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Explaining the ONVIF standard

Published by Amelia on September 19, 2011 10:15 AM

If you've been shopping for an IP camera, chances are youve seen the phrase "ONVIF-compliant." But what does that really mean? ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) is a global and open industry forum that was formed to facilitate the development and use of a global open standard for physical IP-based security products. The forum aims to standardize how IP products within the video surveillance industry communicate with each other.

The organization was started in 2008 by Axis, Bosch, and Sony with open membership for manufacturers, software developers, consultants, system integrators, end-users and other groups that want to participate in ONVIF. The central tenets of the ONVIF standard are standardization of communication between IP devices, interoperability between network video products no matter who the manufacturer is, and that the standard is open to all companies and organizations.

There are several benefits of ONVIF for IP products. The open standard allows for interoperability of products from different manufacturers because they essentially speak the same language. ONVIF also offers flexibility since end-users and security integrators aren't locked into proprietary technology from individual manufacturers. Under the open standard, security solutions are also future-proof since there will be interoperable products on the market no matter what happens to individual companies.

ONVIF's membership has grown to over 300 member companies since its founding in 2008. The list of participating members includes major manufacturers like Vivotek, Arecont Vision, and Milestone Systems.