IP Video Surveillance is Promising -- and a Bandwidth Hog


Entertainment video understandably has the highest profile of the new services that threaten to clog the arteries of the Internet like so many electronic Philly cheese steaks. It isn't the only type of video that is contributing to the problem, however: IP-based surveillance video also is expanding. While it's unlikely to bring the Internet to its knees, it should be watched.


That the need for surveillance is increasing in our troubled modern world is no revelation. What may not be as obvious to casual observers, however, is that sophisticated forms of surveillance require proportionately more bandwidth because law enforcement and others interested parties want video that is clear enough to blow up and otherwise manipulate without losing focus.

Computerworld discusses the challenges that surveillance video pose to wireless networks. The piece, which introduces Proxim's Tsunami MP-8100, says that megapixel video is a bandwidth hog. The piece quotes an ADT Security engineer's assessment that the new Proxim equipment could increase backhaul bandwidth demand by a factor of five.


This is a quiet growth area. Smith on VoIP's Garrett Smith suggests that the big players, or at least one of them, is coming. He writes that since Cisco controls the lion's share of the IP network -- and since surveillance is moving toward IP-it is just a matter of time before the company takes on current market leader Axis. While it remains to be seen how fully and successfully Cisco addresses the market, Smith points out that it has recently made several introductions. Other companies are eyeing the market as well.


This is a good post for planners and decision makers. The writer lists and briefly explains why IP video surveillance beats the older approach-digital video recording (DVR)-in 12 categories. The advantages run the gamut from scalability through reliability and redundancy to more flexible powering options. This piece is only one opinion, of course. But it is a convincing assessment that IP is the far more elegant platform for surveillance.


The Portage, Penn., school district is implementing an IP-based surveillance system from Intelligent Decisions, which is working with Intelligent Security Technologies. The story says that the platform will eventually extend from the original deployment in and around the junior/senior high school to the district's elementary school. The story of deployment in a school district-even a small one-reinforces a huge advantage of IP-based systems. Since images can be transported over both the wired and wireless Internet, it is far easier to get important pictures, building schematics and other data to first responders, police and other officials as they are rushing to scene of an emergency.