Articles by Todd Rockoff
We close a historic year for the video surveillance industry: HD security cameras dominate the market for the first time, while overall camera sales are growing even stronger than ever, as security customers are accelerating replacements, finally able to get HD CCTV. As of 2016, “4K” replaces “HD” as our industry’s code word for highest-resolution video. Trade show demos of 4K cameras are as common now as HD camera demos were in 2008. 4K technical challenges and options However, 4K surveillance faces diverse technical challenges. Every element in the video surveillance collection chain — lenses, sensors, image processors, local-site transport (LST), monitors, codecs, HDDs, and WAN interfaces — must be “ready for prime time” in order for the mainstream market to migrate to the higher resolution. In particular, what LST will enable 4K surveillance? The existing options are severely limited: Conventional digital LST demands an increased clock rate to stream higher-resolution video. If the receiver ever fails to discern just one bit among the billions sent every second, disruptive image artifacts may become visible. To ensure that all bits get through the cable, some digital LSTs compress content. However, compression degrades image quality. Moreover, compression adds complexity (logic gates (hardware) and lines of code (firmware)) to equipment, thereby reducing reliability while simultaneously increasing LST costs. Conventional analogue LST demands an increased carrier frequency to accommodate higher resolutions. It appears impossible for conventional cables to sustain signals at frequencies high enough for unimpaired conventional analogue LST of 8 MP video. Although the analogue HD share of the 2 MP surveillance market has grown from 0% in 2009 to over 80% today, there is no known "next enhancement" that will enable conventional analogue LSTs to achieve higher resolutions. Two kinds of 4K cameras will be sold in 2016: Ethernet and EX-SDI. EX-SDI transports video over longer distances, at higher fidelity, than Ethernet. However, neither of these digital 4K LSTs is yet as convenient or as affordable as analogue HD LST has proven to be. Therefore, 4K LST presents major technical challenges — and economic opportunities — in the year ahead. See the full coverage of 2015/2016 Review and Forecast articles here
How will the industry address the confusion about competing HD surveillance local-site transport solutions? HDcctv Alliance 2014/2015 Review and Forecast: 2014 was another good year: Video surveillance equipment unit sales continued to grow slightly above the 7 percent compound annual growth rate of recent years. Notably, 2014 was the first year that HD cameras that are as reliable, as convenient, and as affordable as sub-HD NTSC cameras became widely available. As a result, the migration from sub-HD to HD surveillance really took off in 2014. As more and more installers take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade easily and affordably to HD security video, we expect overall surveillance equipment sales to exceed recent trend growth rates. How will the industry address the confusion about competing HD surveillance local-site transport solutions? While Ethernet was the only way to move HD video within buildings in 2009, many specialised alternatives have been developed recently, including both digital HD (originally based on HD-SDI) and analogue HD (originally based on HDCVI). In 2015, it is likely that buyers considering reliability and affordability will continue to show a preference for the specialised HD solutions. Customers with challenging legacy cabling may prefer analog HD. Customers demanding bit-perfect HD video are likely to prefer digital HD. Meanwhile, customers with special needs, for example higher-than-1080p resolution, will continue to rely on Ethernet transmission. The HDcctv Alliance continues to lead the standardisation and popularisation of specialised local-site transmission solutions for HD surveillance. Technology change has led to evolution in the Alliance membership, and a new generation of industry leaders is driving the on-going effort. The HDcctv Alliance will continue to educate buyers and industry insiders about the options for HD surveillance local-site transport. The Alliance anticipates substantial progress on the HDcctv DT 3.0 and HDCVI 3.0 standards, which will impact the equipment market in subsequent years, as they provide for 4K video, Power over Cable, and more. In an environment of accelerating market growth, 2015 will be a watershed year for new business opportunities around HD surveillance. Security professionals have the opportunity to create enduring value for customers by guiding them through rapid technology changes. See the full coverage of 2014/2015 Review and Forecast articles here
