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New UL standard will rate camera performance

New UL standard will rate camera performance UL 2802 out in February; some products will be certified before ISC West

NORTHBROOK, Ill.—Underwriters Laboratories is launching the first digital-camera performance standard in February and plans to have some cameras certified in time for ISC West, Bob Jamieson, UL general manager, life safety and security industries, told Security Systems News.

“We've had a lot of discussions with manufacturers,” Jamieson said, “and for the most part they've been very enthusiastic � [the standard] will help prevent false claims.”

Called UL 2802, the new standard is in the final review and comment period. In the works for more than a year, the standard will be used to grade digital cameras on a scale of 1 to 5 for a number of characteristics including image sharpness, field-of-view confirmation, signal-to-noise ratio, TV distortion, relative illumination, color fidelity, dynamic range, maximum frame rate, gray level, sensitivity, bad pixels, veiling glare and housing tamper protection.

UL's in-house experts worked with “industry, government [and other stakeholders] quantifying performance characteristics of digital cameras,” Jamieson said. The top six digital camera manufacturers globally were involved with the creation of the standard.

“The lab test is very consistent from camera to camera,” Jamieson said.

This is the first of five related standards that will evaluate an entire digital video system. The testing organization is also in the process of creating standards for transmission, storage, video analytics and displays.

However, the new standard “will look [solely] at performance, not operability,” Jamieson said.

“What UL has done is created a way to [look at digital cameras] using some independent performance measurements,” said Steve Surfaro, industry liaison for Axis Communications, who is working with UL on the project.

Surfaro said designers and specifiers “will be the first group to benefit from this standard.” He predicted that government entities would be among the first end users to employ the standard.

For integrators, the standard “will be an excellent tool to understand a particular product line,” he said.

Initially all testing will take place at UL's facility here, with testing likely at other facilities in the future.

“Several products will be certified [before] ISC West,” Jamieson said. The process will be quick for manufacturers. “Turnaround will be about half a week for certification,” he said.


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