The concept of profiles is developed to analyze the compatibility and interoperability of security systems.
By Per Björkdahl*
When it comes to storing video, the cost can add up quickly, especially as the industry moves to 4K cameras and more, requiring a greater amount of storage space and faster bit rates. With higher storage needs and faster processing requirements, how can an integrator ensure that their video solutions are the most cost-effective, without sacrificing video quality?
With ONVIF, an open industry consortium committed to standardizing communication between IP-based physical security products for interoperability, an integrator can easily choose from the 13,000 products that meet the ONVIF profile for the best possible combination of components for a video system.
The concept of profiles, or groupings of related or commonly used features, allows end users, system specifiers, designers, and integrators to more easily identify the features supported by a specific profile. For example, knowing that a product supports Profile T allows the integrator to know that it will work with another Profile T device for activities such as video streaming, audio streaming, and supporting PTZ functions without requiring in-depth technical knowledge of the product.
One of the key benefits of ONVIF is the freedom of choice to select the best and most suitable camera or NVR for the project, and ensure that future additions to the video system continue to be compatible with existing equipment. The framework is set through profiles such as Profile T, for advanced video streaming, H.265 video compression, and two-way audio streaming; and Profile G, for edge storage, search, and playback. Therefore, when an integrator installs a brand of fixed network cameras to monitor a customer's office lobby and then uses third-party PTZ units in the parking lot, you can be sure that both Profile T-compliant products will properly connect with the Profile G-compliant video management systems and NVRs you selected for the job, creating an integrated solution from different suppliers.
Design of a complete video and storage solution with G and T profiles
By selecting Profile T-compliant products, integrators and system designers can select elements armed with the knowledge of the specific features required for interoperability. Knowing that a product supports Profile T requires no knowledge of what's inside that product, only that it will work with another Profile T device for activities like video streaming, audio streaming, and supported PTZ features. Most importantly, it will compress the video, which in turn will reduce overall storage needs and therefore costs.
With Profile T in place, the integrator can also implement Profile G, a specification designed to store, search, retrieve, and play media on devices or clients that support onboard recording and storage capabilities, for a complete video and storage solution. Profile G encompasses devices ranging from cameras and encoders to NVRs and video management systems, as well as those features that are included in platforms such as building management systems, physical security information management systems (PSIM) and other physical security systems. By incorporating video playback into THE profile concept and specifications of ONVIF's global interface, it becomes much easier for end users, integrators, consultants and manufacturers to leverage network video technology, while reducing costs and staying at the forefront of new technologies.
With the completions of Profile G and Profile T, ONVIF has completed the circuit, providing the means by which product manufacturers and software developers can present at a basic level an integrated access control and video system. This is a true complement to our existing profiles and takes standardized interoperability to new heights.
The future of H.265 and the ONVIF Profile T
With Profile T, ONVIF employs a new media service that is compression-agnostic. This means it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future, without having to redesign your media service.
The ability of a video management system to provide analysis, real-time event notifications, and crucial image details is only as good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. With the development of Profile T, users have more opportunities to use profiles together and create the best and most secure surveillance system for the future.
Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the main benefits of video compression technologies, and the main feature of Profile T. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of the widely used H.264, while maintaining the same quality. A higher compression rate translates into lower storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage, and fewer switches, reducing overall system ownership costs.
H.265 compression offers a lower bitrate than H.264, reducing playback issues and hardware strain. ONVIF believes that H.265 will become the most widely used compression format on the market and has developed a migration path that will serve the industry in the future.
With Profile T, Profile G, and potentially Profile S working together to provide a connected solution, end users can have peace of mind that their video data is stored and retrieved as quickly as possible. This allows users to react to events as soon as they occur, and ensures that all systems are communicating properly and efficiently.
In addition, Profile T allows customers to choose the products that best suit their needs, while simultaneously analyzing which parts of an image are most important and adjusting local levels of compressions accordingly, thanks to H.265 capabilities. Profiles complementing profiles means that the market will soon have the potential for untapped interoperability capabilities.
While Profile G and Profile T are related, the two are separate profiles that encompass different functionalities of a network video system. Profile T helps connect more header devices and makes video processing easier, while providing video compression to reduce storage costs. Profile G further expands the potential of an ONVIF system by making recording and storage available on devices. Most customers can implement both profiles, such as a camera with built-in storage or a digital video recorder. But while a camera can implement Profile T for video streaming, an NVR would encompass the functionalities of Profile G.
As ONVIF continues to meet market demands through the release of profiles, users who comply with the ONVIF standard can be confident that their systems are fast, future-proof, and the most cost-effective option available.
Conformity means never being tied to a single manufacturer agreement and, in turn, means freedom of choice. With multiple profiles now supporting storage needs, product interoperability is more crucial than ever when implementing a future-proof system to keep costs down and keep the system relevant.
By addressing the problem of standardization and responding to the ever-changing needs of the market, ONVIF is constantly evolving, adding new profiles and stimulating companies to expand their portfolios of compliant offerings.
* For more information visit the ONVIF website - www.onvif.org