HDCVI 2.0 is now the standard analogue HD interface for surveillance video At ISC West 2015, security video standards organisation the HDcctv Alliance will show visitors that the HDCVI 2.0 standard facilitates migration to 720p/1080p surveillance – and beyond. HDcctv Alliance executive director Todd Rockoff said HDCVI 2.0 is now THE standard analogue HD interface for surveillance video. “HDCVI 2.0 provides the easiest possible migration from legacy NTSC or PAL video to 720p or 1080p surveillance,” he said. “HDCVI 2.0 compliance ensures 100% multi-vendor plug ‘n’ play remote control. HDCVI 2.0 is the only analogue HD solution based on issued patents with a published specification and a rigorous compliance certification methodology.” Future versions of HDCVI 2.0 The Alliance is also already looking ahead, and has developed a roadmap for the subsequent versions. When the next-generation HDCVI 3.0 standard is introduced, it will provide for cost-effective 4K surveillance video transmission, while remaining backwards compatible with HDCVI 2.0. The HDCVI 2.0 standard in final preparation has been adopted by a number of semiconductor manufacturers, including California-based Exar, who will feature on the Alliance’s booth, alongside surveillance equipment manufacturing powerhouse Dahua and fast-growing American security brand Gen IV. HDCVI 2.0 compatible recorders: Dahua is a world-leading advanced video surveillance solution provider and the inventor of HDCVI technology, and will demonstrate the HDCVI 2.0-compliant, versatile eight-channel DVR HCVR7208A-S2 during ISC West, as well as the HDBW2220R-Z fixed camera. Exar product demonstrations: Exar delivers high performance mixed-signal integrated circuits and advanced subsystem solutions to the video surveillance market. The company will showcase its portfolio of HD video surveillance products, including new PCIe DVR add-in cards for both 960H and HDCVI cameras, as well as new IP and HDCVI camera modules. Exar’s commitment to the HDcctv Alliance and the global HDCVI standard continues with two new video processors for HDCVI encode and decode in addition to the camera modules and DVR add-in cards. "HDCVI 2.0 is the only analogue HD solution based on issued patents with a published specification and a rigorous compliance certification methodology.” Tim Shen, Director of Overseas Marketing at Dahua, said: “Dahua is delighted to participate in the HDcctv Gallery at ISC West 2015. As more and more semiconductor manufacturers adopt the technology, it is increasingly clear that the HDCVI 2.0 standard is the security industry's only real choice for analogue HD local-site transport.” Colin Earle, Senior Director, Product Marketing at Exar, said: “ISC West is an outstanding venue to demonstrate Exar’s prowess as a mixed-signal semiconductor company focused on the video surveillance vertical market segment. Our latest HDCVI offerings at both ends of the cable enable our customers to upgrade to true HD video at distances over 500m for their existing coax installed-base.” Zachary Spradlin, Vice President at Gen IV Technology, said: “As America’s first distributor of HDCVI equipment, Gen IV Technology is excited about the progress the HDcctv Alliance is making for the industry. The Alliance has been and will remain instrumental in maintaining interoperability and quality standards in this ever-evolving HD surveillance world. We’re pleased to return as sponsors of the Alliance ISC West demonstration, and we increasingly value our role as Manufacturing Members of the Alliance.” Telecom & Security's BNC connector: “At ISC West we will introduce our brand new BNC connector, the ideal solution for the new 1080p HD analogue cameras..." Also exhibiting on the Alliance booth will be coaxial connectivity products manufacturer Telecom & Security. Giovanni Pugliese, CEO of Telecom & Security, said: “At ISC West we will introduce our brand new BNC connector, the ideal solution for the new 1080p HD analogue cameras. All our connectors work with our patented CaP System technology: one quick, easy and reusable connector for any cable size. CaP System yields optimum results for HDCVI 2.0 transmission.” At ISC West 2015 the HDcctv Alliance will be exhibiting on Booth 4116, where visitors are encouraged to meet Alliance members, see the latest technology in operation, and discover more about the benefits of HDCVI 2.0 ISC West 2015 takes place at Sands Expo, Las Vegas, April 15-17.
