What is an IP Network Video Camera (also known as an IP
Network Video Camera is a Video Camera with a built in web server
that can be controlled, monitored and viewed from virtually any location via
High-Speed Internet Access.
How does a Network Camera work?
Camera has its own IP Address and built-in computing functions to
handle network communication. Everything required for viewing images over the
Network is built into the unit. An IP Network Video Camera can be described as a
Camera and a computer combined. It is connected directly to the Network as any
other network device and it has built-in software for a Web server, FTP Server,
FTP client and e-mail client. It also includes alarm input and relay output as
well. More advanced Network Cameras can also be equipped with many other
value-added functions such as motion detection and an Analog Video Output.
The Network Camera's camera component captures the image, which can be
described as light of different wavelengths, and transforms it into electrical
signals. These signals are then are converted from Analog to Digital Format and
transferred into the computer function where the image is compressed and sent
out over the network.
The lens of the Network
Camera focuses the image onto the image sensor (CCD). Before reaching
the image sensor, the images pass through the optical filter, which removes any
infrared light so that the "correct" colors will be displayed. The image sensor
converts the image, which is composed of light information, into electrical
signals. These electrical, digital signals are now in a format that can be
compressed and transferred over networks. The Camera functions to manage the
exposure (light level of image), white balance (adjusts the color levels), image
sharpness, and other aspects of image quality.
How does a Network Camera collect and compress images
and transfer them over a Network for Remote Viewing?
For most CCTV Surveillance Systems, it is relatively easy to expand the
number of Cameras and Monitors within a building, but viewing those images from
another location is another story; however, if a building is equipped with a
Network, the necessary infrastructure is already in place to add
Cameras, and dynamically expand when and where Video can be
Transferring and Storing Images
Several transmission types are available for connecting to the Internet.
These include standard and ISDN Modems, DSL Modems, Cable TV Modems, T1
Connections, and 10, 100, and 1000 Mbit Ethernet Connections. In addition,
Cellular Phone Modems and various Wireless Network options are also available.
Digital images can be stored on hard disks. Typically several million images can
be stored on one hard disk. When the hard disk is full, the computer can be
programmed to automatically erase old images and make space for new images.
There are a large number of professional security systems managing the complete
security application available on the market today.
Compression Techniques and Image Resolution
Digital Image resolution is measured in pixels. The more detailed an image
is, the more data, and therefore the more pixels, it contains. Detailed images
require more space on a hard disk and more bandwidth for transmission.
For storing and transmitting images over the Network, the data must be
compressed or it will consume too much disk space or bandwidth. If bandwidth is
limited, lowering the frame rate or accepting a lower image quality will
radically reduce the amount of information being sent. A number of compression
standards exist that deal with the trade off between frame rate and image
quality in different ways. Of the more common standards, both JPEG and MPEG
transmit high-quality Video, while the H-standards, normally used in Video
conferencing, do not generate clear images of fast-moving objects.
Camera Light Requirements
The most common reason for poor image quality is insufficient light. With too
low a light level the colors will be dull and the images blurry. The light level
is measured in Lux. Strong sunlight is approximately 100, 000 Lux, full day
light is 10, 000 Lux and candle light is 1 Lux. Usually at least 200 Lux is
required to capture good quality images.
Bright areas should be avoided, as images might become over-exposed and
objects appear too dark. This problem typically arises when trying to capture an
object in back light. A camera adjusts the exposure to obtain good average light
level for the image, but the contrast of colors between the object and the
background influences the exposure. To avoid this problem, small dark object
should be displayed towards a dark background to achieve correct contrast and
How can a Network Camera make my life easier?
With a Network
Camera, you can track every person that passes through a high
security entrance, or check for false alarms at your store from the comfort of
your own home. These and thousands of other revolutionary applications are now
possible with the arrival of the Network Camera.
Why use a Network Camera and where?
Recent advances make it possible to connect Cameras directly to an IP-based
computer network. Network Camera technology enables a user to have a Camera at
one location and view Live Video at another location over the Network/Internet.
Access can be restricted so only authorized persons can view the images, or Live
Video can be posted on a company's Web site for all the world to see.
If a building is equipped with an IP Network, then the necessary
infrastructure already exists to add IP
Network Cameras. A Network Camera performs many of the same functions
as a standard analog CCTV Camera, but it does so with greater functionality at
substantially lower costs. Because Network Cameras plug directly into the
existing Network via an Ethernet Port, companies save thousands of dollars by
not having to wire their facilities with coaxial cabling required for Analog
Cameras. When computers are already in place, no additional equipment is needed
to view Network Camera footage. The output can be viewed in its simplest form in
a Web Browser at the computer monitor and in more complex security solutions
with the aid of Video
Surveillance Software. If Analog Cameras are already present at a
site, the addition of a Video Server will make those images available in any
What are some specific Network Camera
Network Camera technology can be used for literally thousands of high-value,
professional security and non-security applications. Uses range from offices and
retail to casinos; and extend into monitoring manufacturing processes and web
attraction. Here are a few of the many cost-effective and highly productive
applications for Network Cameras:
Cameras are used in professional security systems and enable live
video to be viewed remotely by authorized personnel. The network cameras are
easily integrated into larger, complex systems, but can also function as
stand-alone solutions in entry-level surveillance applications.
