Security Industry Dropping Silos in Favor of Open Systems

A new specification for advanced video streaming released by ONVIF will continue the organization’s goals of promoting advanced interoperability between IP-based physical security solutions.

ONVIF, a global and open industry forum based in San Ramon, Calif., released Profile T, which includes a new media service with expanded features for imaging, metadata streaming and analytics. Profile T supports the latest video codecs, including H.264/H.265 for more efficient compression and lower bandwidth usage; bidirectional audio streaming to and from cameras and web-browsers; and refined event settings and analytics.

As products continue to advance rapidly in the physical security industry, manufacturers, installers, end-users and others are looking for ways to easily deploy and integrate the latest IP technologies. This Profile, as well as the other precursor Profiles published in video and access control from ONVIF, is designed to allow more users availability to the possibilities offered by IP and networked security solutions, increased interoperability and greater selection among conformant device manufacturers and software vendors. An ONVIF client conformant with Profile T is an ONVIF client that can configure, request and control streaming of video data over an IP network from an ONVIF device conformant with Profile T.

“With Profile T, there is the potential for much more interoperability between products. This also provides more freedom for the customer to achieve an integrated system using different manufacturers' products,” said Fredrik Svensson, System Architect for Axis Communications AB in Lund, Sweden and chairman of the ONVIF Profile T Working Group.

Svensson said Profile T added new important capabilities and media services in line with technological advancements in IP video products and streaming applications, including more specific event detection and analytics settings.

Beefed-up capabilities

“We added the ability to configure motion detection regions so users would get alarm notifications with movement in those areas. Previously, it was just a basic event, and you couldn’t configure regions of the picture where you wanted detection. In Profile T, we have standardized on a number of events that devices have to support, such as motion, tampering, digital inputs, relay outputs and other media events. We added this because, prior, a device typically had its own events; there was no standardized event type for motion detection.”

Profile T will have many of the same features as its predecessor, Profile S, with room for new advances, such as the standardized event types, ensuring video management systems and other software clients use one set of events to support all cameras, regardless of manufacturer. Profile T enables a specific area of an image to be selected for analysis, using the conditional motion region detector configuration through the analytics service.

The new profile, released in late October, supports the higher-efficiency H.265 compression algorithm to more efficiently handle high-definition camera image streaming and manage surveillance footage storage. It also allows for bidirectional audio streaming from camera and browser with a web socket interface. With metadata streaming also new to the Profile, conformant products have enhanced PTZ positioning control and analytics, such as the ability to apply object tracking in the video stream. Other features include interactive onscreen displays and command and control of auxiliary connected products, such as camera wipers and illumination.

“The idea behind ONVIF is that you should be able to choose a manufacturer depending on what solution you need and select different products that interoperate,” Svensson said. “With Profile T, there are many more use cases now covered for IP video products.”

About the Author

Deborah L. O'Mara

Freelance Writer

Deborah L. O’Mara is a journalist with more than two decades experience writing about security, life safety and systems integration, and she is the managing director of DLO Communications in Chicago. She can be reached at dlocommunications@gmail.com...

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