IP Camera Systems
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IP Camera Systems
The modern world has witnessed tremendous strides in technological advancements that have redefined how we live in all spheres of life. Presently, technology is inevitable in our daily undertakings. The innovations are evident, for instance, in the use of robotics in industries and the utilization of electronic health records in the healthcare sector. The security sector is also among beneficiaries of technological advancements where digital surveillance cameras have been invented to monitor properties hence thwart crimes and robberies. The innovations also offer reliable digital evidence during court proceedings, for they reveal the authentic images of objects, actions, and verbal contents. One of such security innovations is the IP camera, an advancement of traditional CCTV (close-circuit television) cameras. The IP cameras are used in different environments, for instance, in business parks, industrial sites, banks, traffic intersections, military centers, government buildings, and retail stores.
What is an IP Camera?
The fundamental question that might linger in a person’s mind is what IP cameras are. To be precise, IP stands for Internet Protocol; hence, Internet Protocol cameras. Because of the way they operate, IP cameras are also known as network cameras. The IP cameras offer digital video surveillance via sending and receiving video footage through an IP network. IP cameras only require a local network, unlike the closed-circuit television cameras that depend on a local recording device. The technological functionality of IP cameras takes after the functionality of computers and phones. All of them connect to a specific network. The IP cameras use LAN (Local Area Network) or the internet to send and receive video footage. As disclosed by their name, the network connectivity of IP cameras is through a PoE (Power over Ethernet) cable or WiFi (Wireless Fidelity). PoE is the technology where the ethernet cable doubles up as an electric power supply cable. IP cameras require the PoE to get the needed electrical energy necessary for the camera to operate.
The use of Power over Ethernet makes the IP cameras not to be dependent on a separate power supply. The phenomenon results in saving on energy consumption and installation costs. WiFi is a radio signal transmitted from a wireless router to connect with a nearby device that then translates the received signal into visible and usable data. After the translation, the device sends back the radio signal to the router, connecting to the internet via a cable or a wire. The IP cameras are accompanied by NVRs (Network Video Recorders) and sometimes DVRs (Digital Video Recorders).
Each Ip camera has a processing chip that compresses the video as it is recorded. What does the statement imply? Okay, the higher the resolution the camera displays, the more data each recorded video will store. Images resulting from high resolution demand more bandwidth and space to accommodate the transmission of data than images of low quality. The transmission of HD (High Definition) images over a network requires the IP camera to compress the files. Another alternative is for the camera to make the files smaller to evade the consumption of too much bandwidth. The current compression standards, for instance, MPEG-4 and h.264, demonstrate that there is either a small drop or no drop in the frame rate and resolution when the video footage finally reaches your computer or phone. This is also one of the advantages of IP cameras, for their videos can be viewed anywhere via tablets, smartphones, and computers. Also, the footage can be stored for future reference or even sent to other individuals who might need the video footage
The meaning of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) and Network Video Recorders (NVRs)
Commonly referred to as DVRs, a digital video recorder is an electronic device that converts analog camera signals into a digital format that can be viewed and stored on a hard drive. The device is one of the two options for CCTV (closed-circuit television) security systems that offer local storage. The other storage option is the network video recorders (NVRs). Both NVR and DVR work similarly, for they both carry the capacity to capture video footage. Their significant difference stems from their different ways of setting them up, their camera compatibility, and other mechanisms of processing raw video data.
NVRs provide storage options for CCTV security systems. Just like the DVRs, NVRs can capture video. It also broadcasts, records, and stores the footage both offline and online. The feature integrates with IP cameras capable of sending and receiving data across a network and record high-definition audio and visual footage.
Various Kinds of IP Cameras
The IP cameras that are used in both private and public places come in various types. Currently, the typical kinds of IP cameras include;
PTZ IP Camera
PTZ means Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras. They can adjust their angle and field of view by use of a remote operator. This allows the users to track events easily. Their potential of covering vast areas makes them the favorites in public outdoor spaces where many people are involved.
Fixed IP Cameras
These types of cameras offer a single view that falls in the field of vision of the camera, for they operate in a static position. This allows them to survey a specific area within the set frame. They work perfectly in indoor and outdoor settings, especially in business offices and retail stores. Their primary difference with the PTZ types is that Fixed IP cameras require less bandwidth for support.
Wireless IP Camera
These types of cameras are connected to a Wireless Fidelity router to transmit video information. The captured video footage is then relayed to the local built-in storage of the camera or cloud storage. Such cameras are ideal for small residential places and retail centers. A wired camera system is suitable for larger areas because it is less prone to interference.
