New technology now means that security cameras can be used over an IP network, Sony Professional Solutions Europe explore the benefits of IP based security technology.

The world of IP-based technology is constantly evolving and the video security market has leaped forward in tandem with this.

In light of both cost and ease of installation, we   Move towards Power over Ethernet encouraging use of network IP products  are seeing a huge technological shift towards video surveillance over IP. This allows a security camera to be installed anywhere an IT network is in place, without the need for another set of cabling to be put in place. In addition, a move towards ‘Power over Ethernet' is adding to these benefits.

"Power over Ethernet basically means the network powers the security cameras, similarly to a telephone," explains Yvonne Pritchard, of Sony Professional Solutions Europe. " Almost all of fixed and minidome cameras have this technology embedded within it which means on an infrastructure you can easily just get the camera, plug it into the network and it's powered and sending images."

Benefits of IP network cameras and the advent of megapixel cameras:

Traditional analogue CCTV cameras each need their own power point and when a security network with multiple cameras is being set up, installation costs can run into thousands of pounds. This money can now be saved with a simple move to Power over Ethernet making IP network cameras more cost-effective.

When it comes to true technological innovation megapixel cameras offer a much clearer pictures and can pan and tilt images without having the need of a mechanical head. "As the name suggests, the picture from a megapixel camera has got so many pixels in it that the quality is very similar to High Definition (HD)," Pritchard notes.

Use of video analytics

Also set to make a huge impact on the security industry are video analytics solutions. By employing metadata, CCTV cameras can recognize potential security breaches, such as abandoned packages or suspicious movement, and are sophisticated enough to know the difference between moving people and safe background conditions, such as moving trees or water. "Today's sophisticated video analytics lets you determine different behaviors - loitering, object removal, speed of travel, direction of travel etc," explains Pritchard.

"So if somebody was driving the wrong way down a one way street, it would inform the control room. If we were in an art gallery, we'd draw a square around expensive paintings and if anybody got close to them or tried to remove them the security camera would be able to make the decision that an object had disappeared etc. No wires or laser beams needed," she states.

For operatives there are tangible benefits. Advanced video analytics software, for instance, pinpoints with colored boxes areas of the screen that contain threats, which makes the job of the observer easier and the ultimate response quicker and more effective.

Benefits of intelligent security cameras

By using intelligent security cameras server load is less intensive which makes it possible to deploy a scalable system. This is cost-effective as there is no need to prepare dozens of servers only for processing. Video analytics software can guide security personnel to the hot spots and the relevant screens. They can be shown the detail of a threat long before it escalates.

Network video standards: Open Network Video Interface Forum

Many security network infrastructures are made up of disparate equipment that have been added to over the years. To tackle this problem, Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems and Sony announced their cooperation in creating a global open forum for the development of a standard network interface for network video products: ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum).

By creating an independent, non-profit organisation, the three founding members have ensured the openness needed to develop an industry standard. Interested parties may register to participate via the ONVIF web site.

Yvonne Pritchard
Sony Professional Solutions Europe