There are many commentators about who are still asking the question where is IP CCTV going in the future? Most are still undecided on how things will develop and there seems to be a three way split on opinion.
1) The first chain of thought and one that holds most weight is that IP CCTV will grow a little more slowly than previously thought. However it will still grow and many feel that it is inevitable that it IP surveillance systems will become the norm for Image related security and management solutions. The idea behind this thinking is down to TCO or total cost of ownership. Based on the fact that IP CCTV can provide unquestionable flexibility and image quality it seems like a no brainer that this technology will come out number 1 over its two other main rivals, but as yet a slow start despite huge investment from the big boys such as Axis, Panasonic ,Samsumg, Arecont and Sony has suddenly shed a little doubt on just how much this technology can really dominate the market place within the next five years.
2) The reason for this doubt is analogue CCTV. Obvious weakness in this type of CCTV recording and image quality has been tempered by the ever decreasing cost of the products. It was originally thought that IP CCTV cameras would be mass produced bringing an very sharpe end to analogue CCTV dominance and see it disappear faster than the VCR did at the turn of this century. However big manufacturers such as March networks have decided to continue production of some high end analogue DVR products and analogue cameras keep being produced in the far east with endless relentlessness. So when will we see the demise of analogue, at the moment no one is sure but eventually it must be surpassed by IP CCTV solutions, its just when that is now in doubt. We could see analogue persist for another ten years!
3) Finally there is there is a new kid on the block. HDCCTV. This consists of HD SDI products that can transmit uncompressed HD images over coax. Suddenly this technology has huge appeal for existing CCTV companies who’s engineers are struggling to get to grips with IP. Its not that the engineers are not clever enough to make the shift to IP . It seems the cost of tooling up the engineers and giving training is holding them back. When the engineer sees 80 analogue CCTV systems to every 20 IP then even with training he will rarely get to apply newly learned skills and this then can easily cause his knowledge to fade. This is now where the HDCCTV plug and play concept becomes so attractive to CCTV installers. They are finding IP cameras and NVRs prohibitively expensive, difficult to deploy and expensive to maintain . Some are having to rely on third party IT support to commission systems or having to go to the extra cost of actually creating thier own IT departments to cope. A very costly overhead indeed. So HDCCTV with all the benefits of HD images suddenly becomes a very attractive option.
It is difficult to see where it will go in the end. Will it be the flexibility and superior image quality attainable by IP CCTV? The tried and tested analogue CCTV solution? Or the new kid on the block, HDCCTV? The jury is out….. but we do think we know!