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Old 8th June 2006, 23:10   #1
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Angry Remote CCTV viewing

My father-in-law owns a commercial complex around 400ft from our home. He wanted to remotely monitor couple of places there and therefore he is getting CC-TV installed.

There are 2 cameras at the building, but the TV and the video switch (with remote) are to be placed at home. The contractor got us to lay the cable from the cameras to our home, roughly 400 ft long cable. All this happened without a hitch.

The installer from the camera company came 3 weeks back, he connected the camera at one end and the video switch (12 inputs/2 outputs) at home. But nothing showed up on the TV. Then the installer declared that it would never work over 150ft. But the contractor over phone swore it will. We asked the installer to walk away with his camera.

Today a different installer came from a different camera company. First I asked will it work over 400ft, he says yes. Again he went through the same motions. But this time I was home when he was connecting the video switch. He connected the two incoming video RCA jacks to 1 and 2 inputs on the video switch. Then to my surprise he pulled out a RCA stereo audio cable and connected the red connector to video output 1 and white one to video output 2. Then he proceeded to the TV and was about to connect to Red and White input on the TV front panel. I stopped him at that point and forced him to use the yellow video cable and connect only video 1 output to yellow video input on the TV. Anyway, it didn't work, not even static.

I had one question to both installers, can the camera video output travel 400ft without any initial signal amplification? The first installer said 150ft is the limit and second one says an amplifier at the video switch is the answer. I am not buying both argument. I am thinking video signal has to be boosted before connecting to the long wire. But then I don't have first hand experience. The installers have experience but too dumb to understand this installation. Instead of saying they don't know, they keep giving ludicrous suggestions like boosting the signal at 150ft (middle of a field ) or take it via Internet (who will pay broadband charges???), or use ethernet (are they buying us computers at both ends??? Also ethernet maxxes at 100mts), etc, etc.

So, what is the solution here. We have already spent 10K for laying the 400ft cable. But we are stuck with dumb installers who talk sheer non-sense. Need some suggestions here.
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Old 9th June 2006, 04:06   #2
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HI Samurai

Check these out. Hope they will help
Making Sense of A/V
About Video Connectors from ePanorama.net

Quote:
Sometimes you might ask what is the maximum length of the S-video or composite video connection. This really depends on the quality of the cable. Usually almost any shielded wire can transfer composite video for few meters. A good quality 75 ohm coaxial cable (RG59 or RG6) can transfer compotite video signal for few tens of meters without noticable loss in picture quality. And you can go with the same cable usually up to 100 meters if you allow some image quality loss. If you use a lower quality cable, you will see picture quality loss at shorter distances. This applies also to most other similar video signals.
Cheers
Sharath
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Old 9th June 2006, 04:56   #3
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The simplest solution is take it over CAT-5. At 500ft it will easily give you 10Mbps and that is more than enough for CC-TV quality video.
Yes 100mts is the max fot 100Mbps. All you need is around 2Mbps for high quality.
To accomplish this you need a CCTV to ethernet media converter. But commercial solutions can be expensive. You need to hunt around.
http://www.svideo.com/vi.html
Also look at google answers
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=319103
Total cost - About 150$ + CAT 5
This device takes in Audio+Video in and then trasmits over CAT-5 and then again the plugs into a deconvertor to give you back the RGB


solution no 2 if you dont like wires(More hacky) :

http://www.allthings.com.au/Wireless...20adaptor.html
Wireless transmission, but the range is usually limited to 100meters or so.
But if you can find yourself some college kid(electronics chap) he can make you a directional antenna which will easily do 300-400meters!
But I am not too sure about the legality of this as indian laws are pretty warped. Infact 802.11 was allowed a few years ago!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
My father-in-law owns a commercial complex around 400ft from our home. He wanted to remotely monitor couple of places there and therefore he is getting CC-TV installed.

There are 2 cameras at the building, but the TV and the video switch (with remote) are to be placed at home. The contractor got us to lay the cable from the cameras to our home, roughly 400 ft long cable. All this happened without a hitch.

The installer from the camera company came 3 weeks back, he connected the camera at one end and the video switch (12 inputs/2 outputs) at home. But nothing showed up on the TV. Then the installer declared that it would never work over 150ft. But the contractor over phone swore it will. We asked the installer to walk away with his camera.

Today a different installer came from a different camera company. First I asked will it work over 400ft, he says yes. Again he went through the same motions. But this time I was home when he was connecting the video switch. He connected the two incoming video RCA jacks to 1 and 2 inputs on the video switch. Then to my surprise he pulled out a RCA stereo audio cable and connected the red connector to video output 1 and white one to video output 2. Then he proceeded to the TV and was about to connect to Red and White input on the TV front panel. I stopped him at that point and forced him to use the yellow video cable and connect only video 1 output to yellow video input on the TV. Anyway, it didn't work, not even static.

