Does the Market Want Closed IPTV?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jul 14, 2010

Dedicated Micros has announced a new solution called Closed IPTV that provides an integrated DM camera/switch/recorder offering that aims to be easier to install and more secure than IP video surveillance systems.

In their Closed IP TV Product Brief, Dedicted Micros asserts the following key points:

  • "Closed IP TV removes the need to laboriously configure IP addresses of individual components requiring no prior knowledge of IP network configurations."
  • "A key area of weakness in video over IP systems is the ease at which networks can be hacked ... hackers proved that the IP Video system at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium was insecure using easily accessible hacking tools downloaded from the internet."
  • "Closed IP TV cannot be hacked, because the routing of the networked video is exclusively managed and tracked through the integrated switch, making it impossible for any hacking tool to identify and intercept the streams."
  • Supports SD and HD cameras (presumably only from DM)
  • Supports DM recorders including SD Advanced and DV-IP
  • Requires proprietary network switch
  • Proprietary switch segments / firewalls surveillance system from general IP network

The value of this offering focuses on (1) reduced installation complexity and (2) improved security.

Reducing installation complexity should be atractive to DM's core analog dealer base and could reduce end total user costs for smaller (8-16) projects (see our IP vs Analog installation review). The strongest fit is likely for those applications that want megapixel cameras but otherwise want a simple solution across a small footprint. (HDcctv might serve this role as well and potentially better as it will not be proprietary).

The downside of the installation simplicity is the proprietary lock-in and restriction to what Dedicated Micros offers. While DM offers a packaged solution, those wanting different types of cameras or analytics (or to use their own servers/PCs) will likely need to look elsewhere.

On the second point (security), we are more skeptical. While information security needs to be considered, many will likely prefer standard techniques over using a proprietary system (essentially DM is offering security through obscurity or providing security through restricting outside access - both have their downsides). Secondly, the Cowboys stadium claim is, at best, misleading. The Stadium was never hacked. A vendor selling Information Security solutions provided a demo of how technology similiar to what was being used at the Stadium could be hacked.

Finally, while focusing on Closed IPTV might help Dedicated Micros in the short run, this move might hurt them in developing a more open archictecture that is likely to succeed in the longer term.

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