Thursday, February 07, 2008

Megapixel security camera market forecasted to grow rapidly

In its latest report on the world video surveillance market, IMS Research predicts that over the next three years, the market for megapixel cameras will grow at a compound annual growth rate in excess of 100 percent. By 2009 it is forecast that over half a million units will be shipped a year. The market has overcome a number of hurdles to get to this position.

Perhaps the biggest issue that megapixel cameras have faced to date is how to cope with the volume of data produced, which demands more bandwidth and storage volume. However, improved compression algorithms, more widespread gigabit Ethernet deployments and reductions in storage prices mean that these issues are being addressed.

Megapixel cameras have also suffered from low-light performance issues which have limited their deployment and end-user appeal. This issue is being addressed by the sensor manufacturers and the low light performance of megapixel cameras is gradually improving, such that they can now compete in environments where previously lower resolution cameras with better light sensitivity were used.

Many end-users have shied away from megapixel cameras because of the high cost compared with standard resolution cameras. However, it should be noted that often this extra cost is offset because a single megapixel camera provides the same coverage as several standard resolution cameras. The price of megapixel cameras is also falling and this will likely attract more end-users to 'spec' these cameras for their projects.

The market has been held back to some extent by the low number of companies supplying megapixel cameras. Over the next two years the industry can expect to see a number of new companies enter the market, particularly some of the larger video surveillance camera manufacturers. This will likely benefit the end-user as improved feature sets will be offered at lower costs as the competition heats-up.

"This market has been held back while a range of technical problems have been overcome. However, the market is now poised for a period of rapid growth" says Alastair Hayfield, report analyst.