Subscriber Discussion

Need Help Modernising An Old Camera System

I was asked to help "modernise" an old camera system. The cameras are about about 10 years old (if not older). I can not see the exact model of the cameras, being that they are to high up. However, they are currenly hooked up to a Intellex DVR. Some a standard cameras while others are PTZ.

I have two thoughts on how to do this:

1 - The intellix has a network card put in (not hooked up). I see intellex has a windows client, so maybe I would install it on a windows machine. The question is it compatible with all models of Intellix? Also, they want remote viewing, does intellix do that properly?

2 - Hook up a modern NVR to encoder cards like Avigilon and use that as the NVR. THe question is are the modern encoders compatible with the cameras, especially the PTZ ones.

Any help would me appreciated.

If the DVR is that old the software may be discontinued? I've worked AD systems before and their software is always very touchy on versions between software and DVR/NVR. You could try calling their presales support and see if they could help.

I have always had trouble with getting old PTZ protocols to work even when the manufacturer says they are supported. Finally we just started putting in quotes to attempt to connect to existing PTZs otherwise they would need to be changed out. Even when they support Pelco D or P which should be generic we ran into problems. Just make sure you cover yourself on that end.

It's important to check the model number / version of the Intellex as well as the models of the PTZs.

Intellex definitely supports remote viewing with a fairly typical client but who knows what version of Intellex you have? If it's 10+ years old, it could on version 2.x. You'll need to check if that's even still supported. I doubt you can upgrade the software as the underlying hardware is likely very old / out of date.

The PTZs will likely be compatible with (some) encoders / hybrid DVRs. I presume the PTZs are AD Ultras but you need to find out which generation they are and what protocols that generation supports. It could require a lot of troubleshooting and trial & error to get it working though.

What type of budget does this customer have? If they have AD from 2003, it means they were at one point willing to spend a premium for surveillance. Now, in 2013, trying to patch such old systems together may be more costly and time consuming that just getting new equipment.

The customer bought off an old building. The cusomters short term plans are to keep the old cameras while they rebuild and then they want to put new cameras in. So for now cost is imoprtant.

What encoders have the best success rate?

You need to determine the make and model of the PTZs first.

If you want the best success rate without this, buy a new Intellex 5.0 recorder, though that won't be cheap.

If the system is 10+ years old, I would recommend that the client not waste their time and money trying to modernize parts of the system. There is no value in that. The CCTV industry has come a long way over the past 10 years. The system will only be as strong as its weakest link.

One of my favorite sayings is, "I learn all the good stuff the hard way!" And one of the most valuable things I've learned is to be careful about how much effort you sink into putting new wine in an old wineskin. My 2 cents is to take a triage approach to the old system and stop before you begin wasting time: 1) See if you can power up the cameras and get an image of each. Too often, problems in restoring a system are found in the archeology of the installation. Power surges and lightning storms over the years can take their toll. I would try to get it working basically at first, as it was supposed to in original form. Before investing in hardware or software upgrades, heed Jason's warning about AD/Intellix: the brand seems to have very finickey version-to-version issues. If the cabling is good, you can start upgrading firmware and software according to their advice -- in my limited experience with Intellix analog and IP, I've found that their software is very heavy and a resource hog. A newer version will lock up on older hardware if it installs at all.