Security Squared: Certification Beyond Basic Interoperability

June 23, 2010 | Coverage

Security Squared

Vendors of IP-based surveillance cameras and video management systems are upping the ante on integration certification

Interoperability may no longer be enough. Vendors of IP-based surveillance cameras and video management systems are upping the ante on integration certification, providing integrators and users with documented validation of more comprehensive functional integrity between their respective platforms..

As IP drives more user interest in assembling best-of-breed solutions, and as standards from groups such as the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) and the Physical Security Interaoperability Alliance (PSIA) are incorporated into commercial products, vendors find they need a stronger differentiator beyond basic plug and play.

Last week's joint announcement from video management system supplier 3VR and Arecont Vision is an example. 3VR has certified Arecont Vision's full line of megapixel cameras as part of its SmartCam program while Arecont Vision said that 3VR had completed participatory testing in the camera maker's MegLAB program and had been certified in three areas: camera integration, feature integration and load testing.

The relationship has already yielded a contract from a major telecommunications company with a network of retail stores, said Raul Calderon, vice president of business development at Arecont Vision. The undisclosed client has deployed cameras in hundreds of stories with an average of five to 12 per location, Calderon said.

In addition to proving a degree of product differentiation, more comprehensive certification programs will be important as digital cameras and edge devices take on more features that require IT-like configuration at the time of installation or, later, when users wish to make adds or changes. Megapixel cameras, in particular, come with features and settings that can perform differently when used with different VMS systems.

3VRs SmartCam certification validates ease of set-up, ease of support and ease of operation for a particular camera line, said Stephen Russell, chairman of 3VR. 

Beyond interoperability, the SmartCam program examines how well megapixel cameras work with 3VR's VMS in areas such as IP address acquisition, video feeds, luminosity settings, firmware upgrades, and storage options. The easier it is to configure these aspects, the more value a user can be derived from megapixel cameras used in combination with 3VR software, Russell said. Along with Arecont Vision's line, cameras from IQinVision and Axis Communications have 3VR SmartCam certification, he added. 

Similarly, Arecont Vision's MegaLab certification documents the level of functionality the 3VR system provides Arecont Vision cameras. "Both programs try to accomplish the same thing from opposite angles: Tighter integration, higher level of understanding between the devices and the platforms so you accomplish a much more comprehensive solution." said Calderon. 

In particular, the dual certifications validate the functionality of the multistream capability of the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras with the 3VR VMS. The multistream feature, a significant value proposition of megapixel, allows a VMS to record the camera's entire field of vision, such as a highway toll plaza, and an isolated portion of the image, such as a single toll lane, at the same time.  

"This provides a much smarter tool for the end user to be able to sift through data, mine that data and extract that level of data they are trying to get," said Calderon. Arecont Vision and 3VR's telecom customer, for example, is using megapixel cameras at the front and back ends of its stores, not only to stem loss prevention, but increase productivity. "They are able to use them more intelligently because of the way 3VR has implemented the solution at their end."