Surveillance As A Service?

Surveillance as a service, pitfalls and caveats


Axis offers the AVHS solution, allowing users to add their camera to an offsite NVR-thingy. The concept, at a glance, appears solid; pop in camera, connect to the AVHS server and off you go. Simple and easy.

There are some caveats i suppose. Most consumer ADSL lines are asymmetric – receiving is much faster than sending (by order of magnitude usually), and while you can get symmetrical lines these are usually pretty expensive. I guess a large percentage of clients who’d be tempted to outsource their video surveillance, are also the ones who do not want to spend a fortune on the system, especially if this is a recurring cost.

But surely, a 1 MBit connection and the magic of h.264 will allow people to stream 16 channels at CIF/10 fps to a remote server?

Yes, and … well… perhaps.. it all depends. If the scene is static, and you only want to record when people enter the restricted zone, then I think this would work great, but it would present some challenges; What if the motion sensitivity is too high and we saturate the bandwidth? What if the compression is too great to use the video for identification? And what happens when the external network goes down (which tend to happen at the most inconvenient time)?

If the camera itself is “intelligent” enough to only send video, or perhaps send video in low resolution/high compression when nothing “interesting” is going on, then could I see this taking off in a big way, but we still have some ground to cover.

My concern is that “we” (as an industry) have a tendency to oversell. Often the caveats are not revealed until the client has crossed the point of no return.

  • “Ah.. yes, megapixel is only one camera per installation”
  • “oh, you can only record on motion”
  • “and by the way – motion can never be more than 20% of the time”
  • “don’t forget, and only 4 cameras can have motion at the same time”
  • “only works with camera a, b and c that cost 40% more”
  • “does not work for loitering detection”
  • “does not work for left object detection”

The way the AVHS is the way things should work, I can’t wait to take a closer look.

Author: prescienta

Prescientas ruler

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