4K tech moves into surveillance
Consumer and IT technologies continue to impact the physical security industry and drive innovation. Ultra HD or 4K video technology has been a hot technology in the consumer space for several years, but will really start impacting security during 2015.
So says Roy Alves, regional business development manager for Axis Communications, who notes the next step for the market is to adapt its infrastructure to the 4K standard.
4K is a picture technology that quadruples the number of pixels found in a full HD picture.
As hardware, video management systems, display screens and bandwidth adapt to 4K Ultra HD, Alves believes in 2015 organisations will see several full-4K options become available, allowing end-users to see the full benefits of the technology.
According to Alves, 4K video is a natural next step in the security industry's ongoing attempt towards clearer image details and larger coverage from a security camera.
"4K for surveillance purposes is expected to take its full effect in 2015 and beyond," says Alves. "Image quality is a core consideration and while everyone is talking about 4K, the real challenge is to optimise image quality for the surveillance task at hand, no matter how bad the light or what the ambient conditions are."
He says corporates in SA are starting to see the benefits of using the technology to reduce their camera count with the same camera coverage.
Alves points out the advancements in image quality have created more pressure on managing the resources to support them. For example, they can have a significant impact on network bandwidth and storage requirements, increasing the need for more effective compression methods, he explains.
Alves adds streaming ultra-high resolution video today requires good network connectivity or bandwidth. Therefore, as the security industry pushes the envelope for better quality images, so does the need for bigger Internet pipes, he notes.
If full time offsite monitoring is required, high definition video becomes extremely difficult to stream because of the lack of Internet infrastructure, says Alves. "It's possible, of course, to stream standard resolution video today but 4K over standard ADSL is not possible at full frame rate."
This is when video surveillance-as-a-service becomes useful for managing and archiving video footage captured by surveillance cameras onto cloud storage, says Alves.
"At the end of the day, higher quality of images and videos such as 4K need to be supported by the right technologies in the background for organisations to get the most out of the data, which can then be turned into useful insight not only for security purposes, but also for efficiency and gaining business advantages," concludes Alves.