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IP Video – What’s coming in 2021?

2020 was a year full of rapid change for all of us. With a new year ahead, we feel it’s the perfect time to take a look at what’s been and gone in the IP video industry and where we see it going over the course of 2021.

In this post we’ll discuss what trends and technology we expect to see taking the market by storm this year. From intelligent analytics to cloud CCTV – let’s talk about the exciting new innovations we expect to emerge in 2021.

The peak of imaging technology

Over the last decade alone we’ve seen massive leaps in the quality of IP camera imaging. The industry has come a long way since the low-quality recordings produced by VGA technology; with HD recording now being commonplace, and strong lowlight performance expected as standard.

It could be argued that the resolution capabilities of IP cameras have surpassed what’s truly necessary in most surveillance cases – with HD 1080p being suitable for a broad range of monitoring requirements. Many users now also understand the importance of striking the right balance between the quality of recordings and storage costs. For this reason, most CCTV systems are unlikely to use resolutions higher than HD 1080p in order to reduce storage requirements while maintaining a good standard of image quality.

Equally, we’ve seen huge developments in imaging technologies that have the potential to reduce bandwidth requirements while improving image quality in challenging lighting conditions. For instance, more advanced Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is typically included in most cameras for backlight compensation; while noise reduction technologies are helping to improve the clarity of lowlight images – reducing bandwidth and storage requirements in the process.

There have also been plenty of other advancements in lowlight imaging technology, with the emergence and repeated improvement of brand-specific technologies such as Axis’ Lightfinder 2.0 for full colour images even in near darkness. The incorporation of H.265 technology will lower storage costs still further.

With this level of existing progress in mind, we expect the emphasis of further developments to be on other aspects of the industry this year.

Analytics getting smarter

The world changed rapidly during 2020 and so too has our use of video data. The days of IP CCTV being used purely for security surveillance are over. From informing strategic business decisions to managing capacity and monitoring operational processes; the use of IP-based video systems has changed significantly and so have the capabilities of video analytics in the process of this market evolution.

IP camera technology is now able to handle much more processing of data on the edge, especially with new technologies such as Axis’ 7th generation ARTPEC chipset. As the hardware gets more powerful – so does the software, and the things that can be done with it.

Advancing video analytics are helping to drive this change, and in the coming years we expect to see new AI-based analytics applications coming to light. We’ve already seen successful deployments of people counting, occupancy management, ANPR, behavioural detection, heat mapping and object classification apps. Some prominent examples of this can be seen in the Axis Camera Application Platform and Bosch’s Intelligent Video Analytics. This existing trend in brands beginning to take advantage of AI and machine learning techniques shows promise for the expansion of such intelligent applications throughout 2021 and beyond.

Migration to the cloud

Benefits of cloud CCTVWe conducted a market study in the autumn of 2020 that showed significant growth in positive attitudes to cloud CCTV and a desire to migrate systems from on-premise to a cloud-based solution.

Cloud CCTV offers a variety of business and technical benefits. From easy access, to reduced maintenance costs – it’s no surprise that businesses want to take advantage of the potential benefits a cloud-based CCTV system can offer.

There are also other factors contributing to CCTV system owners considering migrating into the cloud right now.

One of these is the ‘Remote Everything’ phenomenon we’ve observed that, in part, has been accelerated by Covid-19. With many of us working away from the office – it’s become more practical for managers to be able to access essential systems remotely.

We should also be setting cloud CCTV in the context of the servitisation of IT. Essentially, many businesses want to pay for their IT systems based on usage. Since most cloud providers charge depending on storage capacity, retention period and resolution – cloud CCTV could be the ideal solution for managers looking to invest in IT systems more like a utility.

Based on what we’ve seen in the market during 2020, and the benefits cloud CCTV can offer, we’re expecting cloud migration to gain more traction this year, especially as we see innovative developments from cloud providers like Arcules.

Outsourced IT management

Our study also highlighted another interesting trend in the market. Despite the accelerated migration of CCTV systems into IP-based networks, a third of all medium and large-sized businesses we captured in our study are still relying on facilities management and security departments to manage their systems.

As the use of video technology is becoming more sophisticated, it is also becoming more complex – making it harder for in-house teams to keep systems up-to-date and running smoothly. This indicates a potential opportunity for specialist security integrators to assist these in-house teams in updating and optimising their systems.

We’re seeing more businesses look to expert partners to help them improve their existing systems and get the most out of their camera equipment. As such, we expect to see a continued increase in the outsourcing of system management to expert partners over the course of the year – particularly as companies also begin to migrate their systems into the cloud and will seek to gain benefit from advancements in AI.

NW in 2021

We’re looking forward to progressing the coming evolutions in IP video technology and bringing these developments to our customers. From our offering of add-on applications, to Arcules cloud CCTV subscriptions; we aim to give customers access to the latest in IP camera technology. Of course, you can also expect our continued commitment to working openly and professionally – providing efficient, friendly service.

If you’d like more information on any of the topics we’ve discussed, you can call us on 0151 633 2111 or contact us online.

Published on January 21st, 2021 by Kelly McNee

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