Is There Ever Enough Resolution?

By Brian Rhodes, Published Feb 20, 2014, 12:00am EST (Info+)

The megapixel 'race' is over. Or it is not.

Not only is this an ongoing debate among manufacturers, it is a key decision among specifiers and users. 

Now, as the alarm industry finally turns towards modernity IP, they offer an amazing recommendation.

The 'Article'

In the security market, ESX [link no longer available] has long catered to the alarm dealer crowd. Their annual tradeshow is a flagstone event where 'old guard' alarm dealers crash together with the newest technology. Indeed, the old literally meets the new at this event, and so marketing takes an easy-to-understand tone for inexperienced installers. 

The mail below is a prime example of this, which positions resolution against the assumption readers are clueless by claiming 'Enough is Never Enough [link no longer available]' when it comes to megapixels:

At best, this premise is inaccurate, and at worst it all but guarantees that alarm dealers who take it to heart will cause major problems. In the sections that follow, we examine the major claims of the piece and follow up with why they are just plain wrong.

Hype **. *****

** * ***** ***** **** ** factually ******** ******, **** **** ** *** top:

  • "** ************ ******** *********** *******, ********** and ****** ** ****** *** ********* evidence ** ******** ** ******* *** nighttime ********"
  • "******* **** ****** *********** ******* **** detail..."
  • "****** **** ** ****** *********** ****** in ****** ******** ********* *** ******, more ******** *************."
  • "**, *** **** ** *** **** resolution? ** *****’* **** **** *****’* ever ******."

**** **** ** **** ** ***** each ***** ***** *****.

** ** ** ********* ** ********:******* *** ***** ** '*********** *******' and '******', ********** ***** **** *** ensure ******* *** ******* ********** ** day ** *****. ******, **** ** cameras *** ***** ******* ** *****, with ******** **** ***/*****, *********** ********, WDR, *** ********** ** ** *****-*** Light **** ******* * *** **** in *** **** *** ****** ********.

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(*** **** *******, *** *** ********** ***** ** ***)

*** ********* ***** ***** ***** **** (L-to-R: **, **, *****) *** *** fact ** ****** ****: ***/*** ******* is *** ***** **** ****** **** the **********? ***** *** ****** ***** ***** quality *** ** ****, ** ***** simply ** ********* *********** **** ***** ********* ****** *** be **** ** ***** **********. *** much *** ** ******** ****** ** the *****, *** *** ************* ******** of **********, ** * ******** ** design *****, *** ***** *************.   

*** **** ********** *** **** ***:***** ****** ********* ***** **** *** nothing **** **** ** **** *** increasingly ******* (**** *********) ***********, ******* only ** *** ****** ******* **** of *** *******. ****** ********** (********** beyond ***) ****** *** ****** ******* costs, ***** ***** **** ************, ***** low ***** *********** *** ******** ***.

** ************* ****** *** ***** ***'* advice *** **** *** ******* ********** solution ********* ** ***** ** ** destroyed ** *** ****** **** ******* the ***** **********. * ******** ******** system **** ******* ******** ***** ******* for **** ***** **** *** ****** specifying *** **** ********** *** *****.

Comments (7)

The opening of that article is:

"Surveillance systems have come a long way since the concept was first imagined in George Orwell’s “1984.” According to supercircuits...."

Is the author trying to be funny?

George Orwell wrote in 1948:

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.

Note: cctv was around a few years before, but as for surveillance systems using cctv, the author is probably 90% serious.

I am not questioning the timeline. That's neither here nor there for me.

I am questioning the sensibility of linking one's offering to the novel '1984'. One generally wants to associate oneself with positive things, not a classical critique of totalitarianism and how surveillance creates a dystopia.

Maybe they don't really know anything about '1984' other than the "Big Brother" references everyone is vaguely familiar with?

Maybe they're counting on the vast majority of their readers not knowing anything about '1984' other than the "Big Brother" references everyone is vaguely familiar with?

I am questioning the sensibility of linking one's offering to the novel '1984'...

Sorry missed that. Let me try again.

Agree: Not thought thru.

Dystopian fallout: Minimal, since target audience is largely immune to such negativity, due to the fact that they as implementors of such tools, long ago came to terms with the inevitable social trade-off between privacy of the individual on the one hand, and gross margin of the dealer on the other.

In fact the author of the article is just regurgitating the following graphic from supercircuits, who they themselves are a vendor of Orwellian wares:

Impact will be far greater if this intro gets editorially pushed down the line (as these things often do) until it ends up in front of Ma and Pa Kettle...

Ah, Thank God for the contrarians though, they keep it interesting, while still managing to offer deep dystopian discounts...

P.S. They claim to 'build just about everything themselves'

... Cameras shown on this site with the exception of Pin-Hole and Vehicle Systems are all 800TVL, 1000TVL & the latest 1200TVL in Colour and even higher resolutions at Night, The very latest NVR's and 1080p Full HD IP Cameras are also setup...

as they push for the utopian resolution of 1984TVL.

As a related point of interest, I've noticed that "resolution" is no longer the primary marketing point for most segments of consumer cameras these days, indicating the "megapixel race" is done there as well. It's still an important spec, to be sure, but it's not the MAIN one that's pushed in everyone's ad copy as it has been for the last several years - some are concentrating more on "image quality", others on low light performance, and others on video quality or performance (since almost every consumer camera now includes 1080p video capability).

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