CCTV software based on open standards provides advantages

Open Standards are the Future of IP Networking where everything seems possible

Integration is the key for CCTV

If your mobile phone can connect with Facebook and give you someone’s contact info or you can have a video conference with people on the other side of the planet for free, it does not seem as though managing and monitoring surveillance cameras just a block away should be much of a problem. However, the world of video networking is not as simple as it might seem. This booming industry contains many devices and technologies from an array of manufacturers and vendors, all vying for the best solutions to meet the problem of how to keep people and places secure.

With such an abundance of options, it would be a pity to limit a surveillance system to a single brand or technology. System designers and owners need to be able to easily connect their systems with other networks and to incorporate new and innovative solutions into the technology of their legacy systems. It is therefore imperative to create standards to ensure that the apparatuses in surveillance systems can communicate with each other as well as interface with other networks.

Blending sundry backgrounds

Standardizing video surveillance technology is no easy feat. The advent of IP networking ultimately merged the broadcast, telecom, and CCTV industries together, each of which had their own way of working with and producing new products and ideas. Even within a single industry, technology diverged greatly.

The broadcast industry started out, for example, with watertight standards (PAL and NTSC) that could literally be used anywhere in the world; they were always the same. Digital streaming changed all of that simply because video compression standards work quite differently. There are many standards and a wide spectrum of implementations is available for each standard; that is, MPEG-2 in one system is not necessarily compatible with the devices in another network. The standard allows for a broad range of profiles and applications that advantageously let users and developers customise their systems and solutions. However, the disadvantage of this is that networks cannot interface with one another.

Standardisation involves generating unified platforms. The systems deployed upon these open standards need to be capable of interfacing with the outside world while still allowing for internal customisation. This latter aspect can, at times, prove itself to be an exceedingly challenging part of video networking. As a result, although great strides have been made to simplify system integration, creating universal standards is and will remain a dynamic process; the varied and rich backgrounds from which the technology develops exclude straightforward answers and force standardisation to exist only as an ongoing struggle to conform to specific needs while building networks that can openly interface with each other.

Integrating different technologies in disparate systems

Optelecom-NKF (manufacturer of Siqura®) believes that video surveillance owners and designers benefit from the ability to select their own hardware, try out new technologies in existing systems, and draw from the diverse disciplines amalgamated in IP networking. Therefore, Optelecom-NKF has for many years now offered its customers an open streaming architecture (OSA) API based on acknowledged standards. This ultimately allows video streams to be viewed anywhere in the world over RTSP, even via handheld devices, such as PDAs, or through applications, such as QuickTime and VLC. Optelecom-NKF has also integrated its products into major video management systems (VMS), such as, XProtect (Milestone), Omnicast (Genetec), Security Center (Genetec), and many others.

In addition, Optelecom-NKF is a contributing member and strong supporter of the ONVIF and PSIA initiatives, the leading efforts in standardization. These movements have already made excellent achievements in helping companies work together to create open platforms for IP video networking.

Meeting the CCTV needs of the future

Optelecom-NKF recently developed an ONVIF-compliant, high-definition (HD) H.264 IP camera series. The traditional box-style BC6x cameras and the vandal-proof fixed dome FD6x cameras provide HD resolution images in H.264, MPEG-4, and MJPEG. With the option to configure multiple combinations of resolution and frame rate, it is possible to satisfy a variety of different live-viewing and recording scenarios, making these cameras ideal for large professional installations where high resolutions and quality images are needed.

The Siqura 6x cameras offer true day/night and backlight compensation as standard features, as well as wide dynamic range (WDR) functionality in some models, to ensure quality images in difficult lighting conditions. Since surveillance solutions need to be flexible when it comes to installation, these new cameras can be powered from AC, DC, or Power over Ethernet (PoE) power sources. Through an intuitive and straightforward Web interface, users can configure features such as motion detection and privacy masks to ensure the security of the surveillance system.

The development of these ONVIF-compliant HD cameras is just another step towards ensuring that Siqura surveillance solutions offer the best system for even the most demanding surveillance situations.

