Retail Surveillance Bandwidth Solution?

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on May 20, 2014

Watching video surveillance from retail stores remotely is both essential and problematic.

Bandwidth is frequently limited and prioritized for transactions, not surveillance. But investigations and remote live viewing can be crippled by this.

One company, USS is claiming its solution is 'the next big thing in physical security' that solves this problem. However, do they truly have a good solution, or is it just marketing bravado?

We take a closer look at the features, pricing, advantages and weaknesses inside.

******** ***** ************ **** retail ****** ******** ** both ********* *** ***********.

********* ** ********** ******* and *********** *** ************, not ************. *** ************** *** remote **** ******* *** be ******** ** ****.

*** *******, *** ** claiming *** ******** ** '*** **** *** ***** in ******** ********' **** ****** **** problem. *******, ** **** truly **** * **** solution, ** ** ** just ********* *******?

** **** * ****** look ** *** ********, pricing, ********** *** ********** inside.

[***************]

Classic Bandwidth *******

***'* '******* ******** ********' ******** **  ** ******** ******* ************ *** ********* ********** locations, ************ ***** ** the ****** ** ********** *********. Because ***** ********** *** prone ** **** *************** ***********, *** ********* ** ******** services **** ***** ************, EAS **********, *** ****** control ** ***** *******.

*** ********* ***** *** be * ********* ***** of ***** ************, ***** restricting ****** ********** *** recording ** **** ********** ****** or **** ***** *****. The **** ** ********* bandwidth ** ***** ** high, ** ** * ****** ** selecting '****** ***' *******  of ** ****** ******* connected ** ***** *** recorders ** ****** ** retail, ******* *** ************ of ** ******* ** other *******.

****** ****** ***** ***** where ******* ********* ** easier ** ******* ****** many *****, ********** *** bandwidth ******** ** ***** locations, ** **** ******, is ***** *********:

  • ***** ******** ***********: **** ***** ********* means many ********* ****. ******** many ********* **** ******** cost, *** **** ********* the **** **** *********** will **** ********* ******* *** cracks ** ** ****** for ****** ********..
  • ************** *******: ****** ********* *** cost ********* ** ******* costs *** ******* ******* contracts *** **** **** adding ***** ******* ** *****. 

Dynamic ******** ********

*** ** ******** **** product ** * ***** alone service ************ *** ******** security ******* **** ***** surveillance, ******, ** **** remote ***** ******** *******. The ******* *** ** purchased *** *** ** pre-packaged ******** ********* ******** ** ********** inside ** ***'* **** of**** *** *** ******** servers.  

*******

***'* **** ******** ** a ***/***** **** **** costs ~$**, *** ****** based ** ********* ****. For *******, * ****/***** for * ****** ***** location *** ** ~$***/*****. Compared **** ***** ********, this ** *******% - **% ********** ********** ******** **** direct.

*** **** ******** * minimum ******* ********, **** pricing ***** ** ******** length. ****** **** ******** requiring * ******* * year ********, *** ******* with '******* ******** ********' is 12 ******. 

Biggest **********

***** ***** ** **** backhaul *** ******** ******* could ** ** **** fix *** ******* ******** connections, ** ** *** difficult ** *** *** integrate ******* ** ***'* offering. ******* **** *** higher **** **** ****** from ***, ** ***** the ******* "*** *** **** **** USS *** *** * 'traditional' **** *******?"  **** ***** *** reasons:

******* *******: *** ******* **** buying **** *** ***** you *** * ******* network **** ********* *********** ** *** *******, and ** *** **** of *** '*******' ******* carrying ****** **** *******. They ****:

"**** ***** *** ******** more ****** , ******, and **** ********. *** secure ******* **** *** traverse *** ****** ********, in ******** ** *** carriers ****** *********; **** device ** *** ** *** same ******* ** ******** else. [*** * ****** **** network] ** **** ****** use *** ******* ******** is **********. [*** **** Dynamic ******** ********], ** enough ******* ** *** private ******** ****** **, we **** ********** ******* network.  *** ********* **** **** their *** ******* *** their ******** *******."

******** *** ******* *******: *** ******* ****** one ** *** ******* benefits ** *** *********, but **************. **** ****** the **** ******* *** local ********, *** ******* the '*** ****** ** choke' *** ********* **** addressing ******:

** *** **** ** provide *** ***** ******* for *** ***** ******** paired **** *** ***** hardware *** ******* ************. To ** **** ** get *** **** ******* on *** ********* **** they ***** **** ** have * ************ **** each ******* *** ****** the ******* *** ******** independently ** **** ******** service ** *** ********* overhead ********** ****** *******.

**** ***'* ********, * retailer **** *** ******* fees *** *** *********** ** one *******, ********** ** which ***** ******* ** used.

Killed ** ****?

**************, *** ******* ******** ** the **** ****. ***** the '*** ****** ** choke' *********** ** **** product ***** ** ***** for ****, ****-********* ********* are ****** ** ******* an ***** $** - $140/month *** * ******** specific *******.

********** ***** **** **** scales ***** ** ********* used, *********** ** *** ******** configured ** ******** ********* or ** * **** accidentally ******* ****** ** using *** **********, * huge **** *** ** run **.

