Much touted and highly anticipated, 2014 finally will be the year when network video can claim its dominance over analog, according to a recent report from IMS Research. This “tipping point” – when network video revenues overtake those of analog systems — will occur because, while analog cameras will still outsell network models on a per unit basis through 2017, higher-priced IP video systems will become the revenue leader.
Already, the report tells us, the network surveillance equipment market grew by more than 10 percent from 2011 to 2012 and was anticipated to grow by more than 20 percent this year. In the world market, only China has increased analog sales; elsewhere growth is driven mainly by IP-based equipment.
Certainly those of us in the marketplace continue to see a growing acceptance of IP-based video security solutions because of the inherent flexibility, improved networking capabilities and enhanced functionality offered.
End users who invested in analog cameras are still able to begin the migration to IP because of the advent of hybrid NVRs that bring together existing analog units with new high-definition IP cameras on a single platform. This means that network surveillance systems are no longer the exclusive domain of major enterprises; small and mid-size companies have started to invest in and build IP based surveillance systems so they can make the shift to IP at their own pace.
Meanwhile, networks have gotten faster over the past 10 years — nearly 100 times in many instances — and solutions have been improved so everything from installation to streaming video to recording is no longer a strain on network infrastructure and a burden on the IT department. With IT buy in, security personnel can make their case for more network-based components.
Add to that the fact that competition from analog cameras continues to drive down the cost of network-based solutions. The truth is, we’ve finally gotten comfortable with IP technology in the security space because we’ve seen it work in our day-to-day lives. We have adopted some of the same technologies, such as megapixel cameras in our smart phones, so it only makes sense that these features should become more common and lower cost as they proliferate.
But one of the biggest factors for network solutions reaching the tipping point has to be the wide range of features these systems provide. IP-based systems with analytics that can interpret activities and behaviors and unified operations for database mining from video, access control, intrusion, fire and other systems offer a world of opportunity for today’s security director.
So here’s an early toast to 2014: The year of network video.
For more perspective on the tipping point from analog to video, read this recent coverage on the subject from Securityinfowatch. com.