Benefits and Importance of Standard Technologies in Video Surveillance

Jun 12 08:20 2009 Svitlana Tanasiychuk Print This Article

Why are the standards so important in video surveillance? It is a simple and a difficult question. What do they give?

A freedom of choice after purchase, independence from proprietary standards, quick access to the data and high performance, seamless integration with existing solution and future-proof technology.

Not convinced? Read further and you will be.  

Why Standards are Important in Video Surveillance

Unless you speak Modern Greek,Guest Posting chances are small that you will understand it. In order to explain to you what standards are and why they are so important, let’s analyze this problem.

You could say that the reason that you don’t understand the sentence is that you don’t speak Greek. Just as well, the reason could be that the writer, don’t speak a language that you understand. Clearly there is a communication problem, preventing the message from getting across.

How can we solve this problem? You could learn Greek, but that is cumbersome and probably a bit of overkill in order to read the introduction of this article. I could learn your mother tongue, but I would have to translate this document many times if I want to make sure that everybody understands. Or we could use a common language like English, which is what we are doing now.

Clearly, the latter is the most interesting idea. With this small example, we immediately get to the core of the use and benefit of standards: using a common language reduces the overall effort and cost and allows entities to communicate with each other.

An open standard is a standard that is publicly available, meaning that anyone is allowed to use it. This doesn’t necessarily imply that it is free: technology patents for which a fee has to be paid can still apply. Open standards are not usually controlled by a single group or vendor and don’t rely on specific technologies.

There are thousands of standards available today, each with a different purpose. For networking, such standards as TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML, SMTP, XML, etc will no doubt sound familiar. For images, standards like JPEG are widely used, and everyone knows the MP3 standard for encoding sound.

Closer to the CCTV surveillance industry, there are several standards that deal with video. In the analogue world, the PAL and NTSC standards are ubiquitous. For encoding, most products use standard compression mechanisms like motion JPEG or MPEG. Also file formats can be standardized, like for instance the ASF standard.

Benefits

The use of standards benefits all parties involved. As you will see, it leads to cost reductions for everyone that uses them: manufacturers, integrators and end users.

By using standards, you become independent from a particular vendor. Any vendor that supports the standard can be used, so you as a customer are not tied to any of them. For instance, a security installer can use any brand of analogue camera, as long as they use the NTSC or PAL standard.

Similarly, a video file that is encoded and stored in a standard way can be played with any media player. You don’t need the player that the recording software provides you with, so you are not limited by its functionality. You can even make your own player should you wish to do so. For file formats, using standards is especially important to ensure that data can be accessed and exchanged smoothly at all times.

Vendor independence leads to open competition between different manufacturers. Competition usually leads to price drops, making life cheaper for you.

If you integrate a product that conforms to standards, your implementation will be future-safe, since you can replace this product without compromising your integration. You can probably even change the software platform on which you work, since implementations of standards are usually relatively easy to port. You can also “mix and match” products from several vendors to make the best total solution for the customer, without being tied to a single vendor for all components. Vendor independence also assures that the standard data will always remain accessible, even when the company that generates this data ceases to exist.

Because standards are widely accepted, you can be sure that the standard, as well as its implementations, have been ruminated many times by many different people from different organizations. You could say that a standard is formed by more engineers than one single company could ever hire. Standards are proven, future-safe technology. For a company that needs to use a particular way of communication, there is no need to invent the wheel over and over again, because the result will almost surely be of lesser quality than the existing standard.

Especially for integrators using standards means reducing costs. Because you don’t have to “learn a thousand languages” when using standards, it takes a lot less development effort to introduce new standard-compliant products into your system. In other word, you only have to invest once in the standard, and not again and again for every new product that arises. Less effort means less risk for delays and fewer resources, allowing you to deliver your system on time and on budget.

At the bottom line, standards reduce effort, cost, risk, and time requirements.

The use of standards increases the quality of the software, because we use proven technology. This makes the Quadrox software a future-safe investment.

Summary

A standard is a widely accepted and/or officially approved common language that allows devices or software to communicate.

Using standards leads to reduced effort, cost, risk, and time requirements. Standards allow you to be independent of particular vendors, ensuring price drops due to competition, everlasting access to data and high quality, low cost system building through a “mix and match” strategy. Standards are proven, future-safe technology. For integrators, using standards means a one-time investment and lower development effort.

Quadrox has replaced analogue video security standards by four IT standards: standard codecs, the ASF file format, OPC for events and SNMP for service messages. The use of these standards leads to all the benefits above, making an investment in Quadrox a low-cost and safe one.

 Please refer to other Quadrox documentation for a more extensive explanation about these standards 

                         

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About Article Author

Svitlana Tanasiychuk
Svitlana Tanasiychuk

Quadrox is a leading provider of Digital Video Internet infrastructure management solutions, enabling companies to leverage the Internet to deliver better physical security and more powerful and cost-effective Digital Video applications and services to their customers, employees and business partners.

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