Trends in Networked Video

Oct. 27, 2008
This month I reached out to Frank DeFina, president, Panasonic System Solutions Company, Secaucus, N.J., to learn some of his thoughts regarding the direction of networked video surveillance.

Harlick: What key factors are driving the rapid acceptance of networked video?
DeFina: The intrinsic benefits of networked systems include virtually unlimited scalability, extensive remote capabilities, ease of installation and less dependency on hardware solutions, as IP systems are predominantly software driven. These all apply very well to networked video systems with additional benefits such as the use of distributed hardware that enables systems to be easily expanded. And then there’s the issue of integration – with previously disparate security systems such as access control and related systems such as point of sale systems – as well as integration on the enterprise level across all business applications. The net benefit is lower total cost of ownership, as networked systems can change as users’ needs develop and new technologies become available with unprecedented cost-efficiency.

Harlick: Is there any specific product category or technology that is influencing the migration to networked systems?
DeFina: Advanced imaging technologies continue to greatly influence the migration to a networked platform. Panasonic introduced the i-Pro Series of professional and intelligent IP products a few years ago knowing that high-quality image capture is the primary objective of all video surveillance systems.

Harlick: How will megapixel cameras impact video systems moving forward?
DeFina: There is continued development of megapixel IP cameras with feature sets like Day/Night operation, progressive scanning, Adaptive Black Stretch to control highly contrasted images, and high-speed electronic shutters that were previously reserved for more advanced analog cameras. The combination of these features with the HD image quality produced by megapixel chip sets provides numerous coverage capabilities with vastly increased data for use with video analytic middleware. We also anticipate the price points of megapixel cameras to start dropping, bringing the cost of implementation closer to that of conventional IP cameras.

Harlick: What other new products or technologies are impacting the development and implementation of video surveillance systems?
DeFina: First it’s important to define the basic system configurations that form the foundation for all systems today: analog, hybrid and IP. Panasonic addresses all of these systems models to support both legacy and new system installations. We recently visited a large healthcare site with remote campuses that is presently using a hybrid system and replacing its IP cameras with analog models as a result of an overburdened network infrastructure. In this case, they can yield higher performance more efficiently by supplementing their system with analog satellite systems that are then networked to their central command station. In this instance, newly developed DVRs, NVRs and video servers/CODECs provide the cross-platform capabilities to effectively integrate these satellite analog sub-systems with existing IP video surveillance systems for centralized control via a network backbone. It’s an innovative solution that exemplifies the flexibility a networked infrastructure provides.