Analysis

Clearfix
Wed
07
Aug
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HDcctv: The Third Way

Q: Todd, you’ve been involved in the development of the HDcctv Alliance for many years now – could you outline for us what the HDcctv Alliance is about, when it began, what it is seeking to achieve, who is involved?
A: The HDcctv Alliance, with headquarters in NSW Australia, was founded in June 2009 with the goal of providing a comprehensive standard for local-site transport of HD surveillance video. Such a standard is valuable because it provides a basis for customers to be sure about electrical performance and 100 per cent multi-vendor interoperability. The Alliance includes over 70 Member companies located around the world. The membership list is posted at www.highdefcctv.org.
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Wed
17
Jul
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Awakening The 500-Pound Gorilla

I can’t help maundering over the future conduct of Telstra, which has emerged from the telco wars of the past 10 years more dominant than ever before - and more willing to compete with its own wholesale customers for a slice of their commercial businesses. 

Tension is growing among ISPs and small telcos, who broker slices of Telstra’s bandwidth to their own clients after buying it at wholesale prices. Just now there are a number of disturbing signs. For a start there’s talk that NBN Co’s $A1 billion payment to Telstra for use of existing ducts has been earmarked as a war chest to bankroll sub-wholesale pitches to the major clients of smaller telcos. 
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Sun
07
Jul
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Security Electronics: Product Trends Of 2013

What’s going on in CCTV? To my mind a key trend in the market is the diffusion of technology from high-end solutions down to low-end form factors. We’re seeing some very small and very affordable cameras offering 720p HD resolution. This trend is not going away. Over the next 12 months we’ll start seeing full HD 1080p filtering into sub-500 cameras. Yes, they’ll have fixed lenses and they’ll not be pretty but they’ll offer strong performance for the money. 
Something else that’s noteworthy is the proliferation of hemispheric cameras. There are now 4 or 5 quality options to choose from. Performance is extremely flexible, given the characteristics of the lens type. Elsewhere, ISD’s release of a Win7 HD camera earlier in the year was an interesting move. Putting Chelan into a low cost full HD surveillance camera with embedded development and design tools like Silverlight may significantly broaden the market. 
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Mon
24
Jun
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Whats The Future of CCTV

Q: Vlado, I can’t help feeling we’re at a cross roads for CCTV. Some of the things on the horizon look threatening, others look positive – do you think the current model of CCTV distribution and installation has a bright or an uncertain future? 

A: I agree John, from the point of view of technology, we are at the crossroads, but I don’t think the uncertainty is because of new technology, but rather because of aggressive marketing from low cost, low quality manufacturers. Some small businesses think they can make a quick buck and huge profit by buying direct and re-selling low quality questionable copies, but in the long term, we are all losing because our industry is only so small. This price-driven low quality marketing by mostly Chinese manufacturers is the actual problem I see. Somebody could make a quick buck on the way, but the industry will lose its reputation in the long run. 
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Mon
10
Jun
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Big Brother Watch Over Us

But in both cases it’s difficult to imagine how our technology could have saved the day without the sort of integration that’s likely to cause the privacy lobby and the political left – and I think we can all understand their fears – to dissolve into conniptions. 
The incidences I’m talking about are the recent terror attacks in Boston and Woolwich but I might just as well be talking about Baghdad or Makhachkala from the point of view of law enforcement need and operational functionality. In both Boston and Woolwich, the perpetrators were known to security services suggesting that radicalisation of terrorists is a process that takes a period of years and there are often multiple warning signs. 
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Thu
16
May
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Analysis: Windows Chelan For CCTV Cameras

ISD’s Ian Johnston said the company’s development team sprinted to market with its Microsoft Chelan - Windows Embedded Compact 7 - camera, a solution it knows will change the world. Time will tell if this observation is correct but it’s hard to dispute the attraction of a camera that will run on Microsoft Windows for some users. Personally, I think the attraction is going to be greatest outside the security industry, at least in the short term. 
Chelan was released early in 2011 and it’s actually a tablet operating system designed to drive demanding stuff like smart phones, industrial automation gear, as well as tablets and slates. According to Microsoft, Win7 Compact is a consumption device rather than a creation device like full Win7. What this means is that it allows access to services and its own functions, rather than running demanding creative software applications. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of creativity in Chelan.  
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Wed
10
Apr
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Security Market Growing Up

I think we’d all agree that for a long time there’s been a divide between most security integrators and the IT function. It would be a mistake to suggest this division has been industry-wide because the best security integrators are eating IT for breakfast but for many installers handling stuff like IP addresses and port forwards is still a bit much. 
The response to this resistance has come from all directions. We’ve seen some distributors supplying systems that are entirely pre-commissioned (think Pacom and Lan1), and we’ve seen manufacturers and distributors simplifying IP solutions significantly. 
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Fri
15
Mar
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Analysis: Now Is The Future

In fact, so significant is this change that some companies – I’m thinking about the new Mobotix mobile application here – are suggesting that in a couple of years the primary method of managing cameras will be via powerful pieces of mobile software. And Mobotix is talking about getting into alarms and access control, with these elements of its solutions also set to be managed using iOS. 
And it’s not just Mobotix. Honeywell’s Tuxedo Touch, which we review in this issue, not only converts Honeywell Vista panels into automation and surveillance solutions, it’s a mobile gateway for all the functionality of Vista and Tuxedo. Individual cameras are also increasingly accessible via web browser with no need for a software management system. Sure, there are limitations to this sort of viewing but there are possibilities, too. 
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Fri
08
Feb
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Trends In The Electronic Security Industry In 2013

For a start, they suggest it’s still a hybrid industry when it comes to video surveillance. A number of the leading camera manufacturers have released new analogue offerings recently. We’re meant to meet the pivot point for IP video in 2013 but the market is an oddly diverse beast.
Servers at the edge. Yes – those microSD slots on IP cameras can now be loaded with 128GB chips costing around $200 and chip prices are likely to fall by 25 per cent through 2013. When you consider the cost of rack-mount servers, edge storage becomes an appealing option. 
Touch screen alarm interfaces. Almost every manufacturer has one and in some cases they cost less than $100. Installers not upselling touch screens to end users simply aren’t trying hard enough. 
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Thu
10
Jan
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Peddling The Hype Cycle

There are plenty of products and technological platforms about just now – PSIM, VSAAS, the ethereal realm of cloud, even edge solutions and very large megapixel cameras - that it could be argued are at various stages of the so-called hype cycle. In the hype cycle, products or technologies are released to great fanfare and make early headway then, as the challenges of implementing them successfully becomes widely known, sales slow before steadily increasing as early adopters find success with their systems and supporting technologies catch up. 
It’s worth pointing out that the hype cycle is not an objectively measurable phenomenon. It’s more a conceptualisation of the process a ground-breaking product goes through between its first ‘appearance’ as vapourware on the lips of marketing types with access to engineers and the time it becomes an industry icon. And as we all know, this process can take many years. 
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