PoE powers transition to IP video surveillance

Gary Wong, Senior Research Analyst, IMS Research


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The video surveillance industry has long been dominated by analogue video surveillance products. However, in recent years there has been a strong and sustained trend towards network video surveillance equipment. Such is the strength of this trend, IMS Research forecasts that by 2014 global sales of network video surveillance equipment will surpass those of analogue video surveillance equipment in terms of revenue. What is driving this trend? In short, features. Network video surveillance systems can offer a number of advantages versus traditional analogue video surveillance systems, these include: higher resolution image quality, video analytics and increased scalability and flexibility. One of the contributing factors to enabling increased scalability and flexibility is Power over Ethernet (PoE). Why is PoE advantageous in video surveillance? Firstly, PoE can enable a greater degree of flexibility when designing and planning video surveillance installations. Unlike analogue video surveillance systems, systems integrators/installers are afforded luxury of increased options when positioning network security cameras. Due to PoE, camera placement is no longer restricted by the availability/location of power supplies. Secondly, the use of PoE can make a network video surveillance deployment more cost effective than a traditional analogue deployment (note: this is dependent on the type and size of a video surveillance installation). For a greenfield project, assuming that an IP network infrastructure is already in place, the investment required for additional infrastructure to support a network video surveillance system is minimal. However, to install an analogue video surveillance solution in this scenario, a separate coax (or other transmission medium) infrastructure would need to be established. Also, investment in additional power infrastructure could be needed depending on the placement of analogue security cameras. PoE enabled network cameras, drawing power from the network via Ethernet, can mitigate the requirement for additional investment in power infrastructure for video surveillance. Thirdly, redundancy. By utilising PoE, the implementation of power redundancy for a network video surveillance system can be simpler than for a tradition analogue video surveillance installation. By leveraging the distribution of power over the IP infrastructure, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can be deployed in a single point within the network infrastructure. Whilst PoE is by no means the sole factor driving the transition from analogue video surveillance to IP video surveillance, it does provide compelling benefits for security systems integrators/installers. By 2014, IMS Research forecasts that over 50% of network cameras, in terms of unit shipments, will be either PoE or PoE+ enabled. www.imsresearch.com