The future of video management systems

The industry buzz and intelligence from the field

Approach, State and Effect: For smaller systems, it has been common for IP camera vendors to provide freeware. However, such offerings are inadequate for the 16- to- 32 cameras user. Likewise, the VMS software created for enterprise applications, consisting of hundreds of cameras, is way too complex for the mid-market. What has been needed is software that frees the mid-market from being constrained to using DVR packages and without having to learn software and IT intricacies. The market is moving towards a VMS that makes installation and use of the software easy without sacrificing performance and control, one that automatically detects and recognizes cameras and devices and is easily configured using standard, off-the-shelf hardware. Open and Integrating: A VMS needs to be open to allow installers to select best of breed cameras that fit the specific application. ONVIF and PSIA Standards and VMS Providers: Standards like ONVIF and PSIA are moving the industry to increased interoperability between network camera manufacturers and third party recording and video management products. Though there are some standards for compression (H.264, MPEG-4) and streaming (RTSP), the basic command and control interfaces for setting video quality parameters, network parameters and PTZ control are all proprietary. Investing in VMS: Even though integrators and users in the mid-market want to go digital, they don't understand IT and really don't want to. That's why they continue to use the technology they know and continue to implement analog or hybrid analog/digital systems. Teaming with Video Analytic Providers: Both the VMS providers and the video analytics providers must assure that their systems are open. Scalability between the VMS and the hardware and other software, including video analytics, is very important and only easily accomplished via open standards. -Tom Galvin, vice president of Product Management

Infinova, Monmouth Junction, N.J.

Approach, State and Effect: Analog surveillance system customers want their existing analog equipment, including cameras, control room, video wall and cabling to remain untouched. We suggest integrators use a co-existent strategy to show customers that their migration will be a gradual process that will allow them to fully depreciate their existing equipment. Coexistence is a solid plan in which both analog and IP cameras can operate side by side. Open and Integrating: Infinova end-users want such choices and having so many VMS suites to choose from gives our integrators opportunities to say "yes" to more projects. ONVIF and PSIA standards and VMS Providers: The numbers of VMS providers working with these standards groups continues to grow. It means integrators will have increased flexibilities in creating systems that implicitly match the needs of the end-user customer. Investing in VMS: The end-user is cost conscious and reluctant to write-off capital equipment such as their analog video equipment; including the control room, for the promise of better technology, such as IP video solutions. Teaming with Video Analytic Providers: We are already integrated with Milestone that has a video analytics suite. In addition we have Delopt and Videonetics video analytics solutions that are working with Infinova. -Mark S. Wilson, vice president of Marketing

IPVision Software, Tampa, Fla.

Approach, State and Effect: Most companies are marketing their solutions as "Open Software Platforms" with sexy and proprietary windows GUIs. Video management as an application is great for everyone, especially for customers who want to get away from proprietary black-box recorders, storage, and servers. Due to the continued acceptance of higher definition networked cameras with their advanced features, and highly available IP networks, the ability to provide higher quality video to more people, in more places just drives the need for video management as another datacenter application. Open and Integrating: There is a need to start leveraging in-camera processors and features and stop sending video to proprietary software on servers that users access through each vendor's proprietary windows applications. We need to start opening up the system to leverage web services and generic phone tools (e-mail, Web browsers, instant messaging) as well. ONVIF and PSIA standards and VMS Providers: This means more stable deployments and eventually plug-n-play set up and configuration. However, we need to ensure that standards evolve to support new architectures and capabilities. Investing in VMS: Look at what you're buying and paying for versus how something's being sold. Spend time calculating the upfront, ongoing and underlying costs of the initial system over three years and its expansion should you need to add more cameras, storage, video processing, resolution, or other features such as integration with access control, SCADA, PoS, etc. Teaming with Video Analytic Providers: Most analytics will eventually migrate into the camera/encoder due to faster processors. Thus, VMS providers will need to transition from DVR and NVR providers to real-time video and event management applications which work in unison with analytics and other event sources. -Mark Kolar, executive vice president

Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), Woodbridge, N.J.