the pictures improve dramatically but they remained in colour. This was something that had always been important to the customer and he was delighted with the results.

    The best part though is the Clarius illuminators were very easy to install. Available in 12volt, 24v or POE using existing mains supplies and powering the PSU locally to the light or just picking up from a local IP switch makes installation quick and efficient. A built in PEC means they only operate when needed reducing power consumption even further.

    The ongoing cost of lighting has been reduced dramatically and the Clarius illuminators will need little or no maintenance over the next 10 years or so. No more cherry pickers and wasted days changing bulbs.

    So if you are a company who is considering lighting upgrades either for security reasons or you just have a programme to replace old halogen lighting then look no further than the Clarius illuminators.

  • DIY HD CCTV camera installation

    HD cctv can be carried over coax or across an IP network. The first option is great for CCTV upgrades to HD where you have an existing analogue system and want HD but do not wish to replace all your cable infrastructure. So could you install HD over coax yourself. Well, with the right guidance yes. After all you are just replacing ends and that's what makes HD CCTV over coax such an attractive option for many.


    The second route is HD IP perhaps this is a little more involved but there are  many IT professionals who would find designing and installing an HD CCTV camera system quite simple. The important point to consider is the initial design of the network is critical. It is also very important lighting is considered as well as the amount of cameras you will need once the system is at full capacity not what the system actually requires now. Each HD camera we add to a system will add a bit more pressure as to how the system as a whole will perform.


    So firstly sit down and think where you want your HD CCTV system to be in 5 years’ time. Is the site/operation likely to expand ,if so build in suitable redundancy. Make sure the backbone of the system is up to spec. Sometimes fibre will be your only option. Use suitable switches anything substandard will affect the performance of the system and always ensure the NVR /software you choose can handle the cameras you need to install. ONVIF compliancy does not guarantee you can control or focus your cameras it just means you can see the image. So steer clear of too much mixing and matching of different manufacturers technology.


    Finally the lighting. HD CCTV cameras are very light hungry. Much disappointment has greeted HD because no lighting consideration is given prior to an installation. IR illuminators form the main solution when designing an HD CCTV system however some manufacturers are now marketing high performance lowlight HD cameras as well HD cameras complete with IR illumination built in.


    So is it easy to install a DIY HD CCTV system? Well the conclusion is that you will need some sort of experience with CCTV design but yes it can be done and with the help of sites such as HD CCTV solutions you can purchase the kit you need to ensure your system will operate to its full potential.



  • Benchmark test the Clarius IR illuminator

    Benchmark are known as the best in the business when it comes to testing and reporting on CCTV and related products. Recently they tested the Claruis IR illuminator and we have re-posted their findings. Honest and to the point. It does however prove what robust products are produced within the Clarius range. Please read through the findings and order your HD CCTV lighting here at HD CCTV solutions.


    Many years ago, infrared lighting for surveillance was the exclusive preserve of high risk sites. However, changes in manufacturing have resulted in costs falling, as well as maintenance needs being reduced. The result is cost-effective illumination for virtually all applications. The latest option is the Clarius range.

    One of the most significant developments for video surveillance in recent years was arguably the introduction of surface mount LEDs. This development forced the cost of surveillance illuminators downwards, with the result that now, almost any application can benefit from true 24 hour video surveillance.

    The subsequent growth in true day/night devices, coupled with affordable secondary illumination, has eradicated issues with around-the-clock surveillance, and that in itself is no small thing.

    Whilst white light is still the preferred option for many (as colour detail is preserved), concerns about light pollution have seen the rise in use of infrared lighting, to the point where it is almost the first choice nowadays. As the majority of cameras are IR sensitive, there are no real barriers to utilising infrared illumination.

    While the number of manufacturers offering infrared lighting has grown in recent years, demand for the products is still high, and HD CCTV solutions are a relatively new entrant to this area. The company offers the Clarius range of infrared illuminators.


    Clarius is Latin for ‘more brightly’ ... or it could be a reference to Apollo, who was God of light and the sun. Either way, it isn’t important to those seeking illumination.

    The Clarius range is made up of short, medium, long and extra long range units, and also includes PoE options. Our test unit was the IL-­8100, a long range unit using traditional low power.

    The illuminator is an 850 nanometre unit, which emits a red glow when in use. A more covert 940 nanometre variant is also available. Coverage is 100 x 50 degrees, with a total range of 48 metres.

    The unit can be controlled via a telemetry input; it also has an integral photocell, with a photocell following contact to switch cameras to an appropriate mode as the illuminator turns on and off. The photocell is adjustable for sensitivity. The defaults allow the light to switch on at around 30 lux, and to switch off at around 70 lux. This differential is included to prevent the lamp flicking on and off during dawn and dusk periods, when light levels are at the switching threshold. The photocell can be disabled.

    Power output can also be adjusted between 10 and 100 per cent. Both adjustments are via sideways-oriented potentiometers on the rear of the unit. There are no other adjustments. The illuminator is housed in an extruded aluminium housing, which is anodised with a black finish. The polycarbonate protective lens is billed as ‘vandal-proof’, which is a bold claim. The unit incorporates an integral mounting bracket.

