Reducing the costs of video surveillance

Marcus Filipsson

It’s an obvious thing to say, but there isn’t a business anywhere which doesn’t have an interest in reducing costs wherever possible, without negatively impacting performance. When it comes to security, of course, any efforts to control costs must be balanced finely against the potential effect on the organisation’s exposure to risk. Video surveillance – as a central aspect of the security of many businesses – is subject to the same levels of scrutiny.

Advances in video surveillance over recent years have delivered significant benefits in coverage and detail. Higher resolution network cameras and those with the ability to capture forensic levels of detail in the most challenging of lighting conditions have been welcomed by the security community, and understandably so. The more detail provided, the greater the ability for video surveillance to deliver value in the identification of criminals and the prevention of loss.

But while the security function within a business might be wholly positive about these advances, the natural outcome can create a headache for the IT department, particularly those which are needing to deliver more to the organisation with flat or even declining budgets. With greater resolution and more forensic detail comes an associated increase in data; and an increase in data from network cameras means greater demand for bandwidth and storage, both of which bring additional costs.

We’ve always looked at the provision of a comprehensive video surveillance solution holistically: the highest-quality cameras possible, but in the context of a customer’s overall IT infrastructure and financial constraints. And when data storage requirements can often amount to 20-25% of the cost of the initial investment in the solution, any way to reduce storage requirements will be welcomed.

Forensic surveillance detail, minimized storage

Our solution is the Zipstream technology, embedded free of charge into many of our network cameras, and which significantly reduces storage requirements – an average of more than a 50% reduction, and sometimes as high as 90% – without costly and complicated integration, using the customer’s current infrastructure. Zipstream analyzes the video stream in real-time, making sure that interesting details and motion are preserved with the given video quality, while other, less interesting areas are filtered harder to reduce the stored data.

The technology is being continually developed to support advances in camera technology, and the latest version – which was showcased at IFSEC International 2017, in June at London ExCeL – supports the increased data streaming and storage demands of 4K resolution and 360-degree panoramic cameras.

If you’re interested in how Zipstream can help your business reduce its data storage costs, then our whitepaper is a good place to start.