What’s New In Video Surveillance

With the intelligent video surveillance and IP camera revolutions still in their infancy, analog hangs on strong.

You all have seen the movie scene before. You know the one, where somebody wanders into an area where they technically should not be and is unsuspectingly caught on camera. Of course, the ever-attentive guard in the surveillance room sees the breach live as it happens and immediately begins to respond. (In fact, this summer’s Mission: Impossible III is a recent example of a movie containing such a scene.)

Unfortunately, in the real world guards in the surveillance rooms have been known sometimes to be taking a bathroom break, out to lunch, or working a crossword puzzle rather than seeing the security threat unfold live on camera and responding accordingly. Like everything else in security however, times are changing.

Video surveillance has served two primary purposes to date: 1) deterrence and 2) the ability to go back and try to identify the criminal(s) after the event. Today’s video surveillance technology still serves the two aforementioned purposes and it is aiming for a third. The goal is the ability to proactively prevent and/or minimize a security breach in real time.

Modern video surveillance technology is capturing higher quality images and analyzing them for any objects or actions that are out of the ordinary. Using “video analytics,” security systems are able to alert guards of suspicious activity with both an explanation of the situation, as well as the live onscreen video feed. With these systems becoming increasingly networked, this information can be quickly shared with security personnel in different locations.

Of course, not everyone has a need or the money for “video analytics.” In many cases, the bigger questions are how to move from analog to digital and when to finally go to an IP solution.

A lot is happening with video technology today. So what are some of the products at the forefront? Let’s have a look…

New Video Image Technologies
Panasonic’s Super Dynamic III (SDIII) technology gives a “consistently superior image,” says Julianna Benedick, group marketing manager, Panasonic Security Systems. She adds, “SDIII is the result of advanced digital signal processing, innovative engineering and new CCD technology that allows cameras to view light similar to the way your eyes process contrasted light.”

The latest Panasonic camera to utilize SDIII is the all-in-one WV-CW964 Outdoor Dome Camera. The WV-CW964’s Auto Focus and 30X optical zoom complement its Auto Image Stabilizer, allowing the camera to keep the image steady and clear with smooth PTZ, even in high winds or vibration, says Benedick. It also has Scene Change Detection, where any interference such as a blocked lens or defocusing is instantly detected and activates an alarm.

Sanyo has unveiled a line of cameras with its new Pan-Focus technology. “The exclusive feature of Pan-Focus technology is that all objects, whether in the foreground or background, are in focus,” says Frank Abram, vice president, sales and marketing, Sanyo Security Products. “This extended range depth-of-field is achieved with the built-in Pan-Focus X2.6 motorized zoom lens. The zoom lens offers a focal length of 2.8-7.3mm with no focus adjustments whatever.”

Abram explains that cameras with Pan-Focus technology are especially good for dealers because they’re so easy to set up and maintain. He notes, “I’ve talked to many dealers who say their worst nightmare is getting calls just to focus a camera. This will alleviate those problems.”

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