They use an Ethernet cable to transmit both data and electrical power at the same time. The function reduces the amount of hardware needed because it does not require two separate lines for data and power. They are more accessible and cheaper to install because their installation entails fewer parts. The significant difference between the PoE+ and PoE is the electricity amount needed to run their systems. Standard PoE systems transmit up to 15 watts while PoE+ transmit up to 30 watts. The PoE+ techniques are commonly used in high-power cameras that also have built-in cooling and heating mechanisms.
Main Features of IP Cameras
There exist common types of features that every Ip camera must have. For instance, they have built-in and cloud storage capabilities. When you walk into an electronic shop to buy an IP camera, it is essential to consider its storage space. The law requires IP camera companies to retain security footage for a specified period depending on their local jurisprudence and industry. Most systems transmit video information onto a Hard Disk Drive (HHD), a Solid-State Drive (SSD), or cloud storage. The most advanced systems store their recordings locally on HDD or SSD while at the same time back the data in the cloud. Also, the IP cameras have Video Data Encryption that determines the level of security for the camera in question. Encryption is a mechanism of concealing information via data scrambling to allow decoding by authorized parties only. This prevents hackers from compromising the data or disabling the system. Also, IP cameras powered via a PoE connection have the PoE capacities that eliminate the cost and risk of running electrical wires. PoE cameras have stable information transmission and are less prone to interference from local devices. Another notable feature of the current IP cameras is instantly sharing videos via emails, live links, or SMS. This reduces the time required to share details whenever an incident occurs. Some surveillance systems have edge-based video analytics that use artificial intelligence to detect objects and people in the camera’s view.
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Benefits of Using IP Security Camera Systems over the Analog CCTV Systems
After successfully installing the IP security camera system, brace yourself to reap from a constellation of benefits that the system will offer. The primary benefits of IP camera systems include the following;
High levels of flexibility
IP cameras have high levels of flexibility, for several of them can be connected to one switch attached to the NVR (Network Video Recorder) using a single cable. One connects the switch to switch to amply further the area being monitored and the number of cameras. The practice cuts down costs for it reduces the amount of cabling during system installation. Another advantage of such connectivity is that it allows a seamless connection of more cameras.
IP camera systems transmit high-quality images
The most significant advantage of IP cameras is the high-resolution images that they relay. The traditional low-resolution analog CCTV system can produce a maximum of 700TVL equal to about 0.4 megapixels. Such low megapixel levels portray low-quality photos. IP cameras offer an amicable panacea to low-image quality, for they have megapixels that range from 2 to over 20 megapixels. This makes the analog CCTV systems of 0.4 obsolete. Another specification that makes IP cameras stand out is their 4K and HD 1080p resolution.
The high IP camera resolution is also stored by the NVR. This implies that the user will see the same level of information as the live image when the recorded footage is played back. Also, when the user takes still pictures, they are the same as those of live footage. If you escalate the resolution above 2MP, you can electronically zoom into a pre-recorded image without the pixilation of the picture, as it happens with images of low resolution. The element is helpful when one struggles to identify a license plate of a moving vehicle or an intruder. It is common for criminal investigation departments and private property owners to struggle to identify a suspect using low-resolution systems. The process takes time and sometimes ends up with negative results. The suspect is not identifiable, or more than five individuals are considered for probability purposes. This is an energy-draining undertaking, right? Okay, the IP cameras are there to offer an instant solution due to their high-resolution images that weed out the tendency of unmistaken identity. The IP cameras will enable you to capture the necessary details, for instance, face recognition, to see what is being touched or picked or what changes hands between or amongst individuals. Those working with criminal investigation departments can see the actions of people and more minor details like pinching.
IP cameras cover a vast area compared to the traditional CCTV cameras
Comparatively, a high-res IP security camera has a wider field of view than traditional surveillance cameras, meaning that IP cameras can cover substantially larger areas. An excellent example is that a single IP camera can cover the same range and area that four low-resolution cameras cover. The cameras can cover vast areas because of their megapixels that enable them to deliver a million pixels in terms of resolution. The specification makes it possible for the camera to operate correctly even in tricky conditions and environments. They include poorly lit environments that the analog cameras fail to see significant objects or produce blurred images that are difficult to interpret. From an economic perspective, the extensive coverage of IP cameras makes them cheaper in the long run compared to analog CCTV cameras. Apart from being cost-effective, installing the IP camera system gives more user-friendly footage by using a single camera. The cameras allow the user to zoom into the recorded video without the images pixelating. Their extensive coverage is beneficial not only to the user but also to the general public. Assuming that your outdoor camera captures the view of a street or an avenue. When a crime takes place within the camera range, you will be of help to the security personnel in unveiling the suspects. In such a simple manner, you have helped the government in unveiling a mystery. You can guess the thrilling experience that you can have when working with IP cameras. It is time to say goodbye to the grainy and blurred images and embrace the IP cameras.
