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What Is Integrated Video Monitoring? | AG Weekly

Justin Bailey
Jan 18, 2019 8:05:00 AM

What Is Integrated Video Monitoring?

Integrated video monitoring is the taking of video information as well as traditional alarm signaling and bringing them together. It provides a lot more information for business and homeowners as well as monitoring agents. in addition to dispatch agencies regarding what's happening at a location when the alarm goes off. Not only do we get a motion sensor signal, but the supporting video that happened at the same time in the same place can tell us whether it's a cat or an intruder or leaves blowing in the yard. It really provides phenomenal context to the alarm itself.

What Are The Differences Between IP & CCTV Cameras

If a front door sensor is tripped, saying the front door has been opened on an armed system, when an operator receives that signal a few moments later, not only do they know that the the front door is open but the supported video that comes with it shows them why that door opened.

There are two particular instances that come to mind. One, I've seen the front door sensor open and have it be the wind that blew the door open, suddenly the door opens there's nobody there, nobody enters and everything's fine. In another instance, a front door comes open and 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 then calls dispatch and lets them know not only was there a front door sensor triggered, but additionally, that there was an intruder scene and viewed on sight. Often with an integrated video alarm, Not only can we see what happened when the alarm triggered but we can also see live video and inform dispatch that not only was an intruder there but that and intruder is still there.

Who Is It For?

Traditional cameras in homes and businesses were CCTV cameras, where closed circuit and local. Those cameras would 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 a network video recorder. The NVR is often capable then of not only strong that information locally, but can send that video to an offsite location whether it be a cloud storage, a monitoring facility, or even directly to the responsible person's mobile device so they can view video in real time wherever they are.

The advent of the VR 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 they can camera itself can be directly connected to the network and the Internet, so that camera does not need a central recording solution onsite but can report back to a cloud recording or directly to a monitoring facility.

How Does Integrated Video Help Reduce False Alarms?

Integrated view is most commonly found in the commercial space. And what video can give us is eyes and ears at all times. It's common here because there's just less reluctance in a commercial space to having video cameras present and people being recorded in all the spaces all times.

We're starting to see that a shift in the residential space as well where 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 It Changed In The Last 5 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 an alarm gets triggered. Having that 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.

I envision a day in the future where 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, hey there's motion, but I can tell it's a cat. Otherwise, hey there is motion in the home. It's a human sized person. This becomes a much more urgent event. That's information that even alarm operators can't do but cameras are capable of learning that in their local environment.

Where Will It Evolve In The Near Future?

One thing with video is, the more cameras you have the more bandwidth you need, 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 costs prohibitions as far as recording high-definition video that is recorded constantly and stored for long periods of time, it is still generally expensive.

So many of the solutions that people see are lower quality video or lower frame rates than we see with high definition. However, with communication technologies getting faster and faster and internet being found pretty much everywhere, I think 5G will change the game 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, especially in home situations. And then just the cost of installing, mounting, and maintaining cameras in all locations 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, though, 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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