Questions & Answers
From the Product Manager's POV
Megapixel cameras provide video images with the clarity
and definition that users have always wanted from
their video systems. Camera provider Arecont Vision
suggests that now is the time for integrators and end
users to take advantage of megapixel technology. The
company's go-to market strategy is to provide
megapixel performance at price points comparable to
IP VGA and analog cameras, thus opening more applications
to the benefits of megapixel technology. For an
update, we interviewed Raul Calderon, Arecont Vision's
vice president of strategic relations.
Q.We have heard that users are concerned about
the bandwidth and storage implications of
using megapixel technology. What can you tell them?
A.Arecont Vision pioneered the use of H.264 compression
in the security industry as it applies to
high-definition and higher multi-megapixel resolution.
Arecont Vision's implementation of H.264 on its
MegaVideo® platform results in a massively parallel
pipeline that provides 80 billion operations per second,
allowing full frame rates at full megapixel resolution.
With the addition of H.264, our megapixel cameras are
able to achieve up to 10 times greater compression efficiency
on average compared to M-JPEG equivalents,
thus solving any bandwidth and storage concerns.
As a result, users can take full advantage of megapixel
technology in terms of image size and resolution with
manageable bandwidth and storage requirements and
full frame rates at full multi-megapixel resolution. With
H.264 compression, megapixel video now achieves the
same real-time frame rates as VGA at M-JPEG VGA
Q.In what applications is megapixel technology
having the greatest impact?
A.Megapixel cameras are appropriate for any application
where an analog camera or IP VGA camera
is used. They deliver a significant improvement in
image quality, without any real difference in cost. It is
possible to take bandwidth and storage concerns out of
the budget equation now that H.264 compression is
available. These factors open up a world of opportunities
for megapixel technology.
We are seeing wide interest across all vertical markets,
including the gaming, municipal, healthcare, education,
transportation, financial and retail areas.
Demand for megapixel technology is coming from virtually
everywhere video surveillance is being used and
where the need exists for high-resolution imaging. This
trend has been driving continued growth. Given the tangible
cost benefits megapixel technology delivers, we
expect it to continue through 2009 and beyond.
Q.What does Arecont Vision offer in the megapixel
A.We currently have three series of H.264
megapixel cameras. Additionally, these cameras
support H.264 and M-JPEG at full frame rates and provide
multi-streaming capabilities that accommodate up
to eight concurrent non-identical video streams with
variable frame rates, bit rates, resolution and picture
quality. This high degree of versatility makes the H.264
megapixel cameras adaptable to the specific needs of
integrators and end users.
Q.What new products does Arecont Vision offer
A.We recently introduced our MegaDome series
with an all-in-one solution. The units combine a
megapixel camera, a megapixel varifocal lens and a vandal-
resistant enclosure into a highly versatile dome camera
configuration. They have all the advanced technology
and features of our MegaVideo series cameras with
the added benefit of ease of installation due to their preconfigured
all-in-one design. Additionally, an easily
adjustable camera gimbal provides 360-degree pan and
90-degree tilt adjustment for accurate positioning, and
each features an integrated 4- to 10-millimeter megapixel
varifocal lens. The domes are supplied in a surfacemount
configuration with pendant-mount and wallmount
options available. The vandal-resistant aluminum
chassis and 4-inch polycarbonate dome also meet the IP-
66 weatherproofing standard. It's a significant expansion
of our product line designed to deliver exactly what
the customer needs.
Q. How is Arecont Vision simplifying the integration
of its cameras with other systems?
A.We have entered into numerous technology and
software partnerships with industry leaders
around the world to ensure seamless integration of our
megapixel cameras with NVRs, analytics, storage
devices, wireless systems and other video system platforms.
We continually provide our partners with
firmware and SDK updates so they can update the drivers
for our cameras on their platforms.
We have relationships with more than 50 industry
leaders worldwide, including Bosch, GE, Nice Systems,
Verint, Milestone, Genetec, Exacq and Mirasys.
Additionally, Arecont Vision is migrating its platforms
to comply with impending security industry standards.
Integrators and end users demand that security system
components work together, and we are actively reaching
out to partners to ensure Arecont Vision's megapixel
cameras can seamlessly integrate with other systems.
Q.In tough economic times, users are looking for
return on investment. What is the economic
case for megapixel technology?
A.Megapixel cameras are ideal for applications
where a single camera can replace multiple
lower-resolution cameras. This escalates the economic
advantages for implementing megapixel cameras versus
conventional analog and IP cameras. Additionally,
our megapixel cameras are comparable in price to IP
VGA and analog cameras with encoders, which has
eliminated any increases in cost while significantly
improving imaging performance. It's a win-win value
proposition for integrators and end users. To take the
economic benefits of employing megapixel cameras
further, you need to look at the cost per unit area under
surveillance, and you'll easily conclude that one
megapixel camera can provide superior coverage over
multiple conventional cameras as a result of their ability
to capture extreme detail.
Q.What does the future hold for megapixel
A.With the implementation of H.264 compression,
high-definition megapixel cameras are quickly
becoming the standard technology for video surveillance
imaging and not just for specific viewing assignments
within a system. Additionally, the opportunity exists for
a much broader use of megapixel cameras as a result of
affordable pricing. The challenge is to continue to educate
the market on these benefits. It's a message that we,
as a manufacturer and technology leader, need to communicate,
and the word is starting to spread rapidly as
more and more megapixel cameras are successfully
deployed in the field.
This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of Security Today.