24 Jul 2014

What is 4K Technology and How Will It Affect The Surveillance Industry?

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If you watched the 2014 World Cup this summer, you frequently saw advertisements for the new 4K technology in reference to televisions. As the 4K technology made its major debut, Axis (one of Data Link’s brands) also released a 4K surveillance camera. So the question remains; what exactly is 4K technology?

It’s been almost a decade since we saw 1080p released on the market, introducing us to this technology. The resolution size of a 1080p image is 1920 pixels X 1080 pixels. This revolutionized the digital industry by providing a “High Definition” experience with more pixels per inch. 1080p surveillance cameras have become more popular over the last several years and these cameras have allowed businesses and customers to capture more detail and more frames per second. When you see old surveillance footage from before 1080p, you will notice that the picture is not clear (making it hard to distinguish facial features) and the video is very choppy. With 1080p, we were able to get a clear video with more fluid frames. 4K technology is 3840 X 2160 pixels. This is 4 times as many pixels as 1080p. This means that you will have an ultra-high definition quality that will be unlike anything to reach the market to date. In terms of frames per second, a normal 1080 camera shoots at 16 to 18 frames per second. The new AXIS P1428-E Network Camera, for example, shoots nearly double at 30 frames per second! So now you are thinking, so what if the resolution is better? How does that help me? The answer is simple; more pixels means a much wider viewing angle. Now you will be able to see double the width of a normal surveillance camera. In a large space like a parking lot or factory, you will be able to cover twice as much area with one camera and have 4 times the resolution. See the video below to see this technology in action.

This technology is truly amazing, but why aren’t we all quick to adopt it? Unfortunately, the technology hasn’t caught up with itself yet. The 4K cameras are only as good as the technology that is feeding into them. For example, if you have a 1080 HD television that is one being fed basic cable that is not HD, you will only see the basic cable quality. If you have a Blue Ray player hooked up to your HD television but only have regular DVDs to put into the player, you will only get the regular DVD quality. With 4K cameras, we have the device and the technology, we just don’t often have the new infrastructure just yet. Until that day comes, Data Link has all of the cutting edge technology that you will need for your business. All of our products and services have proven to hold up the test of time. Let Data Link take care of your next project install.