Video Trends To Focus On
- By Brian Carle
- Dec 01, 2016
If these technologies aren’t on your radar, they probably should be. These
product categories are rapidly growing in popularity and for good reason.
Whether you’re a professional system designer looking to present the most
competitive and effective solutions, or you’re planning a video security deployment
for your own organization, incorporating these technologies may
provide the best end result.
SMART H.264 CODECS
Compared to many other types of information, video requires a lot of bandwidth to
transmit and storage to retain. As such, the latest compression technologies like H.265
and smart H.264 codecs can provide a major advantage over mainstream H.264.
H.265 promises benefits of 30 to 50 percent bitrate savings over H.264 while
delivering the same level of quality. However, there are still limitations preventing
the widespread adoption of H.265. At the time of writing, the majority of
VMS platforms and IP cameras do not support H.265, so product options are
limited. For systems that do support H.265, users need to consider that H.265
requires considerably more CPU power to decode than H.264. This translates to
significantly higher costs for processing components used in client workstations
and NVR servers, which may offset savings in other areas.
Smart H.264 codecs, like Arecont SNAPstream, Axis Zipstream, Hanwha WiseStream
or HikVision H.264+, provide many of the benefits of H.265 without the
drawbacks. Bandwidth and storage consumption can be reduced by similar levels
as seen with H.265. Furthermore, processing requirements and VMS compatibility
are similar to traditional H.264, so it can be widely used with current product
offerings to save on bandwidth and storage without adding costs related to processing
ANALOG HD CAMERAS
Analog HD cameras bring high definition video quality to traditional coax cable
connections, allowing consumers with existing analog cameras to upgrade video
quality at a lower cost than using traditional IP camera offerings.
For years, upgrading CCTV cameras meant either replacing coax cabling with
Ethernet or using coax-to-Ethernet converters. Now, an analog HD camera can be
connected to the existing infrastructure and deliver 720P or 1080P quality video
for a fraction of the cost.
In addition to upgrading quality of existing analog cameras, there are some
alternative applications for HD analog products. For example, for higher security
installations, like a network colocation facility, it could be desirable to use an analog
HD camera instead of an IP camera to prevent any possibility of providing
access to the network outside the facility.
Because the signaling standards are different, be aware that not all DVRs, NVR
capture cards or encoders are compatible with analog HD. Equipment traditionally
compatible with analog cameras conforms to the NTSC or PAL (or SECAM)
standards. Analog HD cameras come in a variety of standards and therefore are
not universally compatible as plug and play like we’ve come to expect with analog
ALL-IN-ONE NVR PLATFORMS
The headend equipment required for an IP video surveillance deployment involves
installing two or three separate boxes: a Network Video Recorder, network switch
and a client workstation. Having so many pieces of equipment can be of concern
with smaller camera-count deployments, which are often space constrained, as
may be the case with small stores or restaurants. With any deployment, budget is
always a consideration, and reducing the cost of installation allows for a greater
proportion of funds to be put towards technology.
The all-in-one NVR combines the client, NVR server and switch into a single
box. IP cameras plug directly in the back of the NVR where a Power over Ethernet
switch is built in. The system houses built-in storage for recording. Video output
connections allow live monitoring and investigations tools to be shown on a single
or multiple displays.
Combining these functions in a single system provides a number of benefits.
Time spent designing a system, ensuring compatibility of components and sourcing
equipment is reduced. Installing a single box, as opposed to two or three
separate systems, reduces installation time related to mounting, cabling and configuration.
Also, in the event of a problem, there’s only one vendor to call for the
entire headend of the video security system.
All-in-one platforms are not appropriate for every site, and there are some feature
considerations to keep in mind. Scalability for a single site may be limited by storage capacity and switch port count.
Generally, these systems come as 8, 16
or 24 switch ports and scale up to 12TB
of storage; however, some models allow
up to 24TB of recording capacity. With
respect to client functionality, consider
the number of video output ports, the
type of connector (VGA, HDMI etc.)
but also the maximum resolution supported.
If the system will be used as a
client, ensure the system’s processing
capacity allows for recording and live
display of all cameras simultaneously.
Finally, all PoE switches have a power
budget, which is the maximum wattage
available to all devices connected
and drawing power. Ensure the switch
is at a minimum a Class 3 PoE switch,
but if connecting PTZ cameras or cameras
with built in illumination, a higher
power budget may be necessary.
Video analytics have been a much discussed
technology for over a decade.
Factors limiting adoption of video
analytics have been cost, complexity of
installation and, until more recently, a
reputation for poor accuracy.
Over the past couple of years, two
important developments have occurred
with analytics technology. First, the
reputation of video analytics has improved
dramatically. However, the
trend of primary interest is that analytics
have been shipping as a feature built
into many IP cameras.
Having analytics built into the camera
reduces two of the barriers to their
deployment: cost and complexity of
Analytics have traditionally been sold
as a software package and installed on
a server. This model usually requires a
separate computer due to the significant
amount of processing power required to
decode and analyze video streams. Also,
analytics have usually been sourced
from a company specializing in developing
analytics technology, adding another
vendor to evaluate when designing
a project and requiring the purchase of
licenses from that vendor. With camera
based analytics, if a consumer was
planning to purchasing the camera and
it happened to come with analytics, the
only cost consideration becomes installer
time to setup and tune the analytics.
Taking advantage of these built-in
analytics can add considerable value.
If recording on event, the analytics can
reduce storage consumption and provide
better accuracy than video motion
detection. Analytics also have the potential
to expedite an investigation by
providing metadata descriptions of the
type of analytics, providing insight into
the activity captured before taking the
time to review a recorded clip.
Whether you’re looking to reduce
costs, simplify deployment or optimize investigations,
these growth technologies go
a long way towards getting you the best
result from your video
This article originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Security Today.