Video Surveillance Cameras
Video surveillance cameras are evolving rapidly in a digital world.
In fact, few other areas of security management have advanced as quickly. Traditionally, video surveillance meant simply capturing video footage on analog cameras and storing it for future use. A more efficient strategy is to connect your analog cameras to DVRs (digital video recorders) and encoders so that video can be viewed over your personal computer, or from the Radius Security video monitoring centre. Or, to go a step further, you can install direct digital IP cameras for your video surveillance system.
Broadly speaking, there are analog cameras and IP cameras. Analog cameras generate a video signal that can be viewed on a CCTV, video cassette recorder or monitor. IP-based cameras, meanwhile, use a specialized encoder to digitize the video signal. This allows the video to be viewed on your existing computer network or any web browser connected to the Internet.
Inexpensive analog cameras come in a surprising variety of designs, from mini covert cameras to large pan-tilt-zoom models. You will likely also have better success combining analog rather than digital models from different manufacturers. However, analog models lack digital zoom capabilities and cannot encrypt their video signals when transmitted wirelessly. That means an outsider could view your video. Although rapidly yielding to IP-based cameras, analog cameras enhanced with DVRs remain a popular, cost-effective choice.
Video Encoders for Surveillance
Video encoders, or video servers, can digitize analog video feeds. An onboard web server enables the video signal to be viewed over your existing network or the Internet. If you require only one video feed, you can access the encoder directly. If you would like access to multiple CCTV cameras, or recorded video data, you may require network video surveillance software as well. An encoder can enhance your analog system so that you can take advantage of newer digital technology.
IP Digital Cameras
Digital video security cameras are rapidly evolving. Direct digital IP cameras capture video in digital format, much like your personal camera does. Encoded digital IP cameras capture analog video and digitize it. Both types of camera can process video internally – by compressing it or detecting motion, for example. An internal web server allows each camera to act as a network device, with its own IP address. IP cameras can send encrypted signals wirelessly or over network cables. An IP camera's superior wireless reception makes it better suited than analog cameras for remote surveillance.
Each camera that you install has its own IP address and broadcasts a separate video stream over the IP network, either on your internal network or over the Internet. Thus, IP security cameras use more bandwidth than DVRs, which broadcast images from multiple analog CCTV cameras as a single video stream using one IP address.
Standard-resolution IP cameras offer image resolutions similar to analog CCTVs. That is, a resolution equivalent to a non-HD television, approximately 0.4 MP. IP Mega-Pixel Cameras, meanwhile, offer resolutions up to 16 MP. That means much sharper, clearer images over larger areas. If you expect to use stored video surveillance footage to identify intruders, mega-pixel cameras will supply much better forensic video.
PTZ cameras are available in both analog and IP format. The name refers to an operator's ability to remotely pan and tilt the camera to scan a secured area, and then zoom in on any suspicious activity. PTZ cameras together with live two-way audio feeds act as the eyes and ears of a virtual security patrol.
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