Why Retailers are Embracing IP Video
Why is IP video becoming so popular among retailers? The answer is twofold: function and flexibility. IP (Internet Protocol) cameras possess the power and functionality of a stand-alone computer, and as such can do a lot more than just shoot video.
IP cameras have resolution that is several times greater than that of analog cameras. They also transmit video as data over an IP network. Because most IP system upgrades involve replacing old analog coaxial cable with high-speed Cat5 line, quality is not lost and the speed can be preserved. This means that the picture is not just clearer and more detailed (always helpful in investigations), but can be viewed from anywhere in the world.
IP systems are able to evolve alongside their retailers. A single store that operates with a 15-camera setup today may grow to need 60 in the coming years. And as the number of its store locations grows, the retailer’s video system must be able to accommodate that growth. A good IP video system can handle tens of thousands of cameras on a single network. It can also make it easier to troubleshoot camera problems remotely, and make it easy to perform system-wide operations.
Availability of Open Platform
Traditionally, LP systems existed separately from each other, in their own silos. IP opens the door to unify disparate systems into one platform. Video surveillance, EAS, access control, and intrusion and fire alarms can now be managed simply from one place. When it comes to IP video specifically, open platform systems can also include metrics and analytics programs like people counting and heat mapping. These provide valuable shopping-pattern behavior data, allowing your video system to serve for more than just loss prevention.
Ease of Transition
IP’s flexibility allows for an affordable, measured conversion. Retailers looking to transition from analog to IP surveillance often can have their existing CCTV components reconfigured or replaced to operate as hybrid system. Working with a strong solutions integrator, retailers can craft a plan that addresses the LP needs of the business within the allowed budget. A measured conversion also reduces the downtime required to switch out components. This makes it easier for retailers to schedule around peak times and provides them unprecedented control over the transition process.
IP Video’s Future in Retail Appears Secure
IP solutions are here for good. The versatility, adaptability and ease of use of IP systems make them an ideal security solution for retailers, and the demand for IP cameras in retail is growing. In 2014, global sales of IP cameras exceeded $4.2 billion with 35 percent of the [world] retail market having already migrated to IP. And since IP video’s introduction to the world retail, LP teams have appreciated its potential, actively embracing it to meet their growing needs.