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HD and megapixel will be 50 per cent of IP market by 2014

According to a report released this week by IMS Research, more than half of network IP cameras sold around the world will be HD or megapixel resolution in the next four years.

August 25, 2010
By Neil Sutton


Wellingborough, U.K.-based IMS released the information as part of its latest report, The World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment — 2010 Edition.

“The growth and adoption of megapixel and high definition video surveillance is one of the key trends shaping the video surveillance market towards 2014,” according to a statement issued by the research firm.

Bob Moore, Canada Country Manager for Axis Communications, said that, “a big part of that trend — whether it’s 50 per cent or not — is that customers are moving away from analogue to network-based cameras. When they’re doing that, HD really resonates with the average customer and average consumer.”

In fact, the industry is following the growing consumer appetite for HD, he said, as more and more homes are equipped with high-definition televisions.


“They’ve seen it in their own homes; they’ve seen the transition between looking at a hockey game on analogue TV versus seeing a hockey game on HD TV. It’s a world of difference. When the technology provider is talking about their own security cameras . . . when they hear megapixel or HD TV, they perceive a huge benefit there.”

To a lesser extent, the rise of digital point-and-shoot cameras is also responsible for the growing currency of megapixel in the security space, added Moore — most people are aware of the benefits of using a megapixel camera to take vacation and family photos.

“We feel it’s a perfect example of consumer products driving change in our business,” said Moore. “When we first came out with HD in 2009 at ISC West (in March), a lot of people were scratching their heads, but by the fall at the ASIS show, HD TV became a strong trend. . . . Anyone outside the industry can understand its advantages.”

Security consultant Terry Hoffman agreed with the IMS conclusion that HD and megapixel would account for the majority of future sales of IP cameras, but cautioned that growth won’t be the same across all sectors. “For property management, I can see it being 50 per cent.”

IMS did not release country- or vertical-specific data around HD and megapixel adoption, but according to Hoffman, current rates of adoption in the Canadian market are probably 15 to 20 per cent.

Some customers are still unconvinced by IP security, he added; analogue cameras will continue to be sold into the market, particularly as users look to leverage their existing security investments and shy away from the rip-and-replace mentality when it comes to upgrades.

“If you want to look at future-proofing, if you want to look at scalability, IP is the way to do it. But the average client who’s got analogue cameras out in the field that have been running long term, they’re not interested in replacing a camera that is capturing the right classification of image,” he said.

The IMS report noted that there is support for analogue-based HD cameras. An organization called the HDcctv Alliance is developing an HD over coax standard based on the HD-SDI broadcast standard. The alliance’s supporters include Speco Technologies, Dedicated Micros, Belden, IntelliVision and more than 20 other companies.

According to the HDcctv website, “HDcctv is a point-to-point system and does not require any additional infrastructure to deploy. New and existing installations can use CCTV industry standard coaxial cable (RG/59, RG/6 and RG/11). HDcctv is designed to be a drop-in replacement for existing analogue CCTV, requiring only a change of camera and receiver. HDcctv is designed to be forward- and backward-compatible, meaning early adopters will be able to continue to use HDcctv equipment as more features are added to the specification.”

Despite a groundswell of support for HDcctv, author of the IMS report and video surveillance research analyst Gary Wong said that HDcctv cameras will not have any impact on the adoption of IP cameras in the near term. “Many large and well-known vendors of video surveillance equipment have already invested heavily in developing and marketing network security cameras. It is unlikely that these vendors will adjust their technology roadmaps and marketing messages to accommodate HDcctv products into their product portfolios in the near future.”

IMS forecasts that shipments of HD and megapixel network security cameras will outnumber sales of HDcctv cameras 6:1 by 2014.

Terry Hoffman noted that vendors like IQinVision and Avigilon have already made significant investments in HD over IP. Moore said that HD is large part of Axis Communications’ camera product strategy.

“Every one of our cameras that we introduce will have a high-def or megapixel counterpart or even be the basis for the products. Today, every product that we’re introducing in our standard line will be at least Super VGA (800×600), but will always have a 1.3 megapixel or HD TV counterpart. It’s natural part of our product line today,” said Moore.

“If we keep our market share going forward and we’re selling a good part of our product line as HD TV, that’s going to lend a lot of weight toward what IMS is saying here.”

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