While IP-based CCTV systems have been around for more than 10-years, it’s only now that the global surveillance market has tipped from analogue CCTV to IP systems. According to ipvm.com (2011), IP camera sales for new projects in the U.S. and Europe are outpacing analogue sales. Further, enterprise IP-based surveillance projects have increased at a shocking rate, with more than 75 per cent of new projects going with IP.
The benefits of an IP-based system are clear to understand, and by that I mean literally – better picture quality! After all, the whole point of a Video Surveillance System is to see exactly what is going on. But there are far more benefits than a crisp digital picture. Below are the top ten benefits and reasons for why IP-based video surveillance systems are taking over from analogue CCTV solutions.
10 Ten Reasons
1. Resolution: A typical analog camera equates to about 0.4 MP (megapixels), whereas a standard IP camera offers 2 MP, which is more than five times the analog resolution. With some IP cameras ranging up to 10MP, it’s easy to see how the technology can cut down on the overall number of cameras required. A typical example would be replacing pan, tilt and zoom cameras (PTZs) on a garage forecourt with one IP/MP camera.
2. Remote Access: You can login into a secure server remotely, using a web-based interface to view real-time footage on PCs or Macs, as well as on mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and Android-based devices. Programs such as TeamViewer also allow for remote support and end-user training.
3. Analytics: The dramatic improvements in hardware have been matched by powerful analytics software. Video Management Systems (VMS) can be combined with other software to allow for applications such as licence plate recognition, people counting, and motion detection.
4. No New Wires: Existing coaxial cables that are used by the analog system can connect IP cameras to the network video recorder (NVR) via a Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA®) backbone. The latest version of MoCA, MoCA 2.0, is the most reliable home networking technology delivering more than 400 Mbps of application throughput in its basic configuration and 500 Mbps in Turbo Mode, and is scalable to support 800 Mbps /1 Gbps in channel bonded modes. MoCA can and should be used to ensure a dependable, “no excuses” networking infrastructure. Additionally, Ethernet networking over coax technologies can be implemented to provide up to 200Mbps of throughput for over 300 meters. Further, high-end Ethernet-over-Coax (EoC) broadband access technologies deliver 800Mbps of application throughput for sharing video between a maximum of 252 IP cameras – all on a single coaxial network. Entropic, a leader in MoCA and EoC semiconductor solutions demonstrated these technologies at the recent IBC show in Amsterdam and will have them on display at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, U.S. in January.
5. Power: IP cameras can be powered by a number of methods. If the IP camera is replacing an analog camera, the existing power source can be reused or Ethernet cables which allow for Power over Ethernet (PoE) can be deployed. Furthermore, if re-wiring would prove too costly, then a device which can allow data and PoE over coax cable can be used.
6. Hybrid: High-end NVRs, allow existing CCTV cameras to be incorporated into the IP system. This can significantly reduce the initial costs, and allow a phased approach towards a complete IP Surveillance solution.
7. Scalability: Utilising edge processing, and individual camera licensing, it is possible to scale from a single camera up to thousands.
8. Redundancy: It is possible to record simultaneously to a NVR. This offers an additional safety net to recover footage in the event of damage/corruption to data on the main NVR.
9. Lossless Playback: Footage can be reviewed with multiple zoom on playback, even on fixed lens cameras, with no degradation of the image. This alleviates a common problem with analog systems, where high levels of compression can often leave the image unreadable.
10. Wireless: If it’s possible to get a line-of-sight between the camera and the server’s location, it is possible to reduce cabling costs by transmitting the data wirelessly.
The Bottom Line
IP video surveillance systems are certainly the way the market is moving; however, due to the deployment complexity of many older analog systems, shifting too fast to an all-IP video surveillance system would be similar to a large super tanker making a sudden change in direction, which could be extremely risky. Therefore, it is critical for providers to evaluate how to evolve their IP video surveillance platforms and potentially incorporate proven MoCA and EoC technologies that safely leverage the existing coaxial infrastructure to ease the pain and risk of transitioning from analog to hybrid analogue/IP-based systems. Time will tell when the whole market will go pure IP, but one thing is certain, it will happen.