****, * *** ********** Dynamic ******** ******** ***** is **** ********** ** service ** **** ********* by *** ******* ** the ********** ********. ***** the ******** **** ** 4G ******* *** ***** to ***** **** ***** metro ***** (***** ****** retail ******** ***** **** locations), ***** ** ***** the **** **** ******* simply **** *** ****.

 

 

Comments (3)

While 4G (that I have used) has much faster upload speeds than traditional broadband services, being that it is symetrical, I don't think it is as reliable, unless the facility is very close to a tower. This might be viable for some, but why not just get a second broadband connection dedicated to the security services? I think for $75 you could get an unlimited total bandwidth connection, even if the upload speed is only 1Mbps vs the 6Mbps or more that 4G offers.

Brian, thanks for the review. The quality of internet at retail sites varies depending on the retailer. Some (especially smaller companies) will use for example a SOHO class DSL connection supplied directly by their local ISP. Others (especially larger companies) may have a more systematic approach to networking and will provision whatever resources are necessary to supply their stores with what they need to operate. Retailers in both classes are being pushed into greater bandwidth requirements due to trends like cloud-based POS, digital signage, and remote monitoring/auditing. Not to mention video applications.

We do see retailers with very modest upload speeds typical of SOHO class DSL. 200-400K is not uncommon. Until we're all hooked up with fiber, we're going to have to live with those sorts of speeds with a large percentage of the retail segment. A good solution (for video) is to record on-site, then transcode for ad-hoc remote streaming as well as support export via file transfers for full bit-rate retrieval. Streaming needs to honor bandwidth shaping at the site to avoid pushing aside critical transactions like POS. We find that HD recorded video can be transcoded to lower resolutions at H264 High Profile and a decent framerate to produce surprisingly good video at bit rates on the order of 200K. Video quality can only get better from there as the customer's willing to pay for bandwidth to improve it. The gist is, a well architected solution is a good way to work through low bit rates at the retail site.

As far as wireless is concerned, we all know best case wireless bit rates have improved dramatically in the last couple of years. Unfortunately applications of video can be very demanding at critical times (such as when actually attempting to stream video). So there's a big difference between peak bit rates and sustainable, reliable service. Wireless still suffers from high(er) packet loss, higher latency, and unpredictible bit rates due to congestion in the local area or simply due to location. I'm with Jon when he says why not just do another broadband connection if you need to allocate bandwidth specifically for video.

(full disclosure, I work for Schneider Electric)

Jon Dillabaugh posted that

While 4G (that I have used) has much faster upload speeds than traditional broadband services, being that it is symetrical,

While that may be Jon's experience, most users find that upload speeds are considerably slower than download speeds, usually by 2X. It is not a symmetrical service. See for example:

http://www.speedtest.net/isp/att-wireless

Moving on to the substantive posting, USS claims private trunking. This is unlikely. The congested part of cellular service is the radio access network, not their backhaul. Private backhaul from cellular carriers makes about as much sense as seat belts on motorcycles.

Picking the best carrier for an individual location is, however, a value-add service. Because not all carriers co-locate, it is possible for this to make a huge difference. And it is likely not a trivial exercise to find the best service in a fringe area. It is also possible to use an external antenna to improve performance. Assuming that is part of the service, that could be a real win. Still, I like the idea of DSL better. It seems like a better deal than paying a continued monthly rate for what amounts to a one-time service.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Bank Security Manager Interview on May 15, 2019
Bank security contends with many significant threats - from fraudsters to robbers and more. In this interview, IPVM spoke with bank security...
10 Facial Recognition Providers Review (Secutech) on May 09, 2019
Adding to our 19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled report from ISC West, IPVM focused on facial recognition technology for our Day 2 coverage...
Restaurant Security Manager Interview on May 06, 2019
Wright’s Gourmet House in Tampa, Florida has been around for over 50 years. During most of that time, there were no security measures in place. Now...
Registration Closed - Spring 2019 IP Networking Course on May 02, 2019
Register now for the Spring 2019 IP Networking course here - Closed. Last chance now.   This is the only networking course designed specifically...
Verkada Cloud VMS/Cameras Tested on May 02, 2019
Verkada is arguably the most ambitious video surveillance startup in many years. The company is developing their own cameras, their own VMS, their...
19 Facial Recognition Providers Profiled on Apr 23, 2019
IPVM interviewed 19 facial recognition providers at ISC West to understand their claimed accuracy, success and positioning. 9 from China, where...
Speco Ultra Intensifier Tested on Apr 22, 2019
While ISC West 2019 named Speco's Ultra Intensifier the best new "Video Surveillance Cameras IP", IPVM testing shows the camera suffers from...
Arecont Favorability Results 2019 on Apr 22, 2019
Arecont's net negativity remained the same in IPVM's 2019 integrator study, though integrator's feeling became relatively more neutral compared to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 21, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...
Covert Facial Recognition Using Axis and Amazon By NYTimes on May 20, 2019
What if you took a 33MP Axis camera covering one of the busiest parks in the US and ran Amazon Facial Recognition against it? That is what the...
Amazon Ring Public Subsidy Program Aims To Dominate Residential Security on May 20, 2019
Amazon dominates market after market. Quitely, but increasingly, they are doing so in residential security, through a combination of significant...
LifeSafety Power NetLink Vulnerabilities And Problematic Response on May 20, 2019
'Power supplies' are not devices that many think about when considering vulnerabilities but as more and more devices go 'online', the risks for...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact