Technical Challenges of CCTV On Mobile Phones

One of the most pressing, current issues for the CCTV market is the ability to display live video on mobile phones with professional reliability. There's demand for a solution that would enable users to view cameras installed at home or in their offices on their mobile phone. It's a solution that gives them peace of mind as they can keep an eye on their property remotely, and from almost anywhere.

The challenge for manufacturers is to achieve good quality of displayed video, previously transmited through low bandwith media like UMTS/GSM/GPRS. Currently, the necessary level of image quality can be achieved only by using a relevant method of compression; this is generally offered by manufacturers of the most advanced software systems. One module of software (usually called "server applications"), installed on standalone DVR or PC-based DVR, will exchange received signals from either an analog camera, or a coded stream of data from network cameras. The module then compresses them by a special method.

This special method of compression uses the difference between the current frame being processed and a previous frame of video, ensuring that information that does not change, e.g. a static background, isn't repeatedly transmitted. The server application will connect with a client application installed on the mobile phone and transmit smoothly, coded by this method, a video directly to the mobile phone.

For manufacturers of software which already offer a differential image compression method or comparable methods of compression, a challenge remains: the diversity of mobile phones and versions of Operating Systems installed on them.

One of the most advanced systems offered on the market is VDR-S and Net Station by Alnet Systems. Net Station gives users the opportunity to view installations by a variety of mobile phones, such as the Nokia 40/60/80/90 series or Sony Ericsson's p900 series and other mobile devices equiped with either Windows Mobile or Symbian operating systems.

Compatibility of Symbian or Windows Mobile installed on a mobile phone with a client application can be checked remotely. Client applications for phones with network connections can be downloaded for free.