Doug Bedell — February 19, 2008, 2:17 pm

The French Commit to Digital Video Surveillance has a item with the provocative title, “Why the French spot terrorists better than Americans.”

It’s not, InfoWatch explains, because the French are more intrusive, but they are more technologically hep – that is, they are making an all-out switch from analog to digital cameras for video surveillance. The U.S., InfoWatch advises, is lagging in that respect.

Why does it matter? “Not only are analog video surveillance images less clear than digital video, and therefore less useful,” InfoWatch explains, “but analog cameras lack the functionality and intelligence of digital cameras. They see less detail, store less detail, and lack the ability to analyze or send alerts when a suspicious event is spotted.”

What prompted the French get so hep? “The 2005 London subway bombings, and the reality that France could be next.” A new law has been passed in France “that will substantially increase the image quality required of video surveillance cameras in public places and high-security, restricted zones. Ninety-five percent of analog camera systems will simply not be able to meet this new requirement. IP video will become the defacto standard.”

Legislation might not be the best approach in the U.S. But going digital on security surveillance is worthwhile here as well. In particular, sharp-eyed video cameras coupled with PRO Barrier Engineering’s state-of-the art vehicle access barriers make for tight perimeter security.

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