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The TV market is moving rapidly towards high-definition television, HDTV. This change brings truly remarkable improvements in image quality and color fidelity. HDTV provides up to five times higher resolution and twice the linear resolution compared with traditional, analog TV. Furthermore, HDTV comes with wide screen format and DVD-quality audio.
Growth in this consumer market for HDTV is impressive. The two most important HDTV standards today are SMPTE 296M and SMPTE 274M, which are defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, SMPTE.
This development is now starting to have an impact on the video surveillance market, as customers ask for higher image quality standard. The possibility of clearer, sharper images is a long sought quality in the surveillance industry, i.e.. in applications where objects are moving or accurate identification is vital.
It can be argued that some of these requirements can be met with megapixel network cameras. However the notion of 'megapixel' is not a recognized standard but rather an adaption of the industry's best practices and it refers specifically to the number of image sensor elements of the digital camera.
With high resolution follows huge amounts of image data, which more often than not leads to compromises on frame rate. A megapixel camera alone is therefore not synonymous with high image quality. In contrast, a network camera that complies with any of the given HDTV standards is guaranteed to provide a certain resolution, frame rate and color fidelity, thereby ensuring video quality at all times.