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.