Hybrid IP Video Solutions

IP is a hot topic for nowadays securit industry. According to many industry experts, hybrid IP video solutions may be the most feasible solution for current markets. ASMAG.com asked Ruud Toonders from the Bosch Group, one of the worldˇs leading suppliers of technology and services, to explain the most relevant points around hybrid IP video solutions.

Q: What is the main architecture of a hybrid IP video solution?
A: A hybrid solution implies the combination of analog and IP technologies. Unfortunately there is no single architecture for a hybrid IP video solution. However, four hybrid IP video solutions are commonly encountered:

1. DVR with remote viewing and control over network
This was probably the earliest and consequently is the most common form of hybrid system. Everything is analog up to the DVR which has built-in IP transmission, which can be viewed with a browser or viewer/management software over the network.

2. Viewing a number of analog cameras over the network
This solution is normally only used with existing analog systems. It allows an analog system to be used locally while a number of cameras can be viewed over the network.

3. Adding IP cameras or an IP system to an existing analog installation
In this scenario, two parallel systems are combined. In this solution it may be possible to view the IP cameras from the analog system, the analog cameras from the IP-based system, or use a separate management system for everything. Typical examples of applications are adding cameras to a system, adding buildings or locations to a system, adding a new building to an existing site (such as a new terminal at an airport), or adding storage at a distribution center.

4. Totally redundant system
This approach is not commonly seen but is important to discuss. Itˇs particularly useful where a fully redundant system is required. The analog and IP systems run totally independently so that if there is ever a major problem with either system the other continues to operate.

Q: What hardware and software products are included in a hybrid IP video solution? And what are their main features and key specs?

Cameras for a hybrid solution can be pure analog but ideally should be hybrid, which means that next to IP an analog (PAL/NTSC CVBS) output should be available to enable them to be used in either part of the system. Key features include important imaging specs such as resolution, picture quality and sensitivity. Encoding performance has importance as well as it defines resolution, IPS and bandwidth as a result of the compression technology used.

These enable analog cameras to be used in the IP environment.

DVRs can be for analog cameras or hybrid (analog and IP cameras). The network interface and viewing and management over the network features are critical features.

Analog Matrices
These are key elements of the analog part of the hybrid system.

Q: Management software seems to play a key role in hybrid IP video solutions. What functions are key to this management software in order to achieve analog and IP communication?

The key function of modern management software for a hybrid video system is the seamless control of the various elements. From the userˇs point of view it should be immaterial where the video is generated  analog or IP  and whether it is switched in the analog or IP domain. This means that the management system must be able to control both analog and IP devices such as analog matrices, DVRs, IP cameras, IP encoders, and NVRs.

If a hybrid IP video solution is dedicated to a certain industry sector, such as banking, what should be taken care of first, in terms of the design of this hybrid solution?

Hybrid solutions are not confined to a particular industry sector. However, IP and hybrid systems have tended to be initially successful where the benefits of IP (such as cabling costs) outweigh the higher equipment price. This is particularly relevant for applications in transportation, large buildings, education campuses and industrial parks.


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