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Media Converter best for Surveillance Network

Over the years, there has been a growing popularity of Video based Ethernet networks, resulting in the increasing use of Ethernet switches in the video network infrastructure. 

Many types of video security and surveillance networks that are designed for applications in different environments. Analog video network and IP video network are the two most commonly used types for security and surveillance video transmission. 


While IP video is more advance and can provide better image quality and network performance in large scale. The biggest character of IP video surveillance network is that every camera has its own IP address to tell itself from the others in the whole video network. Currently, with the demand for higher transmission speed, image quality and longer transmission distances, fiber optic cables are widely used in the video network. Thus, in both of the two surveillance networks, media conversion are necessary, like conversions between fiber and copper or video to fiber. The following will offer the cabling solutions that using media converters.


Video Media converter is a simple networking device that enables you to interconnect networks or network devices with different speeds, operation types, modes and media types. And the most common type usually works as a transceiver, converting the electrical signals in copper unshielded twisted pair (UTP) network cabling to light waves used for fiber optic cabling. It is essential to have the fiber optic connectivity if the distance between two network devices is greater than the copper cabling's transmission distance. Since media converters are IEEE compliant devices, they implement IEEE data encoding rules.



What is the


SFP module?

The small form-factor pluggable (SFP) is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver used for both telecommunication and data communications applications. The form factor and electrical interface are specified by a multi-source agreement (MSA).


Media converter?

A fiber media converter is a simple networking device that make it possible to connect two dissimilar media types such as twisted pair with fiber optic cabling. Twisted pair cable, coaxial cable and other copper cabling can only support limited length before signal becomes too weak. Main application area is in security surveillance.


Why Best:


Ease of Use and High Availability

The SFP ports are widely used in the Gigabit Ethernet and the Fiber channel to provide a flexible and cost-saving solution for the enterprise networks and data centers. SFP port available in Enterprise Gigabit Ethernet Switcher. During the troubleshooting entire network will be down for time being.


Configuring and installing redundant solution of media converter is much easier to handle and to manage than higher-layer devices. And it will makes the troubleshooting easier if you add management functions to the media converter.



SFP modules are vendor dependent and switch is not available or that part number switch manufacture is stopped. In that case whole network switches needs to be stopped.


Media Converter is available, it can change any time. Its biggest advantage of this product.


EMI Emissions

The heat and EMI emissions are one of the biggest problems related to SFP devices.

No Such pain with media Converter.


Flexibility and Simplification

Wonderfull performance with LAN without protocol transparency with 850 nm and 1300 nm multimode fiber and 1310 nm and 1550 nm single-mode fiber.

It is of much flexibility for media converter to combine copper with 850 nm and 1300 nm multimode fiber and 1310 nm and 1550 nm single-mode fiber. With protocol transparency, it can be applied in anywhere in the local network or remote network whether it's a LAN, WAN or the MAN environment.


Handling Warning

Copper SFP are static sensitive. To prevent damage from electrostatic discharge (ESD), it is recommended to attach an ESD preventative wrist strap to your wrist and to a bare metal surface whenever you install or remove a Copper SFP module.

No such warning with media converter.


Safety Warning

Only trained and qualified personnel should be permitted to install or replace.

No such personnel required.



SFP Module takes up less space at Network Switch port.

Media converter  takes Little more space.



SFP Module Take power from Enterprise Ethernet Switch.


Media converter derives power from the switch it's plugged into. (Media converter requires a separate AC power outlet.)


Cost Reduction

Compared with the hybrid media switches, the cost of media converters with cost-effective Ethernet switches is much lower. This type of media converter solution can cost significantly less than that relies on higher-layer devices such as routers or switches.


Biggest advantage in this type of topology is where network consist of more than hundred nodes network. Fault point is reducing to switch only.


Analog Video Network Cabling Infrastructure


In a typical analog video network (shown in the above picture), analog CCTV cameras are connected to a central management room or devices (VCR—video cassette recorder or DVR—digital video recorder) via coaxial cables. If the camera has PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) function, an additional controller is added.


As mentioned, the performance and the transmission distance are limited by using copper cables. To connector more fixed analog cameras and PTZ analog cameras, fiber optic cable should be introduced to this typical network. Then fiber media converters are the best solutions. The following picture shows the basic structure or an upgraded version of a typical analog video structure which using fiber optic cable in this network.


To connect the fixed analog cameras to the server room, a pair of fiber media converters should be added between the server room and cameras. Video signals will be transmitted into fiber optic signals. For analog PTZ cameras, there are two types of signals should be converted into fiber optic signals, one for video and one for data. 


 Thus, two different media converters or a fiber media converter that covers the two functions should be installed.

It is known that fiber media converters should be used in pairs. As one of the media converters is in deploy on the fiber end that near the camera, the other one should be deploy on the other fiber ends that near the server room. For better management, all the fiber media converters at the fiber end near the server room could be installed in a managed fiber media converter rack chassis.


IP Video Network Cabling Infrastructure


In a typical IP video surveillance network (shown in the above picture), IP cameras are connected directly to the local area network and transport video across the IP network via UTP cabling and switches. PoE IP cameras are also time-save and cost-effect solutions. Video can be recorded to any PC or server on the network. To introduce fiber optic cabling in to this typical IP video network, the method is similar to introducing fiber optic into an analog video network as described in the above paragraph.


In the following case (shown in the following picture), PoE IP cameras are used. A pair of PoE media converters should be installed on both ends of a length of fiber optic cable to achieve the conversion between video and fiber. At the computer side where the videos are recorded, a pair of Ethernet media converters should be installed. All of the media converters near the network switches can be set at a managed media converter chassis before the connected to the switches.




Arindam Bhadra is an eSecurity professional 11yr + in this industry. He is a good freelance blogger. His blog is now No 1. Blog in India. 2.8L page viewer globally. Mr. Bhadra is an Electronics & telecommunication Engineer from IETE, New Delhi. He is a member of FSAI from 2011 & Go Beyond security from 2008. His blog arindamcctvaccesscontrol.blogspot.com focuses on security & Safety bloggers. Apart from his job, he loved to spend all his time with eSecurity & Safety technology and loves to help people. He is a Tech enthusiast and has written articles over the period on this blog. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Google+ etc.


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