Chain of Command
Hybrid video provides flexible IP migration for grocery stores
A leading grocery chain's corporate
security and loss prevention
departments had requested
an overall upgrade to the region's
facility surveillance systems. These
facilities included grocery stores with
gas stations and regional distribution
centers. The departments were directed
to integrate the most cost-effective progressive
technology, increase the camera
count and be able to easily relocate
F&N Enterprises of Tucson, Ariz.,
a low-voltage system integrator specializing
in commercial and residential
installation of burglar, fire and surveillance
security systems, are experts in
the deployment of structured cabling,
voice and data infrastructures, using
UTP and fiber optics. After searching
for the right fit, the grocery company
chose F&N for the upgrade.
Upgrade and Update
Each project location varied slightly in
camera count. Stores within the grocery
chain required 24 to 64 cameras. The
distribution centers needed more than
100 cameras at each location. Multiple
racks and recording equipment were located
in the management's office space
in each facility.
The system upgrade required the best
technology, ease of use, superior video
imaging—day or night—and full location
coverage. There also was a requirement
for public-view monitoring, remote
information/image retrieval and a more
advanced system of image management.
The transmission methods that were considered
included IP cameras powered by
PoE via Cat-5 unshielded twisted pair to
an NVR; analog cameras via standard
video coax—already in use—to a hybrid
DVR; or analog cameras powered by a
hybrid video power supply via Cat-5e
UTP to a hybrid DVR.
All store locations were already
cabled for voice and data using Cat-5
UTP cabling. The corporate mandate
also included a strict adherence to the
EIA/TIA 568B termination pin-outs
and UTP structured cabling standards
for voice and data transmission. It was
cost-effective to use the same cabling
infrastructure platform for surveillance
applications when possible.
Unique System Considerations
IP and analog cameras via UTP
both allowed cameras to be powered
remotely, thereby maintaining the
Many of the stores had fuel stations
located at the front of the property.
Each fuel station also needed surveillance
coverage. If they chose to use
coax cable, they would need to install
more than 15,000 feet of cable. This
confirmed the commitment by corporate
management that the decision to
go with standards-based UTP was the
correct one. The use of UTP reduced
material and labor costs by 50 percent.
Officials chose to use analog cameras
via an NVT UTP hybrid video
network. The NVT system was scalable
and manageable, standards based and
affordable. Another selling point of using
NVT was that it allowed for a possible
infrastructure stepping-stone in the
future. By installing the Cat-5 cabling,
it provided a system with better performance
standards, as well as having the
cabling in place for a mix of IP cameras
should the need arise in the future. That
made the overall systems more flexible.
In the future, certain areas of the store
may be targeted for IP enhanced video,
but all areas are ready for upgrades.
F&N Enterprises installed a Cat-5
patch panel in the rack housing with the
DVRs and monitors at the head end.
Standard patch cords were used to connect
the RJ-45 connectors to the NVT
DigitalEQ™ Active Hub. The output
of each hub was directly connected to
the DVR via standard NVT supplied
coaxial jumpers. Wire management
was used to create a clean and professional
looking installation. A single-channel
NVT device was installed at
each camera location.
At the fuel stations, the solution
provided for a rack-mounted NVT passive
hub and an NVT active hub in the
head end rack. While the powered hub
was not required by NVT specs, it did
allow the video signal to be equalized
to match those signals provided by instore
Analog, high-resolution mini-dome
cameras were used throughout the project.
Most of the UTP runs were around
150 feet. Run length to the fuel stations
were typically 1,200 feet.
All cameras on the project were
powered by the NVT PVD power supply
cable integrator hubs. These hubs
supplied video, control and camera
power using a 568B standards-based
UTP cabling network, which was organized,
easy to understand and future
proof. Once installed in a central position,
the hubs powered a co-located
group of cameras, which was connected
to the system via power-video
transceivers that are small, easy to
hide and tamperproof.
All of the Cat-5e UTP cabling that
was installed replaced existing coax.
The network was converted to structured
cabling via UTP, and the Cat-5e
was cost-effective and easy to pull and
terminate. Cat-5e transmission performance
is well within that required for
the video transmission application.
"The NVT product is really a quality
piece of equipment,"said Fred
Francis of F&N. "It's well suited for
its use. We did have a problem with
one hub where we didn't get any AC
for ports one to eight. The returnswap
was immediately handled by
our distributor and NVT, and we had
a replacement the following day. The
NVT tech support department is well
trained and knowledgeable, and they
treated us respectfully.
"I've seen 5,000 feet of Cat-5 cable
running video with superior picture
quality. Installing it in the fuel station
scenario above saved money and time
and offers crystal clarity.”
Choices regarding the media used for
the cabling infrastructure allow the end
user more flexibility in their future systems'
needs. The most
common media for IP
transmission is UTP.