What ONVIF and PSIA standards mean for VMS companies

VMS companies Milestone and OnSSI release updates to support emerging IP video standards
VMS companies Milestone and OnSSI release updates to support emerging IP video standards.

BY GEOFF KOHL, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
SecurityInfoWatch.com and IPSecurityWatch.com

If there was any doubt as to how quickly new IP video standards from the PSIA and ONVIF groups would be adopted, those doubts have been laid to rest. Earlier this month both Milestone Systems and OnSSI released updates for their video management systems (VMS) to support early standards from ONVIF and PSIA.

Both companies update their software packages with camera driver packs on a regular basis, and it is the new driver packs from each firm that add support for the PSIA and ONVIF standards. On Jan. 4, 2010, Milestone announced the release of Device Pack v4.6 to support the standards and provide newly added camera drivers. Four days later, OnSSI also announced the issuance of its own Camera Pack v4.6, which likewise adds the IP video standards and support for additional cameras.

The move to IP video standards has the potential to allow VMS companies like Milestone and OnSSI support even more cameras. Both companies typically write their own drivers to provide support for new models coming out from some of the world's top IP camera and video encoder manufacturers, but the advent of standards may affect the need to write specific drivers in the future, and some suspect it may lead to the introduction of even more IP cameras at lower prices, which could speed up transition to IP video. 

"Standards like ONVIF and PSIA will mainly cover basic functionality for IP cameras early on," explained Milestone's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Eric Fullerton. "This means that it will be easier to bring an IP camera with basic functionality to market for camera manufacturers. We expect to see a high number of camera manufacturers that previously have not manufactured IP cameras to enter this space based on ONVIF/PSIA standards and that the effect of these entrants will be that the low end of IP cameras will be commoditized thus improving the ROI for IP deployments. The effect of this may very well be that the conversion from analog to IP will speed up again already in 2010."

Industry analyst and author/blogger of IPVideoMarket.info John Honovich said that Milestone and OnSSI's adoption of the PSIA and ONVIF standards could be a watershed event for IP video. "I think it will motivate other manufacturers to adopt these specifications because of the attraction to gain support from these suppliers."

But even with standards, Milestone's Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Eric Fullerton said that the job of developing drivers for individual cameras is far from over for VMS companies.

Read why the need to develop camera drivers is far from over, in the full article online at SecurityInfoWatch.com.

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