The recent 13th February blast that ripped Pune's German Bakery has again raised a question to the security systems in the country. According to the US study, India faces more terror attacks. The November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai exposed shortfalls in India's homeland security spending. The Government, as a result, increased security spending by 25 per cent in the current fiscal year.
Six major cities also benefited from the higher security budget – more than 500 surveillance cameras have been installed in Bengaluru alone.
Is it just the Government that has to be responsible for preventing such attacks? Well, the recent Pune blast has shown that private entities too have to take responsibility in enabling security management.
So, what is the solution? Do we deploy more security personnel; will they be able to prevent and help in detection. Well, not independently but with the support of video surveillance, when it was made a MUST instead of an option.
The solutions available are the Pure Analog Video, Pure IP Video, Analog/IP Hybrid with Phone System Integration.
The discussions happening in the industry about the relative advantages and indications for different kinds of video installations are easy to oversimplify, and simplification aids end-user decision-making. I provide a suitable explanation of the factors which indicate the selection of analog, IP, and hybrid IP/analog video systems, respectively.
Indications for selecting a pure IP camera system
• Using an existing IP Network – In some cases, digital surveillance systems with IP cameras can be linked to the existing IP infrastructure where the cost of upgrading the network to make it suitable for video is easily managed.
• Ability to shift cameras easily – Users with fluctuating camera counts and locations can avoid the need to power down recording servers to add, move, or remove cameras.
• Ability to capture high-resolution images – Users or applications which need high-resolution imagery want the ability to selectively deploy network cameras providing images with resolutions at least four times higher than analog images.
• Ability to remote monitoring – With Analog cameras, the monitoring station will be in a fixed location, mostly within the premises of the camera installation. However, with IP camera installation, users can have the option of monitoring activity from any global location with IP connectivity.
• Ability to integrate with Video Phone system – New applications have been developed based on SIP/VoIP technology for full duplex two-way audio and video streaming to mobile phones and video phones. With this technology, monitoring is just a phone call away.
• Minimum disruption and installation expense – Even in cases where a new IP network needs to be installed to handle video traffic, pure IP surveillance systems are less disruptive to install than their pure analog counterparts. Unlike IP systems, analog systems require the installation of a direct coaxial, Fiber, or UTP cable running from every camera to a DVR, as well as additional encoding hardware to be installed on the DVR itself.
Indications for selecting a pure analog system
• Analog system can meet user's recording needs at lower cost – There are many low-end, low-resolution IP cameras that are low in cost. But high-end analog cameras, though limited in resolution of 704x576 pixels (PAL) or 720 x 480 pixels (NTSC), use image processing, automatic back focus and imager sensitivity to produce pictures that are comparable to the superior quality and clarity of high-priced IP camera.
• Network traffic exceeds existing capacity – IP camera recording and monitoring will increase network traffic, especially with too many IP cameras or IP Cameras with mega pixel capacity. If recording exceeds the existing network capacity, a user will need to add the cost of installing an additional IP network or enhancing it for video to be operational. Pure IP equipment costs more when compared to analog and hybrid options.
• Need for minimum latency – Latency is defined as the time it takes for an image captured at a camera source to be presented to a system user. Every camera has latency to a degree, because the data travels from one location to another. It is much greater for IP systems. However, analog signals are point-to-point (camera-to-monitor).
• Need for system to suit staff abilities – Many businesses operate without complex or extensive computer systems and do not have a need for dedicated IT professional(s) required to provide timely and effective support.
• Wider camera variety and choice – There are a large variety of Analog cameras (for instance, mini covert cameras and pan-tilt-zoom cameras in various sizes and shapes) to choose from. With IP cameras, not every vendor has so many varieties and not every vendor's surveillance software supports third-party cameras.
Above all, vendor relationships have the power to greatly enhance or damage the user experience. If the existing vendor does not have/support IP cameras, a new relationship of trust and access to support has to be developed.
Indications for selecting a hybrid IP/analog system
(A hybrid system will provide many of the advantages of the individual Analog or IP systems on a per-camera basis. The following are true only for hybrid systems.)
• Ability to add IP camera recording to existing investments in analog – Where there is existing analog infrastructure, the hybrid approach allows the user to avoid expensive replacement of their existing analog cameras and wiring. Instead, the user can add IP cameras to their surveillance resources and record from both analog and IP cameras in the same DVR.
• Ability to add IP recording to existing investments in analog – Where there are existing analog cameras in the system, the hybrid approach allows the user to connect IP Video encoder that offers an excellent solution for IP enabling of traditional analog cameras for professional surveillance environments. It can also support industry-leading SIP/VoIP for two-way audio and video streaming to mobile phones and video phones.
• The right camera for each site – Hybrid recording allows the user to choose analog cameras or IP cameras according to the recording requirements and conditions of each camera site.
• Minimal retraining expenses – Surveillance operators familiar with an existing analog-system user interface will be able to manage new IP cameras without disruptive and expensive retraining. Using hybrid DVR/NVR recording allows integration of IP cameras with little change to the end-user's normal routine.
An important point that I wish to make is: “Every important location and establishments should carry the Security Notice – This property is protected by Video Surveillance”. Troublemakers will then think twice before making their move. Installing a security surveillance system is a small cost when compared to the damage a security threat can bring to our nation and us. So, let us join hands to free our nation from terror attacks and vandalism.
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