Video surveillance cabling and infrastructure market to expand dramatically in North America

Lower-priced, consumer-grade Ethernet power sources are driving the market, which could see substantial near-term growth
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BRACKNELL, England—With lower powered infrared and PTZ cameras hitting the market, more end users are turning to nonlocal Ethernet sets to power their video surveillance networks, particularly for cameras in perimeter security locations.

Add to that the fact that end users are finding that infrastructure and cabling, rather than surveillance equipment, tend to be where malfunctions originate, and you have a market that’s poised to become a higher priority investment for end users, according to Aaron Dale, market analyst, security & fire, at IHS Research. Dale authored the new report titled, “Cabling and Infrastructure in Video Surveillance.”

This shift in awareness is one reason the North American market, estimated to be worth about $90 million in 2014, is poised to reach $220 million by 2018, according to Dale. The global market is projected to be worth $1.4 billion by the end of the forecast period.
 
The growth rate of the market, he added, is expected to exceed that of the broader market for video surveillance equipment.
 
While the market is being fueled by growth in the video surveillance market at large, it’s also being propelled “through the transition to IP networks” from analog to IP camera networks. Some technologically specific trends within that evolution are also generating growth in cabling and infrastructure, particularly in the near-term, Dale noted.
 
“One of the major factors is the increasing use of Ethernets on video surveillance networks,” he said. “We’re finding now that the vast majority of video surveillance cameras actually have Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability.”Dale explained that the rise in PoE capability in video surveillance networks is in part a result of end users finding them well suited for infrared and PTZ cameras in difficult outdoor or remote perimeter locations. PoE capability eliminates the need to power these cameras from a local source, Dale said.

Manufacturers, he added, are recognizing the demand. “Over the last couple of years we’ve seen video surveillance manufacturers developing a line of low-powered PTZ cameras, which really expanded the use of PoE sets,” Dale said.

The lower powered PTZ and IR cameras hitting the market means that “for the first time, a full video surveillance solution including PTZ and IR cameras can be powered over Ethernet on a standardized solution,” Dale noted. While it used to be considerably cheaper to power cameras locally, the recent influx of lower priced, consumer grade PoE switches and lower priced midspan injectors—two leading nonlocal power sources—have made price “much less of a barrier,” Dale said.

Dale added that distance restrictions have also been mitigated by the latest developments in Ethernet extenders, which now allow for an increased PoE range, possibly up to 700 meters in length. This technology is poised to make a strong mainstream push in 2014, he noted.
 
Based on conversations with installers and manufacturers, Dale said that cabling and infrastructure are coming to be viewed by end users as increasingly crucial investments for a video surveillance network. As a result, end users are “choosing to pay a little bit more,” he said.
 
The growing complexity of video surveillance systems has also played a role in this shift in awareness, together with the fact that problems with such networks tend to arise on the infrastructural side, Dale noted.

“With the increasing growth and complexity of video surveillance systems, there have been instances of malfunctioning that increasingly have to do with infrastructure rather than the camera end,” he said. “There’s a bit more awareness of that now.”

Cabling and infrastructure can also be one of the most difficult and costly aspects to replace in a video surveillance system, Dale added. That consideration, coupled with the expanding technological needs and capabilities of cameras, is causing end users to “invest in a higher standard of cabling and infrastructure that will accommodate any future growth or development in the systems,” he said.
 
While growth will be pronounced during the forecast period, it could level off substantially in the five-year interval after 2018 due to more widespread adoption of cloud-based and wireless surveillance networks, Dale said. At the moment, wireless video surveillance systems are enjoying growth, though mostly in “targeted, niche applications.”

Still, Dale said wireless video surveillance has the potential to become a replacement market for wired video surveillance solutions, potentially stalling the market after the forecast period.

But for the time being, the updating of analog systems is keeping the wired solutions market robust, Dale said. Also bolstering the market is the broader adoption of high megapixel cameras with HD capabilities, which has generated a higher demand for data and power in wired solutions. That, Dale noted, gives end users a strong incentive to “invest in a higher standard of surrounding infrastructure that supports these solutions and enables them to achieve their needs.”