Dahua has made HDCVI a global standard, providing open access for any third party to use HDCVI Dahua Technology, a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China announces the signing of a strategic agreement with Exar to license High Definition Composite Video Interface (HDCVI) technology. Under the terms of the new agreement, Exar is licensed to design, manufacture and sell high-definition analogue video solutions utilising HDCVI technology. As the HDCVI technology inventor and patent owner, Dahua has made it as a global open standard, providing open access for any third party, including competing manufacturers, to use HDCVI. Partnering with the HDcctv Alliance allows manufacturers to better collaborate on implementation of HDCVI 2.0 technology – carving the path for wider and quicker market acceptance. Zhu Jiangming, Executive Vice President at Dahua Technology, pointed that since HDCVI is now a global standard instead of being merely one of various HD analogue solutions in the industry, Dahua is even more confident about CVI’s prospect. Partnering with Exar is another good example to show our open mind and strong determination. Louis DiNardo, President and CEO of Exar Corporation, comments that “By upgrading analogue cameras and video recorders to HDCVI at sites where coax has already been pulled, customers can now enjoy all the benefits of a high-definition video with a very modest investment. HDCVI technology enables transmission of HD video at distances over 500 meters on standard coaxial cable.” “By upgrading analogue cameras and video recorders to HDCVI at sites where coax has already been pulled, customers can now enjoy all the benefits of a high-definition video with a very modest investment" Exar joins Dahua to champion HDCVI technology in establishing the industry standard for HD analogue video surveillance. Both companies are members of the HDcctv Alliance which promotes adoption of and adherence to the HDCVI standard. Exar HDCVI products are fully compliant with the HDCVI 2.0 standard, ensuring performance specifications and interoperability with other products that adhere to the HDCVI standard. Exar’s first HDCVI product, a 1080P camera module, will be demonstrated this month. Todd Rockoff, HDcctv Alliance Executive Director, said: “Specialised HD local-site transport solutions have made HD surveillance as reliable, as convenient, and as affordable as sub-HD surveillance. This license agreement between Dahua and Exar opens a new chapter for analogue HD transport: Equipment makers will soon have a choice of suppliers for HDCVI 2.0-ready components. Exar’s and Dahua’s mutual commitment to the HDCVI standards creates value for end users: It drives multi-vendor Plug ‘n’ Play while simultaneously creating efficiencies for both equipment manufacturers and their customers.”
Certification will ensure that all HDCVI products with a certification label are compatible with each other The HDcctv Alliance is announcing a new global standard of HD analogue — HDCVI 2.0. HDCVI 2.0 is based on Dahua’s HDCVI technology. The standard aims to provide a stringent level of certification among manufacturers. Certification will ensure that all HDCVI products with certification label are completely compatible with each other. This gives users complete freedom of choice for security equipment using different brands. As the HDCVI technology inventor and patent owner, Dahua introduced the milestones of the HDCVI development. This process has now taken the proprietary technology to a global open standard. Dahua provides open access for any third part, including competing manufactures, to use HDCVI. Partnering with the HDcctv Alliance allows manufacturers to better collaborate on implementation of HDCVI 2.0 technology – carving the path for wider and quicker market acceptance. As a steering committee member of the Alliance, Dahua has come to appreciate that the HDCVI technology has been recognised as a global standard in the industry. “Since our HDCVI technology was released in 2012, the technology has attracted great attention not only in China but around the globe,” said Henry Zhang, Vice President at Dahua Technology. “HDCVI is now a global standard instead of being merely one of HD analogue solutions in the industry.” At the press conference held during the Security China Exhibition in Beijing, Alliance member, Shany Electronics showcased their latest WDR camera with PoC function based on the HDCVI technology. “Shany has been providing products and solutions in the security industry for more than 20 years,” said Danny Tang, Deputy General Manager at Shany Electronics. “With our experience in analogue cameras, we have cutting edge functionality and R&D ability to provide different HDCVI cameras for our customers. For example, true WDR, Auto Defog, LSC, 2D/32D DNR and PoC function and HDCVI has now been proven both in terms of image quality and product stability. It provides us with a great foundation to differentiate our products in an increasingly crowded market. Outside of HD also offer other unique features,” Tang added. HDCVI 2.0 is just taking off among Alliance members. “Speaking of certification, the Alliance will play a more important role to test products and issue the compliant mark to HDCVI product suppliers,” said Todd Rockoff, Chairman of HDcctv Alliance. Rockoff pointed out that the Alliance administers the compliant marks, including HDCVI 1.0, HDCVI 2.0 as well as HDCVI 3.0-the next step which is expected within the next 12 months. “Only Alliance member products that pass the applicable certifications can display the marks on their products or boxes. With these compliance marks, people can easily recognise product compatibility and make sure their product selection works seamlessly from end-to-end.”
