A Simple Solution to Synchronise Your Surveillance System


Network Time Synchronization is important: every aspect of maintaining an IT or security surveillance network requires accurate knowledge of when events have happened. If you were to assume that the little clock on the bottom right hand corner of your screen was inherently accurate you would be sadly disappointed. Many clocks which support network devices, IT servers or workstations are rarely checked after an initial manual setup, and backed-up by a battery-based, clock-calendar programme that has no capacity for negating time drift which can sometimes amount to 1 second per day and perhaps minutes, or hours, over longer periods. Considering that DVR and NVR systems should run unattended for months, or years, to allow this to happen in an environment where the veracity of evidential data requires accurate time-stamping is not appropriate.

Trying to accurately match time logs between IP devices on a network without synchronised time is a challenge, perhaps impossible, as this is the only frame of reference between all IP devices. Implications exist when time is mis-matched: financial services may be legally required to demonstrate accurate timekeeping; security breaches and CCTV data must match timestamps to be effective. Within a closed network, such as CCTV, it is not practical to synchronise your NTP using a public Internet Time Server because a permanently open port leaves the network open to cyber-attack. You must also consider if the provider of that ITP has any guarantee of service or accuracy.


To solve this challenge, traditional solutions have focused on atomic clock radio receivers, or GPS sensors, linked to expensive rack-mounted master clock servers. By using TIMENET Pro, Veracity’s newest version of its Master NTP Server and the smallest form factor model available in today’s market, the GPS receiver and NTP clock server are integrated into a compact space, only 90mm long, which connects directly into the network. At less than half the cost of competing solutions, TIMENET Pro uses very little power and has the ability to switch between 3V and 5V to enable the customer to use a wider range of GPS antennae, such as those for Marine systems. It can be powered over the network by POE, or locally by a low voltage power supply. By simply connecting the self-adhesive, 5-metre-long antenna (or extending it with the 10-metre VTN-EXTEND) to any surface which has a view of the sky, TIMENET Pro will use GPS positioning data to establish the correct UTC time. GPS signals are far less prone to interference than traditional National Radio Clock signals and therefore are a universal solution which can be used anywhere in the world.

TIMENET Pro has a clean and simple browser interface for setting-up the IP address and configuration password. The status tab displays information such as system up-time, GPS lock, UTC and local time, plus an extremely useful satellite signal meter showing satellites in view, and their signal strength. TIMENET Pro’s updated NTP software provides improved security including field upgradeability, protection against DDOS, plus encrypted password protection. If you are installing a surveillance system for the first time and need a highly reliable, compact Master NTP Server, or you are an IT Administrator who now has to consider the management of a CCTV network as well, then contact Anixter to discuss how TIMENET Pro could literally save you both time and money.