Developing IP Surveillance Systems Based on H.264

Internet Protocol (IP) technology is rapidly changing the way organizations look at video surveillance. Conventional wisdom used to conclude that digital cameras were more expensive than analog. This is no longer the case, as IP cameras have fallen in price and the total cost of IP surveillance systems is offset by lower cable, housing, installation and maintenance costs. Other benefits of IP technology for video surveillance include higher quality recording, faster search and retrieval, easier maintenance and more flexibility in data storage options. Network video also allows administrators to integrate their surveillance systems with other network equipment and business systems. This provides benefits by simplifying administration for multiple cameras and allows for more efficiently covering larger areas. IP video also gives software companies the flexibility to develop innovative features and integrate them into scalable video management software.

Along with the increasingly apparent benefits of IP cameras, organizations are also recognizing the benefits of managing video streams using network video recorders (NVR). As the cost of storage and transmission of video across data networks continues falling due to advancing compression technologies and increasing bandwidth, NVRs are fast becoming the preferred method of handling all of that video data. And with the latest H.264/AVC technology, digital video has reached a new level of high resolution and low network bandwidth.

H.264/AVC Codec Achieves Higher Quality and Lower Bandwidth

H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding) technology uses the latest innovations in video compression and decompression to provide incredible video quality from the smallest amount of video data. This results in crisp, clear video in much smaller files, saving bandwidth and storage costs over previous generations of video codecs. H.264/AVC delivers the same quality as MPEG-2 at a third to half the data rate and up to four times the resolution of MPEG-4 Part 2 at the same data rate. The combination of advanced compression technologies like H.264/AVC with rapidly expanding network bandwidth from multi-gigabit Ethernet allow transmission of much higher resolution video streams without impacting network performance.

By connecting high resolution IP cameras with H.264/AVC -enabled NVRs over high speed Ethernet cable, completely digital surveillance systems can be deployed at lower cost than hybrid analog-digital systems. Ideally, deploying an IP surveillance system should include an all IP-based network of cameras. However, this may not be practicable in every situation, as many organizations hope to retain their previous investments in analog camera systems. Therefore, the core of the surveillance system should include an NVR capable of handling both analog and digital video streams, and intelligent software for day-to-day operation of video surveillance hardware, administration and data storage, backup and retrieval.

32-Channel Full D1 Video Resolution

Implementing a surveillance system that handles only 16 channels limits options for growth. Implementing a scalable solution is a more efficient approach that avoids duplication and under-utilization of hardware.

Lanner Electronics has developed a state-of-the-art NVR based on the H.264/AVC codec that is capable of simultaneously receiving and processing up to 32 channels of full D1 resolution video, and storing it on internal RAID-enabled removable hard disks. The VN-3032 is an all-in-one 3U rackmount platform that can be used to simultaneously record, encode, store and transmit up to 32 channels of H.264/AVC video. In its standard configuration, the VN-3032 comes with two 16-channel BNC video input modules, six hard drive bays for internal storage, four audio input modules and one four-port LAN module.

Because of its modular design, it can be customized to fit a wide range of customer preferences. Modules can be switched out to add more networking options, more storage bays or additional audio inputs. As a fully customizable platform for surveillance applications, the VN-3032 can be deployed with flexible and highly scalable software for a wide range of added functionality. Additional features that can be added via software include PTZ control, motion detection, facial recognition and other event-based software functions such as event-based recording, motion detection, opening doors or other software-defined rules.

Internal Storage Eliminates Network Bottlenecks

To manage storage capacity, surveillance systems need to implement policies for archiving and storage, and with the increasing economic viability of inexpensive removable hard disks, companies can plan for overcapacity on storage from the beginning, eliminating the need to manage huge archives of tape or DVDs for video backup. By combining storage inside the NVR, the Lanner VN-3032 reduces bottlenecks caused by network latency, and increases the speed at which data compression, storage and retrieval are performed. Additionally, the embedded RAID controller provides peace of mind by ensuring data redundancy and availability.

Deploying an all-IP video surveillance system makes more and more sense, and as organizations move to IP-based systems, they will need capable network video servers with the latest compression technologies, fast and reliable networking capabilities, and internal hot-swappable RAID storage.



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