In an Internet Protocol (IP) surveillance system, each network camera captures an analog image but immediately converts it to digital inside the camera. Some digital processing can happen right at the camera, such as compression and motion detection. The digital video stream is then broadcast over the IP network using Ethernet cable.
The power supply may be plugged in at the camera or can be run over the Ethernet cable by using Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) adapters. The CAT5 cable for each camera is plugged into a switch that feeds into the network hub. As with all network devices, set-up needs to be done for each network camera to set up its IP address and other identifying attributes.
Software is required on each PC that will be used to view the cameras or to play back video. Another high-powered PC is set up with the appropriate software to record the cameras.
Resolution of IP cameras can be many times higher (currently up to 3 megapixel) than other cameras, and they can capture a clearer image when objects are moving. This could make a difference in high-risk applications such as for casinos, law enforcement and retail.
The IP camera signal is broadcast over the Internet in the same way that a DVR signal is. However, the image quality and streaming is much greater than with traditional CCTV systems. Wireless communication over IP networks has fewer problems with interference, and encryption security is built into the technology.
- Future proof – These cameras are the future. IP software and devices can easily be changed as technology advances.
- Highly Efficient – IP systems can be configured to activate upon motion. This video can be quickly transmitted to smart phones, mobile devices or remote PCs for instant review.
- System Integration – An IP system can easily be integrated with your existing security system to provide total coverage and safety to your property.
- High Speed Recoding – IP cameras are capable of monitoring high speed motion. Analog cameras typically blur.
- Lower Cost – While the initial leap into the IP world may cost more than an analog system, the total cost of ownership is less. When choosing a system, consider future upgrades, installation and existing infrastructure.