Editor's Note: HDcctv Alliance has announced that Dahua has opened its patented HDCVI technology to the global video surveillance industry as the basis for HDcctv's AT 2.0 standard. For additional elaboration on what the move means to the growing market for higher-resolution CCTV, we approached Todd Rockoff, chairman and executive director of HDcctv Alliance. SourceSecurity.com: How is HDcctv AT 2.0 superior to HD-SDI or other previous approaches? Todd Rockoff: When it comes to HD surveillance local-site transport, there is a choice of technical solutions depending on what best fits the application in question. Each technology responds to a distinct set of customer requirements. Ethernet is a flexible, general-purpose digital communication technology, and will always deliver higher-resolution video and potentially richer bi-directional communications than any specialised surveillance transport technology. However, special-purpose solutions are often better than general-purpose solutions because of their specific purposes; for example, even though Ethernet is pervasive in everyday office environments, most IT equipment also provides USB, HDMI, analogue audio, and other ports, in addition to LAN ports for Ethernet. HDcctv DT (Digital Transmission) equipment is based on HD-SDI. DT equipment is exactly as reliable and nearly as convenient as conventional CCTV equipment. HDcctv AT (Analogue Transmission) technology is based on the HDCVI technology developed by Dahua. AT equipment is exactly as reliable and exactly as convenient as conventional CCTV equipment. Neither AT or DT technology is universally superior to the other. AT works better in some situations, while DT better suits others. DT transmits the original (digital) HDTV signal bit-by-bit across the cable. As a result, DT affords perfect bit-for-bit transmission. No other HD surveillance local-site transport technology can claim such an extraordinary level of quality. But – as with any other digital transmission technology – each of HDcctv DT 2.0, HDcctv 1.0, and HD-SDI requires a sufficient quality of cabling infrastructure to be effective. The main reason that first-generation digital HD transmission was considered slightly less convenient than conventional CCTV was that, in order to upgrade a legacy system with DT equipment, installers sometimes have to re-terminate cables, pull new cables, or insert repeaters. Stringent third-party test procedures and evaluation criteria will enable the HDcctv AT 2.0 compliance mark to stand as a guarantee of electrical performance and multi-vendor interoperability AT is analogue, meaning that the original HDTV signal is encoded as a continuous series of voltages. Although not every bit is copied precisely across the transmission link, AT delivers high-fidelity HDTV signals instantaneously. The specific advantage of AT over DT is that AT tolerates a broader range of cable qualities. The difference boils down to this: too much noise kills digital transmission – if the repeater or the receiver cannot detect a 0 or a 1 accurately because of noise, you lose the image, whereas analogue transmission always displays however much, or however little, noise that is introduced through the signal channel. SourceSecurity.com: Given that Hikvision, the number one competitor in the video market, is unveiling a different technology (i.e., HDTVI), is there any plan to “converge” the two technologies or make them compatible? What might the HDcctv Alliance’s role be to accomplish that? TR: We are delighted that Hikvision shares our recognition of the growing importance of plug ‘n’ play (PnP) analogue HD surveillance equipment. The HDcctv Alliance is an open industry body, whose standards reflect contributions from diverse member companies. All companies with an investment in PnP HD surveillance equipment are invited to join the HDcctv Alliance. I speak for all of the HDcctv Alliance Members in welcoming industry leader Hikvision to reinforce its commitment to the open, global standard and make its voice heard in the HDcctv Technical Committee’s weekly teleconferences. SourceSecurity.com: Might not a proprietary non-standard technology from the market’s largest player undermine the positive impact of the standard? (i.e., set up a