Picture of cctv cabinet with labels for patch panel, gigabit switch, video encoder, nvt, poe, server and ups unit
October 18, 2018 Comments Closed

Modern CCTV Systems – What’s in the Cabinet?

Posted by:Jay Spengeman onOctober 18, 2018

The modern CCTV system bears little resemblance to the systems of old.

Leaving even the most tech-savvy people staring at the cabinet, rubbing their chins wondering “what does that thing do?”

Here is a quick explainer to get you up to speed:

Picture of cctv cabinet with labels for patch panel, gigabit switch, video encoder, nvt, poe, server and ups unit

1. Patch Panel

This is where we terminate the Cat6 data cables from the cameras and various data points from around the building. These help to keep the comms rack looking tidy and allows for easy identification of cables.

2. Gigabit Switch

This unit – the core of the network.  It’s where we connect our server, video encoder, NVT (Network Video Transceiver), POE (Power Over Ethernet) switches from around the building into this unit. The gigabit Switch communicates at 1000Mb/s which is 10 times faster than a standard switch. These speeds are needed due to the bandwidth requirements for High Definition video, especially when there are multiple camera feeds transmitting on the same cable.

3. Video Encoder

This unit is used to take video signal from the low resolution analog cameras and “encode” them into a IP (Internet Protocol) signal that the server can understand. Encoders are a useful and cost-effective way of integrating old analog technology into a modern IP based system. Then over time as the older cameras begin to fail, or when budgets allow they can then be replaced with modern IP HD cameras.

4. NVT

The Network Video Transceiver unit is used circumvent the dreaded TCP/IP “100 metre rule”. All network devices PC’s, switches, VOIP phones and network cameras included, must obey the 100-metre rule, which is 100 metres max cable distance between the device and the nearest network switch. This is usually fine for small buildings but on large sites the cable can often be a problem.

The NVT paired with a receiver at the camera end can boost the signal allowing it to receive from a camera several kilometres away.

5. POE Network Switch

The Power Over Ethernet Switch

This Unit has 2 main functions:

  • To directly supply the IP cameras with the power that they need to function, with the 802.3af-2003 sending up to 15.4 watts and IEEE 802.3at-2009 PoE plus up to 25.5watts directly over the Cat 5 / Cat 6 cable via the patch panel, and
  • to relay the data signals from the cameras to the main server via the Gigabit switch.

6. Server

This is the brains of the operation, servers are custom spec’d for each job depending on size of the system, which is calculated by the number of cameras, estimated hours of activity, and how many days of footage are required. For sites where the CCTV system is mission critical and downtime is not an option, then we can build the server with some redundant systems, such as hard drives and power supplies – allowing the system to remain functioning even with faults.  SenSys Technology can also offer a failover server which acts a complete backup of the main server.

7. UPS

An Uninterruptible Power Supply is a device that allows the CCTV system to keep running for at least a short time when the primary power source is lost. It also provides protection from power surges.

This unit is often overlooked when designing cctv systems because it’s not an integral part of the system but without it the system is vulnerable to damage caused by power surges and power outages

Get in touch today

Interested in finding out how SenSys Technology can converge your business systems onto one smart platform?  Call us and set up a meeting:

Freephone: 1800 815 683

Email: jay@sensys.ie

Jay Spengeman - SenSys Munster Area Manager - business card

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