Global IP Camera Performance Standards Coming
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles News | January 30, 2013, 8:00am AEDT
The UL 2802 standard has been in the works for about 12 months and is in its final review phase. Future standards – there will be 5 in total – will cover other digital video surveillance system components including analytics and video transmission.
UL 2802 will be used to grade digital cameras on a scale of 1 to 5 for key performance characteristics including image sharpness, field-of-view confirmation, signal-to-noise ratio, TV distortion, relative illumination, color fidelity, dynamic range, maximum frame rate, gray level, sensitivity, bad pixels, veiling glare and housing tamper protection.
This standard is a seriously big deal. It’s the first time there’s really been an independent and objective CCTV camera standard. It’s going to make things easier for end users and installers and ramp up the competition between the major manufacturers.
According to UL, the top 6 digital CCTV camera manufacturers globally were involved with the creation of the UL 2802 standard.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions with manufacturers,” Jamieson told SSN recently, “and for the most part they’ve been very enthusiastic … [the standard] will help prevent false claims.”
UL’s in-house experts worked with “industry, government [and other stakeholders] quantifying performance characteristics of digital cameras,” Jamieson said.
“The lab test is very consistent from camera to camera,” Jamieson said.
This is the first of 5 related standards that will evaluate an entire digital video system. The testing organization is also in the process of creating standards for transmission, storage, video analytics and displays.
However, the new standard “will look [solely] at performance, not operability,” Jamieson said.
“What UL has done is created a way to [look at digital cameras] using some independent performance measurements,” said Steve Surfaro, industry liaison for Axis Communications, who is working with UL on the project.
Surfaro said designers and specifiers “will be the first group to benefit from this standard.” He predicted that government entities would be among the first end users to employ the standard.
For integrators, the standard “will be an excellent tool to understand a particular product line,” he said.
Initially all testing will take place at UL’s facility here, with testing likely at other facilities in the future.
“Several products will be certified [before] ISC West,” Jamieson said. The process will be quick for manufacturers. “Turnaround will be about half a week for certification,” he said.
A way to think of UL 2802, Jamieson says, is that each camera will be tested to a category classification and a performance level, which offers a cumulative performance score as a result of the test score.
“It looks at the performance characteristics of digital video cameras — in this case just the capture of information at the source,” Jamieson said.
“You could have a fixed focus, variable focus, and zoom lens classification. Then a performance level is based on a scoring matrix. You could have a 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1. Your camera would fall into a category and then a performance level. The combination of the category classification and the performance level will indicate that the cameras meet a certain requirement.”
UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity to new breakthroughs in sustainability, renewable energy and nanotechnology.