Beautiful - the New Surveillance 'Standard'

Author: John Honovich, Published on Apr 04, 2012

Crappy video quality is expected with surveillance. Grainy, fuzzy, pixilated, blurred images are the norm. In the UK, the common refrain is even that "80% of CCTV is not fit for purpose."

Megapixel adoption, over the last few years, deliveres more details but still produces poor video in many conditions. Arecont cameras are a great example of this. Outstanding when lighting conditions are perfect but they fall apart in a hurry when subject to sun or darkness.

However the situation is improving for manufacturers across the board, Arecont included. With a new generation of sensors and software improvements, beautiful is now becoming the new surveillance standard.

Historically, surveillance video frequently looked like this:

Now, new surveillance cameras routinely deliver beautiful images. Indeed, as we walked the show floor at ISC West, with a new generation of HD cameras being released, 'beautiful' seems to be expected. Images like the one below will increasingly be taken for granted:

What's Driving This

We see two key factors:

  • Improved Sensors: On the consumer side, sensors are getting much better and less expensive simultaneously. Now, multimegapixel sensors that support streaming at 1080p/60fps are increasingly commonplace. They also often have improved WDR capabilities. A recent good example is Aptina's 1/3" sensor release.
  • Better Firmware Optimization: As vendors get more experience with HD and the market becomes more competitive, development is shifting to optimizing image quality processing. The biggest name example is Axis Lightfinder (1602, 1604, etc.) but we are hearing this from many vendors (e.g., Arecont's WDR offering).

The Impact

Over the new few years, beatiful video quality is going to become the norm. This is going to be a big shift for the industry:

  • Better WDR / Better Low Light: The two weak points of HD video are rapidly being resolved.
  • Competitive Expectations: Having beautiful video quality will be accepted as tablestakes for new cameras. Today, you can still blow people away with surveillance video that looks like a movie but that is going to fade away.
  • Pressure on SD: Improvements in overall HD quality will make the gap between SD and HD even more significant. Last year, we called 'SD the new VHS.' This year's improvements make the gap even bigger.
  • Better Industry Perception: As 'beautiful' HD cameras are deployed, the long standing negative reputation of the industry delivering low quality video will change. Of course, this likely take the rest of the decade as it takes time to roll out new deployments. However, this is inevitable as adoption spreads.
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Axxon Face Search Tested on Oct 26, 2018
AxxonSoft has brought facial recognition to their Axxon Next VMS for free with the simply named Face Search, claiming to allow users to find...
Dahua Face Recognition Camera Tested on Oct 15, 2018
Dahua has been one of the industry's most vocal proponents of the value that AI creates: As part of this, Dahua has released a facial...
Last Chance - October 2018 Camera Course on Oct 04, 2018
Today is the last day to register for the October 2018 Camera Course, register now. This is the only independent surveillance camera course,...
Axis 4K vs. 5MP Camera Shootout (Q3518-LVE + Q3517-LVE) on Oct 04, 2018
Axis has released the 4K counterpart to their 5MP Q3517-LVE (see our test). Axis claims of both these cameras: Simply put, AXIS Q3518(17)-LVE...
Hikvision 4MP Camera Tested (DS-2CD2345FWD-I) on Sep 27, 2018
Hikvision's latest Performance Series / EasyIP 3.0 4MP model, the DS-2CD2345FWD-I, was the top performer in our 4MP shootout, besting rivals from...
4MP Camera Shootout - Axis, Dahua, DW, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Sep 24, 2018
4MP usage continues to climb, especially for low cost fixed lens models. To see who was best, we bought and tested seven 4MP models from Axis,...
Vivotek 4MP Camera Tested (FD8379-HV) on Sep 13, 2018
Next in our series of updated 4MP testing, we bought and tested Vivotek's FD8379-HV, and entry level 4MP model claiming "top-notch quality video in...
Dahua Low-Cost 4MP Camera Tested (N44CL52) on Sep 10, 2018
4MP use continues to increase, especially in low-cost models, according to integrators in our 2018 Resolution Usage Statistics. We bought Dahua's...
Hikvision Value Express IP Cameras Tested Poorly on Sep 05, 2018
Even lower cost Hikvision products? Their new Value Express line is marketed for applications where "budgets are limited and performance is...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...
Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Genetec Privacy Protector Tested on Nov 12, 2018
Genetec has built Kiwi Security's Privacy Protector into Security Center, an analytic which anonymizes individuals in cameras' fields of view...
Chinese Government Increases Hikvision Ownership on Nov 12, 2018
The Chinese government - Hikvision's controlling shareholder - is increasing its ownership of the video surveillance giant amid sharp stock price...
Axis: "No One Wants To Buy A Camera" on Nov 09, 2018
Axis has, in its own description, made a bold declaration: The industry is changing so rapidly that the following statement might seem bold but...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact