Network vs. analog video: A roundtable

Integrators and manufacturers debate the forces at work in this technology transition


In the July 2008 issue of Security Technology & Design magazine, managing editor Paul Rothman began a roundtable to survey some of the top video surveillance manufacturers and integrators on adoption of IP video. Half of the roundtable appeared in the July issue of ST&D (see first part of this roundtable) and the other half appears here on SecurityInfoWatch.com and IPSecurityWatch.com.

The Participants:
• Guy Apple, vice president of marketing and sales for Network Video Technologies (NVT)
• Phil Aronson, president of Aronson Security Group
• Dr. Bob Banerjee, product marketing manager of IP Video products for Bosch Security Systems Inc.
• Jean-Pierre Forest, CPP, director of security solutions for Avigilon
• Eli Gorovici, president and CEO of DVTel, Inc.
• Duncan Havlin, vice president of product management for Samsung GVI Security
• Mickey Lavery, system specialist for I2C Technologies LLC
• Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications Inc.
• Mark S. Provinsal, vice president of marketing and product strategy for Dedicated Micros Inc.
• Joel Rakow, Ed.D., president of Ollivier Corporation
• Moti Shabtai, Executive VP, Strategy and Products, NICE Systems
• Steve Surfaro, Group Manager, Strategic Technical Liaison, Panasonic Security Systems


QUESTION: What’s the best or most efficient way for end-users to migrate from analog to an IP-based video surveillance solution?

Bob Banerjee/Bosch: A hybrid system is an excellent way to meet the needs of customers looking to leverage existing analog camera investments when upgrading or expanding video surveillance systems. Using IP encoders as the bridge between analog cameras and the network, video can be viewed using video management software or a Web browser, recorded to NVRs or centralized storage area networks that offer high-density fault-tolerant storage devices instead of a single hard drive

Recording at the edge, or storing video at the edge of the network instead of transporting it to a centralized NVR, is a bandwidth friendly option in today’s IP video systems. This decentralized approach only uses the network to replay video at a workstation. This renders recording independent of other network conditions, such as congestion and downtime. Many users also have analog switches with attached tapes or DVRs for recording. Or, recording can also be achieved with multi-channel encoders with direct-attached iSCSI RAIDs, as a direct and more flexible direct substitute.

Duncan Havlin/Samsung-GVI Security: Use either a DVR to connect their existing analog cameras to the network or an encoder. Install video management software that talks to their DVR and IP cameras. In addition, adding IP ready products like our new Video Plus UTP power hub that enable analog coaxial video signals and power to be sent over Cat-5 cable, is ideal for new projects that have pre-wired Cat-5 cabling but that are not yet ready to install an IP-based system.

Guy Apple/NVT: Stop installing coax! UTP-based hybrid analog, without a doubt, is the best way for end-users to set themselves up for possible future migration. The future is clearly a mix of analog and digital video. One of the most popular and fastest growing architectures is that of a hybrid system. A DVR-based system is the simplest example, where video is digitized within the DVR and made available for viewing locally or over the Ethernet network or via the internet. Analog cameras, UTP transmission and IP digitizers with hybrid network video recorders at the control room provide the next step in the evolution, where the IP backbone is comfortably confined (for high bandwidth) within the control room. The key is the deployment of a UTP-based structured cabling transmission system. It allows the use of cost-effective analog cameras, and eliminates the need for a full IP-based distribution system. It also provides for migration to a full IP architecture down the road.

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