The Hybrid Checklist

Many security integrators will agree an IP video system is now the standard when designing a surveillance application. And while this may be true for new installations, customers who already have analog video should consider migrating to another option-hybrid video. Hybrid video allows users to use existing analog cameras with the ability to add IP surveillance to the same system. IP network cameras cost considerably more than analog cameras but provide better resolution. There are reasons to deploy both in certain installations.

Do you know?

Before you decide which vendor to go to for your recording needs, know the benefits of hybrid video. These include:

- The use of existing investment of cameras and coaxial cabling
- Longer cabling runs available for analog cameras
- The ability to add different cameras based on budget and functionality (i.e. megapixel IP cameras, wireless cameras or less expensive analog cameras)
- The ability to use UTP cabling with analog cameras
- Advanced networking functionality over standard digital video recording (DVR) systems
- H.264 compression technology with system alerts and e-mail notification
- Use of analytics tools such as loitering; standing vehicles; intrusion detection; forbidden path of motion; crowd control; and facial detection
- Integration of access control, fire systems, alarm systems, point of sale (POS); building automation; visitor management; and asset management
- Raid configurations

Meet your analog/hybrid migration needs

There are many so-called "hybrid" network video recorders on the market today. Here are a few steps in determining the right recording solution:

- Make sure the hybrid video recorder is compatible with the video management system (VMS) you choose.
- The VMS should be compatible with a wide range of cameras, especially those used in the current
- Choose the proper amount of storage needed based on the number of cameras, frames per second and future expansion capabilities.
- Always specify products from a reputable manufacturer/dealer.
- Make sure sufficient warranty and support is available.

Take advantage of available, new technology that will allow an IP camera to use existing coaxial cable to send video to the recording device or network. Hybrid systems may not be the answer for every application, but they are gaining momentum as new technology emerges. Analog and IP systems each have advantages and disadvantages over the other. Why not combine them to give the end-user the best solution possible?

From the Field

A recent customer with four locations was looking to upgrade their digital video recording system. Their main building had 12 analog cameras while the other three facilities had two to three analog cameras each. All cameras were connected via RG-59 coaxial cabling to separate the DVR's at each location. After an initial site survey, I recognized that one location was networked by fiber optics and the other two were connected via a wireless point-to-point connection. The DVRs were not adequate for their current streaming application and did not perform properly. The existing cameras were only a few years old and came from a leading manufacturer. The images were adequate for the customer's needs. While designing the system, I noticed that the customer could save substantial cost by using a hybrid server which can integrate with their current access control system. The 12 analog cameras at the main facility will connect directly to the hybrid video recorder (HVR). Video capture cards will be added to the HVR for these cameras. The three other locations will be equipped with four port video encoders (aka, video servers). These will be used to convert the remaining nine cameras to IP and connect them to the data network.

Mickey Lavery is a commercial account manager for Accent Electronic Systems Integrators, (Accent ESI), Bonita Springs, Fla.