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Good, nice and cheap

A hotel resorted to the technology of Network Video Technologies to solve a series of problems that it had been having in its CCTV facilities. The PVD units stood out for their high performance in sending video signal and power supply.

by NVT

For an end user who decides to implement a CCTV system or any other of those that could be included in the electronic security segment, there is no more frustrating situation than realizing that the installed equipment does not operate correctly, is underused, or that in the worst case it does not work.

This situation, the result of the lack of engineering skills and the low quality of the equipment provided, is not the best, as it translates into huge losses of money for customers and, without a doubt, in a fall in the credibility, both of the integrator and the manufacturer. The proper selection of the equipment to be used, in addition to other factors, makes the difference between the satisfaction of a client, since the achievement of high performance standards is guaranteed, which is what is sought when making an implementation of this type.

These performance parameters were presented in the project that will be described in this article, which corresponds to the assembly of an advanced CCTV system in the Ibis Guadalajara Expo hotel, an installation that was characterized by offering interesting savings margins, through the use of state-of-the-art technology in terms of video signal transmission and energy. a for the cameras, even though not all the technical capabilities of the equipment were exploited.

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To contextualize, it is important to talk about Guadalajara, undoubtedly one of the most important cities in the Mexican Republic. Located in the west of the country, this municipality is the capital of the state of Jalisco and has a little more than one million 600 thousand inhabitants, although the metropolitan area, composed of eight municipalities, may slightly exceed four million people, according to the INEGI census, made in 2005.

This municipality is one of the cultural, industrial and economic venues of Mexico, and is internationally  recognized for its traditions, its cultural and recreational attractions, as well as its gastronomy.

Initial dissatisfaction
But to talk about the project it is necessary to refer to the background that the client had in front of this type of works. On previous occasions, this hotel chain (Accor, of European origin) had contracted the installation of security systems in other of its establishments, but unfortunately the results had not been the best and this, in turn, had generated several disappointments.

This difficulty became a great opportunity for the integrating firm Protec to present a proposal that included an excellent technical service, the correct advice in the area of engineering and the recommendation of the best solutions on the market. The general director of this company, José Cortés, gave a brief account of the background of this project, which was implemented between May and September 2006.

"Customers were investing and weren't getting the results they expected. When we contacted them we made them a proposal but they clarified that they did not want more failures with their equipment. By various means I became familiar with NVT's PVD equipment and after the hotel gave us the endorsement for the use of this technology, we proceeded to develop the engineering plan," he said.

The Ibis Guadalajara Expo belongs to an organization that in Mexico has six hotels, two Novotel and three Ibis, in addition to the latter inaugurated in the capital of Jalisco; these establishments are characterized because they handle the concept of low-cost hotels. With the various hotel services it has in Aztec land, this firm accumulates almost 1000 rooms and more than 300 employees in this business alone. In addition to lodging services, this financial conglomerate has activity in other sectors such as: meal tickets, corporate expense control programs and lines in which they add another 546 employees, on average.

Being then the most recent of the hotels opened by this chain in the Mexican Republic, it was very important to be able to guarantee the safety of the guests who came to the hotel to stay. These are not few, because thanks to its privileged location (next to Expo Guadalajara, one of the most important spaces for exhibitions and conventions in the Mexican Republic) the establishment enjoys a permanent average occupancy of around 90%. This building is surrounded by several hotels and is also close to the Jewelry Center of Guadalajara.

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"The client's goal was to have a CCTV that would really allow him to have full control of the building, to know from the same management what happens in any of the areas of the hotel, and that in case something happened to have some evidence that would allow to know the circumstances of the fact," said Cortés.

This project was becoming over the days in the solution to the problems of electronic security that an institution had, fruit, basically, of poor advice on the part of the integrator.

Decisions to simplify work
It was then necessary to implement a system that satisfied the client, but within a high-performance scheme at an affordable cost. This premise naturally included lower costs for the use of materials and labour, which is only possible with the use of solutions that maximise the use of a solution, even if we are talking about a certain type of wiring.

