IP Video Surveillance
Video Surveillance can be defined as a scrutiny of a particular site for search and business purpose. Idiomatically taking the term IP Video Surveillance, it is monitoring which is done from a remote location via internet protocol. Frankly speaking, there is no authentic consensus on what the term IP based, network based or web based surveillance means.
Originally, Security Surveillance was carried out through analog technology, where closed circuit television cameras were deployed and surveillance activities were being recorded on video tapes. It is fine for recording what was going on, but it didn’t broadcast actual live information and so it was not practical enough for monitoring an activity from a remote location. Analog video surveillance provided what ever happened after the fact and was dependent on human management and reliability. Because someone had to regularly check the configuration, of the surveillance equipment, maintain it and also had to replace the tapes with new ones.
Digitalization revolutionized Video Surveillance
Internet which revolutionized the entire world also brought immense change to the surveillance field. The technology of video surveillance took great strides in late 90’s and Analog cameras were being replaced by digital cameras as they became more affordable to small and medium scale businesses, apart from large enterprises.
The combination of internet and video surveillance system achieved two things: which was going live over the internet or a closed network for surveillance and present clearer and crisper images, which could be tracked from the remote location and if necessary can be manipulated. From the law enforcement point of view, IP video surveillance, enhanced the features and tracking a particular scene was made much easier.
IP Video surveillance basics
A digital camera captures the scene which is happening in front of it and then broadcasts the video images over a LAN or WAN line in a digitalized way. The transmitted images are then sent to a computer or a server, which then through a software, manages to display, record and retransmit the images to anywhere in the world. Video management software packages can be easily upgraded and are customizable. Thus they offer features such as selective flagging of video items, allow simultaneous watching and also facilitate hosting other functions.
In order to yield more, IP based video surveillance utilize Charge Couple Device Cameras, which use signal processing, in order to send packet based video streams over the LAN via a Cat 5 cable. Unlike Coaxial cable network, a cat5 offers greater bandwidth and can utilize standard TCP/IP communication. In parallel, it offers data mining and information retrieval. For reciprocating to security issues, digital surveillance also offers an added advantage of data encryption, which protects from image tampering and is missing in analog surveillance recording.
Recently, some popular digital security camera manufactures offered fully developed digital cameras, which offered complete integration and built up of web servers, which eliminated the necessity of external computers for operating them. The digital signal was transmitted directly to the terminal location for storage or play back.
In comes the DVR
With the entry of DVR – Digital Video Recorder, which allows the surveillance videos to be recorded in a smart way, the video surveillance field started to utilize the DVR technology. Although, a DVR is not a fully IP based storing and retrieval solution, it still leaps towards the IP technology. In reality, a Digital Video Recorder uses the same camera and networking structure for cabling, withhich it’s older cousin CCTV analog camera used. The only difference is that the CCTV systems were used to record the videos on VCR’s, which are now replaced by DVR, but lacked many features, which the present day IP surveillance system offer.
IP Video Surveillance benefits
- Video Surveillance available on an IP based technology offers best bang both monetarily and in terms of security by far.
- IP video surveillance can be carried out on the TCP/IP network and this makes sense for remote monitoring of multiple locations. Additionally, remote recording of data onto backup servers and hard disks is also offered, which supports long term storage of data and retrieval.
- IP Cameras can be connected to any network or wireless adapters, which is only possible in IP video surveillance. A PC attached camera, has distance restrictions as they have to be within the radius of 10 feet from the recording system.
- Installing and set-up of an IP video surveillance system is easy and it will surely prove as reliable and stable.
- As the technology offers scalability option, increasing & upgrading the video storages and video surveillance cameras can be done with ease.
Analog Video Surveillance vs. IP Video Surveillance
Analog Video Surveillance – Analog Video surveillance is easy to be used and needs no expertise to manage it. Moreover, it comes for a less price and so affordability factor is abundant.
- Human errors can creep into the management of Analog surveillance and so reliability factor is less.
- Image quality is observed to be poor.
- Tapes are the basic storage media in analog surveillance and so they can wear out over time or on repeated replays.
- Practically broadcasting live images is not possible and if available, the quality of it will be not up to the mark.
- Addition of DVR systems must be done in blocks of 16 channels.
- Analog recording offers low grade picture quality and cannot be tracked easily.
Note – Analog Video Surveillance includes CCTV surveillance + Digital Video Recorder.
IP Video Surveillance – Instant transmission of images is possible with the help of IP based recording.
- Based on one remote location, IP based surveillance can monitor multiple cameras.
- Repeated replays cannot decrease the recording quality.
- Digital video quality is far more superior to analog.
- Storage compression is possible through video surveillance software, which facilitates easier storage and also offers easy transmission.
- Encryption of digital images is possible, which enriches security factor.
- Regular updates and add-ons will be offered through software packages and through internet.
- IP video surveillance offers adjustable frame rates.
- Internet offers shared viewing facility which is possible, when the video is stored in cloud storage.
- IP surveillance cameras can be added in groups or individually, as per the requirements.
If one is considering for an upgrade to an IP video surveillance, for your company or home, then this article is said to offer some inputs, which will help in making a decision. The investment factor may be a bit of concern, while going for an IP based video surveillance. But it justifies itself by offering superior quality and flexibility, by all means.