Big manufacturers like Samsung and Sony have been producing UltraHD or 4K TV’s for some time, but what does it actually mean?
4K is a new higher resolution imaging technology, it’s called 4K because it provides a resolution of 4096 x 2160. This is 4 times the resolution of traditional 1080p (1920 x 1080). This means that you can get 4 times the detail on your screen. Some manufacturers have been calling this technology UltraHD or UHD. UltraHD is actually a slightly different resolution which works at 3840 x 2160, sometimes it is also known as 2160p. So now we have the tech jargon out of the way let us continue!
Think of 4K or UltraHD like we did when Full HD or 1080p was launched, it is a much high quality video format that will allow much great detail.
How does 4K/UHD Compare to Full HD 1080p & standard definition?
4K is often called 8 MegaPixel or 8MP as this is how may actual pixels are in the image. In the above chart you can easily see that there is a much larger area for the 4K image. 1080p or Full HD is only 2 MegaPixel, this gives you a lot less detail when compared side by side.
You can also see that old school standard definition is a tiny image size. The quality of 4K really is that much higher.
What does it mean for CCTV?
CCTV manufacturers have only recently started marketing 4K. This has mainly been down to storage constraints. 4K footage uses a lot of hard drive capacity, this made systems very expensive when you factored in needing more than 8 terabytes of hard drive capacity for even 2 cameras. New technologies have emerged that have compressed the footage to a much more sensible level, now manufacturers are able to offer 4K recording solutions for 4 and even 8 cameras without needing huge storage.
With the advent of 4K CCTV we will now see a big shift in how cameras could be positioned, with higher resolution you may not need 4 cameras to cover the front of your building, for example. UHD will also open up much greater ANPR (Automatic Number Plate recognition) facial detection and even remote zoom options.
Why would I want a 4K CCTV System?
From a perspective of pure quality then 4K CCTV will be excellent. However, this would not be the main reason for making the jump to 4K in our opinion. We think that the main benefit of 4K is what else it will give you as well as potentially lowering the total number of cameras you would need.
Additional benefits such as being able to search for a specific car number plate (ANPR detection) or a school going through a database of facial images to search for the location of a pupil. Imagine an art gallery raising an alarm should a picture be removed, caught by the change in pixels off the CCTV camera.
The massive clarity in data provides all the tools for proactive systems and a giant stride away from those grainy screens looking at an incident from the night before.
This is where the future of CCTV is moving and the future is bright. From the massive manufacturing CCTV giants of Dahua and HIK through to Samsung Hanwha, Sony, Axis and a host of others, 4k quality and better processing protocols such as H.265 seems to be the dominant stride forward for the years to come.