CohuHD Costar: Rugged HD Camera Systems for Powerful Surveillance

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Doug Means, President & General Manager, Cohuhd CostarDoug Means, President & General Manager  
The outdoor video surveillance market has come a long way since the closed-circuit setup of the 90s. It’s not just in the network aspect though; developments in the electronics and optics space have bled over, enabling cameras to do more with less. Modern-day cameras are smaller in size; they consume less power and are capable of performing unconventional applications such as mobility surveillance and object tracking. No longer are extreme conditions—from high and low temperatures to fog or low light—a limitation. With the right equipment, one can see it all. CohuHD Costar is a pioneer in this field with its range of high-end ruggedized security cameras that can carry out robust surveillance in the harshest of environments. By combining high-resolution imaging with high power optics, the company’s powerful arsenal of surveillance systems help bring “all-round security,” to the most critical, sensitive environments such as border security and transportation, specifically traffic (ITS), maritime ports, airports and railways.

“We work with major defense contractors like SAAB, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman as their camera provider. Our go-to-market strategy is to work with system integrators and major defense contractors who provide an overall solution,” states Doug Means, President and General Manager at CohuHD Costar.

"We work with major defense contractors, like SAAB, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman as their camera provider"

CohuHD Costar’s camera systems come with one of the most advanced HD long-range surveillance capabilities in the market today. For instance, consider the company’s award-winning RISE (Rugged Innovation with Superior Endurance) series of video camera systems. By combining HD resolution sensors with powerful HD zoom optics, these cameras offer clients the ability to see at greater distances at higher clarity, when compared to standard-definition PTZ cameras and fixed multi-megapixel cameras. These cameras come with a rugged design, and they are interoperable with leading video management systems in the market.

With its superior performance, seamless integration capabilities and decades of video system design/manufacturing experience, it is no coincidence that CohuHD Costar is the primary choice for many government security agencies and major defense contractors today. CohuHD Costar also makes it a point to adhere to the stringent standards required by the homeland security sector. The company manufactures all its products in the U.S., ensuring control over the manufacturing process and top quality materials.

The Force behind the Quality

Currently celebrating its 70th anniversary, CohuHD Costar remains committed to its pursuit of innovation, world-class products, industry-best service, and support to deliver real value to its customers.


We continue to engage regularly with our customers, seeking out their input to help plan new product development, and tailor our solutions to address their changing requirements

The company’s legacy of innovation was inherited by Costar Technologies, Inc. (OTC Markets Group: CSTI). Costar acquired the CohuHD Camera Product Division from Cohu, Inc. (NASDAQ: COHU) in 2014 and CohuHD Costar was then launched as a new business unit with much of the management team and employees at the time of acquisition continuing in their functions in sales, support, and development. Over the years, CohuHD Costar has evolved into a strong Costar business, focused on meeting the needs of its customers with superior, rugged, and reliable surveillance products. Costar provided the much needed financial investment, infrastructure support, and executive leadership through the merger, leveraging synergies between its sales, marketing, product development, and development of complementary product families. CohuHD Costar also interfaces with its partner program members—system integrators for seaports, borders, military, transportation & critical infrastructure—and sister Costar companies, to share insights in the market that can benefit customers. Such a renowned position in the space draws on CohuHD’s drive to “See Farther,” using higher-resolution sensors and powerful optics to increase viewing distances and image quality.

An Arsenal of Robust Surveillance Tools

CohuHD Costar’s camera systems are built to operate for many years in the outdoor environments of critical infrastructure facilities like airports, hospitals, and military bases. All CohuHD Costar clients rely—in varying degrees—on the company’s superior visible imaging and optics capabilities, advanced night vision performance, rugged construction, and flexible design of its RISE, OCTIMA, and HELIOS range of products to meet their needs, day in and day out.

All of these products come with open architecture, which can support numerous industry-standard interfaces and ensure successful system integration without interoperability challenges. On the video codec front, the camera systems come with H.265 and MJPEG video compression for bandwidth efficiency and legacy system compatibility; for transmission, these cameras provide the broadest range of connection and streaming methods which simplify integration over different network topologies, firewalls, and wireless transmission. “CohuHD cameras’ full hybrid operation allows integration with your analog systems today while providing a smooth transition to HD video over IP,” says Means. The interoperability of these solutions is further enhanced through ONVIF compliance with leading video management systems and CohuHD’s OptiCore centralized camera management application.

“The innovation lab is key to our integration testing with 3rd party products,” says Means. Most leading 3rd party VMS systems in the market are already tested and integrated with CohuHD products. Internally, lab testing helps to ensure that CohuHD Costar’s designs deliver maximum flexibility during installation, with seamless operation.

This level of integration capability is also visible in CohuHD’s recently launched OCTIMA family of products that ensures seamless integration into both new and existing customer surveillance projects. With OCTIMA being rolled-out in full-steam, the company is already benefiting from its earlier integration work. Meanwhile, CohuHD Costar realizes that there is more to a great solution than just the innovation—support and services are just as crucial.

Powerful Support to Complement the Product Spectrum

CohuHD’s fluid engagement with their clients is rendered through support options that include training classes, featuring field application engineers, and forming a dedicated central support and service network. While its reputation for long-term operation, reliability, and low cost of ownership set CohuHD apart from many other video camera system manufacturers, the company is committed to providing a superior customer service experience. This is reflected in everything the company does, including its recent investment in an entirely new Zendesk powered customer support portal. Available 24/7, the portal is capable of providing immediate access to FAQs and a new user community to help share information and knowledge. It provides an easy method to request and obtain needed technical information, presales assistance, create support ticket, or an RMA request. Communications are two-way with the new portal, and customers are kept up to date on changes to any support tickets or requests. “We continue to engage regularly with our customers, seeking out their input to help plan new product development, and tailor our solutions to address their changing requirements,” Means adds.

Broadening Horizons, One Innovation at a Time

Service quality and product development are in cyclical operation at CohuHD Costar, which is currently invested in night vision, video analytics, and H.265, to take advantage of improved bandwidth at a lower cost. As the company continues to improve performance by reducing its camera’s size, the main goal is to lower power consumption and cost, while delivering high-performance surveillance solutions. In one instance, CohuHD Costar utilized their 4290HD Series thermal cameras to detect incidents in an area in Florida, which was severely impacted by dense fog and no light. CohuHD Costar was able to develop a proof of concept and subsequently deploy numerous systems in this particular area for incident detection. For another project in the Middle East, CohuHD Costar helped a client who was running a large gas exploration project-to achieve robust perimeter security. The company integrated its solution into a radar detection system, which was subsequently used for incident management and detection. The cameras seamlessly integrated into the existing VMS platforms to render a solid feed that boosted visibility.

With the addition of Arecont Vision Costar as a sister company in July 2018, CohuHD Costar now has the opportunity to leverage the large, global customer base and sales/ support ecosystem of the new division. CohuHD Costar products are entirely complementary to the Arecont Vision Costar family, just as they were to Costar Video Systems’ offerings in the past. The companies have already begun marketing integration, exhibiting jointly at shows in the U.S. and internationally, and each company is now able to offer other’s products, delivering a complete solution to their customer needs. CohuHD Costar expects the integration and leverage of its subsidiary Costar companies to continue to spur sales, and deliver innovative products and technologies.

- Catalina Joseph
    August 30, 2019