Roundtable: Surveillance experts weigh in on standards

What standards can mean for end-users, integrators and product manufacturers

Galvin: Yes. I think IT companies like Cisco and network cameras companies like Axis, Bosch and Sony will lead the charge. These companies have a history of supporting network standards. They also have the market leadership to drive software and NVR providers to accommodate a standard.

Damjanovski: The chances are much higher [that manufacturers would adopt these standards] if the multiple groups get together and produce one standard. By the same token, chances will be very low if there are more proposals. Time will need to pass to see which one will prevail, and that will cost somebody money, time and most importantly loss of faith in the industry as a mature one

Is it realistic for our industry to try to develop standards for IP video devices and not consider standards for IP access control and other IP-connected physical security devices at the same time?

Galvin: Yes. Again the standards exist at different levels. IETF and other network level standards are already being adopted by video and access control vendors providing network-enabled products. However, system interoperability can only be achieved with a widely adopted application standard. At the application level, video applications are different enough from access control that the standards should be able to emerge independently. In fact, the broad adoption of a video standard could help motivate the development of an access control standard. Ideally, the access control application standard would be modeled after the video standard so that they are technically compatible.

Honovich: To start, the industry should focus just on IP video devices. IP video is growing four to five times faster than any other segment of the security industry. There is no reason to slow down or muddle the process by complicating the matter.

Damjanovski: Like all standards, these things evolve. The most important thing would be to put the foundation down by having the whole industry agree to one common standard. Once this is successful, it will be very easy and natural to add everything that connects to a properly designed CCTV. Existing other standards, like lift management, access control, cash-registers, etc. (if any) will not to be re-invented, but only adopted to suit the digital CCTV. If there are none, we will have to create them. It’s a tough job, and usually unpaid, but hey, somebody has to do it.