Cameras can be used for surveillance of high-risk locations, such as
buildings, casinos, banks and shops. Video of those areas can be monitored from
relevant control rooms, at police stations and by security managers from a
variety of sites.
Cameras are also effective substitutes for Analog Cameras in
traditional law enforcement applications, such as keeping public places safe.
Cameras can be used for access control. People as well as vehicles
can be recorded with time stamps that are easy to locate and review. The images
can be stored in a remote location, making it impossible to steal the
Cameras are easily connected to the existing IP Network and enable
real-time updates of high-quality video to be accessible from any computer on
the Network. Sensitive areas such as the server room, the reception area or any
remote site can be closely monitored in a cost-effective and simple way, over
the local network or via the Internet.
Cameras enhance the monitoring of a retail location by ensuring that
everything is in good order. (Quality of Service)
- A Network
Camera is a convenient way to monitor the office. Areas like the
reception area, and conference rooms can be monitored for activity. In addition,
users can keep track of who has been in the server room and take appropriate
action when problems arise.
Cameras can be used in the manufacturing industry to monitor robots,
other machines and production lines from the office or home and allow service
engineers to access the cameras remotely. With Pan
Tilt Zoom Cameras it is possible to look at all-inclusive or detailed
Cameras enable high-quality, Live Video to be shown to the whole
Internet community. Live Video is an effective way to bring visitors back to a
Camera technology enhances Web sites thus attracting more visitors to
the Web site. Weather Cameras and other Live Cameras are popular ways to boost
web visitor traffic. Cameras can be mounted in a city center, at a university,
on a mountain, or by the sea to show Live Video.
What do I need in order to use a Network Camera?
A Network Camera requires several components: a Broadband or High-Speed
Internet Connection for fast download times; a Wired or Wireless
Router, depending on your Camera; a Static IP Address or a Dynamic
Domain Name Server (DNS) Provider; a personal computer to configure your Camera;
and a computer that you will act as a remote viewing station.
What is a Static IP Address and why do I need one?
When you have a device on a network, you can access it by entering the IP
(Internet Protocol) Address in the Web Browser. Internet Service Providers
supply a Dynamic IP Address to most customers. A Dynamic IP Address is like a
phone number that changes every time you hang up your phone, while a Static IP
Address resembles a phone number that never changes.
Only your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can provide you with a Static IP
Address and they will charge you a monthly fee for that service.
In order for you to gain access to your Network
Camera consistently, you need a Static IP Address that never
What if I can't get a Static IP Address, or don't want to pay
for Static IP?
Some Internet provider such cannot provide a Static IP. You may still be able
to view your camera but, you will need to use a third party service to trick the
system into thinking you have a Static IP DYDNS Provider (Dynamic Domain Name
Server Provider): A third party entity that via there server site provides a
stable IP Address Routing System that ensures that your IP Address, no matter
how often it changes, is routed to a stable IP Address.
Currently we recommend the following services for DNS rerouting. They provide
free Dynamic DNS remapping that will enable you to have a virtual Static IP
Yes, a dial up connection does not provide a wide enough bandwidth for
streaming video. The video will be transmitted as a static group of still images
that will be of little use. When you use your Network/IP
Camera with a High-Speed Internet Connection, you can easily view the
action as through it were a movie.
Does my computer need to be on all the time if I use a
No, once the IP
Surveillance Camera is installed and configured, the Camera is
independently accessible from any Web Browser without your home computer being
on. The Network Camera is an independent entity, with its own IP Address, just
like your home computer.
Yes, you can monitor your Network
Camera from any web browser with a High-Speed Connection, or any
location with Internet Access and a High-Speed Connection, so you can keep on
eye on things when you're not there.
Yes, Network Cameras allow your camera to be viewed by other users, if they
have a High-Speed connection to the Internet. Most Network
Cameras come with software that allows for multiple user
configuration, security and management.
What is the difference between a Standard Network Camera and
a (VDOCAPTURE) Network Camera?
VDOCAPTURE is an acronym for Pan, Tilt and Zoom. A VDOCAPTURE
Network Camera can be viewed and controlled by multiple users just
like a Standard Network Camera; the major difference being a Pan Tilt and Zoom
Camera works more like your eyes, allowing you to look, left, right, up down, or
on an angle to gain a new perspective. Whereas a Standard
Network Camera only sees what's directly in front of it.
Do I have to purchase additional software to use my
Cameras come with some form of software that provides basic functions
such as configuration, viewing, access control and in some cases recording. For
Advanced features that may be available but not part of the standard software
you can upgrade to either the manufacture level?software or choose one of
the top software company that offer network video software that will work wit
any major brand Camera.
Some of the more advanced features that may be available with more powerful
software include: the ability to receive e-mail alerts, images and or video to
your mobile phone or PDA. Features may vary depending on the manufacturer and
quality of the Network Camera.
What is the difference between a Network Camera and a Web
Camera is a networking device with a built in computer chip some
times referred to as a web server. A Network Camera has its own "intelligence,"
and does not need to be connected to a PC to establish a network connection, and
can be viewed from virtually any Web Browser. A Web Camera on the other hand,
must be plugged directly into a computer (usually via a USB Port). Web Cameras
are only accessible by the host computer and cannot be shared across a