"We have been unable to properly identify an ethernet switch when processing HD surveillance."
Can you expand on this? Have you picked a switch that worked poorly? If so, which one?
How many video streams are you dealing with? Roughly - 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000?
Related: Favorite Network Switches for Surveillance
It highly depends on the scale of systems you're working with, your aversion to service/warranty calls, and whether you can manage the system remotely. If you are working with large scale systems, have the ability to remotely manage, and service work is very costly to perform onsite then I think most integrators here would say to use nothing but managed switches. Managed switches assist greatly in troubleshooting particularly when remote.
If your installs are small, say gas stations or residential, I believe the additional cost of managed switches may be hard to justify.
One important point is the topology. Too often people will daisy chain switches together, instead of connected "edge" switches to the core, and making sure the core switch has more processing power and speed to handle the aggregated data.
Usually 100 meg for the edge switches with gig uplink ports.
The core should have more/all gig.
This assumes a mid-sized system with a few dozen cameras....
As stated previously, if it is more than an 8-port switch (and even then in many cases), a managed or smart/web managed switch should still be used.
(The number of cameras shown in these are just examples... usually the switches would be more filled, or 16-port switches used...)