PSIA, ONVIF look for common ground

Thursday, January 1, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Speaking on the floor of the recent ONVIF open meeting, held here Dec. 3 and 4, David Bunzel sounded optimistic that the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance, a group he helped found, could work with ONVIF to find common ground and not be at loggerheads. “We’re an open standards group,” said Bunzel, a managing director at Santa Clara Consulting. “It’s in our charter to converge standards in the industry, and we’re going to find ways that we can cooperate for the betterment of the industry.”

PSIA president Rob Hile, also vice president of business development at Adesta, was not able to attend the ONVIF event, but is positive about the momentum that exists in the industry for standards: “Even if we wind up with three or four different standards, that’s still a lot better than 50, which is what I’ve got now.”

The PSIA met in Chicago, just after press time, to look at ratifying its own version 1.0 standard for discovery of media devices. Its version .9 was released at the most recent ASIS International show in September.

The ONVIF and PSIA standards accomplish some of the same goals for interoperability, but through different approaches. “One of the bigger questions,” Bunzel said, “is can you either agree that one is better than the other, or can you hybrid them? I don’t know ... They both will satisfy some of the demand for standards, but there’s different pros and cons to each of them.”

Both Hile and Bunzel also noted that while ONVIF is focused on video standards, the PSIA “is not just about video.” The organization is interested in standardizing the interface between all security-related devices that would reside on an IP-based network.