When SE&N was launched in October 1998 it was
specifically targeted at the electronic security industry in Australia and
that focus has not changed. Something that has changed over the past 10 years
is the nature of the electronic security business at its fundamental core. And
it goes without saying that change is the swing to digital.

SE&N prides itself on case studies that get right up
close to electronic security systems and it’s a legacy that began in our very
first issue. What’s interesting is making a direct comparison between our first
case study in October 1998 and our latest in November 2008.

In October 1998 the site was a hotel – it was cabled in
RJ 59 Rojone coax. At the heart of the system was a Pacom 2030 switcher and 3
Robot multiplexers. At the pointy end were 31 Ikegami ICD 703 analogue cameras,
3 Sanyo 7532 analog cameras and 4 Pelco Spectra I analogue PTZ domes with all
cameras driven from remote stations by 6 Pacom 2035 keyboards supported by 10-inch
JVC colour CRT monitors.

At the back end of the system were 3 Mitsubishi HS 5440
timelapse VHS recorders. The system recorded 16 of the cameras at 25 frames per
second globally, with one tape per machine, per 24 hours.  Cycled over 30 days the system chewed through
30 tapes per machine. Installed by Eurovac (now Zurcorp) with support from JLM,
this system was a very sweet install for its day.

Fast forward to November 2008 and the changes are stark.
Our case study in this issue features an installation undertaken for the
National Gallery of Australia
by IntraVision. The system was built by Zylotech. When fully expanded in coming
months it will incorporate 160 SmartDome IP PTZ cameras running on Cat-5 cables
and supported by power over Ethernet. The cameras are cabled to 13 remote
SmartCluster/NVR platforms linked to a server room over a dedicated fibre
network. Each SmartCluster supports an Ethernet/fibre switch, UPS and remote
NVR storage, giving redundancy way out towards the edge.

Image streams are recorded at 4CIF, 25 images per second
for 30 days and searches are conducted right down to the minute using mouse
control on one of a number of workstations in NGA’s security control room. The
screens are wall-mount plasmas and LCDs. The management system allows control
of WAN bandwidth and there’s a virtual matrix that can handle all the cameras
on the video wall.

Changes in other areas of the industry are more subtle
but they are there. Surface mount boards, GPRS monitoring of alarm panels, dual
technology sensors for $30, networking biometric fingerprint readers supported
by prox-based smart cards. Networking access solutions from companies like DAS
and InnerRange – the list goes on. 

And when you look back across ten years it’s impossible
not to cast your eyes forward. Now firmly locked into a networked future it’s
impossible not to think of HD cameras with onboard NAND storage recording
movement in their fields of view, video management solutions incorporating face
recognition and movement analysis, plug and play biometric access readers and a
whole lot more.

At SE&N we’ve grown and evolved with the market we
support and like our industry we’re now a hybrid animal sprawled across a range
of technologies from solid state to digital, from lenses and hard drives to
RFID technologies. But whatever else we take from the past 10 years it’s
impossible not to return to those 2 system installed a decade apart. Yes, the
electronic security industry really has changed and so have we.