Over the past decade, CCTV systems have rapidly evolved from coax or fiber-based analog systems to pure IP-based systems. One obvious benefit – IP video systems can leverage the existing IP infrastructure put in place by IT, eliminating the need to lay down miles of dedicated analog cabling. Plus, just one IP network cable can carry audio, video and alarm signals from a camera, and supply camera positioning commands and even power to the camera. With analog cameras you would need half a dozen such cables to accomplish the same thing. Additionally, a single network cable can serve hundreds of cameras at the same time. And, when video is in the form of data (rather than an analog waveform), it opens up endless opportunities. You can view it on handhelds and massive displays, analyze it for certain behaviors, and integrate it into other applications like Access Control or PSIM solutions.
A handful of large security hardware manufacturers once dominated the physical security video landscape by selling proprietary analog cameras, recorders, and viewing stations. But times have changed. Today, new entrants to this market space are based completely on open standards and use common off-the-shelf IT equipment – such as servers and storage disk arrays for recording video, and high-end graphics workstations for video viewing. Command centers leverage large flat screen displays to present numerous cameras simultaneously. Another factor driving this trend: older analog systems are limited to the NTSC standard whereas IP cameras can leverage Megapixel technology to deliver HDTV quality or better.
The net result for customers is more choices and best of breed solutions that offer higher performance and lower total cost of ownership.
This unstoppable shift to IP has led to the demise of security solutions providers and integrators who could not adapt. And, it has created opportunities for others who could. These “survivors” had one key thing in common: they understood just how big of a pain point IP migration is. After all, it doesn’t make sense for customers to rip out and replace millions of dollars worth of equipment. Other strategies make the path to IP far less painful. For example, using converters (encoders) so existing analog cameras can appear like IP cameras, and employing hybrid recorders that can record both older analog cameras and newer high definition IP cameras all on one platform.
Learn more about how NICE solutions can help you migrate to IP video, or manage pure IP systems.