By Neal Bellamy, IT Director at Kenton Brothers.
Video cameras are everywhere in the world today. These cameras can help a city gain more situational awareness and help police fight crimes better than ever before.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the police could access any camera… at any time?
Unfortunately, video management systems can be complicated. Most video management systems are not compatible with each other. However, there is hope.
It starts with a standard.
In order for video management systems to communicate, they must first speak the same language. In the security camera space, there is already a common standard called ONVIF (www.onvif.org ). The standard is pretty widespread. If the standard is followed, it allows for video to be streamed between a client (usually a camera) and a server (usually a video management system). The ONVIF standard does not guarantee that all of the camera’s features can be accessed, but it’s a good starting point for basic video streaming. And it works with a bridge.
What if instead of a camera being ONVIF compliant, we made a commercial video management system act like an ONVIF compliant camera or multiple cameras? The video management system is already receiving video streams… Could it send the camera stream it’s receiving somewhere else as well?
That’s exactly what Milestone is doing.
Milestone systems (www.milestonesys.com) has released a server component called “ONVIF Bridge”. This allows your Milestone server system to rebroadcast the video that is being sent to another server. As long as the receiving server is ONVIF compliant (most are) it will be able to see, and optionally record, the video.
So how does this solve our problem?
If a company wants to loan some, or all of their cameras out to a police department, they can under the following conditions:
1) The company is using a Milestone system that’s compatible with ONVIF Bridge
2) The Police department can connect to ONVIF Cameras
With those two things in place, the police department could use your cameras to help with situational awareness and help solve crimes.
In our lab at Kenton Brothers, we were able to successfully connect the Milestone ONVIF Bridge to Avigilon and Genetec systems.
If you would like to know more about how to connect your cameras to your local police department, give us a call!