Q&A From the Top: Gary Perlin

Opinions vary on the right time to deploy IP video surveillance systems. One factor is certainly the economy; the other is getting the most use from what is already working. We wanted to know more, so we talked with Gary Perlin, the vice president of video products at Speco Technologies, for more information.

Q. There has been a steady migration from analog to digital IP, even during the recent recession. How has this affected the management of your products?

A. The intensity of the migration from analog to IP varies depending upon your geographic location and the industries you service. At Speco Technologies, we do not see anything resembling a steady migration.

It is a more cautious, gradual shift and only done when and where it makes economic sense. Now that the IP hype has died down, dealers are learning when it makes sense to use IP and when analog is still the best choice. Speco Technologies continues to introduce new IP products, including a line of H.264 megapixel cameras, but analog is still king for the time being.

Q. What is your take on the continued growth of IP video surveillance through the rest of 2010 and into 2011?

A. The growth is real and will continue at an even pace. Don’t be fooled by numbers like 50-percent growth because the base numbers are too small to have meaning. IP will continue to grow as more people become comfortable with the technology and the infrastructure improves, but growth will be tempered by the availability of higher-resolution analog cameras and HDcctv technology.

Q. What challenges do you foresee in terms of growth, and what technology advantages do you anticipate in the future?

A. Challenges include a lack of networking knowledge, high camera prices when used in small to mid-sized systems and limited bandwidth. Future advances will include better compression, reducing bandwidth requirements, lower prices, products that are easier to network and standards, like ONVIF, which will unify the products of competing manufacturers.

Q. What advice do you have for system integrators considering IP?

A. Analyze the security requirements and infrastructure of a facility before deciding upon IP or analog products. There might be advantages of one over the other, and often, a combination of the technologies will serve your client best. Finally, take a moment and talk about the recent introduction of HDcctv.

Q. What does HDcctv mean to Speco and to many others looking at security systems?

A. HDcctv will have a major impact upon the industry in the near future. It is the bridge between analog and megapixel IP cameras. In many cases, it will allow existing analog systems to be upgraded to megapixel resolution using existing cables and connectors.

It also will allow analog installers to compete against their network-savvy counterparts in many situations. Speco Technologies has joined the HDcctv Alliance and believe that this technology will co-exist with analog and IP cameras for many years to come.

These three different technologies, if used judiciously, can work together to accomplish surveillance goals once deemed impossible.

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