GE's SymSuite IP Platform Bridges Analog and Digital Video

March 21, 2005
Users connect existing analog cameras and monitors to an IP network

GE's Security business has introduced its new SymSuite IP solution, which lets users already invested in legacy analog systems create an IP-based video network while continuing to use their existing analog equipment. Users can connect SymVeo IP platform cameras, SymDec digital video recorders, PCs and servers directly to the network. SymNet encoders/decoders provide network access for currently used analog cameras and monitors. The platform can be used anywhere an organization needs to capture surveillance video and is especially beneficial in applications with multiple facilities such as banks and ATM kiosks, school campuses, office and industrial parks and retail chains.

"Because security applications are varied and broad, the market demands solutions that will bridge gaps between analog and digital products, provide high scalability and solve security issues in small commercial to large enterprise business environments," said Robert Siegel, Security's marketing manager for video solutions. "These new GE SymSuite products are just the beginnings of a complete digital security system, which will work together just like instruments in a symphony. Using these products as building blocks, we are providing a fully-featured solution designed for use in an IP environment."

The SymVeo camera lets customers use an existing Ethernet network to send video signals. Anywhere users can access an IP network, they can access cameras and digital recorders to view high-quality digital images up to D1 resolution. They can gracefully move to an integrated, or hybrid, IP platform for all of their security applications.

Besides Ethernet outputs, the new camera also features a BNC output, providing a direct network connection while supporting existing analog equipment. The camera also capitalizes on GE's successful, advanced Xposure technology, which exposes each pixel individually to produce clear, detailed images in the most challenging lighting conditions. A built-in MPEG-4 encoder compresses video output to preserve network performance without compromising image quality. Users can add either live or recorded audio.

The SymDec introduces hybrid recording that works with both conventional analog cameras and the new family of GE digital cameras. It allows users to record full-sized images at full speed on every channel. Using MPEG-4 compression, the VSR records at 60, 30, 20, 10 and 5 fields per second and has full Triplex functionality for simultaneous viewing, playback and recording of video. Its streaming video capabilities offer up to four single channels of recording at D1 quality or four channels of CIF quality. The SymDec fits into a standard 19-inch rack. A removable hard drive caddy provides portable storage or evidence transfer. It can be easily networked and viewed remotely via Ethernet.

The SymNet encoders/decoders allow connections of any existing analog cameras, domes, keyboards and monitors to an IP network. The encoder converts video from analog cameras into a MPEG-4 data stream of 2Mb/s. Decoders convert the MPEG-4 data stream back to composite NTSC output for viewing on traditional analog monitors. Two built-in serial ports on each unit let users communicate with PTZ cameras on the network using RS-232 or RS-485 protocol from a PC or keypad connected to an encoder.

GE's SymNav software lets users view their entire network through their PCs. Since the network's inputs are not multiplexed, they can see real-time, full-motion video of broadcast quality images at 30 fps for each channel. They can call up four cameras at one time or view video in a single window. They can also find video storage quickly by searching for time/date, camera, alarm, event, or transaction text. The software also lets users control PTZ cameras.

The new GE SymSuite is available now.