Magazine Article | October 18, 2012

Megapixel Surveillance Cameras Continue To Gain Traction Globally

By Scott Schafer executive vice president, Arecont Vision

Several factors are converging to make megapixel technology an especially attractive option in video surveillance systems worldwide.

Security professionals all over the world are taking advantage of new megapixel cameras that deliver more resolution and detail and can be implemented anywhere on the network without overtaxing network infrastructure. These advantages are resonating with customers globally as megapixel cameras continue to gain traction for mainstream video surveillance applications.

Megapixel cameras are already at work around the world in large and small applications in every vertical market. Some examples include

  • A major grocery distribution center in the United States that uses a 20-megapixel, 180-degree day/night panoramic megapixel camera to provide a complete view of its property.
  • In South Korea, a single 2-megapixel camera is being used to cover three lanes of traffic and deliver the resolution required for license plate recognition analytics across all three lanes.
  • A jewelry retailer in Mexico uses a handful of megapixel cameras versus a dozen or more conventional cameras to monitor jewelry showcases and restricted areas in the store office and workshop.
  • In Hawaii, megapixel cameras are part of an overall effort to protect tourism by supporting public safety. Several factors are converging to make megapixel technology an increasingly mainstream component in video surveillance systems worldwide.

More cameras to choose from. A broader choice of cameras now serves virtually every mainstream application. There are cameras with resolutions from 1.3 to 20 megapixels available in a variety of feature sets and configurations including day/night operation, compact enclosures, 360-degree or 180-degree panoramic viewing, 1080p HD resolution, all-in-one domes, vandal-proof, and IP66-rated enclosures.

The market is more knowledgeable about megapixel advantages. Channel partners and end users are becoming more familiar with the benefits of megapixel cameras as more systems are implemented globally.

Technology innovations such as H.264. Advanced recording formats like H.264 not only deliver a better image, but they also can reduce network bandwidth and storage costs.

Easier integration with video management systems (VMSs). Important technology and software partnerships among industry leaders throughout the world, including VMS suppliers, ensure a smooth path to megapixel system implementation.

Focus on vertical market applications. Through distributors, system integrators, solutions providers, and architects and engineers, megapixel camera suppliers cater to the needs of a variety of vertical markets, including banking, retail, education, gaming, government, manufacturing, and transportation. For example, Arecont Vision’s high-definition 1080p H.264 camera features Casino Mode to ensure that the frame rate will not dip below the 30 frames-per-second required in the gaming industry.

Economics. The price points of megapixel cameras are comparable to conventional cameras, but deliver much better image quality. In addition to pricing that is attractive for the full range of mainstream video applications, megapixel cameras enable integrators to design more cost-efficient systems, specifically systems offering lower total cost of ownership and higher return on investment. System advantages include the ability to use fewer cameras, for example, and the ability to pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) digitally within a megapixel image, especially on recorded video. Fewer cameras also require fewer cables, camera mounts, and housings, thereby reducing overall installation expenses.

These are the key factors accelerating adoption of megapixel cameras for mainstream professional video surveillance applications throughout the world. As the number of megapixel camera installations continues to grow globally, more industry professionals will look to the successes of their peers to substantiate the migration to megapixel imaging.