IP Video vs. Traditional CCTV Roundtable: Part 2

Integrators and manufacturers weigh in on the pros and cons of deploying the different video surveillance systems

3. Does a lack of operating standards impact the effectiveness of IP-based video?
Lavery: A lack of operating standards does impact the effectiveness of IP-based video, and this is why it’s important to find the right software vendor and camera manufacturer. Recently, Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems and Sony Corporation announced that they will be working together to create an open forum to develop a standard for the interface of network video products. The goal of this new standard is to allow the integration of various brands of network video equipment. This will also help manufacturers and software developers ensure product interoperability.

  • IP cameras from different manufactures are often not compatible with one another
  • IP management software applications from different manufactures are often not compatible with one another.

It is a choice, cost and flexibility issue
Forest: Unfortunately, many early IP-based video solutions have suffered from poor image quality because of a lack of operating standards which directly impacted their effectiveness and tarnished the reputation of IP-video. The newest IP-based solutions, however, have addressed these issues with operating standards such as High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) and are able to deliver the high image quality and availability that end-users now expect from a surveillance system.
Nilsson: The success of the fast moving IT market was built with a strong focus on standards and the convergence of physical security products to IT will be no different. Already many of the IP enabled products follow many standards such as 802.3af for PoE and H.264 for compression. There is however more that can be done standardizing the discovery of devices and interaction of network cameras with video management software, an effort addressed by an industry forum being formed by Axis, Sony and Bosch, three of the worlds leading security camera manufactures, which was announced recently.
Rakow: Not in my experience.
Shabtai: Yes. The fact that an IP camera requires a special interface to the system while all analog cameras are interchangeable, delays the adoption of IP solutions as customers are reluctant to depend on single source solutions with high level, sometimes complex level of integration.
Surfaro: There are ANSI-approved Interoperability Standards in place now for the Security Industry. These standards have been developed by the Security Industry Association.
Provinsal: Yes. The customer has to validate that any IP camera that they want to utilize in their security system has been integrated into their software. Analog cameras are based on a standard. An IP video standard adopted by the industry would remove another obstacle from the adoption rate.
ARONSON: There are sufficient standards for IP-based video to deliver feature parity with analog systems. Development of standards for the next generation of IP video is a market exercise, such as we have seen with networking and Internet standards.
Banerjee: Yes. For this reason, Bosch, Axis and Sony are now working on a global standard that will define how information should be exchanged between components of a network video system. An open standard for communication between devices, such as cameras, encoders and video management systems, means that end users and systems integrators will have greater flexibility in using products from multiple vendors in the same project. By creating a standardized interface, we are supporting the increasing demand for and penetration of network video equipment.
Gorovici: When IP-based video standards are finally agreed upon, it will enhance the interoperability of different systems to one another, but IP-based video is still a very effective and fast-growing solution today. Software Development Kits are readily available to integrate IP cameras and encoders to the software-based solutions and most manufacturers today surmount any problems of standards by implementing integration techniques.
Havlin: To a certain extent it does, but it can prevent commoditization and innovation of some products. The user must make a solid choice for selection of a partner that can support them now and into the future. A poor choice may force a user to replace product that they recently purchased or have an isolated system that can not communicate with their Video Management Software. Another problem that affects operating standards is a lack of a clear definition of terms. For example, “MPEG4” everyone knows is an industry standard. However, upon closer examination, there are 20 different profiles of MPEG4 compression, the latest being H.264, which is also known as MPEG4 version 10. So, a developer can stay inside a standard, but not limit their creativity. This can be both positive and negative, depending on the consumer’s preferences of features and benefits. Samsung offers both MPEG4 and MJPEG compression options in their new line of IP cameras.