The IT and installer crossover: caption sonia blizzard is the managing director of beaming.

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For many CCTV installers, it appears that a crossover in jobs is occurring.

Internet security expert and MD of Beaming, Sonia Blizzard, explains why.

There was a time when an installer's job was just to fit a camera on site, but times have changed.

Not only has the development of technology changed, it has driven the demand for more sophisticated cameras and as a result the pressure is on the installer to keep up.

Surveillance has grown to be an important part of our everyday security and since the 1980's in the UK there has been a huge growth within the sector--so much so that it now leads the world in the use of CCTV.

Its roots lie within crime and disorder.

The rise in crime rates in the 1980's was followed by the installation of visible cameras, which reflected the image of the government at the time as being "active" on cracking down on crime.

A lot of money was spent implementing CCTV through the nineties and beyond, with a commonly quoted estimate of [pounds sterling]500 million being spent between 2000 and 2006.

Of course, this rise in the number of installations lead to a demand for installers and during the early 90's there was a sudden rise in the number of people needed to be trained.

At the time, installation only demanded a basic knowledge of the camera and how to fit it to a building.

Analogue CCTV is designed to be closed: it was originally connected to a VCR for recording and all it took was a coax cable and a video cape. The frame rates were also not ideal, because the lapse mode of analogue only enabled the recording of every second, fourth, eighth or sixteenth image--if you wanted a higher frame rate, it meant adding quads to allow inputs from four cameras, which created one video signal output to show different images on one screen.

Although analogue systems functioned well, the drawbacks included limitations in scalability and the need to maintain VCRs and change tapes manually.

In addition, the quality of the recordings deteriorated over time. The cameras, for a long time, were also black and white.

Today, most analogue cameras are in colour.

However, times have now changed. There is growing pressure for cameras to be constantly rolling so they have had to become ultra-reliable.

There has also been a change in the use of CCTV as it is no longer simply a monitoring tool, but is also a vital piece of safety equipment.

Cameras can be installed in rooms where humans cannot enter and they can even be used to monitor other...

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