Surveillance Over IP

Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

Surveillance Over IP

According to an item forwarded to me by Rich Tehrani, The New York State Unified Court System has apparently deployed a network of more than 350 IP video surveillance cameras. The cameras will monitor New York court facilities statewide and link to a multi-terabyte storage system.

According to, the Court’s MIS gurus see high-bandwidth video as just another stream on the IP network they built several years ago. Also supported is a 10,000-seat IP telephony network and more than 100 IP videoconferencing units. Overall, these systems save the courts about $1 million per year on various voice and video costs, and allow for advanced services such as comprehensive video surveillance.

The article goes on to describe the monitoring experience:

At the court's downtown Manhattan security command center, officers watch video on an array of flat panel displays, showing the court's most heavily trafficked sites. Through an interface that mimics Internet Explorer, an officer can expand a directory of icons, representing all courthouses and facilities.

Clicking on each icon reveals locations at each site under IP video surveillance. One click deeper, and a window is launched with a live IP video feed: a trial in session in Queens, pedestrian traffic outside the Superior Court building downtown, an empty stairwell in Buffalo.

Officers can control the zoom and pan of the cameras via mouse clicks. The windows can be tiled or arranged in a grid, giving a view into dozens of sites at once.

What’s more, the officers can use WiFi enabled PDAs to pull up the same live IP video feed as the flat panels in the command center albeit at a lower bit rate, because of the PDAs tiny screen and limited wireless bandwidth. Still, the PDAs leverage a network of more than 500 wireless access points deployed across the State.

Earlier this year, Sony Electronics announced its SNC M-Series all-in-one network cameras targeting consumers. Incorporating built-in Web servers, network interfaces and built-in microphones with bi-directional audio capabilities at prices beginning at $300, these new security cameras are designed to be used both in the corporate environment and at home.

The cameras utilize MPEG-4 and G.726 compression formats, which provides for smooth video and audio streaming over network environments, including those with limited bandwidth.

"Just as a small business owner wants to keep an eye on his or her shop, consumers are interested in keeping an eye on their homes, and the M-Series makes it possible to do this over the Internet from wherever they are," said Michael McCausland, vice president for IP Communications products at Sony Electronics. "The new cameras' attractive pricing, numerous installation options and attractive design make them appealing for a homeowner who would like to add an additional layer to their security system."

To learn more about Surveillance over IP, you should consider attending the upcoming Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO, which is being held this October 25-27 in the Los Angeles Convention Center. There, you will be able to sit in on a number of panels detailing VoIP security challenges including Surveillance over IP. It promises to be an interesting and informative few days.

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