The Digital Revolution
The future of security surveillance lies in digital technology advances
We now live in a digital world. Digital technology,
just like the air we breathe, has penetrated
our social life in every respect, including
surveillance systems in the security industry.
Born in the 1980s, surveillance systems have experienced
fast development, from simple, analog and discrete
to complicated, digital and integrated. Thanks to greatly
improved audio/visual compression technology, hard disk
capacity and CPU performance, it is now possible to build
fully digital surveillance systems. In fact, today there are
many integrated digital surveillance systems from different
manufacturers, running in different projects.
These systems have some common features, because
they all are digital systems. Signals, as well as commands
and statuses, are processed and transmitted in
digital format. Next, they are all networked systems.
Different devices from different subsystems are all connected
through a LAN or WAN. The most commonly
used protocols are TCP/IP.
All are integrated, large-scale systems with many different
subsystems, including video surveillance, access
control and alarm systems.
Surveillance systems grow according to customer
requirements. From the customer’s point of view, at a minimum,
surveillance systems need the following attributes.
Higher video resolution.Today, the highest resolution
used in surveillance products is D1; CIF resolution is the
most widely used. Although that is acceptable, it is not
ideal. Customers always prefer higher resolution, just as
the resolution of digital still cameras grew from 1
megapixel to more than 10 megapixels. One megapixel
will become part of the mainstream in surveillance systems
in the near future. As a side effect, higher hard disk
capacity and higher network bandwidth also are required.
Intelligent video function support. This is the most
important function customers request. In today’s surveillance
systems, video signals are digitized and compressed
for recording, transmission and remote monitoring
after decompression. Because people lose attention
after staring at multiple screens for 20 or 30 minutes, the
monitoring function of a surveillance system is imperfect
for customers. What can be done to make it more
ideal? The answer is intelligent video, meaning customers
are notified when there is anything abnormal in
the video images. The abnormal situation is caught by a
smart camera, smart digital video server or smart DVR.
There are many different scenarios intelligent video
can track, including abandoned objects, theft, intruder
detection, perimeter protection, running, loitering,
incorrect directions, statistical counting, slips and falls,
yellow safety line crossing, red light infringements, illegal
parking and hypervelocity.
In fact, some low-level intelligent video functions are
found in today’s surveillance systems, such as motion
detection or video tampering detection.
Video quality diagnostic function support. In
large-scale surveillance systems, the number of cameras
can be so large that it is impossible for a failed
camera to provide quality video images. In this case,
video quality diagnostic functions become important to
customers. A defective camera can be found by a smart
camera, smart digital video server or smart DVR and
reported to the customer. Also, there already are some
existing video quality diagnostic functions, such as signal
Mobile surveillance support. Mobile surveillance is
an exciting function for customers. Imagine one customer
using a mobile phone or PDA as a surveillance
system terminal to control all the devices in the system
and gain access to all the necessary information.
Also, for mobile object surveillance, or in places
where wired networks are not available, mobile surveillance
is the only choice. Although using high bandwidth
is not popular in wireless networks now, with increasing
bandwidth of wireless networks, especially the coming
3G network, mobile surveillance will play an important
role in the future.
As a digital surveillance product manufacturer,
Hikvision has completed in-depth studies on how
security systems will evolve and concluded that future
surveillance systems will be digitized, networked
and intelligent. Since 2002, generations of such products
have been developed by hundreds of company
engineers, including A/V compression
cards, networked DVRs, digital
video servers, IP cameras and the IP