Innovation in video surveillance tech at a crossroads: Part 2

Experts weigh in on resolution arms race, advances in edge capabilities and video storage


Storage is one issue as a result of several factors including better compression like H.264 which has reduced storage and bandwidth requirements, and the ability to program megapixel cameras to switch to high-resolution only when prompted by analytics like motion detection or an external trigger from a video management solution. All of these edge devices – cameras, NVRs, control software and analytics – are all evolving in tandem to deliver higher performance and ROI.

Piran: It’s a natural expectation for recording technologies to continue to evolve and deliver greater storage capacities at lower costs. In step with improvements in edge recording technology, I anticipate that camera manufacturers will also continue to improve imaging performance in terms of higher resolution. This will make it more cost-effective for users to add cameras to their systems which will further accelerate the deployment of VMS solutions like Ocularis that offers infinite scalability without penalty.

Burke: Although talked about for years, edge technology is now just taking off. Previous limits on processing power and storage capacity are rapidly diminishing while currently emerging technologies will essentially provide more bandwidth and processing power capability within the camera than is possible on the network.

Schafer: There’s no mistaking that there are tangible costs associated with increased storage and bandwidth capacity. However, server/recording technologies also continue to improve to better accommodate images produced by high-resolution and high frame rate imaging devices such as megapixel cameras. In recent years, we have already seen developments like H.264 compression and event-based programmable resolution and frame rates have alleviated many of the concerns and issues initially experienced by high performance imaging devices. The deployment of more advanced, high resolution megapixel based video surveillance systems is testimony to this trend that continues to grow on a global scale.

Poulin: Increased storage capabilities have certainly changed the way new camera technologies are developed. Built to accommodate real-time data streaming and user expansion, digital video systems are already enabling security professionals to capture data that is of both higher quality and more advanced resolution. Increased storage capabilities allow them to record and process greater volumes of video much faster than legacy tape-based video surveillance systems, using advanced data compression technologies to maximize bandwidth and deliver exceptional quality playback.

Maroussis: Edge recording was a brilliant invention and has incredibly impacted the way cameras are becoming smarter, but edge data alone is not enough to allow the camera industry to rest. Higher resolution, panamorphic, 360-degree and multi-resolution cameras with ever increasing intelligence keep getting better and better. Smart analytics and real-time functions, PTZ via remote Wi-Fi and mobile devices, with built-in alarms and increased sensitivities to alerts, will keep the camera industry developing ever-changing technology.

SIW: For years, video storage was a big challenge for end users. Is this still true today or have storage capacities and price points reached a point where it is no longer the issue that it once was?

Olivier Thierry, chief marketing officer, Pivot3: The challenge has changed and become more IT-centric as video surveillance has gone IP and high-definition. High-resolution video drives up the need for both capacity and performance. Even though price points have come down, capacities have increased. Therefore, the need for shared IP-based storage (SANs) has increased because these appliances deliver robust performance, failover options and increased retention times. Overall, the trend is for more virtualization and converged infrastructure deployment (servers and storage in same appliances) to reduce capital costs, simplify deployment and maintenance, and reduce operations costs including power and cooling.

Mike Scirica, vice president of marketing and sales, WavestoreUSA: Storage is typically the most expensive element in a commercial video security system and the price of storage continues to outpace all other technology savings. But high-definition/megapixel cameras are reducing the total number of cameras required for an installation by covering more area. It is usually more efficient to record a single high megapixel camera than several lower resolution ones. Wide area surveillance is possible and the smaller percentage of moving through a camera's field-of-view allows for more efficient recording. Overall, this streamlines recording and reduces upfront and long-term costs.