Saying that certain camera manufacturers are making less than honest claims about the quality of the video surveillance products, IC Realtime CEO Matt Sailor is laying down the gauntlet by challenging the entire industry to abide by the new Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2802 standard for camera performance.
UL 2802 Performance Testing Standard for Camera Image Quality was in the works for more than two years and was finally released in 2013. The new standard defines a method to assess video image quality through a series of performance-based tests that are conducted on production digital cameras.
Cameras are rated (on a scale of 0 thru 100) on a series of performance-based parameters, including image resolution, distortion, relative illumination, dynamic range, maximum frame rate, gray level, sensitivity, bad pixel count and veiling glare. Each camera tested is given a performance score for each individual test (except Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Field of View).
The camera images analyzed for this test program are digital images that are generated by individual video frames or still image captures. Both IP and analog cameras are being tested, along with associated digital encoders and related image viewing / configuration software, as applicable.
The suitability of the camera for a specific use case is not determined by the standard. The resulting test scores are intended to provide objective information that will be useful when determining camera use applications (i.e., a camera that performs well in sensitivity and gray level tests may be a good choice for low light use cases).
The standard performs an evaluation on a specific camera configuration that utilize image sensors, processors and software, operating system, lens, camera housing / body and the like.
”A standard for testing camera performance is crucial in keeping everyone’s claims honest,” says Sailor, adding, “For years IC Realtime’s test labs have been evaluating competitor’s cameras and the amount of deception that we’ve witnessed would blow your mind! I mean cameras that come nowhere even close to what manufacturer’s state as specifications. It’s truly unfair to the end-user and in the end the integrator’s reputation is put in jeopardy.”
Sailor cautions other manufacturers, “If you want to compete in my marketplace, you’d better follow through and have UL certify your camera’s performance.”
IC Realtime submitted its B-2000 2-MegaPixel IP Bullet camera to UL to use as part of the testing development process. According to UL, the camera achieved high scores on many of the performance tests, with a certification and the results expected to be published shortly.
Jason Knott is the Editor of SSI‘s sister publication, CEPro. He has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry.