Video Trends Unfold at IP UserGroup’s Forum


Security industry executives speaking at the IP User Group USA’s IP-in-Action LIVE forum at the Pasadena (Calif.) Conference Center on Tuesday discussed analog versus IP, cloud-based surveillance, image quality considerations and several other key trends.

In his keynote, Charles Foley urged the industry to accelerate the push toward IP-based surveillance. Foley, chairman and CEO of TimeSight Systems, urged the industry to embrace IP-based technology rather than relying on the “dead horse wisdom” of analog or strict recurring monthly revenue (RMR) models.

“What do you do when you’re riding a dead horse,” Foley asked rhetorically. “Sometimes we beat a dead horse to make it go faster.”

Foley identified technological trends such as moving a physical security network to an IP backbone, addressing data storage challenges, thinking about video as data, integrating video into larger systems such as access control or IT networks, and implementing cloud-based storage.

Sales growth of IP-based equipment is exceeding 15 percent, according to IMS Research statistics quoted by Foley. He also emphasized the importance of working well with IT managers who are now involved in 60 percent of security purchasing decisions.

While Foley said cloud-based video systems present bandwidth and reliability challenges – and should be limited to residential, spot checking, alert monitoring or non-forensic uses – Brivo’s James McQuade took a different tack.

McQuade, Brivo’s southwest sales manager, said software-as-a-service (SaaS) projects will grow at least 21 percent a year, quoting data from Gartner, a research and advisory firm.

Cloud-based systems share video via the Internet by using Web portals, video management software (VMS) and secure offsite servers to house the data. SaaS hosting architecture provides flexibility to end users who have concerns about, as McQuade put it, the “5 C’s” of change, compliance, cost, continuity and coverage.

VideoIQ CTO Doug Marman focused on video analytics in his presentation, “Emerging Technology: Intelligent Storage in the Camera.” Analytics performed inside the camera addresses bandwidth concerns, because DSL uploads tend to max out at 384kbps and Internet service providers are putting caps on users, Marman said. He also noted less than 1 percent of captured footage is ever played back.

Configuring systems for end users with regard to image quality was the subject of IQinVision’s presentation by Peter DeAngelis, president and CEO, and Paul Bodell, chief marketing officer.

Bodell said image quality falls into general, forensic and high-quality tiers. General quality is sufficient for traffic monitoring, overview of military installations and crowds at stadiums or shopping malls.

Forensic video captures more recognizable details such as faces and license plates (to “catch the bad guys”) and is used for retail, banks, educational sites, casinos, parking lots or airports. Higher-quality imagery is only needed for cash counting, pharmaceutical operations (to see individual pills) or retail registers.

Bodell said the level of detail needed should arise from the individual situation. Integrators should pick cameras considering frame rates as well as camera resolution. Oftentimes, a 30 frames-per-second rate is more than what’s needed, he added.

Compression was the topic of DeAngelis’ remarks. The executive also listed nine considerations integrators need to address when configuring cameras: resolution, frame rate, weather, lighting, scene motion, object speed, camera motion, live viewing and recording.

In his presentation, “Protecting Your Investment in Analog: Using Hybrid Technologies,” Honeywell Video Systems’ Marek Robinson discussed the versatility of systems that deploy analog and IP equipment together. These systems offer unique benefits such as mobility and economy of infrastructure; they can incorporate a variety of devices; and can offer a value-add proposition for end users, Robinson said.

With “IP Master Class: Megapixel in the Enterprise,” Arecont Vision’s Nathan Wheeler discussed projects with hundreds or thousands of cameras.

Roadblocks in these broader-scope projects arise out of cost concerns associated with cameras, storage, network infrastructure and migration to supporting VMS.

The sales curves for analog and IP are closing, as both areas are seeing growth. By 2012, analog sales will reach $2.94 billion, compared with $2.38 billion for IP equipment, Wheeler said, citing IMS Research.

“We’ve hit this intersection between price and capacity,” Wheeler said about IP equipment. “It’s changing it substantially as you’re seeing the price dropping substantially.”

Wheeler also gave attendees an ISC West preview, saying there would be new technology announced at that show that could challenge random arrays of independent disks (RAID), an umbrella term for storage schemes that can divide and replicate data among multiple hard drives.

A new way of writing to hard drives will be introduced that will eliminate continuous drive spinning and enable “cold” swapping of drives, Wheeler said.

The IP User Group forum series, held nationally and in the United Kingdom, focuses solely on networked physical security and building management solutions. The organization has 15,000 global members and more than 125 member companies. For a schedule of future event dates, click here.

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