First HDCCTV installs begin

SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DENISON, Texas—While thus far most talk of HDCCTV has been theoretical, systems integrator Gnisec, based here, has been doing some of the first installations of HDCCTV equipment manufactured by SG Digital. The equipment is in a McDonald’s franchise in nearby Sherman, Texas, and Saks Fifth Avenue has installed a test system in its New York City location.

“I think this is going to be the future,” said Sonny Roberts, VP of sales at Gnisec, an integrator with 45 employees and customers that include FedEx, Albertson’s, Sonic, and the Houston Chronicle. “With IP, you’ve gotta get onto the network and put it throughout the building and not everybody has technicians who can do that. But they’ve got technicians who can plug in a camera and run wire. Using an RG-6, I can run a camera 800 feet with an HD signal. I’m offering it to all my customers now.”

Tony Montes, director of physical security at Saks, said, “the test just started. We started messing around with it in December, and January is when we’re really getting good video out of it. It’s definitely something we want to use to supplement our existing system. It’s not the cure all; it’s a supplement for high security areas, predominantly the jewelry department, customer doors, anywhere we have very high end product. We sell $3,000 handbags. I want to have a very good picture of the guy who walks out with one of those.”

Why not deploy an IP megapixel solution?

“The problem with the IP world that we’ve found,” Montes said, “is that you need everybody on board, the IT department included, and then you have to have the bandwidth available, and then a system to control all the variables out there. There might be 100 IP cameras out there, and a lot of them are pretty good, but you need a platform to manage them all.” Montes isn’t convinced yet there’s a video management system that can handle all the IP cameras he would need for all the different applications.

For Robert Gallardo, owner of four McDonald’s franchises in Texas, it was a matter of relying on the advice of Gnisec, with whom he’s had a long and positive relationship. When asked about why not an IP megapixel solution, Gallardo responded, “what’s an IP megapixel camera?”

“Sonny brought the HD out for us to look at it and it was just incredible,” Gallardo said. “The thing I like about it is with any of the cameras, you can tell what the denomination of the bill is, and that’s something we didn’t have in the previous system. Now there’s no question. You can zoom right in. That’s made me very happy.”

Gallardo also called the HD cameras a “supplement” to the larger system, installing the HD cameras wherever money is changing hands, but not outside the building, for example.

Roberts of Gnisec said the ease of installation for HDCCTV is vital for him to provide a cost-effective solution to customers and keep his margins in line. “My guys were down there doing the install for maybe 45 minutes,” he said. “They pull the DVR out, put the new one in, and get the cameras focused. And that was in the middle of the day with working around the employees. If no one was there, it might have been 30 minutes of actual work to hang the cameras.”

Until IP systems are significantly easier to install, said Roberts, he’s going to be prioritizing HDCCTV. “With IP systems, there’s always something going wrong. IP? I just quit messing with it. I’ve just started offering either [HDCCTV] for a good quality analog system. It’s less headache for everybody that way.”

Montes also thinks IP surveillance isn’t quite ready for prime time. “We’ve looked at an IP solution,” he said, saying he’s had presentations from Milestone and OnSSI, and has one coming up with Genetec, “but we’re not ready for it from the IT side, and financially we’re not ready for it. Either way, whether it’s HDCCTV or IP, they’re not going to take over in the next five years. Maybe 10 years from now, when all the kinks are worked out, we’ll go full enterprise IP solution.”