Video Surveillance: Manufacturers' perspectives on the year ahead

An exclusive vendor roundtable

The rise of high-definition video, enhanced video compression standards and the movement to create open standards in the IP Video market are some of the driving forces behind change in the video surveillance industry in 2010. recently caught up with several of the major video surveillance technology vendors to get their take on what 2010 and the future holds in store for end-users, vendors and integrators alike. (The full roundtable appears below on the following pages of this article; you may also be interested in our Integrators' Roundtable on this same subject.)

To summarize, the panel pointed to several different technologies that could have a potential major impact on the video surveillance industry in 2010. They include edge technologies for recording and storage; H.264; high-definition video; open standards, such as those being created by the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) and the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA); IP video management systems; and video content analysis. "The H.264 video compression standard will continue to have a huge impact on cost and adoption of IP video surveillance this year and for years to come," Arecont Vision CEO Dr. Michael Kaplinsky says.

The panel agrees for the most part that video analytics is gaining traction; however it still has a ways to go before the industry sees widespread adoption of the technology. "Adoption of video analytics as a security tool is, relatively speaking, in the early stages," says Panasonic president Bill Taylor. "As customers see the benefits in these analytic tools, the market will respond. Right now, customers with specific needs will certainly lead the market in their use of video analytics for targeted applications."

"Analytics won't truly gain traction in the market until integrators and end-users recognize it as a reliable technology," adds Bosch's Chris Johnston.

Not surprisingly, the manufacturer's panel foresees a continued growth of IP video in the market, although some differed on how much of that growth to expect in 2010. Many agreed with the sentiments of Gadi Piran, president of OnSSI: "As the economy continues to rebound, we expect a renewed interest from companies and institutions to invest in video and security technologies," Piran says. "Certainly, many companies are realizing that the economic justification is there for video and security systems to protect critical assets."

"If the economic situation persists, opportunities in retail, banking and key segments in the private sectors will continue to be scarce," warns Sony's Miguel Lazatin.

With so many IP video products coming to market, another issue comes to the forefront - how to train and support the many integrators who are deploying these systems. The panel differed considerably on the question of whether North American systems integrators are truly ready to install IP video systems. "IP video is now a mainstream solution - the costing is now competitive, it is much easier to install, there are network-savvy employees with the bulk of the integrators, and the products are much more mature and easier to manage," says DVTel president and CEO Eli Gorovici. "System Integrators who are not offering IP video solutions should not delay and get the skills and knowledge needed to provide networked-based offerings."

Milestone Systems' Eric Fullerton disagrees: "The bulk of them [are not ready]. If you look at the partner channel knowing that they are the ones selling into a market that's only 20-percent converged to IP, and recognize the relatively low number of channel partners who have been trained and certified in advanced IP technology, there's still a lot of work to do to get these people ready."

Despite the rise of IP video products and technologies, many manufacturers agree with the sentiments of Honeywell Video Systems' Marek Robinson, that "we're not going to see the complete death of analog video anytime soon."

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