Paul Hucker talks about Redvision and the UK CCTV market.

12 September 2012

UK-based CCTV equipment manufacturer Redvision, launched the X-SERIES™ external dome cameras in 2011. The X-SERIES™ features an ingenious, modular design. It is supplied ready to install as a dome, but easily converts into a rugged ball PTZ camera by removing its dome canopy. We met with Paul Hucker, Redvision’s founder and MD, to find out more about the company and why its products are proving so popular.

Redvision is a company that, from its inception, appears to have a clear grasp of the security industry’s needs. Can you tell us why?

The team at Redvision has unprecedented security industry knowledge and experience. Although the company was established in 2008, most of us have worked in the CCTV industry for much longer. My own experience was as a former owner and director of Dennard. We understand CCTV products; where and how they are used; the technologies available to maximise performance and how domes should integrate within wider security systems.

What do you think makes the X-SERIES™ such a popular dome range?

Many factors have contributed to the X-SERIES™ success, in my opinion. The X-SERIES™ looks good, making it popular with architects and specifiers. Demand is particularly high for public space applications, from town centres, utilities and universities through to ports, prisons and MoD sites, where it’s rugged “fit-for-purpose” design makes it particularly attractive. We even have our domes installed at the 2012 Olympic canoeing facility!

The X-SERIES™ modularity, with rugged ball PTZ or dome assembly options within the same kit, is popular. Mounting options include pedestal, swan, wall and pendant with the ball PTZ/dome simply positioned in an upright or inverted position to suit the mount. This gives installers application flexibility without a large stocking overhead.

The flat glass window in the X-SERIES™ enables us to add wiper versions to the range. This is considered to be an essential feature for most external applications in the UK where rain can affect visibility!

Why have you chosen to offer an IR version of your range?

The benefits to sites with no illumination are obvious. However, many applications have mixed light conditions needing a flexible solution – an issue that Redvision has addressed. Our IR products offer excellent low-light, colour video for the lighter areas of a scene and automatically switch to IR mode when monitoring darker areas, such as shop doorways, alley-ways, side roads and shadow-creep zones.

How does having an IR option reduce running costs?

The IR lighting option can eliminate the need for wasteful site lighting, reducing running costs and a site’s carbon footprint. The X-SERIES™ dome draws just 48W, so its running costs are similar to that of a small light bulb. By comparison, many site flood-lights are 1000W. Local authorities in particular look at total cost of ownership (TCO), where a product’s capital and operational costs are considered in the purchasing decision. The X-SERIES™ is a high-performance product range, so will never be cheap, but because running costs are so low, we win projects on TCO. Indeed, the return on investment of using the X-SERIES™ for some applications can be just a few months, based on power savings alone!

Can you give an example of where customer feedback has influenced product functionality developments?

A good example for the X-SERIES™ is the changeover point from colour mode to IR, as light levels drop. Although this can be automatic, we can enable the changeover point to be assigned to a pre-set position or a PTZ position on a tour. We also have day time colour, low-light colour and IR options – all of which can have their settings optimised for each scene, maximising image quality.

This feature was developed for Bournemouth town centre. At night, sea-front mounted cameras view a pitch-black beach in one direction and comparatively well-lit streets in the other. The ball PTZ/dome produces high quality colour images at night by locking the dome into colour mode for the street scenes and then switching to IR as it pans to the beach. Customer feedback has been essential to this development. We would not have identified the need or benefits of this feature without operator input and ultimately the improvements would not have been made.

Where can new customers buy the X-SERIES™ domes?

We sell the X-SERIES™ through specialist security distributors Norbain and Provision, in the UK. The domes are also available in Europe and the Middle East through a network of channel partners.

Despite selling through distribution, we still support our products directly. This builds distributor and installer confidence. We are involved in specifying systems using the X-SERIES™ and provide advice on set up, operation and commissioning. We have a comprehensive, 48 hour returns policy, including an advanced replacement service for products less than 12 months old. Installers benefit because they are assured of an operational CCTV system at all times. Distributors benefit from our manufacturer-level technical support. Redvision benefits because we not only maintain our high-quality reputation, but also have an invaluable feedback loop which we use to inform and influence our new product development and functionality.

Does Redvision utilise the latest dome technology?

Product performance is critical. The X-SERIES™ incorporates the latest high performance cameras, such as Sony’s Super Lo-Lux, day/night cameras with 18x and 28x optical zoom options. The X-Series night-vision dome has infra-red lights for up to 100m of night-time viewing. Operating temperatures range from -35° to +50°C and we have 100 pre-sets, 8 tours, 24 privacy zones, multiple alarm options and 360° continuous rotation.

What can we expect from Redvision in the future?

We are developing thermal and HD versions of our domes. The flat glass, window design lends itself to glass alternatives, such as germanium for thermal applications. We are also developing a specialist PTZ for box camera and lens combinations, again with HD and thermal technology options. These are for high-end, niche market applications such as MoD, town centres, public space and utilities.