Tips for Choosing Video Products

Garrett Savage

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On June 24th In Video Surveillance
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Video surveillance is one of the most critical components of any organization’s overall security plan. That’s reflected in one research firm’s estimate that the global market for cameras, recorders and switches will reach nearly $43 billion by 2019.

That opportunity leads to a constant parade of new products with advanced technologies and added features. Cutting through the clutter is a challenging task for integrators representing their end users.

So how do you judge which products are best? Here’s a look at a few things to consider when comparing how manufacturers design, integrate and assure the quality of their video products.

Design

The design process is basic in determining how well a manufacturer’s products will meet customer needs. Can an analog camera rival the resolution of an IP-based unit? Could an IP-based recorder at analog prices help dealers and integrators enter new markets? Can a switch deliver high-power PoE+ performance for enterprise-level installations? These are just a few of the questions integrators ask daily.

In the rapidly changing North American market, manufacturers with domestic design and software engineering groups welcoming voice-of-customer input are more likely to have answers for those questions. Their video products tend to offer the specifications, interface, terminology and form, fit and function that your customers need.

In nearly every job, price is important. So look for a product provider with a global network of quality manufacturing partners that can provide the best overall value.

Sometimes the little things also speak volumes about a manufacturer. For example, check if IP camera mounts assure backward compatibility with analog technology. And look at recorder front panel interfaces to see that design leads to intuitive, easy operation by end users.

To further protect a customer’s hardwire investment, look for free VMS software that provides powerful desktop and mobile video management capabilities while offering seamless backward support for legacy analog DVRs.

Integration

Integration continues as a hot topic within the industry and rightly so. With many end users beginning or in the middle of migrating from analog to IP-based video, no one wants to be caught with inoperable systems.

A video product line should integrate with other software and hardware platforms offered by a manufacturer. A unified approach throughout the video portfolio provides deeper system configuration while maintaining ease-of-use for installers and operators.

The manufacturer should also offer a clear migration path that keeps in mind an end user’s legacy investment. Knowing the manufacturer’s entire product line complies with industry open standards set by Onvif and PSIA can help.

Quality assurance

Within the security industry, product reliability is vital. Manufacturers that rigorously test their products are more likely to guarantee long-term, dependable field operation.

  • All cameras should complete a 24-hour factory burn-in. Outdoor cameras also should be tested under extreme field conditions to weatherproof (IP66) and impact resistant (IK10) standards
  • Recorders require regression testing prior to the first hardware approval and then an additional three months of testing to confirm initial testing
  • Industrial network switches should meet IP30 standards

With almost daily stories of hackers gaining access to installed systems, it’s critical that all IP-based hardware and software products complete stringent security testing to detect potential network breaches that could impact the integrity of installers’ and their customers’ video networks.

Time to choose

Of course, there are many other factors that affect product selection. But these should help point an integrator in the right direction.

Another tip; when choosing video equipment one good route is to purchase equipment from a single manufacturer that provides a range of integrated end-to-end hardware and software solutions, including both IP and analog technologies.

Whether working with a customer on a new or retrofit video security system, examine Interlogix, a manufacturer that provides quality solutions featuring consistent design, seamless integration and reliability.

ADI carries the full line of Interlogix video surveillance products. Click here to learn more.