Hikvision Launches 5MP Analog Turbo HD 3.0

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 25, 2016

Axis is about to become even more wrong about analog HD.

As we reported in 2015, Techpoint has developed HD analog technology that delivers 5MP resolution. Now, Hikvision is incorporating that into their new Turbo HD 3.0 release.

Inside this note, we break down the key features of Turbo HD 3.0 and explain why it has the potential to disrupt the industry.

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Comments (36)

What about PTZ control over coax?

Btw, Hiks recorder may not be 4K input but TVI 3.0 is:


Techpoint brings the next generation of HD-TVI technology to you with HD-TVI 3.0! Now HD-TVI 3.0 supports up to 8 Megapixel or 4K resolution video while maintaining reliable distance performances of over 500 Meter on a copper core 3C-2V coaxial cable. Now HD-TVI 3.0 DVRs are now even compatible with other popular HD analog standards!

Hikvision is using the technology of Techpoint, a US company, to do this...

How do we know that this "U.S. company" is not actually partially owned and controlled by Hikvision?

According to Techpoint, no. Techpoint says Hikvision is a customer, not an owner.

There's a good use for the War Chest.

I find this whole HD-over-coax trend interesting.

Personally, my main beef is that I hate coax cables.

If I'm designing or recommending a system, I *really* prefer twisted-pair/Cat5e/6 cabling. Note that I'm just talking about building a cable-plant with future flexibility, not specifically related to just video.

Benefits of Twisted Pair (to me):

  • Consistent jacks and plugs. No debate over BNC or F-Connector
  • Jacks are flush with wall plates, no protrusions
  • No debate on cable type (50 ohm/75 ohm, solid center conductor or plated, quad shield? etc.)
  • More versatility - a CatX cable can be "hacked" to carry power more easily, multiple signals, etc. Not that I recommend this, but it's a nice benefit in a pinch
  • Balanced-signal of twisted pair tends to be more noise-immune
  • Typically smaller cable diameter adds up in large bundles

The one major benefit of coax that I see is that it tends to get longer distances than twisted-pair Ethernet.

IP is clearly the winner in terms of carrying data from the server to the client device, especially for tablets and mobile phones. Customers routinely expect ready access to video, they don't want to have to walk over to a DVR with a monitor attached all the time.

I also think IP is the winner in terms of the signal input to the NVR for most systems. It's easier in most cases, and eliminates the need for funky capture cards.

So, I think the real part of the system up for debate is basically the link between the image sensor and the H.264 (or H.265)/IP encoder. IP cameras do the encoding in the camera, and everything comes out IP. HD-coax cameras convert to IP through an NVR mostly, and that NVR also acts as a budget recorder/interface.

Part of me wonders if this is what Hik and Dahua might be trying to figure out. Should they make some kind of "encoder" that has an almost disposable user interface with ability to support an HDD for low-end systems, and then that same device would be the IP encoder for higher-end systems. Or should they make "DVRs" and then also a high-density rackable encoder? Something that does 32 channels of HD-coax into IP in a single box? 1 MAC address, 1 IP... How would Milestone license that?

I don't know that the coax cable reuse strategy is really a big long-term driver for these systems. I do think that they could make a strong play for a non-IP twisted pair camera network with an intelligent NVR/encoder at the other end to convert to IP. There are interesting possibilities here because I think camera resolutions will start to taper off, but things like video analytics may become more common. If you have good cameras, it's easier/cheaper to upgrade your encoder device with something that has more features/processing power in the future.

IP cameras currently have much higher top resolutions than the HD-coax stuff. I think consumers like the feeling that IP is less limiting, but if you agree that IP has won in terms of the server/client piece, then if you had a twisted-pair cable plant you could easily swap individual cameras to higher resolution IP cameras when/if needed.

I don't know what a twisted-pair PHY does to the cost of these cameras vs coax. But I do think that if Hikvision or someone embraced a cheap twisted-pair version of the same concept they could set themselves up for a very flexible and scalable architecture that better supported new cable plants.

"Should they make some kind of "encoder" that has an almost disposable user interface with ability to support an HDD for low-end systems, and then that same device would be the IP encoder for higher-end systems."

So far HD analog encoder releases have been weak as they have focused on selling an end to end solution with DVR. That said, I think a small form, low cost HD analog encoder would be a nice complement to the better VMSes out there.

Related:

Testing Dahua HDCVI Encoder With VMSes

HD Analog DVRs With VMS Software Tested

"But I do think that if Hikvision or someone embraced a cheap twisted-pair version of the same concept"

Related to that, quite a number of people have asked for HD analog with baluns to run over existing category cable, ironically installed, in the past 5 years to support the move to HD IP.

A couple other thoughts.

With HD-Analog you decide how much to compress the streams at the DVR, and so can make the decision without regard to the bandwidth of the camera network.

HD-Analog also allows analytics to run at the DVR on uncompressed data.

I disagree on both of these.

