Much has been written about the significant bandwidth and storage savings H.264 provides when compared to MJPEG or MPEG4 Part 2. A related topic is the various ways H.264 can be configured and the resulting impact to image quality. Resolution, lighting, scene activity, bit rate, rate type, I-frame interval and compression all dramatically change how image quality is captured, transmitted and stored.
Many within the surveillance industry are deploying IP video surveillance cameras and networked recorders using the same design and engineering strategies used for building analog CCTV camera and DVR-based systems. On the surface this makes sense: surveillance is surveillance; the fundamental optics and geometry remains the same regardless of the medium. What isn’t the same is how the IP systems operate under day and night conditions.
When designing a surveillance system that is to be used in the outdoors, changing lighting conditions are one of the biggest challenges to overcome. So over the past several years, low-light surveillance technology has been growing in importance as a means to improve outdoor surveillance designs, and megapixel imagers have been modified to improve identification.
Outdoor perimeter security is an often-overlooked area of physical security design that can dramatically improve the effectiveness of a facility’s security system. If you are involved in designing or managing physical security the infrastructure located in the buildings likely consumes the majority of your budget.
In today’s surveillance market we exceedingly judge ourselves by the number of megapixels of a camera. However, when trying to display all of those pixels the reality gets lost. This didn’t stop Avigilon from recently announcing plans for their 29MP camera, and it became apparent that our market is going to continue to run toward megapixel technology regardless of the practical usage.
At the 2007 IMS Analytics Conference in Amsterdam, it was forecasted that the VCA (Video Content Analytics) market would penetrate 40 percent of the security video market. This forecast obviously was prior to the great worldwide recession, however it still proves that there is such a thing as a “hype curve of growth.” This estimate was obviously higher than what has been realized over the past four years.
How well a hardware or software platform can adapt to increasing demands defines the term scalability. This term is becoming the de facto reason why the security industry has been replacing older DVRs with newer storage solutions. The popularity of video encoder devices as standalone appliances versus bundled into the DVR is accelerating this industry shift even further.
The security industry has adopted some bad habits from the IT industry. These habits are most noticeable in systems that can be described as “over built” and “under delivered.” The trend of building overly complex systems creates challenges for systems integrators, and is a huge strain on end user’s security budget. This problem exists due to a lack of knowledge and experience with the complex surveillance technologies used in today’s networked video world. The following illustrates the most common over/under design issues in surveillance systems, which continue to get worse.
The physical security industry is shifting towards the use of IT products to deliver their solutions to the market. As a part of this shift large physical security manufacturers like Tyco, Milestone, Pelco and Honeywell are building the next generation security hardware solutions on mainstream IT platforms from Dell, IBM, HP and others
The world of physical security is full of people searching high and low for the next killer application. From manufacturers, to Wall Street, to end users, the excitement of finding a killer application to propel technology adoption and enhance physical security is considered a worthwhile endeavor. Killer applications have proven that the power of new applications can transform markets. The term “Killer App” originated with the release of Lotus 1-2-3 when it drove dramatic increases in sales of IBM PCs. For the physical security video industry, the killer application has been hard to find in recent years.