From the editor's desk: The more things change?

April 2014 News

Welcome to the 2014 edition of the CCTV Handbook, Hi-Tech Security Solutions’ annual round-up of the latest in trends, opinions and case studies (and more) from the surveillance world. In this issue we have also included the Camera Selection Guide, the DVR/NVR Round-up and a listing of companies operating in the surveillance world, making it the only annual reference for the surveillance industry on the continent.

While we try to cover the industry and what’s making it tick in the handbook, there are always some people thinking the surveillance industry doesn’t change and the new technology we see is simply more of the same. Reading through this issue, however, will leave you with the impression that things are changing, perhaps not to the extent that some vendors would like us to believe, but the surveillance industry is an exciting place to be.

There are two aspects to the change we’re seeing. One is the continued advances in technology that are bringing us new technologies like Ultra HD and video analytics that actually works. The other, perhaps the more important area of change is seen in what surveillance solutions are able to deliver apart from video.

The idea of recording video and having someone watch it in the hopes of noticing an event or having someone scouring over hours of footage to identify a historical event is old hat. Today’s business wants the security footage, but also wants an automated system that alerts them when something is happening to allow the responsible people to act in real time.

And they want even more. They want to see their mountains of surveillance footage being used for what the IT industry refers to as business intelligence. They want information that will impact their business, whether by making it more efficient or by increasing revenues. The easiest example of this intelligence at work can be seen in the retail industry where systems like heat maps and people counting, among others, are taking security video way beyond security.

Safe to say, everyone says that video analytics is going to make its mark this year, which would be nice given its less than sterling performance in the past. However, we should also be on the lookout for other star performers, such as thermal cameras. Not only will the current players keep the market humming, but new entrants will drive the price even further down. And it would be remiss not to expect some very cool stuff to appear in the low-light segment as well.

The biggest and oldest news is that we’ve seen the tipping point at which more IP cameras are being sold than analogue. Not that analogue is going anywhere for a long time. We’re seeing many vendors gearing up for a good fight as they bring new systems to market to help customers extend the lives of their analogue systems. Nevertheless, it seems the world has eventually understood the additional benefits of IP over analogue.

There’s a bunch of information in the handbook and we hope we’ve covered a reasonable amount of the surveillance market. Unfortunately, we don’t have space to cover everything. As always, please let me have any comments and criticisms at andrew@technews.co.za.

You can also view/download the entire handbook in PDF or Flash formats.


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