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

Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We bought and tested...
Avigilon Announces New Lowest Cost Camera (Mini Domes) on Jun 06, 2017
Avigilon's first Micro Dome (see IPVM's test) is now 4 years old. Since that time, low-cost fixed focal Chinese manufacturer dome usage has...
Samsung SmartCam A1 Totally Wireless System on Jun 06, 2017
Hanwha is keeping the Samsung brand alive in consumer cameras with the SmartCam A1, a new offering combining an autotracking 1080p camera with base...
IP Camera - 15 Year Shootout on May 22, 2017
How far have IP cameras come? We bought and tested 4 cameras across the past 15 years to understand how much and where performance has...
Hanwha 9MP Fisheye Camera Tested (PNF-9010R) on May 09, 2017
12MP sensor fisheye panoramic cameras are becoming increasingly common. We have tested Hikvision's DS-2CD63C2F as well as Panasonic's SFV481 4K...
Hack Your Access Control With This $30 HID 125kHz Card Copier on May 01, 2017
You might have heard the stories or seen the YouTube videos of random people hacking electronic access control systems. The tools that claim to do...
Axis Lowest Cost Outdoor IR Camera M2025-LE Tested on Apr 24, 2017
Axis has lagged offering low cost IR cameras while their Asian competitors have made IR standard even in their most entry level cameras. Recently,...
Hanwha Lowest Cost WiseNet X Camera (XND-6010) Tested on Apr 13, 2017
IPVM bought and tested the lowest-cost WiseNet X model, the indoor 2MP fixed focal XND-6010 dome, continuing our testing of Hanwha's new WiseNet X...
Pelco Surevision 3 Tested on Apr 12, 2017
Pelco has released generation 3 of its Surevision cameras, claiming improved performance in both super low light and WDR performance. We bought...
Hanwha Wisenet X Tested on Mar 27, 2017
Hanwha has released their latest generation, the Wisenet X series, powered by their new Wisenet 5 processor. This new series claims improvements...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Security Robots Are Just Entertainment on Jul 21, 2017
Great entertainment, no real security value.  That is the happy (or sad) state of security robots in 2017. Knightscope robot's drowning, the...
Wireless Burglar Alarm Sensors Guide on Jul 21, 2017
Wireless sensors for burglar alarm sensors are an increasingly common option for the historical labor intensive wired alarm systems. However,...
Competing Against ADT on Jul 20, 2017
ADT is one of the biggest players in the security industry, with ~$4 billion revenue. In 2017, they were acquired / merged with Protection...
Hikvision Launching Deep Learning Recorders on Jul 20, 2017
Hikvision has become a common choice for super low cost NVRs. Now, Hikvision is aiming to move up market, with deep learning NVRs that claim far...
PR Campaign Exploiting Manufacturer Cybersecurity on Jul 20, 2017
Manufacturers increasingly have a bulls-eye on their back. As cyber security solutions providers grow, they realize a great way to get publicity...
Axis Door Station Tested (A8105-E) on Jul 19, 2017
Axis continues their push into niche markets, especially audio, with network speakers, an IP horn, and video door stations. We bought and tested...
Manufacturer Favorability Guide on Jul 19, 2017
This 120 page PDF guide may be downloaded inside by all IPVM members. It includes our 20 manufacturer favorability rankings and 20 manufacturer...
$8 Billion Utility Georgia Power Enters Surveillance Business Offering Avigilon And Genetec on Jul 19, 2017
Utilities are typically considered major customers of surveillance integrators but one utility, Georgia Power, with $8+ billion in annual revenue...
Knightscope Laughs off Robot Drowning on Jul 18, 2017
A day after a Knightscope robot drowned, Knightscope has issued an 'official statement' making fun of the issue: The implied message is that...
Microsoft Video AI Cloud Services Examined on Jul 18, 2017
Microsoft has released one of the most amazing video analytics marketing videos ever. In it, they detect oil spills, track individual people giving...

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