Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Networking for Camera Guys

I know I promised to tell you about the Panasonic, but I swear this is related.

Many old school camera guys are mistrustful of networks, mostly because they don't understand them. Listening to a camera guy talk to a computer guy is like, for example, a Neolithic wheel carver talking to a Honda engineer- sure, the two industries share a distant common ancestor, but the family lost touch when they moved to America and they changed their name at Ellis Island and only the grandmother can speak the language anymore. Which is why I'm a fan of the Eye on Video series of essays by Fredrik Nilsson of Axis. In it, he attempts to talk to the bicycle store owner and explain some of the fundamental concepts of aircraft design.

The latest article, called Uptime for Network Video Systems, starts out with this very stupid quote: Short of catastrophic disaster, most networks today deliver between 99.99 percent and 99.9999 percent availability — from less than one hour of downtime a year to less than one minute of downtime a year.

Now, either this is an outright lie or Scandinavians have a much lower bar for the definition of catastrophe than we do. Anyone works with computers or has ever used a computer knows
that they die or have strokes at random times for no apparent reason.

The article itself is chock full of efficient Swedish network optimization goodness, with helpful tips like backing things up, having redundant storage, not using cheap switches, and installing surge and lightening protection. Not much to pick apart there.

Camera guys need to learn networks, because that is where we are headed. End of story. We won't be using coax and DVRs and quad switchers for very much longer. Listening to a camera guy and a computer guy talk to each other, and you'll see a look of incomprehension and mistrust on the face of the camera guy together with disdain and patronizing talking-very-slowly on the part of the computer guy. This kind of thing holds our industry back.

Anyway, back to Panasonic. I got a good overview of all the old i-Pro stuff, which I basically already knew, along with the new megapixel cameras and the decoder with the analytics, which is pretty cool, actually (a decoder with an HDMI out for the megapixel cameras! Awesome! Just the thing for making the kind of ultracool hi tech control centers of the kind you see in movies where they say "rewind the tape" and Jason Bourne destroys a small Central European country).

Sorry. After all these years, I still get caught up in the gee whizerry.

They gave us a flash drive with a bunch of demos and video clips and tools and estimators and so on. But first they had to give a very long and complicated Powerpoint presentation proving that Panasonic is much better than Axis (which they called "Company A"). And speaking of redundancies, popping a $12 SD card into most Panasonic cameras will automatically back up video, at 1 FPS (for 24 hours of video per 1gb SD card). So, cool.

Buy Panasonic. Read Axis.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can shorten your links with Shortest and earn money for every click on your short urls.