Mix and Match IP.
A recent interview in this months PSI magazine with Peter Ford the managing director of Pro-Vision made a fleeting but very interesting observation about the future of IP cameras and their associated software. Provision are a very well respected and successful CCTV equipment distributor so what they say should be paid attention to.
In the interview Peter made mention of how since the early seventies analogue CCTV had in effect been a mix and match of different manufacturers equipment and how well this had worked for the industry. However when it comes to IPCCTV Peter recommended that all IP kit for networked systems should come from one manufacturer.
He actually said “Historically the way CCTV has been over the 42 years that I have been working within security you would sell a Panasonic camera with a Fujinon lens, Dennard housing and a Hitachi monitor-a complete hybrid. However when it comes to an IP installation it makes sense to buy all of the equipment from the same manufacturer” Peter goes on to explain that by doing this it ” does away with any compatibility issues”
What then is the point of ONVIF?
An interesting point to say the least and one that should be opened to debate especially as this fundamental issue could prove to be crucial as to how IP CCTV develops and sells in the coming years. Indeed as Peter points out analogue has effectively been a series of hybrid systems since the early seventies a way of putting together different technologies has been the corner stone of the industry. The reason is simple. If a manufacturer goes bust or discontinues a product your security system does not suddenly become completely useless overnight.
With IP systems generally running off servers or PC’s we all know how quickly these require firmware/software/downloads just to keep them running. If the manufacturer of your single make IP system is not on the ball with regard to software or you upgrade your server and the system does not work , where are you left? In the lurch I would suggest.
The great thing about IP is the fact that it can provide HD CCTV images, this is the driving force behind the sale, but if a leading supplier of IP products does not trust a mix and match approach relying on ONVIF as the glue that stitches different manufacturers products together we either end up with just a few dominant companies and little competition or a technology that maybe backing itself into a corner.