You need to factor in a myriad of elements when considering when and how to migrate from legacy analog security video to digital. And there are numerous ways to skin this hybrid cat.
For Eric Rowland, security program manager at Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, bringing in megapixel cameras and encoders while squeezing more performance out of his legacy analog cameras worked best.
With scalability a migration goal, Dave Young, Chapman University’s director of information technology, picked technology for both current and future video surveillance needs.
The big move can be complex and harrowing. Issues can range from site locations, if an existing system is proprietary, means of communications, quality of images, storage and retrieval as well as the economics of transition technology such as digital video recorders (DVR) and encoders.
But the bottom line is that analog, hybrid or digital is really a business decision. Along some hybrid paths, security may have to manage two systems while contending with the capital appetite (or lack) of the enterprise.
Of course, movement away from analog is, along with most big purchases, impacted by the slow worldwide economy. No matter the drum beating at industry events, “Clearly the economic downturn has disrupted historical growth trends within the global video surveillance market,” says Gary Wong, an analyst at IMS Research. Still, he adds, the transition from analog video surveillance to higher value network video surveillance in the Americas drove growth in 2009.
Tech advances are, nonetheless, eye-catching. Of course, with the growing attraction of megapixel and high-definition cameras, there is an obvious need to move to the data network. But “take a stepped approach. Leverage as much of your existing investment in a business sense. IP will come with natural attrition as some gear gives out as well as in new construction,” says Nick DeKeyzer of SafirRosetti, a security consulting, public safety, investigative and executive protection firm.
Still, if you want to walk down the migration path, there are many factors to consider. It all hinges on individual situations. Is the systems integrator comfortable with IT? If a facility manager is involved, is this person less comfortable? Is there budget and bandwidth? How much storage is needed? And what’s involved and who does the maintenance?
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Hybrid Homework: 7 Questions to Answer
2. What type of video management system do I need?
3. How do I, how can I connect my cameras to my video management system?
4. How, where, and for how long will I store my recorded video?
5. How can I employ video analytics?
6. How and where should I view live and recorded video?
7. What other systems can I, should I integrate with my video security system?