IP or Analog surveillance, critical choice but should make financial sense

"Not everyone likes chocolate ice cream, that is why ice cream parlors carry many flavors but all share common delivery methods cup or cone. It seems in the surveillance market there is a push to IP cameras and Network Video Recorders (NVR), evolving from the tried and tested CCTV analog cameras and Digital Video Recorders (DVR)." Says George Choge the director of Basesys Solution Ltd.

Choge says IP cameras and NVR's offer advanced benefits, higher resolution through megapixel cameras, built in recorders, and more at a minimum price increase. "What really drives these decisions are the applications and topology, some customers need several cameras in an office environment, some may need megapixel cameras for outdoor use to cover large areas, and get signal broadcasted back with a wireless bridge or cellular modem". These are everyday challenges customers face.

To solve these challenges, the H.264 was introduced to both analog and IP cameras which provides the ability to speak and listen through connected cameras, this allows many more additional applications for the operator of the system for example video analytics. However IP camera/NVR systems take a hit because of high initial and outgoing support costs.

NVR requires Windows based servers, database support, and a good understanding of IP networking, there is a significant cost to server and viewing licenses which requires tech support to keep system updated and running. Bottom line, in the technology of video surveillance, users usually are only interested in the ability to view and record video locally at their facility, and a way to watch or review past archives in a simple Windows or Mac client software that they can install, or have a mobile app with the same functionality. It doesn't matter whether the device is analog or IP to the user it should look like a list of cameras regardless of how they are connected or where they are located.

"Users continue to demand for a simple to deploy and use interface. The same interface should allow access to 2 ways audio and the ability to control I/O ports, allowing the surveillance operator full control and audio of devices at the locations specified.", says Choge. The ability to see, hear and control devices anytime anywhere with a simple software interface is the goal of today's video surveillance operator.

With this kind of reach out and view/control aspect we move out of surveillance market and into the operational and compliance issues that companies are requiring to improve business efficiencies. In today's surveillance market more push is centered towards Machine 2 Machine (M2M) and Cloud computing, both are extensions of what the existing equipment can support. An example of M2M could be a temperature sensor connected to a DVR or IP camera that send email or text alerts of a temperature threshold being met. Users have ability to look in live and see thermostat, possibly trigger reset of breaker or power switch. With cloud services they could send these alerts or event based video to the cloud for offsite storage or a centralized location. IC Realtime answers this call; the company narrows the technology gap between analog and IP offerings. Based in Pompano Beach Florida, IC Realtime offers a complete line of DVRs, NVRs, Hybrid (supports both analog and IP cameras), and mobile devices.

"Many companies that have multiple branches or many cameras are switching to IP cameras the main reason being central management capabilities and partly need for high resolution in specific critical locations. This leads to installation of high maintenance servers and license fees with recurring charges from the licenses", says Choge, who distributes of IC Realtime products locally.

"With the right equipment and advice, all this high costs could easily be averted" he adds. "Surveillance is critical but at the same time it should make short and long term financial sense to a company." With this, 3rd party security firms can easily host and monitor surveillance for other companies with the bonus of cloud technologies and offsite backup with help of a unified centrally managed systems.

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