The IP systems have magnificent search functions
The search and playback functionality of the IP camera systems is much better compared to analog DVR. NVRs encompass vital features, for instance, object search. Whenever an object seems missing, the user draws a box around the space where the object was last seen. The NVR will automatically search for the object in the indicated area. The search is an incredible undertaking, especially when the missing object is of much significance to the user. Suppose you are after buying a CCTV system for a busy environment, for instance, a restaurant, retail, or a warehouse. In that case, you will need to often refer back to footage to retrieve specific details. The IP license plate cameras can read and transfer the information to the storage database. This allows the user to search for particular vehicles or create events when a specific vehicle is seen. The camera randomly reads license plates and saves the details to a searchable database. The user can playback or search the vehicle details on a specific date or a time.
Ip systems have high-quality wireless and expansion opportunities
An Ip camera has the technical capacity to be connected to the local network switch, where it utilizes the available network infrastructure to send the camera’s signals back to the NVR. This characteristic reveals that some IP system installs need less wiring compared to the traditional CCTV system. The analog cameras require to be directly wired back to the DVR, a step that can limit the capacity to install them or make the installation process exorbitant.
To add, IP cameras can be fused with a wireless network enabling almost unlimited expansion. The traditional wireless camera systems are marked with problems, especially from interference on the radio frequency band that the cameras rely on for transmission. Currently, the technical issue is becoming more prevalent, leading to inconveniences to the camera users.
NVRs can record both high and lower resolution, giving the buyer an array of opportunities due to the available range of cameras. The cameras also come with different prices as dictated by their specifications. It also unveils that the user can upgrade his camera to a higher resolution model shortly without necessarily changing the recorder. IP systems define the future of CCTV, and more companies and individuals, for instance, homeowners, are upgrading their analog CCTV systems to modern IP camera systems. It is safe to say that the IP camera system will be the standard for the installation of CCTV. The CCTV world is changing at an astronomic speed with more advanced cameras hitting the market. Still, using the analog system? No worries. Transitioning from the traditional analog system to the new IP system is as easy as easy can be. Also, the process does not require that you lose all the expensive analog system that has served you right in the previous years.
Getting the Right IP Camera
The IP Camera market is flooded with many brands from various manufacturers. The different brands are accompanied by multiple prices too. Many factors come into play when acquiring an IP camera. One of them is that you should know what you intend to cover. The point may come as a surprise but is the most asked question when visiting an electronic shop. There exist various types of angles and view range that the cameras offer. Do you intend to cover a smaller area, for instance, a room, or a vast area, for example, a stretch of an avenue? It is crucial to decide what you intend to cover to choose the ideal camera for the purpose.
Another factor that one should put into consideration is the quality resolution. After deciding on what your camera should be capturing, it is the highest time that you determine the quality that your camera should display. Many choices exist, ranging as low as 1.2 MP to over 20MP; hence, many options are on the market. If limited by financial factors, you can go for the 2MP or 4Mp that still offers quality resolution at a pocket-friendly price. It is also prudent to consider how the recorded footage will be stored and the space required for the storage. It is wise to choose a camera that meets modern security standards to evade hackers who can compromise the integrity of the whole system. Make sure that the camera utilizes encrypted transmission to safeguard your data. Another factor to look at is the required bandwidth for the running of the camera. A bandwidth of about 20kbps is more ideal. Lastly, consider where the camera will be installed, indoors or outdoors? If outdoor, choose a camera that can withstand unfavorable weather conditions. Cameras should also be protected from vandalism.
Vivint IP Cameras
We can talk about IP cameras all day, but it will be mean and unfair if we fail to mention Vivint‘s IP products. Vivint has unparalleled security solutions for both domestic and commercial needs. We are now introducing Vivint‘s IP security cameras!
Because analog cameras are now a thing of the past, Vivint has gone above and beyond to ensure that the security sector is not left behind by the evolution of technology. Look for IP cameras and security systems no further; Vivint got you covered!
Vivint has a vast collection of IP security cameras for both indoor and outdoor security needs. Vivint’s IP cameras are revolutionary, carefully crafted to reflect the far technology has come. A good example is the Vivint POE security camera.
By choosing Vivint’s IP security cameras and security systems, you are guaranteed to get:
- A robust security system enhanced technology—modern and fully digital security cameras and systems
- Outstanding features and functionalities
- Value for money
- Professional services, and much more
Vivint’s IP cameras and security systems are part of Vivint’s bigger goal to offer modern security solutions that are effective and convenient for everyone and suitable for various environments and conditions. Vivint is dedicated to ensuring that security matters are treated with the priority and accuracy that they deserve.