May 4, 2011
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ... technology claims. My apologies to William Shakespeare; however, it sets the stage, excuse the pun, for a different perspective on the argument between selecting IP video or HDcctv technology for your campus’ video needs.
What is the right migration path? There sure is a lot of marketing noise out there. Will you pass the “red face” test a year after your recommended solution becomes fully implemented?
Technology was much easier when the most difficult decisions were which camera manufacturer, what camera type, lens and how many tapes were needed. Storage came in boxes of 24 VHS tapes - simple. Not today. We have gone from simplicity to very complex in a span of just eight years. Not only do we have to speak a new language, but there are new standards for interoperability with networks. What the heck are those?
Speaking of interoperability and obsolescence, the rhetoric has really been heating up between the IP and HDcctv camps about what the market will be in the future. I will readily cop to the fact I am an early curve technology junkie. Can’t help it; it’s a “recovering technology application engineer disease.”
Therefore, I shall attempt to simplify a contentious and complex subject by viewing video technology from a different perspective; a more rational business perspective. Security will impact your campus’ business in positive ways if you do your work thoughtfully.
Evaluate Video’s Intended Use
Video quality is, of course, the end game when selecting solutions. It’s also the factor that ends up being the most subjective.
Let’s address two key questions. First, is there a large enough quantity of high quality video data to complete an investigation that would stand up in court, should it come to that? Secondly, is there enough high quality video available to support business or operational processes?
Either an IP or HDcctv technology choice can deliver high quality video images to satisfy the first question. The second question will depend on who wants to use the video and where they will use it. If the images will be viewed from a centralized control room, either solution works. If campus officials need to view the video feeds from many places, IP may have the edge.
So when is good enough good enough? Campuses should consider/compare incremental quality increases vs. additional implementation and operating costs over a three- to five-year timeframe.
Rendering the optimal solution means still more questions need to be addressed. What does the function, size, condition and ownership of your facility look like? These conditions must be considered in designing security video solutions from both a business and technology perspective.
You may want to start with some questions about your facility before you select a product.
7 Factors Campuses Should Consider
- Stay or leave - How long is your institution going to stay in the facility? If it is short-term (three-five years), using existing coaxial infrastructure and HDcctv is an economic and smart business choice. If it is five years or longer, balance IP against HDcctv. Remember to determine how smart your video system to be.