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or businesses requiring large amounts of cameras, such as airports. Other opportunities opened up by the shift to IP video surveillance include increased image quality delivered by highdefinition cameras, and intelligent video, whereby the video system is able to automate large parts of the surveillance operation and even add additional security features.


Camera formats vary to suit specific applications

analogue CCTV systems. Key to IP video is the ability to access cameras remotely from any Internet-enabled device. Rather than having images located on a circuit accessible only from one certain location (as in closed-circuit television, or CCTV), IP video sends data through standard computer networks, the data feed being visible on any Internet-enabled device – provided, of course, the user is able to supply the necessary security credentials. Rather than having a guard stuck in a small basement surrounded by multiple monitors, the security feed can be viewed from a standard computer, or even the CEO’s mobile phone. “Everything is going through IP now,” asserts Ortega. “The interest is to have cameras, access control, fire, alarms and even the BMS integrated in only one system. You do not have to handle five different solutions; it is only one, with access to different modules. Only IP can make this happen.” IP systems also allow limitless expansion of the system, making it ideal for companies who plan to expand their premises,


High-definition (HD) video allows a camera to record a better quality image, which can be useful when analysing the video. “You usually need 40 pixels per foot to have facial recognition, and that is what most people require now,” says Dawn Miller, marketing programmes specialist, IQinVision. As well as facial recognition, HD also allows more accurate automatic number-plate recognition. Number-plate recognition can be combined with access control, so that a camera can record the numberplate of a vehicle attempting to access a private secure parking area, and the integrated system will only permit a barrier to rise for an approved vehicle. Using HD cameras can also help reduce overall costs. “What HD does is allow you to have a fuller picture, so there is a greater region you can cover per camera,” says Miller. “Analogue only allows you to do a certain amount, so you need more cameras. You can reduce your costs and installation fees.” HD video surveillance is growing steadily in the region, thanks again to the technical nature of the market. “At the moment it is only a portion of the total cameras sold worldwide, but it is a growing market, and people are recognising the value of having better resolution images,” says de Smedt. Khaled Al Saleh, market development manager, GE Security, warns though that companies should be aware of local regulations when it comes to installing HD cameras. “Cameras cannot be in certain locations such as toilets or swimming pools. You need special permission to locate cameras by pools. These regulations are likely to evolve over time, especially now,” he says. “High-

“When it comes to video surveillance, the highest level of growth is going to be in the Middle East,” Alistair Hayfield, IMS Research

definition makes it more essential to add to those regulations. Privacy is a big concern in the Middle East, so it is something that will probably happen with time.” However, one of the issues created by higher resolution in cameras is that there is more data that needs to be transmitted along a network, and this also corresponds to increased storage requirments and bandwidth. As a result, new technologies have been developed to help reduce the load on a network without compromising on image quality. H.264 is a compression technique that is now being introduced to the market. “H.264 allows higher resolution to provide higher image quality, but with less bandwidth and storage required. The trend is not just to add more resolution, it is also to make sure that the installation, storage and bandwidth follow suit,” says Ortega. Experts estimate that it can offer bandwidth and storage savings of 30% to 50%. Although many video-surveillance product suppliers are now offering H.264 cameras, some suppliers question the need for the technology. “We are developing H.264 systems. We have sold a decent amount, but we have not really seen the demand,” says Miller. “Everyone offers H.264, but if you go to other vendors, you will hear the same thing. It is a buzzword.” Video compression in general is something of a controversial trend within the industry. The processing power required for encoding and

HD surveillance is growing steadily in the region

Facilities Management Middle East - April 2010  

Facilities Management Middle East - April 2010 - ITP Business

Facilities Management Middle East - April 2010  

Facilities Management Middle East - April 2010 - ITP Business