Beta vs. VHS type competition?) TR: Absolutely! It compares to having to stock inventory in multiple formats (Beta/VHS or DVD/Blu-Ray/3D Blu-Ray) which inevitably multiplies the costs of running a video shop. And format confusion decreases revenues. A good example is a customer who accidentally brings a 3D Blu-Ray disc home but can't watch it on his DVD player. Format confusion inevitably has the same kind of impact on the video surveillance market. Therefore, it is in the commercial interest of every company who has invested in HD surveillance equipment to fully support the open, global PnP standards for local-site transport of HD surveillance signals. SourceSecurity.com: What were the considerations related to adopting the HDCVI technology as a standard beyond the fact that it was the first to market? How was it evaluated? What role did other companies and/or stakeholders (i.e., members of the HDcctv Alliance) play in adopting HDCVI as the standard? The goal for the HDcctv standards, reflected in the HDcctv Alliance constitution, is to serve the long-term needs of the industry and its customers rather than the commercial agenda of any one company! TR: While Dahua has led the writing of the HDcctv AT 2.0 standard, Dahua is by no means acting alone. The AT standard reflects contributions from many HDcctv Alliance Technical Committee participants located around the globe. The HDcctv Alliance Technical Committee has crafted stringent third-party test procedures and evaluation criteria that will enable the HDcctv AT 2.0 compliance mark to stand as a guarantee of electrical performance and multi-vendor interoperability. The AT compliance mark represents end-customer value, because it stands for out-of-the-box PnP. The goal for the HDcctv standards, reflected in the HDcctv Alliance constitution, is to serve the long-term needs of the industry and its customers rather than the commercial agenda of any one company. The Alliance follows this process to manage successive generations of the standard (including HDcctv AT 2.0): Agree a statement of high-level market requirements Agree the technical framework to evaluate prospective proposals Solicit proposals from Members Understand the intellectual property rights and technical details associated with each proposal Harmonise the proposals Board of Directors approves the technical strategy Technical Committee hammers out all details Board ratifies SourceSecurity.com: What forces must come into play for various manufacturers to “agree” on a standard, either AT2.0 or something else? TR: Proprietary, sole-source interface standards rarely dominate markets. The closest example I can think of is Apple's various interfaces, and I would observe there a) Apple is a unique phenomenon of branding nature, and b) despite its brand visibility, Apple does not hold the largest market share. Surveillance customers demand out-of-the-box PnP so they can mix and match with ease. Experienced manufacturers, some perhaps still struggling with the challenges of the prevalent non-interoperability of Ethernet-based equipment, recognize that non-interoperability among diverse manufacturers’ analogue HD equipment would negate some of analogue HD’s advantages. SourceSecurity.com: How is the HDcctv Alliance actively promoting compliance with HDcctv AT2.0 (HDCVI)? TR: The Alliance has facilitated technology access for its Members and is supporting Members launching certified HDcctv AT 2.0 compliant equipment at Security China 2014 in October. SourceSecurity.com: Could you see additional alternatives emerging and how might they impact the market? How might “competing technologies” impact HDcctv’s efforts to gain traction as an alternative to IP? TR: It is difficult to anticipate a technology which has yet to be invented! The HDcctv Alliance remains open to any technical solution that uniquely addresses the requirements of the high-value segment of the HD surveillance equipment market. SourceSecurity.com: What do integrators and end users need to know about HDcctv standards (and specifically HDcctv AT 2.0)? TR: Look for the compliance mark to be sure. Marry certified AT 2.0-compliant equipment to other AT 2.0-compliant equipment, and enjoy PnP remote control upon power-up, straight out of the box.
