Is logging into a PC All the Time a Pain in the Butt? Embrace 3G Technology!

Is logging into a PC all the time a pain in the butt?
Embrace 3G technology!

3G technology in CCTV systems1942 The first CCTV system installed
1989 Broad band internet service officially replaces dial-up services in the US
1993 The first smart phones introduced to the public
2007 The first iPhone available for the public
2008 The first Android smart phone introduced to the market

4 to 5 years back, no one was demanding for remote surveillance. It, however, has changed a good deal. The introduction of third generation smart phones has created a new demand: to survey our domains with a device that comfortably sits in our pockets and is always around.

What is 3G?

3G or 3rd generation mobile telecommunications is a generation of standards for mobile phones, mobile telecommunication services and application services including wide-area wireless voice telephones, mobile Internet access, video calls and mobile TV – all in a mobile environment.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? For some it does but for others it raises serious concerns and causes confusion. Let’s sit these concerns on the couch, shall we? Here we go.

Do you really need to take 3G into consideration?

4 to 5 years back, no one was demanding for remote surveillance. Everybody accepted the fact that the price for decent quality and speed is simply logging in our desktop computer or laptop connected to the internet.

It is no longer the case. Remote surveillance has become a major element in the CCTV market. You can access to your CCTV system via your smart phone. This is available mainly due to the boom in broad band internet services in the late 90’s.

Now, in the current climate, smart phones are getting more and more popular. Prices are falling rapidly as newer and newer models are introduced. In fact, it seems like the product itself is offered for free as part of a service package. And yes, all these smart phones are compatible with 3G or even the latest 4G.

This phenomenon has resulted in a major shift in consumers’ demand: people love to be mobile and customers tend to prefer to keep track of their security surveillance without having to log into a PC.

However, mobility requires new tools and devices integrated into your CCTV system.

What do you need to know in terms of providing mobile viewing to your clients?

New compression methods like the widely used H.264 and the wider bandwidth available through 3G broadband networks provides usable image quality and frame rates.

Still, there are some key points you have to consider when planning remote 3G CCTV access:

  • The UK 3G networks provide private, dynamic IP addresses which cannot be accessed from the Internet. The solution: you will need a public static IP address to successfully implement 3G mobile CCTV access.
  • You must select the right broadband provider with good network upload speed for high frame rate and better image quality.
  • Select a 3G router best suited for your application.

How do you set up a mobile viewing in CCTV system?

There are two ways to set up a mobile viewing CCTV system.

  1. You can purchase a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with mobile viewing
  2. You can set up a 3G server

If you decide on buying a DVR with mobile viewing, you have to remember that different smart phones use different platforms and so do DVRs e.g. there are Android, IOS, Symbian, Windows and etc. You should know what smart phone your customer has and what operating system it uses.

So, make sure to match the applications and platforms on both sides i.e. DVR and Smart Phone.

Some systems need no software installation while others do

If your DVR prompts for a software installation on the mobile device, you have to be aware of that you will need access to your client’s mobile phone. Such devices will often prompt you to update the current version of the software.

It is rather easy in systems which require no software installation on the mobile device. All you have to do is entering the URL with “/3G” at the end to get access to the footages through your mobile device. Most manufacturers provide you with detailed instructions.

The only drawback of such DVRs is that they often support only a very limited number of operating systems which will be clearly mentioned in the manual.

For example, it might only support iPhones and Windows-based phones. If your customer uses a Blackberry then they won’t be able to remotely survey their domains.

It is required to do a proper research before you buy a DVR to facilitate mobile viewing.

In summary

  • 3G refers to a standard defined for mobile communication.
  • 3G makes remote surveillance widely available.
  • Although 3G technology uses broadband internet connection, the amount of transferred data is less than that in an on-site CCTV system. Thus, frame rate and picture quality might be lower.
  • Some systems require regular software update on the mobile device.
  • Some systems support only a limited number of operating systems. The supported operating system on the mobile device and the DVR must match.

Yah, in 1942 no one dreamed of CCTV systems being used so widely, let alone remote viewing. This is available, this is reality. A lot of clients could harvest the benefits of remote surveillance. So, what’s your next step?

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F R Joseph Anton Ltd. regularly runs CCTV Installation Courses. See our next CCTV Installation Course here.