Articles by Bryan Meissner
There are many notable trends on the horizon for the physical security and surveillance industry. In the growing area of low-latency live video streaming applications, we will see the continued move to HTML5 playback. For the security industry, live video streaming is an enabling technology that provides many opportunities for dealers and integrators to leverage additional services for the customers. Flash’s loss, HTML5’s gain To be effective, the technology needs to be able to stream consistently and reliably from a variety of devices, platforms, browsers and mediums, such as NVRs, on-premise servers or the cloud. HTML5 is now an effective replacement for often-vulnerable Flash browser technology in live streaming workflows. Flash, a plug-in to current browsers, has been a lightning rod for hacking vulnerabilities and malware. As such, most modern browser providers have begun to disable Flash by default, requiring additional actions by users, while support for the technology may be discontinued altogether in the near future. HTML5 implementations can be either cloud-based, or peer-to-peer streamed without Flash technology. Users who can stream live from camera to their choice of device, while enabling low-latency HTML5, gain greater efficiencies and less-expensive platform bandwidth costs.Support for Flash-based technology may be discontinued altogether in the near future Traditional security integration In addition, peering live streaming video directly from on-premises cameras and NVRs will take off for security applications, based, in part, on the significant reductions possible in direct operating costs, and a lower total cost of ownership for the end user. Peer-to-peer streaming reduces bandwidth costs and infrastructure requirements by streaming directly from IP cameras, mobile devices, drones, loT devices, to browsers, phones and tablets. It effectively removes implementation challenges from the physical IT infrastructure, while still permitting precise client control of content. Other significant trends will include continued integration of traditional security and live video streaming products and applications into emerging home automation standards including Apple’s HomeKit, Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa. We will also see the ongoing move to metadata-driven analytics and smarter, real-time event notifications directly benefitting the physical security industry and providing a deeper, more targeted proactive response. Peer-to-peer streaming reduces bandwidth costs and infrastructure requirements by streaming directly from drones to browsers Winners and losers These will be the losers in 2018: Manufacturers or software providers who continue using Flash-based players will begin losing significant market share; any company not looking to be more open with their integrations and APIs will lose ground as deployments become increasingly interconnected. EvoStream in 2018 Last year was significant for EvoStream in peer-to-peer live video streaming, as we continued our goal to migrate OEMs off heavy back-end streaming and into peering workflows. As the market has become educated on the advantages, they have clearly stepped up to using metadata software that brings additional intelligence which results in reduced bandwidth requirements, high scalability and flexible deployments.Manufacturers or software providers who continue using Flash-based players will begin losing significant market share in 2018 We have continued to focus not only on peer video, but taking it to the next level – providing the metadata, commands and other various channels necessary to fully replace existing robust streaming back-ends – and this strategy made a big difference for us in the win column for 2017. Much of the challenge for our company has revolved around the spotty support for both WebRTC and low-latency video streaming in HTML5. We’ve had to do more media player creation than we otherwise would have liked, to allow for the one-to-two second latencies we now can achieve in video-streaming surveillance from lens-to-lens. Looking further into 2018 we’ll be interested in some of the emerging Forward Error Correction (FEC) protocols like SRT and how they can improve streaming directly from cameras and NVRs. In 2018 we’ll also be bringing easier integrations to connect devices embedding our software to home automation platforms such as Apple HomeKit, Google Home and Alexa.
End users can add security, safety and business intelligence – while achieving a higher return on investment at their protected facilities – with live streaming video. It can be deployed effectively for IP video, network video recorders (NVRs) and body-worn cameras. The growing use of streaming video is resulting in vast technological developments and high-end software that promotes reduced bandwidth, high scalability and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Here’s how users can add value to security with live streaming video and what they should look for in the procurement of technology solutions. Questions are answered by Bryan Meissner, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of EvoStream. Q: What is live streaming video and how does it apply to physical security? BM: In its simplest and most popular form, video streaming allows users to watch video on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. According to GO-Globe, every 60 seconds more than 400 hours of video are uploaded and around 700,000 hours watched. The key to effective video streaming is for the platform to be able to adapt to the limits of the internet or network connection so the viewer gets an unbridled experience without buffering or signal loss. Live video streaming in security applications leverages a variety of connected devices, appliances and services including the cloud, mobile platforms, IP cameras and NVRs, becoming an enabling technology for more effective, real-time data capture at the protected premises. It reduces bandwidth costs and infrastructure operating requirements by streaming directly from cameras, mobile devices, drones, body worn units and loT devices to browsers, phones and tablets. The best solutions optimise the experience for the user and permit image capture and retrieval from Android, iOS, browser platforms or directly from cameras or NVRs—streaming to wherever the user desires. Quality live streaming applications provide clear, real-time images and retrieve high-resolution video that can be used for evidence, identification, operations management or compliance regulation and control. The most cost-effective solutions offer minimal hardware requirements, lower overall operating expenses and promote high scalability – even integration with many legacy security management platforms. Q: What are some challenges of live streaming video and how are those being addressed by new technology? BM: Live streaming video can present challenges when a solution isn’t designed specifically for the security infrastructure. End users need to look for forward-thinking software and firmware solutions which offer reduced bandwidth requirements, high scalability and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) or they will be disappointed with the results and costs of maintaining services for end users. The technology is changing rapidly, so only providers who focus on innovation can keep pace and future-proof the user and their facility. To be most effective, video needs to be able to stream consistently and reliably to and from a host of different devices, platforms, browsers and mediums, on-premises servers or the cloud. Video footage needs to be obtained quickly and deliver critical metadata, with built-in cyber safeguards and hardening such as automatic encryption and authentication. The most competent live video streaming lets users integrate with and run on any platform, appliance or device Q: What do end users need to look for in solutions for effective video streaming? BM: Implementing a live streaming video platform should result in greater efficiency and reduced operational costs. Live video streaming to and from a variety of connected devices, appliances and services requires sub-second latency from image capture to delivery. It also needs to be as open and agnostic as possible – spanning multiple technologies, standards and protocols and giving the user enhanced flexibility for their specification. The most competent live video streaming lets users integrate with and run on any platform, appliance or device including standalone servers, server racks, public, private and hybrid clouds and other distribution channels using the same application programming interface or API. Streaming should also support the latest codecs, such as H.264 and H.265 along with widely specified protocols for the distribution of that video. Q: What are some of the trending technological developments in live streaming video applications? BM: Traditional video streaming consumes exorbitant amounts of bandwidth and users pay for video routed through their servers. Some of the latest capabilities, such as peer-to-peer streaming, HTML5 media players, metadata integration and cost-effective transcoding via RaspberryPi enhance overall processing and ultimately strengthen the user experience. Peer-to-peer is a critical, emerging component in effective video streaming. With peer to peer, video does not go through servers but instead streams directly between the camera and the end-user’s phone, for example, eliminating that cost of bandwidth from the platform while still permitting exact control of content. Users stream live from cameras to any device, with the ability to authenticate and approve peering from the back-end infrastructure while enabling low-latency HTML5 without incurring excessive platform bandwidth costs. The explosion of live streaming video in IP video cameras, NVRs and body-worn cameras is driving a new category of high-end software offering reduced bandwidth, high scalability and lower TCO. It prepares users for new technology and the loT, eliminating the largest cost driver of hosted live streaming platforms – bandwidth. Applications that offer peer-to-peer streaming and other feature sets can help future proof the end-user’s investment and strengthen the value proposition for viewing or retrieving live or archived video effectively.