The Future of Video Security – a hybrid of analogue and IP By Simon Nash, Senior European Marketing Manager, Video Security for Sony Professional Over the past couple of years and in particular in the last twelve months coming out of the credit crunch; companies have been looking for ways to cut costs while still retaining a high level of quality and service to provide to customers. Many believe that the way forward is through IP systems, but with 70% of the market still not making the move from analogue there is need to address the differences between the two systems and what solutions from manufacturers are on offer to alleviate issues. There are many differences between IP and analogue. With analogue cameras you turn the video signal into a format that can be received by a television or other receiver such as a VCR, whereas the IP based cameras digitise the video signal using an encoder. Although analogue has a lower cost, ease of compatibility with various brands and greater flexibility in style, it lacks advanced features such as a digital zoom and often has interference problems and low resolution and picture quality. IP cameras require a higher bandwidth to run on, but they have better wireless reception and can have remote access for remote surveillance needs. Both platforms have their benefits, but moving into the future the benefits of IP will far outweigh that of the analogue. In regards to IP, its video surveillance and analytics that are moving the fastest. Identity management is an area where new features and functions are coming into the market as technical advances and lower price points move forward. In general, it’s a greater acceptance of IP technology in areas that did not necessarily utilise the media for security purposes in the past, such as retail and manufacturing that 12
are seeing increasing consumption of IP. The slowest to move into IP is security applications pertaining to high-rise commercial multi-tenant occupation and education facilities. What many are doing, and what is typical of many installations today where end users and integrators are adopting what they feel are the most beneficial pieces of IP-based technology, is using adapters such as Sony’s ‘Go Hybrid’ solution. Utilising the Sony ‘Go Hybrid’ solution includes the pros of both systems without the additional cost. Sony’s ‘Go Hybrid’ video security solutions allow a seamless integration of old and new across the range of products. You can migrate to IP without throwing away your analogue systems and more importantly even if some of your systems are from alternative manufacturers, still integrate them. This hybrid approach is helping to alleviate the technical issues and costs traditionally associated with switching to a new system and enabling businesses to future proof their security infrastructure. Sony recognises the potential for hybrid solutions to transform the security industry by driving the adoption of IP technology. Sony has developed a breadth of both analogue and IP video security technology, from recorders and cameras, to software, encoders and monitors that can all be combined. Encoders can be used to convert signals from one platform to the other. Not only does this enable businesses to move from analogue to IP with ease, users can seamlessly integrate standard and high definition security equipment, without having to replace their existing security system.
There is a growing body of support towards moving to a higher standard of CCTV footage. In the UK for example, MP Tom Harris has presented a Closed Circuit Television (Monitoring and Promotion) Bill to Parliament to ensure a base quality of CCTV systems in the UK. This would give vital support to local police forces in bringing forward prosecutions – but would analogue provide enough quality to support this Bill? One of the driving factors being made about the switch from analogue to IP is the growth of high-definition, which in the security industry is having a significant effect on the video surveillance market. We are seeing an increase in customer demand for higher and higher resolution. This started with the introduction of the megapixel camera and has driven the latest HD innovations, including the need for increased image quality for the use of investigations and court hearings. The idea with high definition is that you can now see the detail and in this market, that kind of HD quality is what customers need to provide for positive identification of evidence or validation of an event. Creating a hybrid of analogue and IP security technology ensures that the industry can retain a high standard of image quality, whilst ensuring companies continue to receive ROI. It’s cost-effective to integrate the two systems that work in harmony to create a complete video security solution.
Spring 2010 edition of Risk Manager Magazine