As network cameras evolve, so too will recording options

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Friday, November 1, 2002

The expanded use of network cameras is likely to have a ripple effect in how information is recorded and stored, according to network camera manufacturers interviewed by Security Systems News.

While current analog and digital camera systems are linked to VCRs, mulitplexers and DVRs, network cameras' Internet and intranet connections can allow information to be stored directly on PCs or into other more sophisticated storage devices.

Frank Abram, vice president at Panasonic, said a recent alliance made with IBM 's mass storage group will allow network camera users a new storage option.

While these LTO, or linear tape-open, units aren't DVRs per se, they still function as a DVR, Abram said, only on a much larger scale. "The DVR (in the traditional sense)," he said, "will probably go by the wayside."

Samsung Opto-Electronics' National Sales Manager Frank Polidoro said software enhancements that allow remote video capture "can take any PC and turn it into a remote DVR."

In fact, he noted, "in certain situations, where the end user doesn't have a DVR, this (direct to PC recording) can take its place."

Tim Martin, vice president of Veo, agreed software upgrades can allow the capture of real time audio and video and "save the images to a hard drive and date code them."

John Kaloukian, senior marketing manager-security of Sony, said future network camera product improvements will likely focus on "downloading ability and adaptability."

While viewing images is important, manufacturers noted having an economical, reliable and space-efficient method of saving images for review and use is critical.

Rick Davitt, vice president marketing for IQinvision, noted the next generation smart cameras, which could be available as early as next year, will even make their own choices about what the system will record and where to store the information.

A smart camera, Davitt explained, "will search for and find an empty disk drive" and store the necessary information.

Camera evolution goes hand-in-hand with information storage.

"The evolution will be all about on-board processing," explained Greg Bressler, product manager for Videology. "Cameras will be able to do more functions and make more decisions," he said.