Lyyn's Video Enhancement Software and Griffin Encoder Examined

By John Honovich, Published Jul 07, 2011, 08:00pm EDT

In this note, we look at Lyyn, a Sweedish specialist providing real time enhancement of surveillance video. Specifically, we examine their newest product offering, the Griffin encoder [link no longer available], potential applications and key challenges.

The main value of Lyyn's offering is to improve video quality in adverse imaging conditions [link no longer available] such as fog, smoke, haze, rain, low light, etc. To deliver this, Lyyn offers appliances and components [link no longer available] to interface with analog video feeds.

We see three key issues in adoption of this technology category:

  • Significance of enhancement: how much better does the technology make video and what practical difference does it make to users?
  • Complexity of addition: how simple is it to add the enhancement software to surveillance systems?
  • Cost: how sizeable is the premium to add this technology?

Significance of Enhancement

We have not tested their solution. However, from their own marketing materials [link no longer available] and overview brochure, the improvements make only a modest practical difference. While it seems to decrease operator strain in viewing, it does not uncover many material details previously hidden. As such, it apperas to have limited overall value in most applications. We do not find it surprising as this is similar to our extensive test results of Ikena's image enhancement software.

Complexity of Addition

The new Griffin encoder [link no longer available] makes it easier to integrate Lynn with IP / VMS systems. The Griffin encoder is based on the Axis Q7401 encoder and provides an ONVIF interface. This allows analog cameras to be enhanced and then recorder/managed on any ONVIF supporting VMS. Note: The Griffin encoder implements both software (via ACAP) and hardware enhancements to the Q7401 so an off the shelf Q7401 cannot be used.

Lyyn does not have any solution to directly interface / enhance IP cameras. The IP cameras could first be decoded to analog and then re-encoded / enhanced in the Griffin encoder. However, that is a costly and complex process. Lyyn says an all digital solution will be released in the future - date not determined.

Cost

The Griffin encoder has an MSRP of $5500 with a standard security dealer discount structure. While the Griffin includes a ~$500 Axis encoder, the premium for adding video enhancement is sizeable.

One way Lyyn recommends using their enhancement appliances is with a matrix switch such that an operator selected live monitor feed can be enhanced, switching the enhancement to whatever camera is currently selected. This is relatively low cost way to enhance the quality / usability of video for real time operators.

The challenge comes from using Lyyn for many cameras as this can drive up the cost of a deployment very quickly (e.g., the cost of a Lyyn encoder is more than most PTZs and triple the price of fixed cameras).

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