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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
August 21, 2017


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

IP surveillance

Ethernet over coax too often overlooked as a cost-effective migration path to IP, says AMG Systems

Organisations deterred from migrating to IP CCTV from analogue systems on cost grounds should consider leveraging existing coaxial cable, according to AMG Systems.

The proportion of surveillance systems that are IP-based has been growing steadily for many years. However, our IDIS-sponsored Video surveillance report 2017 revealed that 21% of installed systems are still analogue-based and sales of analogue cameras still continue in surprisingly reasonable numbers.

AMG Systems is a UK-based manufacturer of edge-of-network transmission, including fibre, analogue, IP/ethernet, wireless and hybrid communication solutions.

Ian Creary, AMG sales and technical support manager, says the reluctance to upgrade for cost reasons is understandable.

“They are worried that the migration to IP simply won’t fit their budget,” he says. “And it can be a sizeable investment, particularly if you have previously poured resources into a substantial analogue cabling infrastructure.”

Labour requirements

But Creary says that IP migrations need not be so expensive.

“There is a very large legacy install base of coaxial cable in existence, mainly related to analogue CCTV, and making use of this as a part of any analogue to IP system migration plan could certainly prove to be a cost-effective option,” he explains. “Without the requirement to install new cabling, labour requirements reduce dramatically. This can mean an ethernet over coax install can cost as little as 25% of the expense of a full IP upgrade.

“The advantages of an ethernet-over-coax solution are in the simplicity of its design and application: installation is easy and the data and images it provides are reliable, so everyone involved saves money.”

“Ethernet-over-coax products provide an easy-to-connect, transparent network that is very simple to use, reliable, and offers seamless integration between the existing coaxial cable and the ethernet backbone of the new system.” Ian Creary, AMG sales and technical support manager

Ethernet-over-coax products are invariably point-to-point: from a locally powered transceiver at the camera to a locally powered receiver at the control room. Adequate for smaller organisations, the point-to-point design needs strengthening where a large number of cameras are involved.

“A better solution for these larger systems that still want to benefit from utilising their existing analogue infrastructure is use a PoE switch, with four PoE ports and one coax uplink port at the camera,” he says. “This gives the user more leverage of their existing cabling system, and truly allows an easy and cost-effective upgrade to IP cameras.”

Ethernet cabling and devices powered over ethernet require the installation of additional networking products every 100 metres. This often means that power has to be sourced in locations that are difficult to access.

“This usually requires a lockable closet, cabinet or enclosure and units with power supplies inside,” says Creary. “Ethernet-over-coax devices, however, can be powered from a PoE switch, and deliver power over ethernet up to 300m.

“There are no repeaters or other networking products required, so the distance issue is addressed without an impact on the project budget.”

Ethernet-over-coax should be as appealing to installers as it is to end users, suggests Creary. “Ethernet-over-coax products provide an easy-to-connect, transparent network that is very simple to use, reliable, and offers seamless integration between the existing coaxial cable and the ethernet backbone of the new system.

“The solution itself can be a simple design, and application is even more straightforward. Importantly, the data carried over the EoC network is robust and reliable, allowing for the transmission of high quality images and other sensitive security content.

“Ethernet-over-coax technology will enable more installers to approach an IP migration project with a new set of financial and installation options. The end result is a high-performance system that saves all parties involved time, money, and concerns over flexibility and adaptability.”

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