Technology has beat a rapid path through most areas of our lives over the last couple of decades, and the same can most certainly be said for the surveillance system sector.

Take the example of close circuit television (CCTV). Once a byword for those grainy black and white images that often popped up in news reports, today’s CCTV is unrecognisably improved, with resolution, image quality and clarity all streets ahead of where it was only relatively recently.

The main driving factor behind this improvement is the advent of HD CCTV. Borne out of frustration with the limitations of both analogue and to a lesser extent IP cameras, HD CCTV is quickly being adopted by international markets across the globe, including the CCTV-hungry Indian market.

Uptake has been particularly strong in high-volume locations where speed – and a clear image – is important, such as airports, metro stations, shopping malls and traffic flow monitoring hubs.

An HD image of 1920 x 1080 is approximately four-and-a-half times better than a standard IP camera transmitting VGA sized images. This means that if you are looking to monitor a wide area, you would need to deploy several IP cameras transmitting VGA sized images to look at different sections of the same view.

If a camera is programmed to record at HD resolution (1920 x 1080) at 25 frames per second and uses H.264 compression, then an on-board 250 GB hard drive is required to store recordings of four days. Recording at the highest resolution of four mega-pixels offers major advantages over standard CCTV cameras in respect to post-incident analysis. With high definition, you can enlarge an image and zoom in on the details with a clarity that is not achievable with a standard CCTV camera.

Another benefit lies in its ability to integrate seamlessly with existing CCTV software, be it an analogue or IP system. Customers who upgrade to HD CCTV are therefore expanding rather than replacing their functionality, adding a whole new level of sophistication to their existing system.

India’s surveillance market has never been afraid to adopt the latest technologies, and as the price of HD CCTV becomes ever more competitive, so it is showing no signs of bucking that trend now.