Advancing technology is leaning more and more on wireless delivery of connectivity services. Yet, cabling installation, including fiber optics, is a growing industry.
Installation companies look for more efficient ways of consolidating physical equipment while maintaining connection quality. Securing the installation process from design to delivery is integral to proper digital signal protection.
When your wired signal is secure, so is your data and cyber privacy. Excellent digital security measures mean protecting fiber optic cables, related lines, and wireless connections. Investing in further security protection won’t hurt. Consider one of the best VPNs like express VPN for your electronic devices.
Understanding why wired is just as important as wireless connectivity, we interviewed Sean Kuo, President of SC&T – a Smart Cabling & Transmission Corporation focused on expanding connectivity through designing and manufacturing cabling equipment that’s more efficient and cost-effective.
How did the idea of SC&T originate? What has your journey been like so far?
SC&T was founded 20 years ago. We have been focusing on video & audio signal processing. Our products range from CCTV systems to professional digital signage. Our very first product was to convert an old analog camera signal into a two-wire signal. It would allow users to transmit up to 4 cameras over one ethernet cable.
In one particular project in the prison near Taipei, we reduced the number of cables required for every 32 cameras to only 8 ethernet cables. Before knowing our products, they were about to drill a foot-wide-diameter hole across all cells. Instead, they drilled a little bit over an inch.
Of course, now, we work more on digital signals such as HDMI, Displayport, and SDI. We make signal extenders, converters, switchers, distributors, matrixes, and Signal over IP products.
Can you tell us about the core services and expertise offered by SC&T?
The majority of our products are hardware solutions for system installers. They're hidden behind the screen, inside the roof, and sometimes in the server room. They are never seen but usually run 24-7 throughout the years and sometimes even over a decade.
Our products get installed in enterprises and are also used in some government projects. Thus, our products must be robust and reliable. When the system is down or runs into difficulties, we are there to support and provide help.
What sets you apart from other companies in the audio-visual cabling industry?
Although our products are hardware-based, we are a service-oriented company. We work with our customers in the early project design phase. Our goal is never to make the most profit in a single project.
We always aim for long-term mutual benefits and close business relationships. If you visit our website, you'll find us a company that loves to learn and share. We think of ourselves as the best solution partner in the audio-visual cabling industry.
How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?
Due to our location in Taiwan and its geo-political status, it has been quite a spotlight on the international news. When Nancy Pelosi, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, came to Taiwan last year, a major cyber-attack was launched on the island. Many of the digital broadcasting systems got breached, and foreign aggressive political propaganda spread.
An incident like this reminds us of the importance of cyber security and how it might get exploited for unlawful purposes. It forces us to re-evaluate our supply chain. SC&T products are manufactured in Taiwan, but it's unavoidable to have some components from outside the country.
For example, the RJ45 Ethernet connectors. We avoid using chips from Chinese brands and stick to wire solutions instead of wireless.
What are the key challenges faced by traditional cabling solutions in the surveillance and audio-visual installation sector?
We believe both the surveillance and the audio-visual markets are embracing the technology of ethernet. We do see more and more wireless cameras or doorbells in houses or small projects. But in the surveillance area, we have to look into the level of the threat we intend to prevent. In small houses, most of the cameras are there to deter a common thief.
In enterprises, factories, or government buildings, people are more aware of the possibility of a cyber attack or Wi-Fi jammers. So they tend to stay with traditional wire systems.
In the audio-visual market, installers now have the alternative to encoding the signal into H.264, and H. 265, the universal compression standard transmitted through ethernet. But, in most places, picture quality, latency, and ethernet bandwidth are essential and can't be compromised.
Therefore, both wired and wireless applications will continue to grow instead of one or the other scenario. We are also investing more time and money to develop fiber optic solutions. All to prepare for the future, when the copper wire reaches its physical limitation on bandwidth.
How has the field of surveillance and audio-visual solutions evolved over the years? What advancements exist, in terms of technology and capabilities?
Image resolution. In both markets, image resolution has been steadily improving over time from 480p to 4k and 8k nowadays. It's the foundation for lots of applications. That includes car plate recognition, traffic counts, dangerous alerts, and others. Better picture quality also means bigger data. So we need to keep up with research and development without falling behind.
What are the key considerations that organizations should keep in mind when implementing surveillance and audio-visual solutions to ensure compliance with privacy regulations and protect individuals' rights?
The easiest way to protect yourself is through the selection of brands. Make sure you have a licensed installer who uses products with a brand where the manufacturer is traceable.
Just like all other consumer products, there will always be low-cost alternatives with questionable quality. Especially when it's about surveillance. There are more important factors involved that you will not want to sacrifice.
What role does artificial intelligence play in surveillance and audio-visual solutions? How can AI-powered analytics enhance the effectiveness of video surveillance and improve incident detection and response?
We see lots of AI recognition technology in surveillance camera video replay. Now you can select a particular area in a camera video, and only replay the part when humans are trespassing.
The same process used to require a human to stare at a screen for hours. Now it can get done in a minute. The same technology, used in real-time can help to identify visible fire, weapons, or any object. It's quite efficient and opens up many possibilities for the future.
In this age of ever-evolving technology, what do you think are the key security measures organizations and individuals should use? How do you prioritize cybersecurity in your company?
We don't think we are the experts to answer that. Still, at SC&T, we always have an independent backup system. That system gets upgraded by our partner annually.
That aspect is a necessary investment. It's better to spend a small amount regularly than to spend a lot on a single incident.
In what ways do you think your industry will continue to evolve in the future? What potential future advancements or innovations do you envision in this field?
Both LED displays and cameras will continue to saturate human daily life in public spaces. The resolution of the screen will continue to improve until it reaches a point where people can't tell the difference between an LED screen and the reflection of a real object.
Cameras will be a greater tool for disaster prevention and law enforcement. At the same time, they will also have restrictions, by law, on their data usage.
What does the future hold for SC&T?
For SC&T, we will continue to tackle problems from the installer's perspective. No matter how far the technology has advanced, it will still need a group of hard-working installers to transform imagination into a reality.
SC&T's mission is to make the installation process efficient, robust, and easy to maintain. Also, to help the installer deliver the best results to their clients. Hence, we will keep on this path and offer new solutions as time goes on.