Analog vs. Digital Video Surveillance: The Fight in the Streets

Integrators and vendors hash out the technology, opinions and realities of going IP with video surveillance

Another integrator raised the question of whether the industry was adopting the most recent IP addressing standards (IPV6).

Cisco's Beliles was quick to share his thoughts.

"[The] IPV6 [standard] is lagging behind in adoption in the U.S. and in Europe compared to Asia," Beliles admitted. "But the reality is that a number of technologies are available to ensure that IPV4 technologies and equipment will work with IPV6. It is not mandatory to have IPV6, and it is wrong to say that without IPV6, you're not on the cutting edge."

The same integrator who had wondered about the IPV4 to IPV6 transition also asked about trends the panel was seeing in getting network cameras up-to-speed with light sensitivity and infrared lighting.

"IR is the biggest limitation of network cameras," said IQinVision's Paul Bodell. "The CCD still has more sensitivity in the IR range and in low-light environments. Some years ago, you might have said that it was 20-30 percent less sensitive, but that difference between CCD and CMOS is much less noticeable today." Bodell said that current advances are making that gap between network cameras and analog cameras even smaller, and he expected the IR and light sensitivity issue to be negligible.

The general consensus from the integrators at the panel was that, yes, IP video is nice and getting better, but that they were up against concerns over price and bandwidth that are hard to shake.

"It's not us who you have to convince [about the benefits of IP video]. It's the end user or the engineer working for the end user who is making the call," said one Atlanta-area video and security integrator.

Another chimed in that the transition isn't an easy one.

"You have to gracefully approach your client and create a smooth transition to convert them toward an IP world," said a local integrator. That integrator stressed that convincing a client to shift from a major investment in analog video surveillance to one in IP video wasn't as simple or as easy as many in the vendor community believed. Just because they have a business network, he said, doesn't mean they are ready to pay the costs to shift technology.

Banerjee closed the discussion with his status report coming from a vendor company that itself was negotiating the analog to IP video shift.

"I don't think 12-year-olds can set up IP systems," said Banerjee, jokingly referring to one of Anderson's opening statements. "I think it's harder than that. But if that is the case, then you [integrators] are all out of business because I'm going to start a business full of 12-year-olds."

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