    The lens of the Clarius illuminator is treated with what the manufacturer refers to as a ClearLite coating. This is a self-cleaning coating, which is also claimed to make the surface of the polycarbonate cover more scratch-resistant. During the test we did replace a unit that had been outside for nearly five years with the new unit. Despite being in an exposed place, the lens of the older lamp wasn’t particularly dirty or scratched. Still, the coating is there as standard.

    Connections to the unit are simple. The illuminator is fitted with a three metre six-core cable. The connections are for power input (12-32V DC or 24 AC), telemetry input and photocell following contact. The cable is pre-connected at the illuminator, eradicating the need for a specialist connection. Power consumption is stated as 39W.

    The only other element of the illuminator is a pressure relief valve. This is a standard feature on most illuminators and doesn’t need any interaction.

    Build quality is good, and the lamp is supplied with a brief but complete manual.


    Once up and running, the Clarius IL-8100 worked as expected. We tried the unit using the photocell before shifting to our preferred method of operation using telemetry. A point to note is that some illuminators mount the photocell on the back of the unit. If mounted under roof eaves or in a restricted space, this can cause the unit to switch on well before it is actually needed. The Clarius unit has the photocell mounted on the top of the housing, which mostly eliminates mounting issues.

    Switching using the photocell was consistent, and we didn’t experience any problems with the unit flickering during dusk and dawn periods. The degree of adjustment isn’t that wide, and whilst the unit switched on a tad early, there wasn’t that much in it.

    That the cable is pre-connected is a bonus, as some units are supplied with specialist sockets, and if delivered to site there’s always the issue of ensuring you have an appropriate connector. With the Clarius unit, all that is required is a straightforward cabling connection.

    The quality of illumination is good, with consistent levels of light across the viewed scene. We’d always recommend that the range of illuminators is respected, but we did push the distance a bit to see how it coped, and there’s a bit more capability than specified. However, for the sake of quality, don’t try to under-specify the lamps.

    The image showed no hot spots or faded areas of illumination, and light intensity was consistent up to the edges of the image. There was also no sign of pooling or other aberrations, even when objects were in the foreground and closer to the illuminator.

    Switching using the telemetry was reliable, and the power adjustment also allowed the unit to be used in a number of differing environments without any issues of over-reflectance or glare from nearby objects.


    The Clarius IL-8100 proved itself to be a well built and designed infrared illuminator. It is, to be truthful, a work-horse more than a Derby winner. That’s not a bad thing. It lacks gimmicks and additional functions that won’t be needed in most applications, instead concentrating on consistent illumination.

    That the needs of a site in the real world have been considered is reassuring. Along with that, light quality was good and there were no issues with coverage. As such, the IL-8100 achieves Recommended status"

    Many thank to Benchmark for this report

  • What is the point of analogue? HD CCTV is the only way.

    Police issue CCTV appeal over rail station bike thefts

    12:57pm Wednesday 4th December 2013

    The man police would like to speak to in connection with the theft of the mountain bike from Trowbridge railway station

    Police have issued this blown up still of a CCTV image captured by an analogue camera following the theft of a bike from a train station in Trowbridge in Wiltshire. Frankly its embarrassing . It makes the industry look ridiculous . This is why we must push HD CCTV solutions for all new installations.

  • Who is the market leader for HD CCTV?

    HD CCTV has been around now for at least 7 years but how has it developed and who can be considered the market leader in the field of HD CCTV today?


    In the beginning there were two main contenders of note. This was Arecont and Avigilon. Both these manufacturers used the development of IP technology to advance their products. Of course early attempts at HD CCTV were thwarted by lack of bandwidth, it meant that no matter how good the cameras were the systems were only as good as the available bandwidth. IT departments were a constant barrier to HD CCTV. This did not stop our friends at Arecont and Avigilon from developing ever more powerful cameras though. Arecont came up with their 10MP version only to be out done when Avigilon produced a 16 megapixel camera that blew the socks off those who saw the images. There was no doubt the cameras and the software on offer were incredibly impressive but was there a real market place for it at the price these cameras were coming in at?


    Much thought was being given to this conundrum by all involved and the consensus seemed to be that HD did not have to reach the heights of 16 MP, even 10mp was considered over the top when to most a 2MP camera satisfied the needs of most applications in the market place. This was where the likes of Brickcom and March networks felt they needed be. So the market seemed to know what it wanted but how were the end user going to decide what to buy ? would it be price driven or product driven?


    All and sundry put their efforts into developing user friendly software and the market split somewhat. There began to develop a distinction between enterprise level equipment and cameras and software that were just HD. Hikivison and Brickcom decided to compete on price whereas the likes of Panasonic ,Bosch and Avigilon went for high end enterprise level equipment.


    Just as this competition reached a peak,  on to the scene came HDcctv over coax. An HD product that worked over coax. The idea being that coaxial infrastructure was in place in many installations so why not use it. Everfocus pioneered this approach and to this day in the field of HDcctv over coax they are the current market leaders.


    So back to HD over IP and the race goes on. If you had to choose the market leader right now you would have to pick Avigilon. Overall the cameras are the best value for money and the software is second to none and the variety of cameras covers from 1 MP to 29MP,  by far the greatest range of any manufacturer. Many are hard on the heels of Avigilon but right now for enterprise projects it would be wise to go Avigilon, for anything else, value for money is served best with Hikivison.


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