Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Access Control
LeftNav
Alarms
LeftNav
Biometrics
LeftNav
Detection
LeftNav
Deutsche Zone (German Zone)
LeftNav
Education, Training and Professional Services
LeftNav
Government Programmes
LeftNav
Guarding, Equipment and Enforcement
LeftNav
Industrial Computing Security
LeftNav
IT Security
LeftNav
Physical Security
LeftNav
Surveillance
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
ProSecurityZone Sponsor
 
 
Editor's Blog and Industry Comments

Review of video surveillance guide for security Managers

30 June, 2008
IPVideoMarket's guide to video surveillance is now available as a free download and gives an overview of considerations to be taken into account when specifying an IP video surveillance system.
As a former Director of Product Management at 3VR Security, author John Honovich has the necessary pedigree to put together a practical guide for Security Managers on specifying and installing an IP video surveillance system. Through his new venture at IPVideoMarket.info, John is now making this manual available free of charge throughout the security community.

Despite the fact that the bulk of the existing installed base of CCTV surveillance systems remain analogue, John has chosen to cover the emerging market of IP camera systems which he confusingly refers to as NVRs throughout the text for want of an industry standard definition. The choice of sticking to digital surveillance systems was the correct one since it's a fair assumption that any future green field installation or system upgrade will incorporate the greater flexibility and technological advantages that digital surveillance systems offer. Despite the quirky digression from established terminology, the use of NVR is explained in the introduction and you get used to it as you progress through the text.

The guide goes on to provide an overview of available CODECS and what factors influence the correct choice of compression technology which is an area that can be riddled with pitfalls for the unwary. The explanations offered for Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 and H.264 paint a simplified picture for security staff but the guide would have benefited considerably from some visual aid or graphic representation such as a CODEC selection chart showing trade-offs between bandwidth, processor load, latency and image quality providing a means for security managers to determine which compression choice would best fit their real world application.

Since IP surveillance cameras offer enhanced functionality and added value through ANPR and video analytics, John devotes a couple of chapters of the guide to these areas, explaining what can be achieved and how security professionals should manage their expectations in terms of what the technology can offer.

As a natural extension of CODEC choice, bandwidth considerations and the use of video analytics, the guide then pulls all this together into a section devoted to storage optimisation, which is a significant cost driver heavily influenced by the way the system is configured. Its in this section, however, where the author's choice of NVR to describe IP surveillance systems becomes rather unfortunate for the reader when it's also used to describe Network Video Recorders.


A brief overview of wireless surveillance systems also covers the important area of system integration and, given the fact that IP technology lends itself perfectly to integration of other security technologies such as access control and alarm systems, a future edition of the guide would benefit from more in depth coverage of this topic.

The fusion of IT and security is examined in chapter 10 and with many traditionalists in the security industry scared off by the perceived intrusion of IT, the author provides wise insight into the role IT is playing in the development of security technology and how it should be viewed as an enabling influence, expanding the scope of protection that existing systems currently offer and providing some of the vital ROI that is often very elusive in an industry geared towards cost avoidance rather than directly influencing revenue.

Perhaps the most useful sections and the ones which will have the most influence on decision makers are those devoted to explaining why someone would specify an IP surveillance system rather than the existing overwhelming majority of analogue systems. For those who aren't ready to make the leap from analogue to IP, there is also a section on hybrid systems.

Marketing material on CCTV surveillance is abundant, new technology is arriving at a dizzying pace and the specifier always has the difficult task of demonstrating justifiable ROI before making a purchasing decision. In the last three chapters of the guide, John provides practical advice on how to interpret marketing material, how to evaluate new technology and how to calculate ROI.

The "Security Manager's Guide to Video Surveillance" is in its first iteration and John Honovich has pledged to maintain it with revisions and updates to continually improve it. Given that this is version 1.0, there are a number of improvements that can be made of course but it remains a valuable guide for anyone wanting to specify and install IP video surveillance systems. In future revisions, I'd like to see clearer terminology and a few more graphics. There are some links within the guide to commercial sites which are fine but more links to external resources would broaden the usefulness of the guide considerably and will enable those readers who want more depth to be able to find the resource they need with a simple click.
Bookmark and Share