What to Expect with an IP Changeover
Frank Abram is vice president/general manager, Security Products Division, Sanyo Fisher Company. Security Magazine had a chance to get perspectives answers on the IP trend from Abram.
Security Magazine: Of course we hear the future of the industry is IP-based systems; what kinds of transitions can we expect?
Abram: The ongoing trend toward IP-based interoperable systems heralds the future of the security industry. While it is clear that all users will be making this transition over the next few years, it may be anything but clear as to exactly how they will facilitate the transition. The answer for each individual user will depend on their current infrastructure and their performance needs and parameters. Budget will always be a factor as well, as users with significant investments in legacy systems that are continuing to perform well in the field may not feel as pressed to make an immediate move to IP-based systems.
Still, there is no doubt that IP video can complement an existing analog set-up without the need to rip and replace the entire system, and over time there can be an organic migration to a full IP solution. Sanyo has long anticipated the questions and concerns that would arise with the evolution of IP-based systems. In fact, this was the impetus behind one of our major engineering initiatives. Every pan-focus and high-speed PTZ Sanyo cameras comes from the factory equipped for IP functionality at any time the user chooses to make the move to a networked system. Additionally, we recently introduced a hybrid DVR that will integrate with analog or IP-based systems, to help our customers ease the transition at their own pace and in a way they are comfortable with.
Other manufacturers have also offered hybrid products that can be deployed as analog or IP devices, providing users with the ability to make an easier transition. CODECs – now commonly referred to as video servers – also allow analog system devices to be networked, but these offer limited functionality versus true IP devices. In any case, there are numerous transitional means available to move to a network platform.
Security Magazine: What can users expect with the IP technology?
Abram: Ultimately, users will find that the networked, IP-based security system offers a simpler interface, with greater control, while also making installation and upgrades easier. For example, a networked security system is infinitely scalable, and cameras can be placed anywhere along the network since they do not need to be physically connected to a DVR, while PoE functionality simplifies cabling and installation. The actual cost of implementation for each individual user will be dependent upon many factors with different parameters. New systems deployment requirements vary based on the existing wired infrastructure. In the end, a new IP system should provide lower total cost of ownership given the industry’s clear path to a networked platform plus the ability to more easily implement changes in system configurations via software and hardware such as cameras and DVRs.
Security Magazine: What should be considered when moving from analog to IP?
Abram: Once the decision has been made to move from an analog to an IP platform, there are numerous factors and system parameters to take into consideration. The best and safest approach is to work closely with a systems integrator well experienced in IP systems and the associated technologies. This integrator will evaluate such needs as the number of cameras needed, coverage requirements in differing areas, who will be reviewing video and from where, recording and archiving needs and more.
The development of IP technology has also enabled a new generation of video analytics, which are applied both on hardware and software platforms, and any deployment of these will have to be taken into account as well. Additionally, the integrator will assess the current infrastructure as well as planned interoperability of other security or other operational IT-level systems.
While at this moment the analog platform still comprises the great majority of installed systems, there is no reversing this trend, nor should there be. Integrating the security solution together with other systems running on the IT backbone makes sense from every standpoint. However, as long as there continue to be analog products available for sale and working well in the field, there will be an ongoing need for manufacturers to provide a sensible and natural migration path from analog to IP. The more convenient, seamless and cost-effective this migration path is for the end-user, the more likely it is to be implemented and the smoother that transition will be across the industry.