Security embraces the YouTube generation

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10/29/2008
I've often embedded videos here relating to security, whether it be a copper theft illustration, or silly surveillance captures, or product pitches. Generally, those videos have been posted to YouTube, which then provides an "embed" code, which I slap into the blog and, voila, you get to watch the video without actually having to leave my page. Of course, YouTube is only the best known of on the online video sites. You can post video just about anywhere now, and you can find videos all over the place on the Web. (Soon, you'll find many more videos on our home page, but that's for another day.) Now, the major manufacturers are starting to post video sites. They're mostly used to pitch their own products (obviously), but that doesn't mean they're totally without value. Right now, the best is Honeywell's (and I'm not just saying that because they sponsor our newswire). Not only do they have a bunch of product videos on their Security Channel, and an RSS Video feed, which is cool, but they've created an online video series, called Security Stories, that's professionally done in a Bob Villa kind of way, with a guy named Tony Martin traveling to visit different Honeywell dealers around the country and going out on jobs with them. I wouldn't hesitate to say the episodes are actually fairly entertaining. But, here, I'll post one for you and you can be the judge: See the production value on that? That doesn't come cheap. Bosch has another big video site, which you can find here. It's a little clunky in both Safari and Firefox, but it's pretty new, so I'm sure they're still working out some kinks. I get a lot of file errors, saying the videos won't load, and when I went to the RSS feed, I got an error message and a bunch of code. So there's that. But there are also a large amount of videos up there, and they're easily categorized so you can find the stuff you might be looking for. Basically, it's all product demos and training videos, but I could see how they'd be useful for new hires, especially, who need as much info as possible on what the products can do and how you install them. Here, for example, is a simple video showing what anti-loitering analytics can do (you'd see it here, but I can't get their embed code to work in blogger). I know, it's not exactly scintillating stuff, but if you're trying to add demonstration videos to your own web site, this is a quick and easy way to do it. Or you can just call this up when you're on a customer visit, showing some of the potential solutions in real time. I'm sure they'll work out some of the kinks in short order. I'm actually really surprised that more video manufacturers don't post videos on their sites. I mean, why am I reading a pdf case study about the great video solution you've created for this retail chain when I could be watching a video that shows me all the great benefits? You are a video company, right? Well, where are the videos? Speco Technologies has some decent educational videos on their site, but they're not that easy to find, and you can't link directly to them. Look for the STTV box in the upper right hand corner of the home page. They do offer both Quicktime and Windows Media versions, which is nice for us Mac users, but it's not the most elegant interface. Panasonic has some pretty cool live demos you can watch, basically streaming video on demand of cameras set up at intersections and in parking lots and what not. Of course, I didn't actually watch them because you had to download some stuff in order to make it work and I didn't feel like going through all that. Also, they've got some great stuff, like the new very cool SDIII, but look at the product description. It just seems silly that they're using tiny little jpegs that you can click on and blow up instead of actual video showing me the image stabilization, etc. It's not that hard to upload a clip to YouTube and then embed it on the page if you don't feel like actually serving the video yourself. Napco's new web site has some decent live demos, as well, and you don't have to download anything. Check this out. The video quality isn't exactly top-drawer, and there's not much going on in the parking lot they show you, and the feeds kind of cut out from time to time, but you can at least show a quick demo to a potential client, and there's some cool functionality, like being able to watch four cameras at once (not that I actually got that to work, but it seemed like it might work sometimes). Anyway, I could go on, but if you've seen some good security video sites, send them my way. And if you have some good security video, send it along. Or, better yet, post it on YouTube so I can just embed it and show people what you're doing.