The gaming industry has long been the province of analog security systems. Why? Despite the many advantages that network (IP-based) systems offer (high-definition video, greater scalability and flexibility), we can only surmise that some of the reasons are cost, including removing and replacing cabling, difficulty in changing current control room equipment, training and possible disruption of operation.
Sony is now launching its line of hybrid HD cameras to address these issues. This enabling technology allows HD network video capabilities while extending the value of the investment in both the current analog control room equipment and operation as well as the existing coaxial infrastructure.
While there are coaxial media converters available to allow the use of IP cameras over coax, this hybrid technology is completely different. Both analog SD video and HD IP video are ‘riding’ on the same single coaxial cable. Add to this the benefit of being able to use 1,000-foot runs (Ethernet has a 328-foot limit).
Other important aspects to hybrid are the live monitoring and control capability. The latency in IP systems has two dimensions: in the video stream itself and in the command and control of cameras. If you’re following a person of interest across a casino, you want the precise, immediate control that analog offers. This is crucial when cameras are zoomed in, making the task of tracking someone at a distance more difficult. With hybrid solutions, you can get the best of both worlds—the near-zero latency of analog plus IP’s HD imaging quality.
The practical implications are enormous. This gives end users a much wider range of choices in how to add capabilities. With hybrid solutions, the end-user’s needs, NOT the technology, dictates how they add IP functionality to their analog systems.
Mark Collett is the general manager of Sony Security Systems Division, headquartered in Park Ridge, N.J.