Selecting Network Cameras a Different Story from Analog Ones
Network camera is a mainstream product of the video surveillance industry in the future. However, the network camera is a different story compared to analog cameras.
Before, buyers only needed to search carefully for suitable DVRs and analog cameras. There were no troubles because analog cameras and DVRs from any manufacturers could work together. But if buyers want network cameras, they will realize that it is a systemic job. Searching on Google returns too many manufacturers providing network cameras,storage devices and VMS. Is this good news? Unfortunately, the answer is no to some extent, because devices from different providers cannot talk to each other seamlessly. This makes interoperability a problem. Some interoperability standards have come into the market,such as ONVIF and PSIA, but they are just getting started. The interoperability problem will remain for a long time. As a result, it is impossible to freely mix and match network video products.
Besides the interoperability problem, price and software are also two important
factors. It is not possible to select the cheapest devices and connect them as before; buyers must consider TCO from a complete solution perspective. How to select providers to get the best total cost requires in-depth consideration. As for software, the hardware of network camera is relatively trivial, but the software of network cameras is critical.
The features make network cameras vital in the future, because their functions can be upgraded repeatedly. So how to select providers to ensure continuous software improvements needs to be considered.
In summary, selecting network camera is not just selecting cameras, but means selecting strategic partners who can fulfill your current needs and also have great potential. In this article, several key criteria of selecting providers will be discussed.
Video surveillance systems consist of different network cameras. As to device cases, there are box cameras, IR bullets,Indoor domes, Vandal domes, speed domes and more Features range from D1 resolution, 1280 x 720 resolution, full HD resolution and WDR. A provider with full series of products will make things easy.
Network camera image resolution is high, from full HD or more. Such large images require sufficient hard disk storage. For example, a full HD camera
streaming at a bit rate of 6Mbps needs one 2 TB hard disk for a month’s storage.So the price of storage devices is a key factor for the whole cost of a video surveillance system. The conception of NVR is promoted to overcome the storage challenge. However, the specifications of NVR are far from determined. NVRs from different providers have very different features. A most important feature is decoding capability of the NVR. For
example, if a NVR can only decode MP H.264 streams, but the network cameras in the future support HP profiles, then the new cameras cannot be connected to the NVR.
VMS is a confusing criteria. There are many independent VMS developer in the market. However the price is normally surprising high and always have interconnection problem with the hardware devices you selected. Maybe you will have great interest about whether the devices provider also provides their own VMS, and check it if it has almost major
functions you need. So you can use it as a alternative for some low cost surveillance
Network camera is much more complicated than analog camera. They actually are embedded computers. They will be installed on some high places.If they failed to work, to reset them is not a easy job. That means network cameras should be carefully designed and a complete quality assurance system is needed. For example, a complete suite of test software is important.
Good R&D is a decisive factor. The vitality of the devices you bought is up
to it. Would you only care about their total engineers of R&D and look over
their hardware module before? Actually,to understand their software design
philosophy is much more important.Because software is much more complicated,they always tend to be out of order if without the guide of a good design philosophy. Some questions below you can ask:
*Which programming language do they use? C, Java or C++?
*How is the software development process conducted? Are unit tests written? How does the provider perform system level tests?
*Is the Software architecture flexible and powerful?
After searching around the market,buyers may select a single provider who can provide all products you need.Things become easy and total cost should
be low. But usually one provider cannot do all products best. Carefully assessing needs becomes a key job. For buyers who select products from several providers,their job will be integrating as a totalsolution.