Flir is moving into IP video with network thermal cameras and its own VMS software. FLIR introduces 3 series of IP cameras: the F-series (fixed box cameras), the PT series (thermal/color cameras on a pan/tilt head) and D series (speeddome with 36x color camera and a thermal imager). All of the cameras are specified to support H.264 and Flir's new VMS software called FLIR Sensor Manager.
The FLIR Sensor Manager supports 3 classes of functionality:
- Embedded: all of the new cameras can be viewed and controlled from FSM
- Basic: Geo-mapping of cameras plus integration with 3rd party devices
- Pro: Adds video analytics, tracking functionality, video walls, etc.
These moves drive FLIR to become more of a packaged solutions provider, more tightly integrating their cameras with their own management software. While online information on FSM is limited, see FLIR's network connection overview
and page 9 of their Security brochure [link no longer available] (a good general overview of FLIR products).
The alternative from FLIR's historical non-IP cameras was to use 3rd party encoders. This required additional cost and often larger housings (though newer encoders like Axis' mini-encoder
could eliminate that). The upside was that 3rd party encoders could be used with whatever VMS systems the encoder supported. By contrast, FLIR has not disclosed any 3rd party VMS systems that currently support their network cameras.
For more commentary on FLIR's announcement, see SIW [link no longer available] and SSN's