The future of video streaming for CCTV

Video surveillance systems have changed a lot since the arrival of IP technology. Technological advancements make it seem as though anything is possible. Devices in your car can tell you where to go; you can watch what’s happening anywhere in the world almost instantaneously through someone’s cell phone. It seems that networking video surveillance systems should be really simple.

Yet, the video networking industry stems from a disparate collection of companies and technologies, challenging manufacturers today to change the way they think about networks. While analogue CCTV installations were inherently closed (as the name closed circuit television or CCTV indicates), system owners and administrators today need to be able to connect their systems with outside networks, as well as have various devices within a single system that can easily interface with one another. Inventing new solutions, such as the upcoming Siqura ONVIF-compliant HD IP cameras, based on open standards for specific applications is an inevitable aspect of the future of this vibrant industry.

As a supplier of Optelecom-NKF products along with JVC, Sanyo, Genetec, Bosch, contact Controlware to find out how integrated products and systems can benefit you

15 Responses to CCTV software based on open standards provides advantages

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Hutchins and Ben Hutchins, Security News. Security News said: CCTV software based on open standards provides advantages […]

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  3. There is no IP Standard says:


    Analog is more standard then IP and any analog camera can work on any DVR. There are NO STANDARDS FOR IP, at the moment. PSIA (Physical Security Interoperability Alliance) and ONIVF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) are not standards just because you have a NVR and a IP camera that use ONIVF or PSIA complainant hardware does not mean they will work with each other any more then any H,264 camera can work with any H.264 IP camera. Every IP manufacture and sometimes every IP model has to be added individually before it will work with a NVR platform, so ONIVF and PSIA are nothing more then marking ploys and there is no standard for IP is a messy maze of corporate alliances, licensing fee’s and a mix of match of software writers and hardware manufactures. (much like getting programs to work with windows vista) Big companies love IP as once you buy there system you are trapped into using there platform or risk losing your initial investment. Now in a few years I do expect there to be some open standards but they simply don’t exist right now, making analog or hybrid system all the more appealing.

    7 major misconceptions about IP Vs analog

    1: IP does not reduce wiring compared to analog even when using POE as analog with the use of baluns can transmit both video and power over cat 5 making them just as affective as POE except in many cases they can achieve distance up to 2km for transmission and unlike IP do not require specific equipment such as POE routers and cameras.

    2: Yes this is the biggest and most legitimate advantage of IP cameras

    3: A good DVR like Ascendents H.264 X4S standalone DVR converts analog cameras into IP addressable cameras and can record at one resolution, stream at another to and from multiple sites simultaneously. It has integrated VBR and CBR to totally manage the amount of data and bandwidth that is used by each camera individually giving analog cameras more features then most IP cameras when using the X4S or X4 DVR.

    4: Yes High definitions mega pixel cameras do offer some advantages but are extremely limited in there applications. and represent less then 1% of the total market yet are often touted as the main advantage IP cameras over analog cameras. Mega pixels cameras are limited because of there poor price to performance ratio, large file size, low signal to noise ratio, motion blur, and most are based on CMOS which means they inferior ability to cope with ambient lighting such as back light, bright, deep shadows contrasts, low light and IR this is also known as the real word so are often only used in non critical indoor applications. (why mega pixel cameras are less then 1% of the market)

    5: Analog has come a long way and now offer almost the exact same set of features as IP in that when paired with a good DVR to allow video to be transmitted over networks and record to and from multiple sites over LAN and WAN simultaneously with virtually endless expandability in modules of 4,8,16,32 and 64.The most recent advantage in IP cameras is using CCD imagers instead of CMOS because of there performance but since 3CCD are often needed to replace one CMOS it is very expensive and rarely used which is why most IP cameras are CMOS and offer poorer performance then there analog counterparts except for large wireless projects and indoor applications that require megapixel cameras..

    7: Security: One thing huge factor you din’t mention
    The major flaws with IP is that it is completely dependent on a network for it to operate if the network goes down so does your security. SD cards do not provide sufficient backup and networks have a number of failures points such as hubs, switches, and routers and can be hacked remotely. With analog when a network goes out all you lose is the ability to remote connect but your security remains intact with on site storage which is why it is used in most banks, prisons, and mission critical applications because a good analog system can work autonomously and be part of a large solution giving you the best of both worlds..

