IP Closed Circuit Television and Network Convergence: Strengths and Weaknesses Scott Reinhardt
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
IP CCTV Strengths and Weaknesses
Closed circuit television cameras have become a tool used in several countries to fight crime and to ensure the safety of the public through surveillance in public places. The use of CCTV cameras is on the rise, and there is little proof of areas where their use has been cut back. IP CCTV technology has been in existence for a long time. It uses a camera that is connected to a network. It works by converting the captured images and audio into data the transmitting this over a network or an internet connection. This leads to a more efficient system when compared to traditional methods where a recorder is employed per camera for local recording. Network convergence can be described as the coexistence of various data types within a single network. These may include telephone, video, audio and data communication within a single network.
The CCTV cameras are employed in many areas of the daily modern life. They monitor motorists’ compliance to traffic laws and also track the movement of people on the city streets. They are also employed to help guard the entrances of government buildings, banks, office buildings, and shopping malls. The potential contribution of public surveillance to public safety can be used to explain the rise in use of CCTV surveillance in recent years (Gill, 2006). Employers also use this system to monitor their workers in order to ensure productivity at the workplace.
The CCTV system has various strengths and weaknesses that have to be taken into account. Due to the available technology, many different types of cameras can be used which can then be remotely operated by several operators. The operations may include panning, tilting, and zooming and this versatility is a crucial strength of IP CCTV systems. Different types of cameras are also available to aid in surveillance. Overt cameras are the types, which are designed to be clearly seen by the public who can then determine what is being recorded by looking at the direction that the camera is pointing. Semi overt cameras are those that have a dark dome shaped covering that hides the direction that the operator points the camera. These are more common and are employed in crime prevention due to the deterrence they bring to would be offenders. This type can also be equipped with motion sensing technology to enable them to be used without operators. They may be covered with a casing that is bullet proof and be capable of night vision and recording in color. The type of camera is therefore an important consideration since it determines its impact and how it can be used in the network. The availability of these variations of cameras is a key strength of the IP CCTV system.
The availability of network convergence has enabled IP CCTV systems run over existing IP networks that can be both wired or wireless. This makes connection across various devices that communicate using IP possible. One can integrate various devices such as smart phones to enable users to be able to monitor images directly on their phones. It also allows the use of IP based products such as e-mail and image sending over the file transfer policy (ftp). Another strength of IP based CCTV is the ability to have many types of configurations. One can set up just one camera and also set up a large number of cameras to be used over the network. The output can then be seen using a computer with access to the internet.
Advances in digital technology have made it possible to integrate many functions to the old traditional CCTV cameras. Specialist functions can be added so as to enhance the performance of these cameras. An example is deployment of cameras that have the added function of automated number plate recognition. This is a valuable asset to law...
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