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Report: Dash Cam Goes HD

February 08, 2012  | 

Screenshot: WatchGuard
Screenshot: WatchGuard

The high definition (HD) in-car police video surveillance market in the United States will grow more than 20% in the next four years, despite decreasing police department budgets, according to a report by IMS Research.

Titled "The World Market for Mobile Video Surveillance Equipment - 2011 Edition," the report notes that WatchGuard Video's 4RE solution is the only HD product specifically designed for the police in-car video surveillance market. However, other mobile video surveillance equipment providers are currently developing HD solutions for the market. Those products have release dates ranging from between nine months to a year.

"The key driver for HD video is simply better quality images," according to Oliver Philippou, the report's author. "As camera prices decline, compression methods become more advanced, and new wireless draft specifications, such as 802.11 ac, make handling large amounts of data quicker and more efficient, the use of HD cameras will increasingly become a more viable option."

However, Philippou also notes that manufacturers need to address storage issues for HD cameras.

"The length of time that video has to be kept by police varies," he says. "Some states require a full 365 days of video storage when used as evidence. Even with better compression methods, recording in HD is likely to increase the amount of data by a factor of three or four at the very least."

Philippou also noted that pricing for high disk drive (HDD) storage costs would increase considerably due to the recent floods in Thailand, which has caused a delay in HDD production.

Despite the HD camera market growing significantly quicker than the standard camera market, HD cameras will still account for less than 15% of the total American in-car police video surveillance camera market in 2015, according to the report.

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