    What is the Advantage of IP?
    Many of the so called advantages of IP simply don’t hold water in the real world, IP is mainly Hype and marketing and outside of a few niche applications such as 1 or 2 camera installs, where MP cameras are needed or large scale wireless projects which represent about 2% of the total CCTV market, IP has very few advantages compared to analog based on performance, cost and reliability. (yet all companies touting IP will often use MP cameras to demonstrate the advantages of IP) Of course the best solution is often Hybrid

    IP or Analog…Why choose?
    What Ascendent Technology has done has allowed the X4S standalone DVR to work as an IP server so that our DVRs convert analog cameras into IP cameras (like IP servers 4/8/16ch) in a U1 or U2 rack mountable case. This enables the best of both technologies; a DVR that works autonomously with on site storage, playback and searching that is also a fully functioning IP device allowing video to be distributed over networks and recorded on NVRs to create an homogeneous CCTV system when using Ascendents Tri-fusion platform.

    Scalability and Flexibility
    Ascendent’s standalone PC- DVR’s and IP cameras can record at one resolution, stream at another, and have integrated VBR and CBR to totally manage the amount of data and bandwidth that is used by each camera individually. This gives you the security and reliability of analog with the flexibility and interoperability of an IP based system with unlimited expandability by adding 1-64 cameras at a time. Ascendent’s X4 Tri-Fusion platform integrates our X4 PC- DVRs, X4S Standalone DVRs, X4-IP-Pro IP Servers, and our entire line of X4 IP cameras and supports HD MP cameras allowing you to stream and archive video to and from multiple sites simultaneously. The Tri-fusion platform not only manages video but can integrate with cameras, access control, analytics, biometrics, building management, NVR/DVRs, and other third party applications from the leading security providers. The X4 Tri-Fusion is the clear choice for professional security integrators.

    Cost Effective
    The X4 Tri-Fusion platform takes full advantage of prior security investments and existing wiring infrastructures while offering the best- of- breed technology creating a cost effective long term solution to suite the needs of everything from small business to global enterprises. (Ascendent does not charge for its software. When you buy an IP product it will ship with our 64CH NVR server/client software.)

    Many people have a misconception that IP has Superior scalability then Analog but with the advancements of DVR’s this simply isn’t true, for instance the X3 is an analog DVR that can monitor up to 16,000 cameras using the Central management Suite each camera could even be from a different DVR and a different site.

    This is one of the biggest myths in the CCTV industry ANALOG is just as expandable as IP (add endlessly in modules of 4, 8, 16,32 up to 64,) As for implementation im afraid analog it is still quicker plug and play as opposed to networks unless you happen to have a fiber optic backbone.

    And when you are using the internet to connect multiple sites together analog transmits over the internet faster with less latency using less bandwidth allowing you not only to view and monitor a situation real time but also effective control PTZ cameras, which cant be done with IP due to its amount of lag and latency on a LAN let alone a WAN connection.

    IP video is more about marketing then it is about performance as larger companies like Bosch pelco Honeywell axis can change for both hardware and software and once you use there cameras you have to keep using there cameras unlike universal analog you can use any camera on any DVR and they can have other companies develop software for the allowing them to get into niche markets without having to developing new product lines. it also locks you into a product line quite often with annual license fees and upgrade charges)

    Also IP sounds great, plug and play, Better image quality, use existing infrastructure, who wouldn’t want that unfortunately this is often not the case.

    IP is like wireless (in theory its perfect) if that was true there would be no wired cameras or analog cameras it would all be wireless IP.

    IP cameras are based on CMOS
    Analog cameras are based on CCD (usually)

    CCD image sensors contain hundreds
    of thousands picture elements, called pixels. Each pixel contains a light sensitive element and a capacitor.

    A CMOS sensor is constructed using a array of pixels, but unlike CCD’s CMOS do not have a capacitor to store the charge for each pixel.The rows of pixels are activated sequentially rather then individually

    This means CMOS has some significant disadvantages compared to CCD, this means CMOS
    have inferior ability to cope with ambient lighting such as back light, bright, deep shadows contrasts, low light and IR this is also known as the real word.

    In short unless you have perfect lighting a good CCD camera will outperform an equivalent CMOS camera.

