Overcoming Big Challenges
A new generation of handheld tools can help security installers overcome key industry challenges and benefit from significant time and cost savings
- By Tim Widdershoven
- Oct 01, 2021
Despite the fact that the security market is changing,
many businesses are configuring, installing and
troubleshooting IP security cameras using laptops,
even though it’s time consuming and ineffective.
Many are simply unaware of the productivity
benefits possible by tackling their most common challenges on
the job with a new approach to test equipment.
Arguably, the biggest trend affecting the security industry in
recent years has been the switch to digital IP cameras from analog
technologies. Installers are faced with having to fit unfamiliar, fast
evolving equipment and obtain new knowledge to keep up with
customer demand. With numerous types of CCTV cameras, plus
many different configurations and connection methods, installation
and troubleshooting can be time intensive and complicated.
The handheld SecuriTEST™ IP CCTV tester supports
installers through this transition, with features to help save time
and boost productivity such as QuickIP, which enables novice
technicians to connect and configure IP cameras quickly and
easily. Even on complex installations, users may only need to
use one tester, helping remove the need for in-depth and timeconsuming
Where security installations are using PoE, technicians also
need to be able to verify that the camera has enough power to
function. The compact PoE Pro tester from TREND Networks
eliminates guesswork when installing, maintaining, and
troubleshooting networks where PoE is deployed. Installers can
easily verify Pass/Fail, even without a full understanding of the
various industry testing standards, device power outputs, and
cable lengths that are required for a device to operate successfully.
Analog CCTV was installed with its own infrastructure, a series
of hardware and cables for controlling the cameras. However,
IP security cameras are usually installed to an existing network,
already in place supporting computers, phones or IoT devices.
Installers now need to understand the completely new area of
how network integration works in order to conduct installation
correctly or troubleshoot issues.
First, it is important to verify that the network has the
bandwidth to support the cameras and prevent poor image
quality. The SignalTEK 10G tester can be used to determine
maximum bandwidth up to 10 Gb/s and identify areas with
bottlenecks. Post installation, it can also be used to troubleshoot
Ethernet connectivity issues faster using diagnostic tools such
as the 72-hour event log which helps diagnose intermittent
connectivity issues faster.
During commissioning and maintenance, SecuriTEST IP
can also be used for a range of network troubleshooting and
advanced testing requirements, including cable tracing, length,
wiremap, and quality testing, removing the need for installers to
carry multiple instruments.
An increasingly use for a wider range of purposes, cameras are
not just for observing crime, such as number plate recognition,
access control, and fire monitoring. Camera installations are
used to aid compliance with Covid policies, observing that social
distancing is being adhered to, for instance.
For outdoor cameras, installation can be especially complex
where installers do not have the correct tools to test a fixed camera.
Time spent travelling up and down a ladder to check the angle
on a laptop. In the case of a new network installation or where
building construction is in progress, set up can only be completed
at a later date, returning to site when the IT infrastructure and
computer room are in place and performance can be checked.
With a handheld IP tester, the entire installation can be
completed, tested, and documented, removing the timeconsuming
need to return to site later. It is small, lightweight
and does not require external power adapters and injectors, has
10-hour battery life and is operable with one hand, supporting
productivity even for installers working on lifts and ladders.
CHALLENGE: RESIDENTIAL SECURITY BOOM
As demand for home security cameras and devices such as video
doorbells has increased, the cost has become ever more affordable,
even for those looking for more advanced solutions. The global
smart home security camera market size was valued at USD 3.71
billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual
growth rate (CAGR) of 15.7% to 2027*.
However, residential customers do not necessarily have the
same understanding of how these systems work as a commercial
user, making it even more important to be able to clearly document
the installation has been done correctly to prove performance and
prevent unpaid callbacks.
SecuriTEST IP features advanced reporting to enable
installers to document performance on site in detail, rather than
filling in excel documents to create reports. When an issue arises,
the proof of performance reports can demonstrate both camera
images and network configuration, making return visits to site
billable, especially in the case that the customer has changed the
With SecuriTEST IP, users can depend on a simple, handheld
tool that can replace an Ethernet cable tester, laptop, PoE injector,
PoE tester, and reporting tool. Plus, it connects first time without
the need to change complex settings and deliver
reliable test results. Supported by a suite of other
complementary test solutions, security installers
can save huge amounts of time on every job and
keep their customers happy.
This article originally appeared in the September / October 2021 issue of Security Today.