Bandwidth isn't a problem on the network side of things, it's a problem as it relates to storage costs. It wouldn't matter if you compress at the camera or DVR, it's still ultimately the same data. There is some slight edge to watching video live at the DVR that you could get moderately sharper and smoother video, but you can't really use live video for evidence, so it still comes down to what you record (IMO).

As for the analytics part, most algorithms out there today are still throwing a lot of data away because it's not beneficial or helpful. There could be some esoteric things like detecting patterns in clothing, or textures, but for the most part the uncompressed data wouldn't make a big difference common analytics.

As for the analytics part, most algorithms out there today are still throwing a lot of data away because it's not beneficial or helpful.

So facial recognition works just as well on moderately compressed images as it would with uncompressed?

I have heard that the reason that camera-side algorithms "throw away" so much data is because they are limited in their CPU capability to process the data and keep the stream going steady. Yes/no?

So facial recognition works just as well on moderately compressed images as it would with uncompressed?

Within reason, yes. A big factor for good face rec is ppf/ppm, better detail around spacing between eyes, nose features, etc. Unless you push the example to (IMO) extremes, for a given field of view that is face-rec friendly you wouldn't gain or lose much around normal compression levels.

I have heard that the reason that camera-side algorithms "throw away" so much data is because they are limited in their CPU capability to process the data and keep the stream going steady. Yes/no?

Some, yes. But not all. I can't get into too many details without breaking some NDA's or other agreements, but CPU isn't necessarily the huge limiting factor. This too is in the context of a semi-even comparison. EG: a DSP in the camera and a DSP or maybe low-end processor in the NVR/Endcoder thing. If you're going to compare a tiny DSP in a camera to an encoder with a dedicated i7 processor per stream, then the products end up in wildly different classes.

So, it all gets intertwined. A powerful processor analyzing an uncompressed stream might do better than a DSP looking at a lossy-compressd stream, but now you're comparing an expensive encoder/analyzer to a moderately priced camera. Even spreading the encoder cost across multiple channels you're probably still at 2x-3x the per-channel cost for relatively small gains.

(Keep in mind too that there are several analytics companies still trying to squeeze blood from an old rock. 15 year old code developed for CIF streams and trying to run it on modern stuff and so on. I'm talking in the context here of companies that are staying current in analytics.)

Ok. I'll concede both of my points, the first only because you're unquestionably right and the second because I don't have the right to question it. :)

One advantage of HD-Analog that I am certain of is the live PTZ experience compared to the IP. It's actually fun again and not a chore like it can be with the dual latencies of IP video and IP control.

If you have done a bit of sticking in your day but haven't tried working a 30x TVI/CVI PTZ from the DVR attached monitor, I suggest giving it a try.

Yes, PTZ control is definitely much better without IP.

Thanks for the excellent write up John.

I have numerous live view only applications in the healthcare vertical where we need live view only and maximum reliability. Currently we still manage hundreds of analog cameras and monitors just to monitor who is on the secure side of the door to let people in. TVI 1080P monitors and TVI Encoders would be very useful.

What's this a 6MP AHD Starlight Panoramic Bullet from DW?

Yes and no. Its really got four AHD 1080p outputs in the back, (one per sensor plus one for stitches), so not using any new AHD transmission standard.

Still a novel camera. Consider you almost never hear the following terms referring to the same camera:

  • Panoramic Bullet
  • 6MP AHD
  • Starlight Panoramic

Also may be the fattest bullet on record.

I believe it is 3 x 1080p, not 4...?

Ahhhh so they have a stitched view as well. Makes sense.

I hope that's not a tail! ;)

One issue I have with HD-TVI, is that I have less direct control of the cameras (iris, iso, etc...) is there any word of this being fixed?

That is my biggest complaint with CVI based cams. You just don't have the same level of finite control as you would an IP cam.

I agree with you, that's one of the main drawbacks, and some of the cameras seem to default to weird settings.

Theoretically, there's no reason manufacturers couldn't allow you to make changes in a web interface and then push them to the camera up the coax instead of fumbling through the OSD. They just haven't so far in any case that I've seen.

I'll reach out to Techpoint and/or Hikvision and see if they have comments.

Theoretically, there's no reason manufacturers couldn't allow you to make changes in a web interface and then push them to the camera up the coax instead of fumbling through the OSD. They just haven't so far in any case that I've seen.

They never did it with SD Analog, either right? Maybe the OSD stuff is not reliable enough to automate without some serious screen scraping.

Or if it's has a stateful interface, i.e. like toggling, which means you have to know how it's set to know how to change it.

Whatever the difficulty, I think they should figure it out...

This is just my opinion, but the TechPoint innovation is significant. I remember a discussion not too long ago on this site about where the innovation will be coming from. You are looking at it.

To be able to walk into an existing facility (or to a customer that has 300 sites) and not touch the infrastructure yet deliver 1.3 - 5MP is a game changer. I know the purist here will balk at my remarks, but I am on the record that customers care about the bottom line and value. This addresses both.

