I’m not sure I get the whole megapixel craze sweeping the IP camera market. Maybe it’s not a craze. Maybe it’s a few very visible marketing initiatives. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the way megapixel images look. For watching live video feeds, nothing beats a megapixel camera. But is it really useful?
Last time I checked, DVRs could not record megapixel feeds without dumbing down the image with lossy compression. (Maybe someone can educate me). It seems to me that if the camera is going to be deployed in a way that the images may be needed for forensic analysis, say, for checking identities of bad guys in a casino, or shoplifters at Target, then recording is a must.
I have no idea how much it would cost, but the Avigilon system combines an 11 megapixel IP camera with a high capacity storage array designed to store lossless hi-res video (transmission over gigabit ethernet only). It looks great. But it’s the only system I’ve seen that preserves the hi-def image for forensic analysis.
CoVi always has an impressive display at the trade shows with its high definition video system. As I understand it, the CoVi Crystal HD IP camera plugs into a CoVi recorder (blade or appliance) that can support a couple IP or analog cameras at a time. It sounds like it would work well if the recorders were distributed wherever the cameras are. That way, you’d still get high resolution from your HD camera, and very high quality from your analog camera. But once you needed to view that camera or several others from a distance over coax, you’d have to lose image quality. The coax simply couldn’t move that much data, it seems to me. Gigabit ethernet would certainly help, but the CoVi specs on the website don’t mention gigabit. (To be sure, the CoVi solution is superior to regular camera deployments for many specialized uses).
ioimage just announced its newest encoder. The specs look as if this is the lowest latency encoder on the market. So I guess it will be particularly good for live PTZ response. Has anyone tried it yet? I’ll see if I can get my hands on one and test it out. Comments?