Three trends driving wireless networks for video surveillance

Coffman says top trends are HD's effect, offloading and mobile video feeds

April 6, 2011, Las Vegas, NV -- According to Firetide's Senior Marketing Manager Ksenia Coffman there are three top trends affecting wireless video surveillance deployments today: HD/megapixel, wireless offloading and mobile video

Number one on Coffman's list was the effect of HD and megapixel video surveillance on wireless networks. The point here, she said, is that when you increase resolution, you increase bandwidth, and this will impact how many cameras you can fit onto your wireless network. Fortunately, industry development of wireless technologies hasn't remained static; one of the things we've seen in the last couple years are wireless radios that handle even more bandwidth.

Coffman said the second trend she's seeing is wireless offloading of video from DVRs and NVRs. The model is simple here: The transit bus rolls into the bus depot at the end of a shift, and the driver presses a button to tell the recorder to offload the local storage that's on the bus onto the fixed storage there in the bus depot -- perhaps that might be offloading from the NVR to the central VMS. Rather than running a cable out to the bus to do the data dump, a wireless network is used to move the recorded data to central storage.

Trend number three from Coffman was the rise of mobile video. Let's be clear what mobile video is: This is the sending of video from a mobile asset (examples: a moving bus or a camera in a police cruiser) back to a fixed point, such as a command center. The challenge here for mobile video, said Coffman, is that "you have to have fairly dense fixed wireless infrastructure" so that the moving asset moves from radio to radio fairly seamlessly. Clearly this model would work well for trains on mass transit systems (Firetide already has a case study on this), but for a truly roaming asset like a police cruiser, the network needs to be even more dense. Of course, these video systems also record locally so that there's the feed going back for monitoring purposes to the command center, but also the high-quality data being captured on that hardened DVR located in the mobile vehicle itself. This mobile video model works best, she said, when you're dealing with a wide enough area to require mobile video, but one that still has some confined area to it. Besides the train-based transit model, another example for use of this type of mobile video might be at an airport. In an airport, if you could locate wireless access points for 100 percent property coverage, you could then allow any fire vehicle or security patrol vehicle to always be feeding its in-car video back to command from any point on the property.