I recently came across a situation where a leading brand manufacturer discontinued some of their IP cameras and no longer supported them. The NVR made by the same manufacturer did not support the new IP camera models even with an upgraded firmware and they were basically told they would have to replace the system with updated cameras and NVR. The integrator was obviously upset and no longer wanted to continue using the brand. This got me think further about the fragmentation within the IP camera technology and the possibility of future problems that may exist. These concerns cover both IP cameras and NVRs.
Within the world of analog even if a manufacturer discontinues a camera model or even a line of cameras the installer can use virtually any other brand of analog camera to replace the cameras and continue operation but with IP it’s not so simple. The NVR must support the cameras you would like to use and things are not so cut and dry. No matter the changes that occur within the analog camera in regards to the CCD, DSP or format. The systems are all interchangeable. This leads to long term support and usability.
My concern is the long term support of IP camera firmware and the 3rd party software which also support them. As IP cameras change formats, compressions and chipsets how are older models treated? Do they discontinue support for these models? Do software houses drop older IP camera models or continue to just add to the database?
Do manufacturers that offer proprietary software and cameras continue to support models years in? I would like to know what experiences you guys have had with long term installations and the support for these systems after a couple of years in.
Since there is no real standard the possibility for fragmentation is a huge concern especially over the long haul. ONVIF and PSIA, have both manufacturers and integrators suffering from indecision when the two groups promote their respective specifications. Though real time sales are on the rise with the technology becoming very popular will these issues become a huge problem in future?
This is not a case of one technology being better than the other, it’s a simple observation wrapped in questions.