A few years ago, the conversation surrounding the migration to IP from analog was focused on whether it made sense to do it. Was the technology where it needed to be? Was the cost differential justified? Was there the internal support system in place to run something more sophisticated and complex?
Today, most security personnel feel they can answer those questions favorably and have come on board with the benefits of IP video. Thus, the conversation is turning from whether to do it all to how to do it wisely and well.
Although there are many examples of end users who have successfully made the transition, there still is no single format to adopt in making the migration. The process is different for everyone, but time and field experience can help pinpoint some of the best paths to follow.
One of the issues complicating the ease of migration is that, as more and more end users have moved to IP, there has been a corresponding surge in products coming onto the market.
This has made the selection process evolve from reviewing a handful of IP megapixel cameras and recording devices to a seemingly endless array of options. And while it can be great to have choices, it also requires that you hone in on what your specific needs will be.
What type of video are you looking to record and for how long? What quality of image is needed? How can you maximize the megapixels in which you’ve invested? A thorough review of the requirements on a camera by camera basis will go a long way toward making that part of your migration a wise one.
A smart migration also requires an in-depth look at the network on which the system will run. Adding more cameras or replacing your existing ones with models that require more bandwidth can cause critical bottlenecks if there isn’t some additional planning that precedes the installation.
Much has been said about building the bridge between the security and IT departments, and this is certainly an instance where that rings true. Embarking on an IP conversion will go a lot more smoothly if IT signs on early and is given a clear understanding of what you are trying to do.
Of course, there are other areas to consider as well, ranging from power supplies to recording options as well as how best to use the technology you’ve chosen by reviewing and trying out the new IP camera and recorder features.
In our upcoming webinar, “Migration From Analog to IP”, we’ll delve into all of these topics so you can wisely and successfully manage your own journey into the world of IP. Register today - Webinar: Wed, Apr 8, 2015 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT.
Is your legacy analog video security system reaching the end of its life? Some companies have been hesitant to make the leap to IP-based video, while other companies continue to look for the most cost-effective solutions to utilize existing infrastructures and maximize their surveillance investment while also adding new IP cameras. Meanwhile, the benefits of switching analog cameras and aging DVR systems to IP-based surveillance systems and network video recorders (NVRs) continue to grow.
Leverage Existing Infrastructure and Add IP Technology
Video surveillance technology is rapidly improving. Hybrid NVRs allow users to connect existing analog cameras and encoders as well as the latest IP cameras to the same server. This approach maximizes a company’s initial security investment while providing the flexibility to upgrade over time. As a result, end users can add IP cameras to their system in order to reap the benefits of high definition resolution, panoramic video, camera-based video analytics, and more.
So What Makes IP Video Better?
View a short video showing why IP video:
IP-based video provides radical improvements over analog video. IP video is transferred over a computer network cable instead of a coaxial cable, which provides options for more flexible and higher resolution video. IP video improvements include video resolution, event analytics, and situational awareness
- Larger, flexible viewing areas - Standard definition analog cameras have a maximum resolution of 704 pixels wide by 576 pixels tall—or .4 megapixels of resolution. Most IP cameras are between 1-5 megapixels, and some are up to 20 megapixels. In many cases, one IP camera can cover the same area as four or more analog cameras. Flexible resolutions are available to optimize the viewing area of the user’s environment. IP cameras can define their own aspect ratios to meet specific needs.
- Panoramic video – There are many IP cameras on the market today that use multiple lenses and imagers to create 180 to 360 degree fields of view. Other cameras utilize panoramic or “fisheye” lenses to achieve these parameters on a single lens. A good VMS will allow you to bring this powerful video into your server with a single stream and to even zoom in and move around within the image for greater detail.
- Improved camera analytics – Many IP cameras make use of video analytics that are built into the software or firmware utilized by the camera. These “smart” cameras can detect when a person or object crosses a line, detect objects left behind or removed from a field of view and more. These events are sent from the camera to the server so the user can be quickly notified. This approach does not require as much processing power from the server while freeing it up for other video management system tasks
- Manage video from anywhere – IP-based video gives users the opportunity to easily view live and recorded video from any location through a PC, web browser, or mobile device.
How to Configure Your System with Analog and IP
If you need to know what server best suits your needs based on the cameras your company has in place or want to add to your system, an online configuration tool can help you calculate the approximate storage and bandwidth necessary for a security system. Users can simply enter the number of analog and IP cameras, the number of streams, compression, desired video resolutions, and other features to find the best NVR that fits their needs.
If you’ve thought about making the switch to incorporate IP video in your security system, watch this informative recorded webinar to learn the dramatic benefits IP video can have on your business.
What are your greatest concerns regarding the migration from Analog to IP Video? Please leave me a comment below.
Taking a page from the Boy Scout manual, companies considering migration to an enterprise security system should heed the call: Be prepared. Knowing what resources are available, who the key players are in getting you from beginning to end, and what goes into developing a successful migration plan are key parts of the process.
Too often, however, the excitement over what an enterprise solution — defined here as achieving central control over an access control system that spans multiple facilities — can mean to the success of the organization once it’s up and running is overshadowed by how the progression from start to finish is best handled. There can be bumps along the way, and it’s always prudent to go into the undertaking with eyes wide open and a playbook in hand.
Many experts would agree that a good way to start is to first define the operational paradigm for your business, taking into consideration how the migration will impact and improve your administrative, reporting and monitoring processes. And don’t forget about scalability: If you aren’t forecasting the volume of activity associated with your enterprise system, you may be shortchanging the underlying architecture.
Another possible pitfall is poor coordination among vendors or, internally, between departments. By its very nature, an enterprise system is going to involve multiple partners and multiple sites that will require coordination by your IT and security teams. Are you prepared to undertake this, or will you rely on a third party to get the job done?
As we said at the outset, preparation is the key, and nothing should happen without a plan, a team and a solid foundation that begins with knowing what you have now and where you’re headed. You can never know too much about what exists in terms of equipment, firewalls, data and policies, nor can you be too vigilant about ensuring a smooth transition once all the pieces are in place.
We encourage you to download our guide, “Key Pitfalls to Avoid When Migrating to an Enterprise Solution” and familiarize yourself with the ways in which you can make the migration to an enterprise solution easier and more successful for your business. Being prepared will pay dividends in the long run!
What pitfalls concern you about migrating to a robust enterprise security solution? Please leave me a comment below.
We’ve been hearing about the migration to IP based systems from analog ones for years now, so that would give rise to the assumption that the process is pretty much over. But if you look at the numbers, and check in with end users, the reality is that many are still in the early stages of this process. And, many are looking for a good road map to help them navigate this transition.
Check out this blog post on the American Dynamics Security Blog titled, Navigating the road from analog to IP video as a series of questions on this topic are addresses during a recently recorded webinar.