Grundig, the German electronics manufacturer, is experiencing a huge brand revival in the UK and throughout the rest of Europe. The company already had a well-respected reputation in the security industry, for its high-end, advanced security systems. In this interview, we ask Ludwig Bergschneider, Grundig’s CEO, what has prompted Grundig to return to the security industry and what can be expected from the company over the next few years.
Why is Grundig returning to the CCTV market and the UK security market in particular?
The Grundig brand is celebrating a widespread comeback in Europe, with the successful launch of a new wave of exciting, consumer electronics products, including TV and audio equipment. The CCTV product range is already benefiting from this re-introduction in terms of raised awareness. However, the overriding features of the Grundig brand, namely excellent design, high reliability and outstanding quality are still evident, both in the security and consumer markets.
The Grundig brand has retained its excellent security market reputation. This is partly due to Grundig products being used in many advanced, integrated, public space applications in the past and partly because many of these applications are still operating reliably today, demonstrating Grundig’s quality first-hand.
The UK CCTV and security market is the biggest in Europe, so it is an important market for Grundig. We have an excellent trading record and reputation in the UK. The UK’s positive experience of German design and manufacturing quality gives us a further advantage.
There is some confusion within the UK security market concerning the brand names Plettac and Grundig. Can you clarify the situation for us?
In the late 1990s, Plettac acquired Grundig Electronics and used the brand name on products for professional security applications. Then, in the 2000s, Plettac chose not to continue using the Grundig brand name for surveillance products. This meant the Grundig name started to disappear from the security industry.
Grundig has now created a totally new CCTV portfolio, using all the latest technologies, including IP. There is no connection at all between Plettac and the current Grundig professional security product ranges.
What is the ethos of the new Grundig brand?
Grundig has a long history as a technological pioneer and has made significant and lasting contributions to the development of the electronics industry generally. Grundig aims to continue in this tradition, utilising existing technologies and developing new technologies for the security market, some of which feature in the new CCTV range.
Grundig is a German company, so we are keen to promote our high-quality design and manufacture. They are the key benefits consumers have come to expect from German products.
Can you tell us about the product range that Grundig has launched in the UK security market?
The camera range includes a choice of IP and analogue technologies with fixed camera, fixed dome, vandal resistant dome and fully functional dome options. The IP cameras focus on outstanding HD image quality and HD signal processing. Simple set up, options for network security and ONVIF compatibility make installation quick and easy. Grundig has also developed a revolutionary, combined camera and storage range, based on SDI (Serial Digital Interface) technology. SDI enables very large amounts of video data to be transmitted over coaxial cable. The resulting HD images are almost broadcast quality - similar to domestic HD TV - and can be viewed with no latency. Coaxial transmission also enables the cameras to be introduced into existing CCTV systems very easily.
The Grundig analogue camera range has exceptional, sophisticated, built-in digital processing features. Intelligent video analytics, digital noise reduction, wide dynamic range and digital image stabilisation are just some of the features – so a very high-level analogue range!
Is Grundig only entering the UK security market with cameras?
Absolutely not! Grundig’s new product range includes cameras, domes, DVRs and monitors, as well as control software.
The latest Grundig DVRs include 8, 16 and 32 channel options, supporting three or six monitors for maximum system flexibility. They are designed for real-time, simultaneous recording on all channels. H.264 image compression technology, up to 8 Terabytes of internal hard drive and RAID or Mirror Mode back up options cover most application needs.
We have also developed the Grundig Control Centre Software, which is available for PC or central system management for live viewing, administration and a system overview map. Additional software modules add remote monitoring and web-enabled, mobile phone viewing functionality.
Last but not least, the Grundig LCD/TFT high contrast monitor range features 640 x 480 pixel resolution and CVBS looped and VGA video inputs.
In what areas will Grundig focus its new product development in the CCTV industry?
IP technology is definitely the future direction for the security industry; it simply has too many quality, integration, installation, set-up and maintenance benefits to ignore. However, there is still room within IP CCTV technology to make significant improvements, specifically in the areas of camera image quality, integration, compression rates and light sensitivity. I also believe progress can be made to improve network security itself. Grundig’s aim is to be at the forefront of CCTV and security technology improvements and developments. We have a strong reputation to maintain.
Thank you Ludwig for bringing us up to date with Grundig. It would seem the company has a lot to offer the security industry in terms of new ideas and technologies. It is clear Grundig must continue to produce high quality and reliable products to make an impact on the UK security market. However, German expertise, technology, quality and reliability are strengths which we believe will be well received by UK installers and integrators.