Guest Column | January 4, 2012

IP Video Advice For Surveillance Newbies

Scott Schafer

By Scott Schafer, EVP of sales and marketing, Arecont Vision

What is the most significant current trend in video surveillance you think integrators should know about?

The most significant video surveillance trend is the transition to high definition IP-based video security systems, which provides much better images for retail customers. Cameras used in analog systems are limited to the NTSC standard resolution of 480 TV lines, which equates to a 0.3 megapixel image (640 x 480 pixels). And standard resolution VGA network cameras provide about the same resolution. Neither of these older technologies provide the video quality that retailers need to manage their loss prevention activities. Cameras are now available that provide resolutions from 1.3 to 20 megapixels. Megapixel cameras are quickly gaining traction for mainstream applications and will continue to be the prevailing imaging trend moving forward. More pixels provide more information. In practical terms, greater resolution might mean the ability to view the cash denominations in a point-of-sale transaction, to clearly see the face of a shoplifter, to gain situational awareness of the front of the store or parking lot, and to even pick up license plate numbers in parking lots.