Already being applied in major projects, like airports, networked video technology is becoming the solution of choice for medium- to large-scale surveillance systems. This is where existing IP infrastructure using Ethernet transmission can be exploited, where a high number of camera images need to be viewed and recorded, and where flexibility is key. The advantages of IP surveillance systems are summarised as scalability, network flexibility, increased camera functionality, cost-effective infrastructure, use of open standards, lower cost of ownership and wide area connectivity, including wired and wireless.
Special IP, or networked, cameras are now being developed that will feature megapixel resolution for very high-quality imaging, remote pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) control without additional cables and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), which also saves on cabling and facilitates connection to an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS).
Instead of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), IP-based systems employ software solutions called Networked Video Recorders (NVRs) for recording and storing an almost limitless number of images. Bosch's next-generation VIDOS-NVR supports up to 64 video streams simultaneously over a single PC server. A most important feature of the VIDOS-NVR is Automatic Network Replenishment (ANR™) that ensures seamless and gapless video recording even in the event of network failure.
Efficient, multi-tasking encoding and decoding of video data are provided by Bosch's VIP series of video transmitters/receivers. These are ultra-compact modules that support full PAL or NTSC sources, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 compression and full-duplex audio. Dual encoding makes best use of bandwidth, while a USB interface allows connection over wireless LAN, xDSL, ISDN or PSTN.
Network control greatly facilitates operation of an IP-based surveillance system. For this Bosch offers the software-based VIDOS Video Management System, an intelligent, powerful and customizable means of controlling all functions in the IP CCTV system and supporting an unlimited number of cameras and monitors. VIDOS integrates with existing peripheral equipment such as dome cameras and analog monitors, and combines comprehensive functionality with superb performance to provide operators with complete control of all network issues at the click of a mouse.
One of the key areas where innovation in application has stepped in is Video Content Analysis (VCA) that uses real-time and recorded images and compares them with a database. Typical applications in an airport environment include static, suspicious object monitoring, facial recognition, behaviour recognition and passenger traffic volume registration.
Taking the surveillance system a few steps further, there are manufacturers like Bosch that also develop communication, fire, intrusion alarm and access control systems. We see more integration of one or more of such systems with IP-based CCTV, to provide a total, integrated security and control facility, ideal for large enclosed spaces like airport buildings.
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