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  • Jon Polly

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus penned a statement “the only thing constant is change”. I have heard this statement for years. Change can be good, change can be bad, but however you look at it change is inevitable.

The physical security industry is not secluded from this. Years ago there was state of the art equipment that consisted of Black and White cameras, magnetic tapes, and time lapse VCRs. When I entered the physical security industry, Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) were in their infancy. Cameras were determined by TV Lines (TVL) and not Megapixels. Networks were pushing a blazing fast speed of 1.5Mbps.

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

About five years ago in the security industry there was a buzz word “convergence” This was the term given to bringing antiquated analog camera systems truly into the digital era with IP cameras and network video recorders (NVRs). With this came enormous benefits to expand camera systems across a larger footprint for a cheaper price tag. This also brought in a new stakeholder. No longer was it just the security department that wanted to install a camera system, but now it involved the IT department since all the camera traffic would have to ride on their network. Because of this we learned terms like “firewall” and “vpn”. The IT department would have final say on types of computers and maintenance agreements.

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

Move ahead five more years and the new buzz words are “wireless” and “cloud”. Now we can send video across a parking lot or across a city without trenching and wire pulling. We have access to a wide variety of cameras to fit the need. Cameras with tags of HD, 180 degrees, analytics, facial recognition, and License Plate Readers (LPRs) just to name a few. Our IP video can now be sent to the “cloud”. We can view our cameras on tablets and other handheld devices in cities or countries away from our cameras. For a fairly inexpensive option we can now view cameras our neighbors give us access to. Something the stand-alone system could never give us. Previously we were recording to a physical box in a closet. Now, our Head End equipment is virtual, our video is recorded to the cloud for immediate access and longer storage. Gone are the thoughts of holding video recordings for a month because that was easily trackable with a VCR tape, and now we can look at holding video for years. We can now add cameras in a matter of hours instead of days. Because of “convergence” we have formed relationships with the IT and they are willing and able to handle these new solutions or provide a pathway to get there.

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

Is having an analog system with a DVR bad? No. Not if it meets or exceeds the need. If the system does not meet the need now, or future expansion it may be time to send the old workhorse out to pasture and let a new stallion run. Change is not bad, especially if it’s prepared for.



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