The next step: Saving images

Monday, November 1, 2004

Although most users of home-based network cameras use them for instant viewing, the market for recording and saving images is ramping up.

“The small guy, he’s just looking at it right now,” said Craig Scott, vice president-business development at Smartvue Corp. But other users, such as celebrities and high-profile people with security concerns, are installing recording devices, he said.

One reason storage is even possible, Scott said, is the improvements made in video compression and memory. “Now you can store more video on a smaller hard drive with better compression,” he said.

Up until about a year ago, said Rick Davitt, vice president-marketing for IQinVision, “people weren’t interested in storing images.” Nor, he said, were they buying DVRs or investing in software that enables them to save images from their network cameras to their PCs.

But that has changed with the advent of embedded storage packages, he said. “We see them now recording a lot of images because they weren’t having to buy a DVR.”

In turn, Davitt said, this has increased the appeal of network video for high-end users “because they like to record.” And with hard-drive storage costs dropping, the impetus for recording is even greater, he said.

StarDot Technologies, said Vance Kozik, product manager, offers a network video recording software package that can be installed at the home or office computer.

“If all you’re interested in doing is monitoring, a camera is enough,” he said. “But NVR software makes it a complete package.”

The DVR market for home surveillance has been lagging, said Lee Travis, chief executive officer of Home Technologies, but he expects it to grow in the next year or two.

What really needs to happen, he said, “is someone needs to break through and create more computer-centric devices.”