    CMOS unless it implements progressive scan technology does not handle motion well you get dithering and streaking similar to mpeg4 when there is high amounts of motion.

    File Size
    File size is crucial whether its for remote viewing, storage or transmissions because most DVR’s on the market record at real time performance (30FPS per channel) so on a 4CH is trying to send 120, 8CH 240, and a 16CH 480 images per second which requires way to much bandwidth even for the most extreme internet connections.The file size of a DVR impacts the performance of the DVR in just about every aspect from speed to longevity and is often the most import spec of any DVR.

    IP cameras have up to a 5X larger file size then analog cameras. (at same resolution) I have seen MP cameras that on 2MP resolution are over 300X (%3000) larger then our X3 DVR on a CIF image. This is an extreme case but generally speaking IP cameras have a much larger file size.Most routers and switches are not designed to handle IP cameras they have enough bandwidth but they are not able to process the amounts of commands. (9 IP cameras 30FP is 230 instructions per second) standard routers have enough bandwidth (up to 1GB) but cant handle the amount of tasks (instructions) so frames get dropped latency is introduced and the effectiveness of other devices such as POS, printers and data storage can be affected and compromised. So like analog you often ether have to put in new cabling infrastructure for the IP cameras or completely overhaul there existing one which is often more expensive then doing analog cameras using baluns and cat 5 cabling (not to mention lower cost of ownership and higher reliability as a $40 router or switch cant take down 20k worth of cameras).But If you compare a good D1 resolution image and compare it with a 2MP you will very little deliverance any many times I have had people who choose the D1 using out 550TVL camera due to its better color reproduction and its ability to handle changing ambient lighting conditions.IP does have applications and in some cases IP cameras are the only way to do a project but I would estimate that for 90% of applications analog is cheaper offers higher performance with a lower cost of ownership and higher reliability.

    IP is still in its infancy
    IP is a young and emerging technology and I have no doubt that in the future it will outperform analog cameras but its not a mature technology yet. Once we start to get standard IP platforms, get rid of license fees’ and existing networks have larger bandwidths then IP video will be a good solution, but until then analog is the way to go.

    Unless you are using a 5MP+ and have a fiber optic backbone or just need one camera it is almost always better to go analog over IP video.

    The Ascendent Advantage
    With today’s growing security needs one- size- fits- all approach no longer works. Ascendent believes every customer represents their own unique challenges and requirements. Through the years the role of the security industry has changed drastically and gone far beyond simply protecting assets. It has evolved into a vital operational tool that drives the most successful Governments, Corporations, Global enterprises and a host of Industries worldwide. Ascendent„¢s’ tailored approach allows you to design and configure a complete security solution based on your requirements rather than a manufacturer’s specs and limitations with seamless integration of video access control, POS and critical data management. For large projects Ascendent’s engineers and technological partners will design a system based solely on your specifications and requirements offering unparalleled performance and support. Ascendent saw the need for a dynamic versatile solution that grows as you grow and changes as your company changes. Ascendent is proud of its X3 and X4 platforms that tackle the most complex security demands.

    Solutions Provider
    First and foremost Ascendent is a solutions provider. Ascendent offers customization at a fraction of the time and cost of our competitors. Ascendent’s customized approach allows us to design and configure a complete end-to-end solution based on your requirements. With our in-depth knowledge of critical infrastructure and technological expertise Ascendent is continuously developing and manufacturing complete solutions and can design products to suit any application.

    Mature and Stable
    Ascendent’s digital video solutions and CCTV equipment have a long and proud track record of success in a host of vertical markets and industries. Ascendent’s products are mature and stable and have been used in mission critical environments for over 10 years due to their unparalleled performance and legendary reliability. Ascendent understands DVRs must run 24/7 processing millions of images per day. This renders consumer-level hardware inadequate for DVRs which is why Ascendent uses custom-built PCs with the most robust hardware components available. Ascendent has a number of optional customizations to ensure absolute performance such as Raid 6 storage, solid state drives, dual power supplies, extreme cooling, and hot swappable components for on-site repair with no downtime for mission critical applications.

