Common Ethernet Extender Caveats in IP Surveillance Camera InstallationsDelia Hernandez
As IP surveillance cameras and network video recorders (NVR) continue to improve, the demand for extended high-data-rate transmission with minimum data loss has become increasingly important in IP CCTV networks. Due to Ethernet’s standard 100-meter limitation, many network installers and system integrators rely on Ethernet extender solutions to deploy IP surveillance networks. IP surveillance networks will continuously transmit large amounts of data in comparison to traditional data networks and extra measures are often taken when extending Ethernet in IP CCTV networks.
We’ve outlined a few of the common caveats in long-distance IP surveillance deployment and how to avoid them.
How Are IP Surveillance Networks Different?
IP Surveillance networks behave slightly different than traditional networks. IP surveillance networks tend to transmit large packet sizes and are oftentimes deployed in outdoor or industrial environments. Network installers and system integrators need to ensure that the Ethernet extender solutions they purchase can withstand high frequencies, large data packet transmission, and high-power consumption to support IP video and mega-pixel transmission.
VDSL offers relatively high transmission speeds using existing copper lines. This enables system integrators to deploy IP surveillance systems at a relatively low cost. Many IP surveillance networks rely on VDSL/VDSL2 technology. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when purchasing VDSL/VDSL Ethernet Extender solutions.
Common VDSL Caveats Include:
- VDSL2 data rates plummet as distances increase from the source. Spec sheets will oftentimes omit the specific performances at certain rates. Ensure to ask your manufacturer if the prospective solution you seek to purchase will work for your specific networking environment.
- VDSL2 requires significant power to transmit signals through long copper distances. System integrators need to ensure that their Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) will reliably support their 802.3af/at IP surveillance cameras and connected mid-spans.
OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing)
IP Surveillance networks generate large packet sizes and many Ethernet extender solutions rely on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing to transmit data (OFDM). The Ethernet frequency available for Ethernet transmission is between 10 MHZ or 100 MHZ. To improve signal quality, OFDM compartmentalizes data signals into several sub-carrier narrow bandwidth signals. However, this segmentation quickly reduces the available bandwidth for large packets and jumbo frames. System installers need to ensure that their networks can allocate sufficient bandwidth to support OFDM devices.
BPL (Broadband over Powerline)
PL-510W Powerline Wireless N ExtenderBroadband over Powerline (BPL) is an additional Ethernet Extension method used to transmit large IP Surveillance data packets. Power line bandwidth is restricted to 50 to 60 Hz. BPLs can support a maximum data rate of 500 Mbps. Similar to OFDM, BPL divides the maximum frequency into subcarriers and modulates data to transmit over power lines.
These three techniques packetize, de-packetize, modulate, and demodulate signals. Signal integrity can get lost in translation. Equipment that fails to preserve signal integrity can compromise the ability of an IP surveillance network to reliably perform multicasting—an integral component in IP CCTV networks.
Avoiding Ethernet Extenders with Short Life-Spans
These Ethernet extender methods rely on high-power consumption. High-power demands can shorten the life-span of Ethernet extenders, especially if operating in extreme temperature ranges.
Network Installers and System integrators need to seek for extension solutions that comply with stringent industrial standards. Industrial Ethernet Extenders such as the IVC-2002 can withstand extreme temperatures ranging between -40 to 75°C. It is common for these types of industrial solutions to come enclosed in rugged encasements to withstand the harsh conditions typical of industrial environments. Many industrial networking products are labeled as “Hardened”. Though it’s common for Unshielded Twisted Pair to be used in IP surveillance networks, Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) are used for outdoor environments since they withstand the elements. STP wiring also provides additional electrical grounding.
Click here to learn more about shielded and unshielded Ethernet.
Choosing IEEE-compliant products is an additional measure that protects the longevity of PoE extension solutions. IEEE-compliant PoE products are categorized into classes to prevent unnecessary power draw. Click here for a more an in-depth review of classification in PoE devices.
Network administrators need to take into account the total power draw of these extenders and IP surveillance devices to calculate the total PoE budget needed for a Power Sourcing Equipment. We recommend PoE units that do not require additional power sources to deploy IP surveillance cameras to avoid having to install additional electronic circuitry.
Even though IP cameras have improved in quality and configuration options, upgrading surveillance networks represents a large investment cost that can partially be absorbed by re-using wiring infrastructure.
IP surveillance cameras oftentimes surpass analog cameras in resolution and dynamic configuration features. Networking environments such as college campuses, shopping centers, casinos, and larger industrial complexes benefit from these more sophisticated configuration settings available in IP surveillance cameras. Even though many analog cameras originally deployed in the 1980’s are still functioning, many businesses and enterprises have decided to upgrade their surveillance to IP surveillance systems.
Network administrators can make these upgrades more cost-effective by re-using the existing UTP or Coaxial Cabling wiring infrastructure originally used in analog camera deployments. PoE over Coaxial Extenders such as the LRP-101C-Kit allows network installers to rely on their existing coaxial solutions to reliably transmit data up to a maximum of 1km. PoE over UTP extenders, such as Planet’s LRP-101U-KIT, is another option that allows network administrators to achieve up to 500-meter distances or up to 300-meters using 1-pair twisted-pair cable.
These Ethernet Extenders allow network administrators to bypass the standard 100-meter Ethernet limit and install surveillance systems at any location.
Click on the link below to browse through our line of Long Reach PoE units: