Video surveillance: Secure communications

      When movies and television programs like "Quantum of Solace," "24" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" show the heroes doing amazing things with video technology, is that real? In a few cases, some liberties may be taken for entertainment...


      When movies and television programs like "Quantum of Solace," "24" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" show the heroes doing amazing things with video technology, is that real? In a few cases, some liberties may be taken for entertainment purposes. But the fact is, video technology is making quantum leaps in its capabilities, especially in the public safety and public services sectors. Video has come a long way from simply video surveillance monitoring.

   Video surveillance has been a powerful productivity tool in the public safety and public services arenas for more than a quarter century now. But video surveillance merely scratches the surface of what is possible with video today, and what will be possible in the very near future.

   Video surveillance is rapidly evolving into a much more comprehensive concept: video security. The potential for video security to help improve public safety and public works, streamline services, fight and prosecute crime, increase efficiency, promote collaboration, reduce costs and save lives is virtually limitless.

   Video systems are now driven by bold new ways of thinking about video. A new wave of advanced video technologies is transforming video systems from the relative passivity of simple video surveillance to more preemptive, more proactive and more intelligent video security solutions.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

   For years, traditional video surveillance solutions have followed a simple, familiar path. It begins with analog video cameras recording activities in specific locations. Once the video is recorded, it is transported to a central command center where it is available for post-recording analysis. While proven effective over the years, this is essentially a passive methodology.

   Today, that's actively changing.

   From its beginnings in relatively straightforward video surveillance applications, video has evolved into multi-faceted video security systems that deliver more proactive public safety and services capabilities.

What is video security?

   Video security systems are end-to-end high-speed network architectures that deliver expanded and enhanced video-based functionalities driven by a variety of highly sophisticated technology tools. Video security solutions make video smarter, faster and more proactive. The fundamentals: the use of powerful analytic capabilities, automated intelligence throughout the network, seamless interoperability and common, intuitive end-user interfaces.

   Video security includes three major functionalities, enabling users to:

  • Capture and Transport. Video security encompasses the basic capture and transport of video surveillance images and data.
  • Manage and Correlate. Video security includes breakthrough management capabilities such as intelligent video analytics and correlation of video to other data.
  • Deploy and Act. Video security solutions enable proactive deployment, simplified personnel shifting and other ways of making video information more actionable.

   The new proactive video security solutions are driven by the move to digital cameras and IP-based network connectivity. The power and flexibility of IP-based video technologies now give video applications the crucial ability to cost-effectively distribute real-time video to many different places, providing immediate data and analysis that can dramatically improve the safety and effectiveness of police, fire, EMS, public works and other municipal and government personnel. At the same time, video security enables advanced new capabilities such as voice, video and data integration that consolidate and correlate all available data on a specific event, coordinating and delivering more and better information — all in real time.

Integrating different systems

   To empower public safety professionals with all available information on a specific situation, video security systems must seamlessly communicate with a variety of different networks, devices, applications and solutions — both in terms of technologies and manufacturers.

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