HDcctv Advocate Explains Format

HDcctv Alliance, an industry group that launched in June, says it will make its proposed high definition video surveillance standard (HDcctv Interoperability Specification 1.0) publicly available in September. The gist of the consortium is to offer the marketplace a cheaper alternative to IP megapixel cameras. Todd Rockoff, chairman of the HDcctv Alliance, offers further insight.

What differentiates high-definition video from IP megapixel video?
HDcctv content conforms to broadcast industry (SMPTE) standards, whereas megapixel IP camera content is delivered as precompressed, packetized video for which there are several overlapping global standards bodies.

Do you view the HDcctv Alliance as being in direct competition with IP-based video?
The HDcctv Alliance is not anti-IP, and we recognize the wisdom of leveraging IP for the back haul from the premises. Therefore, HDcctv DVRs connect to the Internet, just like most CCTV DVRs. However, there is a crucial distinction between IP video and an IP camera. HDcctv systems are fundamentally superior to IP camera-based systems inside the premises with respect to reliability, convenience, cost and performance.

In which market niches is this technology most commercially viable?
Every CCTV installation having home-run coax les than 100 meters is a direct candidate for a plug-and-play, zero-training upgrade. HDcctv DVRs accept IP camera inputs and regular CCTV camera inputs in addition to HDcctv camera inputs, so upgrading to HDcctv need not be a painful experience.

What are the technology’s storage requirements?
The storage requirements for a 720p channel are similar to those of a 1-megapixel IP camera, and the storage requirements for a 1,080p channel are similar to those of a 2-megapixel IP camera.

Isn’t replacing DVRs going to affect the end user’s ROI?
The DVR market sees a good deal of churn, owing to the Moore’s Law improvement in compression algorithms. In recent years, DVRs have progressed from M-JPEG to MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 to H.264. The CCTV end market is comfortable with buying a new DVR, a plug-and-play upgrade. This is one reason why an HDcctv upgrade is so attractive; it delivers a very high-tech solution in a very comfortable form that preserves existing system management paradigms.

What is the main goal of the HDcctv Alliance?
To manage standards for interoperability among HDcctv equipment and promote the benefits of HDcctv for the end customer.

What does the HDcctv Interoperability Specification 1.0 currently cover?
It covers the video downlink from camera to monitor or DVR and from DVR to monitor for 720p and possibly 1,080p signals. Succeeding versions of the standard will address up-the-cable control, bidirectional audio and up-the-cable power. The Alliance has a firm commitment to forwards and backwards compatibility of successive specification versions.

High def video has been around for quite a while. What makes it financially realistic today in security applications?
Semiconductor advances in sensors, ISPs, link technology and codecs combine to make HDcctv a cost-effective next-generation digital technology for video surveillance.

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