The larger IP-only companies had better get cracking or they will loose market share. The reason they need to get cracking is once you loose market share you never get it back.

There are a few upper echelon manufacturers that integrate analog with IP in one recording device. They need to heed some experienced advice; dump the pure analog portion and integrate IP and Analog HD into one device.

There will still be a place for IP and it will be the lions share, but it will level off as this technology continues to grow.

Just my opinion and I have been wrong before. But I talk to customers all day and they are very interested in this. If I can install a 5MP camera at half the cost of IP (including labor of course), that is what they want. Customers have limited dollars, limited budgets and they have to get the most bang for the buck. They will trade off some advantages like lens control.

I could not agree more if I said it myself!

My question about this technology is, what about security and encryption? Can anyone just plug into these cameras and see what they're seeing? Can anyone just tap into the stream at any point and see what is happening? If the answer is YES, then at least IP cameras can bring encryption and IT security to the system. Does this vulnerability go further and create vulnerabilities to a company's network if the DVR is also plugged into the network?

And, what if I have an enterprise system that doesn't accommodate home-running cables all back to one spot with an NVR? How would I connect it back to a centralized recorder?

I understand that to most customers, these points may seem far-fetched and being "too paranoid," but for larger customers, this is a deal-breaker. Once they can make HD Analog technology that can address the typical security issues that come with analog, then I can look at it closer.

Matt,

Given the issues you cite above, you are not, nor probably never, will be a good fit for HD analog.

The high end of the market went first to IP for many reasons and I think will stay that way. The low to mid tier is where HD analog has the most appeal, where cost and simplicity are more important than scale, advanced features, etc.

The only way to address your concerns is to use many, distributed and secured DVRs (or encoders), which in effect turn the analog cameras into a semi-IP system. It doesn't make sense to do so. You would just be better off starting with IP.

And analog never scales well. There are always low, hard limits on recorders, where a VMS server usually is more flexible. Every time I get a client that needs 16 or more cameras today, I try to push for IP, knowing they will always want more later and adding additional DVRs becomes an issue.

I do have a few clients with multiple DVRs and it's always a challenge to figure out which camera is on which DVR, channel, etc. They ultimately will need feeds from two different DVRs for a given incident. It's just always a hassle.

Large systems should start and stay IP. You are either going to spend more labor managing multiple DVRs/encoders, home run tons of COAX, or other obstacles just to save a few bucks on analog vs IP cams?

Mr. Alvey, your questions are not without merit. The signal certainly is not encrypted from the camera. Analog never has been. If someone were to "tap" the coax, and it can be done, yes you can see what the customer sees. But it is a hard tap, not a soft one. You must be on premise to do that and almost always penetrate the other physical security measures as well as the conduit (higher level of security). If the security consultant does their job correctly using the many technologies available, that is very hard to do; not impossible to be certain, but harder to be sure.

I would ask how many customers or vendors actually encrypt their signals from the camera to the NVR? My guess is not many. Survey says??

Your points are not far fetched at all. Those in the business for years have been dealing with this issue and more like it for years. There are proven preventative measures that can be taken to mitigate the problem.

As for being a deal breaker; I closed a sale yesterday on a total IP system. The customers largest concerns are (1) seeing who is on their property and creating havoc in the form of vandalism, (2) their own employees not following procedures and acting in an unsafe manner, and (3) theft.

When the topic turned to Analog HD, most dismissed the opportunity because the particular technology they wanted is too far off into the future. One person at the table was very interested in the cost difference. He was willing to wait (months) to save the money. The others were not. They were afraid funding would go away.

If you are waiting for HD analog to be encrypted, you might have a long wait.

On the article as a whole, it is worth noting that a significant number of these cameras were introduced as "first look"; to borrow a phrase from the movie industry. CCTV and security types are free to make suggestions on them that may or may not be incorporated into the design upon full release. I believe the scheduled full release is September or just in time for ASIS.

Update: Hikvision has released 3MP TVI cameras (up from 1080p) and Dahua has released 4MP CVI cameras but Hikvision now says 5MP models are not expected until later in 2017.

Do many people find the odd-MP resolutions (4:3) useful, or is it more likely you end up cropping them to a 16:9 even-MP resolution?

The reason I ask is because I find the 3MP and 5MP line as a waste of pixels. Rarely do we need a taller scene. Usually, we are trying our best to keep skylines out of our views, and having the extra height just makes it more difficult.

Obviously, from time to time, the added height may come in handy, but in general, we find 16:9 views are a better fit.

Do many people find the odd-MP resolutions (4:3) useful, or is it more likely you end up cropping them to a 16:9 even-MP resolution?

Related: Aspect Ratio 16:9 vs 4:3 Shootout

The reason I ask is because I find the 3MP and 5MP line as a waste of pixels. Rarely do we need a taller scene.

True. The 4MPs are just as wide as the 5MP without the added height, at least for the ones using the omnivision 16:9 native sensors.

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