Written by Erik Jacksch and published in IT in Canada Online.
Once solely in the physical security domain, Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems joined the IP convergence movement almost two decades ago. As prices continue to drop, IT teams are being asked to provide networking and security advice for CCTV.
Three types of CCTV cameras are currently in use: Legacy analog equipment, high-definition analog over coax (usually called Analog HD), and IP cameras.
IP cameras are state of the art, and favoured for new installations. Like other IP devices, they can use static or DHCP-assigned IP addresses. IPV6 support is emerging. From an IT perspective, IP cameras require stable network connectivity and sufficient bandwidth. Dedicated and shared network topologies are both common.
CMS vendors, such as Milestone Systems, offer enhanced features and benefits. In addition to taking advantage of in-camera features such as motion detection, they implement additional functionality. Milestone’s XProtect software editions range from a free version to a high-end large enterprise license that can be deployed across multiple servers to provide centralized management of distributed sites.
XProtect is more complicated than vendor-specific software, but this complexity is necessary in larger deployments. For example, an installer may wish to take advantage of one vendor’s in-camera motion detection, but use XProtect’s software implementation with another brand. XProtect also offers integration with other systems. For example, an IP-capable infrared motion detector could trigger XProtect, which in turn could move a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera to a preset location to capture video of the event.
CMS software in general offers increased value beyond simple video surveillance. These include using automatic license plate readers to control access to garages and high-security facilities, facial recognition to detect known or unknown individuals, and various types of counting and traffic flow applications. For example, it is possible for a grocery store to leverage their CCTV investment to count shoppers and analyze their movement throughout the store. This data can be used for many purposes including product placement. Many see this as the future of CCTV development.
Read the full article to learn where Milestone Systems VMS falls within the security systems industry discussed broadly by IT in Canada Online.