Video Surveillance: Remote Monitoring of Megapixel Cameras

The move to IP continues and compression stays top of mind


Remote monitoring of analog surveillance cameras has been a reality for some time through the use of industry standard compression codecs. Yet, as the industry migrates to megapixel IP cameras, new challenges arise. As the resolution of these network cameras continues to grow, so does the challenge of accessing and managing these storage-intense video files remotely.

Westec Intelligent Surveillance (recently acquired and merged into Interface Security Systems LLC), takes that challenge to an entirely new scale, monitoring thousands of cameras across the country.

“We all run into multi-location applications,” said Geoffrey Stoliker, Central Regional Sales Manager for Arecont Vision. “Yet one in particular was unique because the user wanted to have megapixel video monitored at a central station, as well as remote video monitoring at over 100 locations, which completely changed the ballgame,” Stoliker said.

To further complicate matters, each of the remote locations Stoliker referenced have 16 Arecont Vision megapixel IP cameras deployed per site. “With multiple locations you can never predict the quality of the network at each,” stated Stoliker. “Like many companies, this customer has limited bandwidth availability but wants to push megapixel video all the way to a central station. Pushing megapixel video over DSL is similar to shoving a piano through a keyhole!”

Interface Security Systems provides state-of-the-art video surveillance systems that allow customers to watch their business from remote locations, or with their Digital Witness solutions the company monitors it from their Central Command Center. “Our Central Command Center is the heartbeat of our business,” said Melissa Parsons, director of Product Management for Interface. “For our business model to work in the Central Command Center, video compression is an absolute essential.”

Driving the need for adaptive compression is the ongoing transition from analog to megapixel IP cameras. Megapixel cameras have demonstrated their superiority over legacy cameras in a variety of ways including increased coverage and improved image resolution—both achievable with fewer cameras. According to IMS Research, world shipments of megapixel resolution network IP cameras are predicted to outsell standard resolution analog security cameras in 2013 for the first time.

“The transition process that we are seeing more and more, even say 12 months ago, is the migration to IP,” Parsons said. “Some of our larger customers have transitioned to IP. The industry is changing. The question that we are faced with, ‘Is there enough bandwidth at the customer’s site to be able to manage the increased file sizes these cameras produce?’”

Enter 3xLOGIC Inc., based in Westminster, Colo. “We have been working with Arecont Vision since 2004 as a Technology Partner,” said Brian Davis, director of Sales for 3xLOGIC. “Our focus has been to find ways to reduce megapixel files down to a manageable size that can really stream—in both live and playback—over anyone’s network. Getting that vital information to anybody, anywhere, anytime—whether it’s through a Client application, monitoring stations, smartphone or any other device—our emphasis has been to make megapixel technology a manageable and usable resource.”

3xLOGIC was introduced to Interface Security through a Manufacturer’s Rep firm out of Texas named Campion Sales. “About two years ago we were looking for a strong video/server partner to help us extend our product base, enrich our business model and put us in some verticals that we hadn’t been in,” Parsons said. “We were looking for a stronger partner for some of the verticals that we currently are in.”

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