Sunell has dedicated in developing a platform for network camera, featuring integrated functions and designing IP modules to support CCD megapixel network camera. Martin Yang, PhD and Technical Director of the R&D Department, joined the organization in 2007, is responsible for product planning, research & development and software management, delivering his standpoints of network camera purchasing guidelines for end-users.
Video surveillance has been a necessary technology in modern society to ensure people's life. The security industry has gradually migrating to third generation which is based on networking structure. In third generation surveillance system, network camera plays one of the critical roles among other devices. Martin Yang provides some selection criteria for user's reference.
Reliability and Stability
Network camera requires a stable operating system. Linux operating system is the better option today. It is an open platform, allowing customers to develop with low cost and higher security.
Software is another key issue to ensure product stability. Sunell has adopted Rational Unified Process (RUP) and eXtreme Programming (XP) to software development. With software management strengths, it emphasizes standard programming for long-term software enhancement. Besides, Sunell is able to implement automatic software testing methods and create bug-triggering buzzers to examine all codes automatically.
Video and Audio Compression Algorithms
H.264 Algorithm has become the mainstream to enhance transmission efficiency. Appropriate high-performance processing chipsets are needed to compress images while offering clarity. Today, there are many network cameras featuring H.264 algorithm while it might not be the standard one. Therefore, it is critical to select a standard H.264 network camera for future scalability.
Audio compression is another key issue in remote surveillance. Audio transmission with even 10 percent data loss is unacceptable for remote monitoring. Sunell devices feature G723.1 audio algorithms with smaller file size in 6.3 kilobits per second, enabling smooth transmission even in wireless environment.
Image Sensor/Remote Maintenance
There are wide range of CCDs on the market with different performance, such as some for wide dynamic range, some for high resolution and some for low-illumination. Even though, end users have to select the suitable one based on own requirements.
To a network product, remote upgrade and maintenance really matter. A good network camera is considered to be able to upgrade via several ways, such as FTP. This truly benefits users in terms of management.
Extensive External Ports
A network camera require extensive external ports to provide users more functions, such as alarm input/output, audio input/output, analogue video input/output, supporting mini SD storage, power over Ethernet (PoE) as well as RS-485 PTZ control. With extensive external ports, it can facilitate system integrators to cater to different applications' requirements.
Software Development Kit (SDK) should be provided by suppliers. SDK has determines the system platform's stability and flexibility. SDKês interoperability is equally matter. Sunell is capable to provide a comprehensive SDK for uers, allowing to integrate with its network cameras with other system platform. Meanwhile, it can be integrated with other different products, such as access control and building automation.
Besides, end-user should consider if suppliers could provide some value-added software function, such as easy to locate IP address, upgrading software, storage capacity management as well as PDA-compliant video testing software. Users not only can benefit from these value-added functions, but also get to know a company's expertise and R&D capability.