Some things to consider when specifying a VMS project

February 24, 2012 Steve Bocking

True Open Architecture and in depth integration of IP cameras and encoders

There are certain things that I think are important to analyze when specifying or analyzing Video Management Software for purchase. Some important factors to consider are not only the compatibility with third-party cameras (ex: Axis, Bosch, Sony, Panasonic, etc.), but those features of the IP cameras that are supported, and whether they can be programmed directly within the VMS.

It is important to select a VMS that truly focuses on supporting open architecture and is designed to work with third-party companies. Compatibility between the VMS and IP cameras is therefore an important factor to consider. One way to ensure that the compatibility factor has been met is to ask for specific features with respect to integration that only those VMS brands with a solid open architecture platform will meet.Below is functionality related to camera integration that I think is important to call out in a specification or look for as a buyer of open architecture VMS:

Camera configuration

Direct configuration of IP camera or IP camera encoder via the Video Management Software (VMS) to configure the following parameters (without requiring direct connection via web page of IP camera or encoder):

  • Discover on IP network and set IP Address
  • Frame Rate 
  • Resolution
  • Motion detection: within camera or server based
  • Bit Rate: ability to configure variable or fixed bit rate per camera 
  • Key frame interval
  • Digital I/O
  • Audio Inputs/Outputs
  • Ability to update firmware of IP camera or encoder
  • To minimise network traffic, the VMS must have ability to configure the key frame interval (I-frame) per second
  • Video Management Software (VMS) must be able to control any analogue PTZ protocol and must not be limited to PTZ protocols supported by a video encoder 
  • Any configuration changes do not require the server services to be restarted 
  • Video Management Software(VMS) must have the ability to manage multi-cast directly from the camera
  • Video Management Software(VMS) must have the ability to manage multi-cast directly from the camera
  • Video Management Software(VMS) must be licensable per total number of camera connections, not by MAC

These are just a few points I believe will help you to make an informative decision when it comes time for choosing the right VMS.

 

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