Is ‘enhanced’ composite video a disappointment?

Nothing makes a day feel better than saving a few quid. However, I just don’t understand where the savings come from when stringing out the lifespan of old technologies!

The other day, Mrs Dave nipped out for a pint of milk. She was gone for hours. It got my hopes up! I thought she might have run off with the milkman. When she eventually arrived home, she was laden down with shopping bags. Sadly, they weren’t from the supermarket. It seems she’d nipped to the shopping centre, and before you could say Gok Wan she had blown the budget on a new outfit.

Now, I don’t begrudge her some new clothes, but she’d gone a bit over the top. She’d bought a dress, a coat, shoes, a handbag, a watch and assorted accessories!

I asked how much the whole lot had come to, and she explained that it didn’t really matter what it cost … because she’d saved money on the whole deal.

After I picked myself off the floor (and had a steadying nip of Brandy), I asked her to explain how the whole ‘saving money’ thing had worked out.

She held out her hand, bright red nails shining against her black hair, and started to detail her thought process.

‘Well, I had this nail varnish on, and when I saw the dress I realised that the collar was the same shade of red. Then I spotted the coat, and it went with the dress, and the shoes and handbag complemented it. The watch and other accessories went really well with the shoes and handbag.’

With that she smiled and walked out of the room. I followed her, trying not to drag my jaw along the floor, and asked her to get to the bit where the money was saved. She looked at me like I was an idiot, and declared, ‘Well, I already had the nail varnish, and now I get too keep it.’

It might sound odd, but it reminded me of the push towards ‘enhanced’ composite video solutions. With so-called new developments and the manipulation of specifications, many hail these moves as a way of protecting the legacy investment in CCTV. Every time I hear that I smell a bunch of something, and it ain’t bananas!

Okay, here’s the thing. To enjoy ‘enhanced’ composite video I have to replace the cameras. Because standard resolution lenses are typically ground to a quality acceptable for 4CIF video, it would be best practice to replace them too. Obviously, to enjoy the allegedly enhanced video, a compatible DVR will be needed. If there is any change in aspect ratio, then I’ll need new monitors too.

Therefore, in order to enjoy this ‘enhanced’ composite video sensation, I’ll need to tear out the cameras, lenses, recorder and monitors. Which part of the ‘legacy investment’ am I protecting then? The cables and brackets!

So the customer gets to pay for a whole new system, and in return gets video which is marginally better (and in some cases of ‘enhanced’ composite video that margin is almost negligible) than before!

Now, I might be an ape, but I’m no monkey! To me that seems the quickest way to ensure that the customer’s expectations are missed by a country mile. I’ll have an unhappy user, I’ll probably lose any future work, and any upgrades will need all the equipment I’ve replaced the legacy system with to be dumped. Still, at least the suppliers will have made another sale!

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