I had one question to both installers, can the camera video output travel 400ft without any initial signal amplification? The first installer said 150ft is the limit and second one says an amplifier at the video switch is the answer. I am not buying both argument. I am thinking video signal has to be boosted before connecting to the long wire. But then I don't have first hand experience. The installers have experience but too dumb to understand this installation. Instead of saying they don't know, they keep giving ludicrous suggestions like boosting the signal at 150ft (middle of a field ) or take it via Internet (who will pay broadband charges???), or use ethernet (are they buying us computers at both ends??? Also ethernet maxxes at 100mts), etc, etc.

So, what is the solution here. We have already spent 10K for laying the 400ft cable. But we are stuck with dumb installers who talk sheer non-sense. Need some suggestions here.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 9th June 2006 at 05:31.
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Old 9th June 2006, 06:50   #4
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There is no question of changing the cable, it is already buried under the ground enclosed in PVC pipe. It is the sunk cost, literally. If we can't use it, whole project is shelved.
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Old 9th June 2006, 08:16   #5
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Samurai,

May i ask exactly what type of cable has been layed?

cya
R
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan
May i ask exactly what type of cable has been layed?
I was told it is the same one TV cable operators use, so I assumed it is the RF coaxial cable carrying RF signal. But now I have my doubts, it looks like RCA video cable carrying composite signal. I'll check it and let you know. How will this affect the range?
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:22   #7
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the cable which you have already installed would work better than cat5 as it is shielded. you could try using an amplifier or signal booster at the video camera end ( the type local cable tv operators use for each building ) since there is considerable distance.
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:50   #8
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OK, it is RG6 cable carrying composite video signal.
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Old 9th June 2006, 09:53   #9
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A signal booster will do that job if its the cable which TV opterators use. CAble TV transmissions are boosted around 300 feet usually, so an extra 150 feet wont be a problem
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Old 9th June 2006, 10:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
Wireless transmission, but the range is usually limited to 100meters or so.
But if you can find yourself some college kid(electronics chap) he can make you a directional antenna which will easily do 300-400meters!
But I am not too sure about the legality of this as indian laws are pretty warped. Infact 802.11 was allowed a few years ago!
I was thinking wireless too, though I know very little about it. Samurai has a nice and clear line of sight from the Commercial Complex in question to his house - I'm sure he can do without the cabling if he gets the right wireless solution. Being Moneypal, there may be very little atmospheric disturbance.
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Old 9th June 2006, 10:32   #11
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Samurai since the cable is buried the first option is to boost the signal at the camera end. I would look at a 40-60db boost (that is a lot and dont know if these boosters are commecially avaiable). The reason the guys suggested boosting teh signal half way was that you could have managed with a smaller booster (15-20db) that is more easily available like this (http://broadband.motorola.com/consum...ignal_booster/) or this http://www.samstores.com/Store.asp?CtgID=464 or this..
http://shopping.msn.com/reviews/shp/?itemId=19324719
http://ostg.pricegrabber.com/rating_...start=0/sort=1

Bad news is that other than the Military I dont know anyone else who frequently uses these high gain (40db+) boosters. Wireless might be your other option even so you would need to boost your signal.
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Old 9th June 2006, 11:53   #12
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All these are RF signal boosters, what about composite signal boosters? Something like this but with higher gains. BTW, I won't be surprised if the installer shows up with RF signal boosters.
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Old 9th June 2006, 12:27   #13
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As I understood, you are transmiting composite video signal over a RG6 cable. You will need a Video amplifier and not an RF amplifier used in CATV since we are dealing with a video signal in the 0-5Mhz range. A normal CATV amplifier will not suffice since they normally work in ~40Mhz-1000Mhz range.

I'm not sure about the availability of Video amplifiers in India, but if they are totally unavailable/not feasible, an alternative RF solution is possible but i guess the Video amplifier solution would be the best.

RF Solution: Use an RF modulator (Channel 2 or 3 for lower line loss) fed from the composite output of the Video switch and if required, use a low-cost CATV amplifier to boost the RF signal. Cheap RF Modulator+CATV amplifier should not cost above 1500 INR. The downside is at the reciever end, you have to use a dedicated TV tuned to the modulator channel.
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Old 9th June 2006, 12:31   #14
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Have removed the idiot factor from the equation? ie verify that the setup works when the switch and TV are close to the camera.. if not, I would suggest to do so..

Also, you must have verified the physical cable connection is unbroken over the 400 ft length..

The simple signal amplifier you have mentioned should work over this length..
If nothing works, you might have to consider putting in a RF modulator and tune a TV channel to it.
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Old 9th June 2006, 12:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbhag
Have removed the idiot factor from the equation? ie verify that the setup works when the switch and TV are close to the camera.. if not, I would suggest to do so..
Yeah, it works in the same room.

The guy says physical cable is fine. Now I am waiting for their next move. When he shows up again, I want to be ready with all the info to shred him.
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