You Have Questions?

Merlin Communications Has the Answers!

As part of our commitment to excellence, we believe that the more our clients understand the technologies and products available to them, the better they are equipped to make informed decisions. We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions in a variety of product and service categories, but don’t hesitate to reach out to us anytime if you have any additional questions. 

FAQs: General Info

If you are wanting a trusted advisor to help you with your telecommunication-based problems, Merlin is your holistic solution.  We provide solutions that include but are not limited to; structured cabling, surveillance, video and live streaming, access control, UPS power single and three phase, and Premise based telephone systems (Avaya)

We are proud to say we are approaching 20 years of servicing customers throughout the Pennsylvania region (York, Harrisburg, Lancaster and beyond), with a staff that has over a combined 75+ years of experience in the industry.

Although we are in South Central PA and our technician services Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Northern MD, and Delaware, we have strategic relationships around the country that help us service our clients throughout the country.

We are authorized and certified for all Avaya Systems including: Definity, S8300, S8400, Legend, Magix, Classic Merlin, Partner, IP Office, Intuity platforms, Aurora Call Manager, Session Manager, Mitel, Toshiba, Cisco Call Manager, and Panasonic. 

Our team is comprised of BICSI Technicians and OSHA & MSHA trained installers. Additionally, Merlin’s also trained to work with the following manufacturers: Hubbell, Panduit, Legrand, AFL Products, AFL Duraline, Leviton, Corning, Sumitomo, Milestone VMS, Ubiquiti, Hanwha, Axis, Verkada, Dahua, Panasonic, Avaya, Mitel, and Cisco to name a few.

FAQs: Structured Cabling

Structured cabling is the highway that information and data travels on in buildings. The building can be large or small, commercial, or residential, or a combination of both as in the mixed-use retail, commercial, and residential buildings now found in most large cities. Structured cabling systems are designed around telecommunications code standards to ensure that computer equipment will operate as designed when connected to the structured cabling system.

The general difference between Cat5e cabling and Cat6 cabling is in the transmission performance, and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 250 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk (NEXT), return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk (ELFEXT). These improvements provide a higher signal to noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications.

This decision is a commonly debated topic. The fact is that the cable is very inexpensive relative to the entire telecommunications system and the building that it serves. The increased functionality and bandwidth that one additional data cable can provide at each work area outlet can prove to be priceless, especially after the drywall is in placed.

Initial surveys are free as are introductory meetings for design. However, visits to explore faults etc. that require an engineer are charged at call out rates.

FAQs: Video Surveillance

CCTV analog cameras connect to a video monitor or DVR using a coax connection, while IP cameras connect directly to the network using a RJ45 connector and have their own IP address.  CCTV or analog cameras transmit analog signals over the coax cables, while IP cameras transmit digitally encoded video over a standard network cable.  IP cameras have computers and intelligence, so they can be shared by many PCs using web browser and the video recorded using video management software or a NVR.

Here are a few of the many differences between these devices.

  • The NVR connects to the computer network and so does all the IP cameras. This allows you to take advantage of the existing network infrastructure instead of running wires from a “home base” location to all the cameras.
  • The DVR uses coax connections to each of the analog cameras
  • The NVR supports high-resolution megapixel cameras
  • The DVR supports only cameras with VGA resolution.

There are many more differences between systems that use analog cameras and those that use IP cameras. To learn more take a look at our article that compares an analog system to the new IP camera systems.

The latest IP cameras get power over the network. This is referred to as Power over Ethernet (PoE). You can also add a PoE midspan or power injector between the switch and the camera. This means that you only need to run one network cable to each camera, making installation very easy.

You can use either a physical router for your network (wired) or a WiFi connection (wireless). Wired networks tend to be more secure and reliable, although WiFi is easier, it leads to the increased need for security.

Surveillance Secure can help you encrypt these networks and customize a wireless network to minimize chances of any problems with a WiFi setup. You may also choose to use a cellular network, which tends to be safer than WiFi, but also slower.  Surveillance Secure can discuss your options with you to determine which one would be best for your custom setup and security needs.

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