ACCORDING to independent video surveillance industry observer, Norman, IP video is not plug and play, no matter what anyone says. He also said claims cameras could see in starlight unassisted were 'hopeful' and predicted a boilover at SecTech HD Camera Shootout in Melbourne this Monday.

"I stood at the RNA in Brisbane for about 5 hours watching 10 of the best CCTV technicians in Australia tie themselves in knots of blue cable over camera config, issues with bandwidth and hassles with camera mounts, and that was before the lights were turned off," he said. "Plug and play is a proprietary gig – I declare the ONVIF experiment dead."

Norman also scoffed at suggestions a camera could produce useable images in virtually no light. 

"Performance from many of the cameras was extremely good in the demanding conditions of the HD Camera Shootout but suggestions a camera can see in 0.0002 lux, which is the light level of a clear, moonless night, are reflections of admirable, but ultimately irrational, positive thinking," Norman said.

"There were a few heart-stopping moments at the Sydney HD Camera Shootout when the lights were turned off completely and I could see nothing useful on the monitor at all. I hope the organisers pull the same stunt in Melbourne – it was revealing what I couldn't see." 

Norman has promised to change his moisturiser for the Melbourne HD Camera Shootout.

"I was wearing Creme de la Mer Ultrarich Cream moisturiser in Sydney, which I was hoping would improve firmness, diminish lines and wrinkles and leave my skin looking ageless, thanks to its seaweed miracle broth formula," said Norman. "But it played havoc with the Chroma-Q Studio Force V 12 Phosphor lamps and the Raytec IR luminary. In a couple of scenes I looked like a over-coiffured stop sign." 

Norman said he wasn't convinced his appearance had changed after using Creme de la Mer and he would revert to his old skin care routine in the future. 

"I'll be going back to patting on a drizzle of Squeaky Gate for the Melbourne demo," he said. "It's only $9 for 750mls and they grow the olives right here in Australia."

Norman predicts a possible boilover in Melbourne. 

"There are a couple of cameras that stand out but I've noticed that as each of the cameras is tweaked closer and closer to a mid-point that best allows it to handle low light, IR light, strong backlight and a powerful lamp in the scene, as well as lots of movement introduced at every stage, overall performance is levelling out and new contenders are appearing," he said. "It's going to be interesting in Melbourne – I won't be blinking once, that's for certain.

"I'd also like to thank techs in Brisbane and Sydney for turning up in such great numbers at the HD Camera Shootout to support my nyctophobia – you can't know what that meant to me. I'm depending on Melbournians to give me the same level of support when light levels crash through 1 lux at Jeff's Shed on Monday."

According to Norman, installers, integrators, consultants and end users should pre-register here for free parking.♦