Dahua’s HDCVI technology, the basis for HDcctv AT 2.0 standard, is open through the HDcctv Alliance Member I.P. Agreement The HDcctv Alliance is proud to announce that video surveillance technology leader ZheJiang Dahua Technology Co., Ltd., has opened its patented HDCVI technology – the basis for the HDcctv AT 2.0 standard – to the global video surveillance industry, through the HDcctv Alliance Member Intellectual Property Agreement. First introduced in late 2012, HDCVI technology transmits HDTV signals over any legacy CCTV cabling infrastructure. The HDcctv Alliance ratified HDcctv AT 2.0 in February 2014. HDcctv AT 2.0 compliance ensures 100% plug ‘n’ play remote control of any camera from any compliant DVR, no matter which manufacturers. “Dahua developed HDCVI technology to help our growing customer base to enjoy more of the benefits of HD IP surveillance,” said Mr. Zhu Jiangming, Dahua Executive Vice President and the principal inventor of the seminal HDCVI patents. “We recognise that customers want all equipment to be 100% multi-vendor plug ‘n’ play, rather than using single-source, proprietary solutions that may not work together. Dahua’s strategy is, therefore, aimed to maximise the return on our investment in HDCVI and in doing so make the technology readily available to other manufacturers - even our direct competitors.” “For these reasons, Dahua has decided to issue licenses under RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms to other, reciprocating Steering and Manufacturing Members of the HDcctv Alliance. Dahua’s policy is as follows: semiconductor manufacturers implementing the HDcctv AT 2.0 standard independently are asked to pay a license fee on a RAND basis, while HDCVI licenses for implementing the HDcctv AT 2.0 standard are open free of charge to authorised equipment makers, per the HDcctv Alliance Members I.P. Agreement to which Dahua are a signatory. We look forward to collaborating with our partners in the HDcctv Alliance to further accelerate the global migration to HD IP surveillance.” "Dahua’s strategy is, therefore, aimed to maximise the return on our investment in HDCVI and in doing so make the technology readily available to other manufacturers - even our direct competitors" Todd Rockoff, Executive Director of the HDcctv Alliance, said: “HDCVI has a multi-year head start over all other analogue HD video surveillance solutions. It is the only solution available as a global standard, with a complete compliance certification regime. While other semiconductor manufacturers are racing to catch up to the analogue HD surveillance transmission market opened by HDCVI, each of these other solutions is proprietary to just one manufacturer. Never before has a sole-source, proprietary transmission solution gained prevalence in the surveillance industry. Out-of-the-box plug ‘n’ play remote control over legacy CCTV infrastructure is a compelling convenience for installers and operators of HD surveillance systems. Therefore, HDcctv AT 2.0 and its successors, all based on HDCVI, appear to be most likely to succeed among the various analogue transmission solutions in development.” “There is no doubt that the security market is moving quickly to HD surveillance,” said Dr. Jon Hwang, CEO of Eyenix Corporation. “As an Image Signal Processor (ISP) vendor, Eyenix will implement whatever local-site transport technologies our customers need. To manage our design cost for any given technology, it is important for there to be a global standard that eliminates uncertainty.” “Nextchip supports the global standard for HD surveillance local-site transport,” said Young-Jun Yoo, Nextchip Strategic Marketing Director. “In the long term, Nextchip recognises the importance of all vendors supporting a single global standard.” At Security China 2014 the HDcctv Alliance will be exhibiting in the international hall on stand E1Y31, where visitors are encouraged to meet Alliance members, see the latest HDcctv technology in operation, and discover more about the benefits of HDcctv 2.0. The Alliance expects to be able to showcase the first certified HDcctv 2.0-compliant products at the show. Security China 2014 takes place at China International Exhibition Centre, Beijing, October 28-31.