I Can See Clearly Now

High definition imaging coupled with H.264 compression is pushing the envelope of networked video surveillance systems, promising to reduce the number of cameras necessary for large-scale coverage. Ken LaMarca, vice president of Sony Security Systems Group, discusses why the adoption of HD solutions will continue to accelerate in coming years.

Who will be the early adopters of HD and in which verticals will it be most practical?

High definition makes the most sense in applications requiring more detailed resolution than that provided by today’s standard definition cameras. While the value proposition HD offers critical infrastructure applications, such as tunnels, bridges, harbors and other national assets is immediately obvious, I believe the adoption of HD will accelerate in the coming years in a wide number of security applications, including corporate, finance, education and transportation.

Why is high definition compelling to the security market?

The ability to capture in HD isn’t simply a matter of improving picture quality, it’s critical. Whether you’re reviewing images for forensics purposes, identifying an individual in a large space, or zooming in on a license plate from a car that’s left the scene, HD images can improve your chances of successful identification — regardless of whether you’re ready to head to court or collecting detailed information during the evidence-gathering phase of an investigation.

What are the chief roadblocks slowing the adoption of HD solutions?

The broad adoption of the technology will depend on multiple factors. These include improved compression technologies, lower storage costs, and higher capacity drives and networks. Ultimately, our ability as manufacturers to provide market-driven products and solutions, while showing real benefits to the end-user segment in terms of value, will be the key to opening the door for HD adoption.

How can security contractors prepare to utilize HD technology?

When you’re working with any IP system, understanding bandwidth and storage is always going to be a critical element of the equation. As camera technologies have advanced from standard definition to megapixel, and now a new generation of HD cameras, so have compression schemes, storage solutions and bandwidth management technologies.

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