Video verification standard update

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

While you can expect the committee developing a standard for video alarm monitoring and dispatch to have released a document for public comment by the end of October, don't expect it to generate much controversy.
"You never know what's going to be controversial," allowed Jim McMullen, chair of the committee developing the standard and president of C.O.P.S. Monitoring, but "we've tried to take into consideration all the concerns from all the parties. At [this past April's ISC West convention], we had a large group and we actually went through this line by line, discussing the issues, and the feedback from the group was very little ... so I feel like not much should be a surprise there."
"It's very common-sense-ish," McMullen continued. For instance, "Wherever the device is that tripped the alarm, the camera has to cover that area. It has to be looking at wherever the sensor is."
It should be no surprise, then, that the standard is largely product-agnostic and not very heavy on technical specifications. "We didn't get into the lux levels or anything," he said. "We give examples of formats for video compression, but we don't say you must use this or that kind of compression ... It should leave it open enough so that most monitoring stations won't have a hard time complying." At the same time, he admitted, "you can't make something totally neutral for everybody. If you do that, there's no sense in having a standard."