Traditionally, CCTV installations consist of analog camera sets that send a video signal via UTP cable, which somehow underuses the transmission medium. It is worth noting that an unshielded twisted pair cable, category 5, has four pairs of copper wires, which can be used for various functions (one pair for video, one for audio, one for data – camera commands – and one for power supply).

In this underutilization was where they found their workspace the new solutions for PVD video transmission of Network Video Technologies (NVT), which allow the management of power supply, signal of the cameras and data for PTZ cameras, all within the same cable. This is especially practical, as it avoids the need for large wiring packages, but also simplifies maintenance, because in case of a failure you only have to check a single cable to find the solution. These characteristics were vital for the decision making on the solution to be used.

"Initially it might seem that this technology makes projects a little more expensive, but the truth is that with the same installation they end up covering such costs by allowing us to send all the functions of a camera by the same cable; PVD solutions facilitated the achievement of savings in elements as common as pipes, wiring and even working hours; at the end of the project this turns out to be as economical, or even more so, than if it were done by conventional means," José said.
A very important element is that with this project and the technology used, the savings scheme is broken through large-scale economies, since it was always thought that in a security project it was only possible to save if a large number of equipment was purchased. In the case of the Ibis Guadalajara, only 29 cameras, two recording units and two screens were installed, and even so, according to Cortés, it was possible to obtain savings.

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One of the explanations josé gave was the following: "If I had installed CCTV via coaxial I would have needed a channel of about two inches for each camera, then imagine the costs for 29 capture units or more. It is also important to say that in an old project it was necessary to duplicate the channeling and wiring, because you can not mix video cables with energy media because this generates losses in image quality. Add to this the number of people it takes to mount all this, and we're talking about fixed cameras, because PTZTs require a third cable. This is what PVD solutions simplify, and the best thing is that the savings always end up being passed on to the customer."

Technical notions
But then how is it that there are no losses in the UTP cable knowing that video and energy coexist together in it? According to the integrator, this is the role of NVT equipment, which takes the video signal and lowers it to a frequency with which they can travel on the cable without generating conflicts with the other pair games. He added that these equipment guarantee optimal operation, as they bring their own electrical regulator, which prevents a voltage variation from having negative effects on the operation of any camera.

The installed teams, following the guidelines of the hotel managers, are monitoring the lobby, the entrances and exits of the parking lots, the interiors of the parking lot, the corridors of the hotel, the restaurant, the pool, the emergency exits, cargo and service areas, which means that the building is fully guarded, however, this monitoring excludes the rooms to avoid violations in the privacy of the clients.

The security requirement basically responded to some risks that were detected. The integrator developed a security analysis and found that such a business can face both mild and more intense threats. Initially, special care must be taken with people entering and leaving the establishment to prevent thugs from camouflaging themselves within the staff who are using the hotel's services; this means that there is a special control of the entry of guests and employees.

The place for parking vehicles is another of the spaces that represent some risk for the managers of the hotel, since there can be thefts in the vehicles of the guests as well as collisions and traffic accidents. This situation attaches great importance to the fact that responsibility can be assessed through video evidence. On occasion, certain customers have come forward to complain with the claim that their car was damaged while it remained in the parking lots; on all these occasions the CCTV system is especially useful for taking appropriate corrective measures.

Another place that poses a threat to  the security of a hotel are swimming pools, where drownings can occur, in addition to other risky situations. Therefore, video surveillance was installed in this area, so that in case someone is carrying out dangerous behaviors, security personnel can notify them of the risk situation in which they are. In the kitchen, on the other hand, it is monitored to control possible situations that could start a fire or generate a risk to the health of employees.

