Keep an Eye on IP-based Surveillance

Carl Weinschenk

One of the most interesting areas of communications is the marriage of physical security -- which has been with us forever -- and the recent phenomenon of IP-based security. This crossover is most clearly illustrated in the IP video surveillance sector.

This week, MultiMedia Intelligence released a report that said the IP surveillance market grew by just under half last year and is worth almost $500 million worldwide. This story, which duly carries the disclaimer that the sector remains a small piece of the overall surveillance market, seems very upbeat about its future.

In its favor is a healthy dynamic of movers and shakers such as Cisco, IBM and Intel, as well as smaller idea-generating specialty shops such as IndigoVision, March Networks and Nice Systems.

CSO Online offers a very concisely written buyers' guide that should be the first stop for an IT professional thinking about IP video surveillance. The initial decision is whether to go with full IP or a transitional system that combines IP and analog. IT and security personnel also must determine if the corporate backbone has enough bandwidth to support the system.

This useful piece then suggests several criterion for evaluating systems: field of view; bandwidth consumption; resolution; auto filtering; platform interoperability; scalability and service/support. Finally, the piece offers several "dos and don'ts." The "dos:" Consider the relative value of crisp versus fuzzier images and seriously consider centralizing efforts. It is a bad idea (the "don'ts") to shop solely by cost; think myopically when upgrading from existing systems or assume different vendors' gear will interoperate seamlessly.

The president of Panasonic Systems Solutions Co. contends we are on the precipice of great change in IP video surveillance. The keys, he says in this Security Products piece, are advances in chip design and better compression technologies. Megapixel chips capable of high definition transmission are not new. They will, however, increasingly be used in the security cameras. Users will have access to high-end camera features such as day/night operation, high-quality contrast control and high-speed electronic shutters. The expansive bandwidth and recording capacity demands of these megapixel cameras will be met by the H.264 compression standard.

A combined digital video recorder/IP approach offers advantages beyond eliminating a costly jump to full IP. DVRs, according to Components in Electronics, can harness analytics, motion detection and other appoaches. The features only are possible, however, when the pictures are digitized. This makes IP an integral tool.

There is a high level of consistency in the view of those familiar with the IP surveillance sector. The bottom line is that improving technology and declining prices are enabling the worlds of physical and cyber security to meet, as they did recently in Pittsburg, Calif., where Strix System was chosen to provide video surveillance.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 25, 2008 5:30 PM Lloyd j.erdmier Lloyd j.erdmier  says:
My business with th IT trade is in the private sector,i would like to thank those who use silicon valley with professionalism.many articles i had read about the threat of cyber security and i would predict it had allway been there from the beginning.but as evolution takes it's toll it would seem to be getting worse.all things concidered we who use the computer on a daily biasis should be vigilant and protected with spywhare not of just cause the threat of hackers but the threat of governmental employed hacks to take down the infilstructure of international web-sights.takeing proper precautions i had allready got involved with the politics of cyber security of just cause lessons learned in the past of loseing a labtop to pirates worldwide. Reply
Apr 27, 2008 10:26 AM John Honovich John Honovich  says:
Hi Carl,Nice overview of video surveillance from an IT perspective. Though the physical and cyber worlds are converging, a number of barriers will continue to slow it in the near future. See http://ipvideomarket.info/comments/index/20989?class=Article and http://www.ipsecuritywatch.com/web/online/IPSW-News/QandA--Researcher-Mark-Kirstein-discusses-IP-video-market/512$14664 for details on these real-world elements.Best,John Reply
Sep 13, 2011 10:24 AM Michael Ashby Michael Ashby  says:

I think this IP based security service will be able to meet the increasing demand of highly and tightened security system without increasing the budget of security service rather helps in curtailing down it.   At the same time will help people to have a single dashboard style interface or their physical security needs.


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