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Video standards committee accepting new members

A member of the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), the body responsible for the creation of standards in video surveillance technology, says that the first working standard will be available by the end of the year.

October 14, 2008  By  Neil Sutton

Products will follow thereafter, but those depend on the individual
manufacturers’ production schedules, says Dieter Joecker, head of CCTV
Global Product Management for Bosch Security Systems and member of the steering committee for ONVIF.

The standards body was initially formed by Axis Communications, Bosch
Security Systems and Sony Corp. as a non-profit entity with an
administrative set-up independent of the three founding companies. That
body is now accepting members who will be able to actively influence
the development of the standard.

“We have been busy for the last couple of months to make an
organization which allows an international group of people to develop
an interoperable standard,” says Joecker.

“What we did is basically very similar to Bluetooth or Blue-ray or
other open standards in the market. We made legal conditions and all
the other stuff ready to allow a bigger group of people to join after
this is established and work on the standard further.”


The group initially started with Sony, Bosch and Axis because they
represent the bulk of the camera surveillance market – about 60 per
cent, according Joecker.

Joecker adds that the 10 biggest players in the camera surveillance
market have already shown an interest in joining the body and
contributing to the standard and other companies are welcome.

Full members of ONVIF pay will US$20,000. They will be able to approve
other members, chart the organization’s direction, determine when to
hold votes and act as chairs. Contributing company members pay $10,000
and are able to influence the standard by voting and submitting ideas.
Users can join for $1,000 and will have access to draft specifications
as they are being developed.

“We hope we will hear a lot of feedback from the users, otherwise we might not (keep) that (60%) share,” says Joecker, joking.

He emphasized that users should not be concerned that the industry will
be turned upside down due to the introduction of a new standard. Nor
should they be concerned that they will be forced to quickly upgrade a
lot of older security equipment.

“I don’t think users should be concerned about (that). What the
industry is struggling with, is we all talk about MPEG4, H.264 and all
these buzzwords. An MPEG4 camera should talk to another MPEG4 camera,
but most customers learn that this is not the case. So it’s really just
the software layer around that that we specify. We did not invent
something (completely new). We use the MPEG4 and H.264 compression
schemes, but make sure they are interoperable,” he says.

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