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Standardization FAQ

Why is there a need for standardization in IP-based physical security market and what is the benefit for customers and other manufacturers?

The overall goal is to make it even easier for end users, integrators, consultants and manufacturers to take advantage of the possibilities offered by IP-based physical security solutions. An open standard for the interface of IP-based physical security products enables them to easily integrate products from different vendors into a single solution. The standard will also help software vendors to secure that their products support various brands of IP-based physical security products. For device manufacturers, an open standard ensures interoperability with other manufacturers.

The benefits of an open standard include:

Within IP-based physical security: To drive the convergence from analog to digital solutions, thus making the benefits of IP-based physical security products and solutions available to everyone - end users, integrators, etc.


Interoperability – products from various manufacturers can be used in the same systems and "talk the same language".

Flexibility – end-users and integrators are not locked within proprietary solutions based on technology choices of individual manufacturers.

Future-proof – standards ensure that there are interoperable products on the market, no matter what happens to individual companies.

Quality – when a product conforms to a standard, the market knows what to expect from that product.

Is the word “standard” a correct term for an industry forum? Can an industry forum develop a standard?

ONVIF's primary goal is to create a global open standard for the interface of IP-based physical security products. The specification developed by ONVIF is not a standard in itself. The ONVIF specification can become a standard either by being adopted by official standardization bodies or by becoming a de-facto standard when implemented by several manufacturers in the market. The same goes for any industry forum working with standardization/interoperability issues.

What do you mean by an "open standard"?

The specification is approved by a formalized committee that is open to participation by all interested parties. Also it will support other industry standards, e.g., video compression standards, network streaming, device discovery, etc.

Does ONVIF cooperate with other international standardization bodies in the industry such as IEC & SIA, in order to avoid having several formats?

ONVIF has started open discussion with several international standardization organizations. On June 3, 2014, the Security Industry Association (SIA) and ONVIF signed a Memorandum of Understanding toward the further development of IP-based interoperability standards in access control. As part of the relationship, ONVIF will provide support to SIA's OSDP IP extension initiative, while SIA will provide education to its membership and industry stakeholders of Profile C and ONVIF's other PACS activities. Each group will appoint an official representative to liaise with the other group for the purposes of increased information sharing and collaboration.

ONVIF has established liaisons with ISO JTC1 HEVC, also known as H.265 and IEC Technical Committee 79, Alarm and electronic security systems.

ONVIF is currently referred to in the international standards IEC62676 Video Security Systems, IEC IEC62580-2 CCTV in trains and in the ongoing work in IEC TC79 WG 11, Electronic access control systems which will produce a new International Electronic Access Control standard, IEC 60839.