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Integrated Video Monitoring | AG Weekly

Justin Bailey
Jan 4, 2019 8:05:00 AM


What Is Integrated Video Monitoring?

Integrated video monitoring is the taking of video information, as well as traditional alarm signals, and bringing them together so they provide a lot more information for businesses and homeowners, as well as monitoring agents and dispatch agencies, regarding what's happening at a location when the alarm goes off. So not only do we get a motion sensor signal, but the supporting video that happened at the same time in the same place would tell us whether it's a cat or an intruder or leaves blowing in the yard. Having all of this information in context really helps provide phenomenal context to the alarm itself.

What Are The Differences Between IP & CCTV Cameras?

To give an example, a front door sensor could trip, saying that the front doors have been opened on an armed system. When an operator receives that signal a few moments later, not only do they know that the front door is open, but the supported video that comes with it shows them why that door opened.

Two particular instances I've seen are: the front door sensor recognizes an open but it was the wind that blew the door open. So suddenly the door opens, there's nobody there, nobody enters and everything's fine. In another instance, a front door opens, an intruder enters, and you can tell just by the way that intruder is moving and tie it to that alarm.

The advantage there then is when an operator calls dispatch to let them know that not only was there a front door sensor triggered, that the door open on an alarm system, but additionally that there was an intruder seen and viewed on sight. And often with an integrated video alarm, not only can we see what happened when the alarm triggered, but we can also see the live video and inform dispatch that not only was an intruder there but that intruder is still there.

Who Is Integrated Video For?

You know, traditional cameras in homes and businesses were CCTV cameras, and those cameras that all report back to a local recording solution that would store the camera footage for a period of time or even stored on tapes. There are those still out there.

As those have been replaced, there are a lot of CCTV cameras out there that now report to what's called an NVR, or Network Video Recorder, and the NVR is often capable then of not only strong that information locally but sending that video to an offsite location. And better yet, it can do so whether it be a cloud storage or monitoring facility or even directly to the responsible persons mobile device so they can view video in real time wherever they are.

The advent of the NVR really has allowed, and kind of intersected the world of IP cameras in a lot of ways. The functionality is very similar where IP cameras often report back to a common collection point locally and then that information is communicated to the cloud to a monitoring center and to other platforms that allow viewing of that video in real time. The advantage of IP cameras are that a camera itself can be directly connected to the network and the Internet. So that camera does not need a central recording solution on onsite but can report back to a cloud recording or directly to a monitoring facility.

How Does Integrated Video Help Reduce False Dispatches?

You know, integrated video is seen most commonly in the commercial space, and what video can give us is eyes and ears at all times, and there's just less reluctance in a commercial space to having video. With security cameras becoming more common, being recorded in all the spaces all times has produced a big shift in the residential space as well. Now, people are more comfortable with cameras, particularly in common areas like the front door the back door, driveway areas, as well as in common spaces in the home. We're starting to see barriers break down and people become more comfortable with video.

How Has Integrated Video Changed In The Last 5-7 Years?

Integrated video is of great value for reducing false alarms because of the additional information it provides. We are to a day where video is getting inexpensive enough and powerful enough that really there's often not a reason to not have video available. At least in real time when alarms triggered. Having video, that's paired with alarms, really opens up a future where an operator or even a responsible party can see exactly what's happening. And I envision a day in the future where the video is even providing more context, where what's important is not really what's being seen but the information about what's being seen. Can a camera know that there's motion but it's from a cat? Therefore it's not an intruder in the home it's not something worth sending an emergency response for. Otherwise, there is motion in the home and it's a human sized person which signals a much more urgent event. That's information that even alarm operators can't do but cameras are capable of learning in their local environment.

How Will Integrated Video Evolve In The Near Future?

One thing with video is, the more cameras you have, the more bandwidth you need. At least as far as getting that video off site to a monitoring facility, or even to a mobile device to view the live video. There are still some cost prohibitions as far as recording high definition video that is recorded constantly and stored for long periods of time. It's still generally expensive. So many of the solutions that people see are lower quality video or fewer lower frame rates than we see with high definition. I think 5G will change the game as well as far as network speeds and available network speeds and as storage continues to become cheaper and cheaper that will really eliminate that cost benefit challenge that comes with high definition, full time video recording constantly.

I think one of the other challenges ultimately is people becoming comfortable with video being ubiquitous in their lives. This is especially true in home situations. And then just the cost of installing, mounting, and maintaining cameras in all locations that they are desired is one of those challenges where traditional alarm sensors are very inexpensive. And while the cost of cameras has gone down significantly there is a cost differential there. Ultimately I see a day when we actually move completely away from traditional alarm sensors and alarm systems really are just a series of cameras with quality analytics determining what's going on and comparing that to what's expected and then providing information based on those events.

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