Innovation in video surveillance tech at a crossroads: Part 1

Industry experts discuss continued shift towards IP, providing continued support for analog

Dave Poulin, director business operations, security and evidence management solutions, Panasonic: High-definition image quality is by far the biggest trend we’ve seen and it is redefining the way our customers are planning to deploy and upgrade their security systems. HD imagery is making it possible for security professionals to improve their situational awareness by capturing additional facial details, symbols, textures and other critical information with unprecedented precision and clarity. As the demand for higher megapixels and resolution has grown, we have continued to invest heavily in R&D projects focused on newer camera features and technologies designed to respond to this demand and provide our customers with the crisp, crystal-clear images that separate our security and video surveillance solutions from other manufacturers.

Courtney Dillon Pedersen, communications manager, Milestone Systems: Mobile access and sharing video between different locations and disparate entities is gaining wide interest these days. Especially in the education sector where budgets can be limited, we recognize the need for schools and local law enforcement to work together as closely as possible to improve the safety of students and staff. To help unite these two entities, we began an initiative this year called Secure Our Children. We aim to empower educational institutes with the ability to capture and share video using Milestone Mobile and Video Push to give local law enforcement access to surveillance from the schools, allowing them to take timely action when necessary. We give one free channel license per building and it’s also free to install the XProtect Web Client or Milestone Mobile client.

George Maroussis, manager, Genetec Technology Alliance: The cloud and video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) offerings which provide a unified platform that enhance operator responses to events, increased situational awareness and focused response from multiple sub-systems, threat level management and customized applications.

SIW: How do you continue to balance the continued push for IP while maintaining the balance necessary to support the existing large install base of analog technology?

Nilsson: Any customer who says they’re going to install a hundred new cameras, we have some analog what should we do? Of course, our integrator partners would prefer to sell them IP cameras because one, it’s more future proof, and it’s more revenue for them and hopefully provides for a happier customer. But I think it’s important to remember that the encoders are there and there are a lot of customers that need life of the analog system - whether they need to upgrade the DVR because it’s failing or it doesn’t have the capacity. It’s on those installations that we’re trying to educate people. It’s not really taking business from the IP camera side, but rather the DVR business. Instead of people, by habit, either walking into a store or ordering online gets another DVR to replace the failing one, we really want them to consider the encoder. It’s open, it’s more flexible and it positions you for the time you need to upgrade to network cameras. It comes with quite some education and we have to do it internally as well to make sure that our sales people present it in the right way.

De Fina: The large installed base of analog systems using legacy coax infrastructure still represents a considerable percentage of all video surveillance systems currently in place. We are supporting these users with new analog and HD products that will seamlessly integrate into their existing systems architecture, and we are providing them with feasible means of enhancing their analog systems with hybrid IP cameras and recorders so they can migrate to an IP platform at their own pace. Plus, there are new Ethernet/coax adapters available from several manufacturers that are easing the migration as well. This is an important transitional phase that will take years to play out as the costs associated with replacing legacy systems are often prohibitive.

Piran: The demand and implementation of hybrid devices allow the large base of analog users to introduce more advanced IP cameras and control solutions like Ocularis into their system architecture. We see this as an important transitional solution that helps protect users’ investments in leading edge technologies while allowing them to migrate to a networked platform at their own speed.

Burke: We have very little call to support analog technology today. For those who have requirements for such technology, such as casinos and smaller retail chains, we continue to provide select IP camera models with full-time analog out as an option.