Jul. 11, 2011

ONVIF Compliance Is Not Enough to Integrate High End Camera Functionalities

  • Only with a high-end video management software enhanced camera functions can be implemented.Only with a high-end video management software enhanced camera functions can be implemented.

ONVIF is the right way forward for the video surveillance field, but it is becoming increasingly important for engineers and camera manufacturers to find an open video management platform which can fully integrate cameras with special functions.

ONVIF is on the right track, but the marketing machine for ONVIF swung into action quicker than the camera manufacturers were able to catch up. One or another market player may have roundly cursed ONVIF in the past - sometimes rightly, but also sometimes exaggeratedly - since the ONVIF association itself had by no means planned to achieve 100 % comprehensive integration by now. And anyway, ONVIF is not a must-have. To sum up the last three years, we can congratulate Axis, Bosch and Sony for this very courageous and visionary step forward! And if ONVIF carries on like this, then it has to be looking for its own grade of success story! Also the aim to develop an ONVIF standard for access controls ONVIF is the right way forward: More and more systems are to be added for a complete security solution. Let us hope that finally the more or less reliable OPC interfaces get redundant.

ONVIF from the Viewpoint of Video Management Software Manufacturers
We considered where we could position ourselves on the marketplace once integration with ONVIF became standard and if one of our strengths - the monopoly of the integration of IP devices - were to be lost. To some extent, the integration of IP devices represents a very laborious work stage, since on average we integrate 150 IP devices each year, and it could possibly arise that jobs are lost!

We have only just stumbled on new features that continue to give us satisfaction, but features that we never had time to look into before. In the course of this process, extremely innovative products and pioneering developments - for example a new file system adapted for video - have come to light: no more Windows defragmentation - defragmentation, which makes the search for video data such a long drawn-out process. In connection with the new „forensic search" tool, searching is an eye-opening experience with such a rapid video database.

Whether you are looking at direction, whereabouts, speed, quantity, the size of objects or their colour, there is no longer any problem with displaying this data in a matter of seconds!

However, to come back to the question of integration of IP cameras, and ONVIF: for the system manufacturer setting up video monitoring, it is now a very simple matter to just rely on ONVIF, but is it also user-friendly? And it is also worthwhile starting out with this realisation, because it certainly makes a difference if you only have one single ONVIF video stream and if you have to go from camera to camera in your browser every time for the set-up, or if you are able to negotiate the complete configuration process in your video management interface.

Using Axxon Smart 2.0 for example, with most IP cameras, you can set up your camera straightforwardly and rapidly and save unnecessary work stages. And, in particular, the special functions that have been developed by camera manufacturers are easy and quick to configure, here. This saves time, nervous energy and - above all - a lot of money.

We would like to see a more objective configuration in the context of some VMS manufacturers‘ rather unilateral viewpoint, and we have asked our partner companies for their views in this subject area:

Franco Pezzoni, Managing Director of PSS GmbH & Co KG

What do you think about ONVIF in general?

In future, ONVIF will represent the new standard for the integration of IP video-based physical security products. With ONVIF, you get movement on the marketplace and naturally - as manufacturer-neutral systems producers for security solutions and as distributors of various brands - we welcome this development.
For our customers, the priorities are as follows: simplified projection, decreased development costs, greater flexibility in product selection, and reliability of investment. ONVIF makes it simpler for us to work out a solution-based application concept for our customer. Most leading manufacturers have already implemented their products or are going to do so in the near future. Naturally, we should not ignore analogue technology which has combined to form an alliance in its new "HDcctv" standard. There, too, the tried & tested coax cable will still have a part to play in the transmission of uncompressed video signals.

What advantage do you perceive in the in-depth camera integration of AxxonSoft?

With its open platform and its development team, AxxonSoft has operated in a very forward-looking way, and has integrated almost all of the products on the marketplace into its software interface. Thanks to the depth of integration of cameras with AxxonSoft, we are able - by contrast with ONVIF - to use individual features of cameras such as a camera‘s video analysis. Also, a specific, pixel-based resolution can be selected, not just having to choose between the three options of: minimum, medium and maximum. And it is also possible to change over between bit rates (VBR and CBR). Consequently ONVIF achieves considerable ease of integration, but this is only half the battle. AxxonSoft, on the other hand, goes all the way, with its tailored solution.

Turgay Özkaya, Product Manager of EFB-Elektronik GmbH

What do you think about ONVIF in general?

A worldwide standardised interface for video network products can only be advantageous, because this is the only way to achieve simple and rapid integration of various manufacturers‘ products into a video management system.
In respect of analogue technology, we know how important and how practical its standard can be (the PAL standard). So how could we fail to realise these advantages in network video solutions as well, extending the flexibility and future-proof benefits for systems to end users/systems integrators?
The concept underlying this platform is fairly good, at all events. At present, however, this concept is not yet mature and expandable since many manufacturers on the marketplace do not yet really speak the same language (e.g. picture compression or video transmission), although this is really important with a standardised interface.
Our thinking is that this video standard should achieve penetration in the future, and accordingly we ourselves, as system solutions providers, should make the products as attractive as possible for customers.

What advantage do you perceive in the in-depth camera integration of AxxonSoft?

AxxonSoft's in-depth camera integration is most impressive - praiseworthy. IP camera models can be selected directly from the presented list, and rapidly installed. Many camera parametrisation settings can be run via the Axxon software user interface, and you no longer even need to access individual cameras‘ web interfaces in order to arrange your settings.

Edmund Johanns, Managing Director of Johanns Systemhaus GmbH

What do you think about ONVIF in general?

Our experience is that ONVIF fails by far to deliver what it promises, and accordingly our conclusion is that individual manufacturers have their own agendas and each one programs its own ONVIF standard. For myself, I would like to see ONVIF continue to develop into the one open standard which would make life much easier for ourselves as engineers when it comes to integrating cameras into video software.

What advantage do you perceive in the in-depth camera integration of AxxonSoft?

Because, as systems manufacturers, we are always having to develop custom solutions for our customers, AxxonSoft‘s open video management software fulfils customers‘ requirements to a far more detailed degree than ONVIF is currently able to do. Here, firstly, we can build in a diversity of various models & manufacturers of cameras, and secondly make use of the full extent of in-depth integration. For me as a businessman this is very important: I need to be able to think past questions of sizing and dimensions and make sure of winning another satisfied customer.



AxxonSoft GmbH
Kreuzberger Ring 44A
65205 Wiesbaden
Phone: +49 611 1575140
Telefax: +49 611 1575141

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