Video Security Cameras and 5GHz Networks – Growing Up Together

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Wireless has played an important role in connecting video security cameras since almost the days the first cameras were developed – from there, they grew up together.

In the beginning, cameras were analog and adhered to either the NTSC standards in the U.S. or the PAL standards in other parts of the world. With analog signals, compression was not available, and each camera, at 29 frames per second (fps), would consume roughly 4Mbps of bandwidth using MPEG2.

In the mid-1990s, IP-based cameras were introduced but often had such poor resolution that analog cameras were still required for ideal results. For those networks, 2.4GHz unlicensed systems with anywhere between 11Mbps and 54Mbps of capacity were a good fit.

Fast Forward Ten Years: The Building Blocks to 5GHz and Video Security Cameras

By the mid-to-late 2000s, an IP camera’s reliability, resolution, and cost improved dramatically, and by this time almost all newly installed video security cameras were IP-based. Along with IP cameras came higher resolutions such as high definition (HD). However the increase in capacity that was required to transmit these video streams was offset somewhat by the introduction of video compression codecs such as JPEG and H.264.

With HD levels of resolution and 24fps, the cameras were now requiring between 4 and 10Mbps of capacity. With even a few cameras, this exceeded the capacities of the 2.4GHz band. Enter 5GHz with up to 450MHz of spectrum available, allowing bigger channels, advanced antenna techniques, and more. 5GHz wireless networks were able to deliver several hundreds of Mbps per network, best case with no interference, and were an excellent match for the wave of HD cameras that were introduced.

Present Day: Advancements in Video Security and 5GHz Continue

Video security systems are moving to 4K resolution and frame rates as high as 60 fps. Even at 24fps the average 4K camera now needs 25Mbps at its lowest rate, and based on other factors, can be as high as 50Mbps. At these capacity demands, the legacy 5GHz systems available just do not have the juice to support a wireless 4K video security network.

Enter mmWave: A New Opportunity for Video Security Cameras

Operating in the 60GHz and 70/80GHz frequency bands, mmWave offers 24GHz of available spectrum allowing mmWave networks to deliver anywhere from 2Gbps (point to multi-point) up to 10Gbps full duplex for point-to-point links. In fact, the mmWave bands are the only frequencies with large enough channel sizes to support these video security networks and their increasingly bandwidth hungry cameras. 

The Video Security of Tomorrow

The future will be no different than the past 20 years of video security evolution. Greater resolution will be implemented as high as 8K and 24fps, resulting in a staggering 100Mbps per camera – to start.  However, unlike past revolutions in video camera resolution and increased image quality, a new wireless technology will not be required.

The mmWave network deployed to support today’s 4K-based networks has more than enough capacity to support the next generation of cameras. This means the mmWave network you deploy today will be around for your video network tomorrow with no upgrades needed.

Wireless has always been a partner in the video camera network kit, growing and evolving over time alongside and in step with improvements to the cameras and the traffic they transport. mmWave with its huge capacities has what it takes to continue growing and supporting your networks today and tomorrow.


The opinions expressed in this piece are solely Siklu's. They do not necessarily represent WESCO’s views. 

WESCO provides the datacom and security solutions you need for today and tomorrow.

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