More reasons for an election
But the integrator, in addition to the reasons given in relation to the savings that were achieved, had more reasons to opt for NVT technology. "I have used NVT products in several facilities; the quality of the product and the brand, the support it offers me and its lifetime warranty, are elements that guarantee that I am doing a first class installation. On the few occasions that I had problems, the firm backed me with the replacement of the equipment, not repairing it, but changing it completely; however, I want to clarify that there have been very few cases in which I have resorted to the signature due to defects in any of the teams," Cortés noted.

But why opt for an installation with PVD instead of mounting a system at once with IP technology? José was in charge of answering this question with several reasons that he explained: "Systems over IP can have advantages, but they also have their limitations. One of these details is that the signal almost always goes to servers and not all computers have the memory capacity to support it; for this reason we do not even consider this modality for the hotel project. There is another very important aspect for many customers and that is that they want to have their computer networks and systems decongested, or rather they do not want anything to interfere with them. Many customers fear that if a CCTV over IP is installed, this will affect their networks, as this would have a very negative impact on business, especially today when so many transactions depend on the Internet," he explained.

This is what makes installations made with PVD more economical, although superior in reliability than an IP; additionally there is the same cost of equipment that is needed in the second case, since a camera of this type, in the words of the integrator, can be three times more expensive than an analog camera and with the first ones an additional cable is still needed for power supply for each capture unit.

On the other hand, the video quality is impeccable and does not present loss of any kind thanks to the fact that the same NVT equipment allows the graduation of the signal, according to the distance, and for the integrator, the signal is of better quality than when using coaxial cable. This condition occurs both in the image projected by the screens and in the one stored on the hard drives of the DVRs.

Hardware analysis
A great advantage of the implemented system is that it fulfills a double function, because in addition to allowing monitoring, it also facilitates the recording of what the cameras are observing; this occurs thanks to the capabilities of the equipment used. In this way, while all the spaces of the hotel are monitored, material is being recorded and it is saved for a week for backup.

The cameras used had to meet several requirements, such as having their own housing (cabin) in case they were to be located outdoors, but also that they were aesthetic enough not to break with the decorative parameters of the hotel.

Of the 29 equipment installed, seven are of the Samsung mini dome type, reference SCC-5301, which are characterized by being small, aesthetic and high performance; these were located indoors. Also mounted 22 cameras with Samsung varifocal iris, reference SCC-131b, which are quite economical equipment, but with good image characteristics and sharpness.

Corridor cameras have an average close range of 40 meters. In other areas, units with lenses between 3.5 and 8.0 millimeters were implemented, which give an aperture of 60 degrees, and distances of between 10 and 12 meters, which according to José was more than enough for the areas where they were installed. It is worth saying that the distances between the capture units and the control room range between five (the closest) and 100 meters (the farthest).

Two Samsung DVRs, model SHR-2162, were used for recording, each with 500 Gb of memory and with the ability to support remote monitoring over the Internet.

As far as NVT is concerned, the project required two NV-16PS10-PVD power supplies. An NV-3213J video transceiver was used, equipment that allows the reception of images from up to 32 cameras. For each camera an NV-216A-PV video transceiver was used (for more details on these units go to the site

Today, after almost a year of implementing the project, the client is highly satisfied with its operation, good news since it is in an expansion program that includes the construction of new hotels. The integrator, in addition to the reasons already stated, expressed his satisfaction for working with NVT, as he assured that he always obtained the training he required from the manufacturer at times when doubts could arise.

This integrating company, which took the risk of using a technology that was novel in the market, can today certify a fact of great importance: that PVD units are a symbol that quality and performance are not always synonymous with high prices, and that regardless of the size of the project, savings can be obtained while being delivered to the customer. the system with a perfect operation.

* Network Video Technologies, Inc. ( develops and promotes CCTV transmission systems for sending real-time audio and video over common unshielded twisted pair telephone cable. Founded in 1990, NVT is incorporated in the state of California. All products are guaranteed for life and are listed and/or meet UL, CUL and CE requirements. For contacts in Latin America you can contact Rafael Madrigal in the email [email protected].

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