The move to unified standards for high-definition CCTV will gain from the technologies now used in high-definition broadcast television, following an announcement from the HDcctv Alliance that is has gained permission to use key HDTV specs managed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
The license agreement formalizes a relationship that has greatly accelerated the development of the HDcctv Specification v1.0, currently being put before the HDcctv Alliance's Board of Directors for ratification.
The SMPTE HD-SDI spec covers transmission of 720p and 1080p formats, among others, at data rates around 1.5 Gbps. Under the license agreement, the HDcctv Alliance was able to quickly develop v1.0 of its specification by directly reproducing many of the key technologies and requirements of HD-SDI, while adding new capabilities unique to the surveillance industry.
"HDcctv delivers the high-resolution clarity of HDTV in the CCTV environment, re-using existing coaxial infrastructure. With upwards of 95 percent of the installed base of security systems incorporating coaxial cable, HDcctv Alliance equipment based on the SMPTE standards makes upgrading security applications to high resolution easy and cost effective," said Wendy Aylsworth, vice president of Engineering for SMPTE. "By combining efforts, HDcctv Alliance's plug-and-play equipment will be able to deliver high-resolution surveillance video with no jitter, no image artifacts, and no delay.
Subsequent versions of the HDcctv specification will build on the HD-SDI specification to provide for advanced features, such as up-the-cable control and power and bi-directional audio. Version 2.0, covering transmission over unshielded twisted pair cables and the handling of pan/tilt/zoom protocols, has a target completion date of March 2010.
HDCcctv specs will also cover transmission over Cat5 and fiber. Todd Rockoff, Executive Director of HDcctv Alliance, describes the spec here:
"The SMPTE relationship gives a great head start to the HDcctv Alliance," said Rockoff, "because it enabled us to put together a high-credibility, richly detailed draft specification in very short order. Because the Alliance is the only SMPTE-licensed body in the security industry, HDcctv is uniquely well positioned to leverage HDTV in high-resolution surveillance solutions."
In addition to the voting memberships and adopting memberships available—with access to the v1.0 spec—government users are offered free affiliate memberships, in which they will gain summaries of the work as it happens and be invited to give feedback about their technology needs.
The Alliance's membership gained a boost this summer with the addition of CSST, China’s largest security technology company. Other members include Gennum, Stretch, AltaSens, blueCaps, Comart, COP UK, EverFocus, OmniVision, Ovii and Pixim.
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