IP Video Is on the Rise, But How Fast?

A stock market maxim says that past performance does not necessarily indicate future returns. Nowadays, the same holds true for the security surveillance industry.

According to IMS Research, there are about 45 million surveillance cameras deployed around the world. The great majority of them are of the sturdy-performing analog variety. But industry experts prognosticate an eventual sea change: the future of video surveillance, in fact, is digital. 

To be more exact, the surveillance industry is at the beginning of a migration to IP (Internet protocol) technology. In IP surveillance systems the cameras, recorders and other related devices connect to one another over a data network using the same transmission methods that computers in a home or office use to communicate over the Internet. 

Unlike analog systems, which require each camera to be directly cabled to a recorder, each piece of IP equipment connects by finding the IP address of the others. This allows IP cameras to be monitored and recorded centrally from virtually any distance via the Internet. 

So, the big issue is not whether video surveillance is moving to IP, but rather how fast that migration is going to happen. What are the advantages and pitfalls of IP security? Is IP video an all-or-nothing proposition? What do installers and users need to know to determine the best path forward into the future of networked IP? You are about to uncover the answers to these and many other probing questions.

Industry Insiders Debate the Trajectory of Transition to IP Video
End users and industry practitioners should not expect the migration to IP security to necessarily transpire rapidly. The reality is there are hybrid analog-IP systems available that can help companies preserve their existing analog equipment investments, yet transition smoothly to the world of networked IP. Other forces are also at play. 

“The security industry is notably resistant to change, and new technologies generally take a while to gain acceptance,” says Simon Harris, senior research director for IMS Research. “It will be a gradual transition. But IP is coming on strong.”

In fact, IMS reports that the world market for IP-based network video surveillance products grew at an impressive 41.9 percent clip in 2006. By 2010, Harris predicts, IP systems will make up about a third of security cameras shipped. The combined market for network cameras, video servers and NVRs (network video recorders) is forecast to exceed $2.6 billion in 2010. 

Other industry experts think IP adoption might happen even faster. After all, security-system customers have had one foot in the digital world for years. The vast majority of users have transitioned from analog VCRs to DVRs, and many of those have already connected their DVRs to the Internet to allow remote surveillance monitoring. 

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