Fatal Flaw For VSaaS [Not] Solved

By: John Honovich, Published on Nov 24, 2013

Rubbish! cries hosted video vendor.

Frustrated by being the most disrespected market segment this side of PSIM, and determined to show that he has solved the fatal flaw for VSaaS, this vendor makes his case.

The Fatal Flaw

By its design, hosted video requires sufficient bandwidth between the customer's premise (where the cameras are) and the data center (where the storage resides).

Making that work with available bandwidth has always been incredibly difficult. Most sites have nowhere near enough (ranging from 1Mb/s to 10Mb/ upstream) and even those few that do, often have data caps that make it cost prohibitive.

That's why in the fine print of most hosted video offering, the max number of cameras they will even attempt is usually limited to 4 or less and then with other restrictions (limits on resolution, frame rate, quality, etc.).

We examined this in Megapixel vs VSaaS.

The "Solution"

One vendor [had] a solution, taking us to task that "you assume that the camera has to send its data at the speed/bandwidth at which it is handling it."

Here's his solution:

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"If the camera is smart enough to detect "events", either using VMD, external trigger, analytics or some other method (watch this space) then it can record the images in its buffer and send to the DC at an effective frame rate, uncompressed, it does not matter how fast or slow that connection is... AND.... as this is a synchronous system you can go live on the reverse channel at the same time if you want to do the surveillance bit, albeit at a slightly more compressed ratio."

In other words:

  • Only record video when an event is detected to save bandwidth
  • Do not send out video right away, instead send it back partially over time to reduce peak bandwidth usage (and therefore fit within bandwidth limits)
  • If someone wants to see video live, send them a lower quality stream so the bandwidth limits are not exceeded

Solution's Flaws

Unfortunately, this solution creates its own sets of new problems:

  • Poor real time video quality for live monitoring
  • No continuous recording possible
  • Risk of missing critical information that was not captured as an event
  • Major problems with any camera where motion is common (streets, intersections, lobbies, public areas, retail, etc.)

You replace the bandwidth barrier with a whole set of new flaws in the overall system, which are never an issue for any traditional surveillance recorder.

The Real Solution

The only real solution to the bandwidth barrier is managed video, storing the video all on the customer's premise (like one does traditionally) but simplifying remote access to that video (e.g., March Cloud Service and as discussed in the Megapixel vs VSaaS report). 

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