    Reliability and Performance
    Ascendent uses server grade components to provide the highest performance possible with embedded dynamic technologies such as Smart Memory Access which fully utilizes available data bandwidth allowing up to 64 channels of video on one DVR. This, combined with high speed memory load, means search times are greatly reduced. The latest four-core Intel core 2 quad processors are built on micro-architecture enabling DVRs to run faster, cooler and quieter for optimum performance

    Third Party Integration
    Ascendent is always willing to work with third party companies whether it is with legacy systems or creating new solutions for specific industries. Our seamless integration of video access control, POS and critical data management has a virtually endless expandability for a cost-effective, future-proof solution. Ascendent has a large network of technological and strategic partners to design solutions for a host of industries such as forestry, mining, transportation, gaming, industrial and critical infrastructure protection.

    At the heart of any DVR is the compression technology. Ascendent’s X4 platform uses the latest H.264 compression and uses a fully optimized algorithm based on Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology. Display and recording of video and audio are in real-time and fully synchronized in both modes. Video feeds are directly transmitted from the video capture card or encoder to the display frame buffer and the compressed stream data is directly sent to the host’s memory. The transmission process does not need any intervention from the host computer’s CPU greatly saving resources of the host computer’s processor. The result is flawless images and sound regardless of how many channels are being monitored or reviewed. Ascendent’s H.264 codec has a number of significant advantages over traditional compression algorithms such as superior image quality and elimination of motion blur for clean, crisp, detail- rich images. H.264 file sizes are up to 30% smaller than MPEG-4, 60% smaller than MPEG-2, and exponentially smaller than MJPEG. The smaller they are the faster they can be transmitted and processed improving both FPS and speed. The file size has a number of advantages besides streaming capabilities; it determines the recording storage time, how much you can back up at once, how fast it renders and searches video. A DVR’s compression algorithms impacts every aspect of a DVR„¢s performance and determines the image quality, file size, and longevity of storage and is often the most important spec of any DVR.

    Extreme Range Active IR
    Ascendent’s ZLID (Zoom Laser IR Diode) modules combine laser diode technology, quality optics and sophisticated electronics to provide invisible IR illumination at extreme ranges. Ascendent’s ZLID technology synchronizes IR intensity and area illumination with motorized zoom lens for flawless active IR performance, absolutely eliminating over exposure and hot spots. Dual ASC- LIR4000Ms illuminate up to 10km classification level performance in complete darkness when paired with Ascendent’s imaging equipment.

    Long Range Surveillance
    Ascendent’s Terra, Sigma and Observe PTZs deliver super long range day/night surveillance. Available lens options up to a powerful 5000mm motorized zoom lens can detect intruders at distances up to 20km by day and detect threats up to 35km away. Its twin, high-powered, continuous-wave laser active IR’s deliver intruder detection at 8km, recognition at 3km and identification at 1.8 km in complete darkness. The Terra Series delivers unparalleled surveillance, situation assessment, and perimeter protection for military installations, borderlines, airports and critical infrastructure worldwide.

    OEM and Customization
    As do many manufacturers Ascendent offers pre-built standard DVRs models on our website and in our documentation. i.e. X4-8240-320 (8ch X4 240 frame 500GB) Ascendent has a history of providing OEM and private label solutions to other manufacturers. We can OEM or do a contract build with a custom company name and logo and are willing to integrate with other product lines. Chances are you have already used Ascendent’s CCTV equipment under a different brand name.

    • controlware says:

      This is the same as your last post! Still dont belive most of your points and neither do the market. If you look at the tenders they are all specifiying IP. I am afraid analogue is yesterdays technology as consultants, manufacturers and integrators are all going IP.

    • controlware says:

      you could at least try to be original and stop cutting and pasting the same post on every page. It smacks of desperation…. But you are trying to sell your product I guess

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  5. Of the leading vendors are embracing open standards that give customers greater … Mobile Surveillance

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  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John White. John White said: Comment on CCTV software based on open standards provides advantages by Mobile Surveillance […]

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  9. Ben – your right, Video Streaming is the key component that begins the process of using the Video content beyond security needs. The thinking pattern forces one to open their minds to how many different devices can we interact with.

    I’ve always endorsed OPEN Architecture, we need the freedom to choose (because there are so many choices)

  10. Controlware says:


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