Security at a Glance: IP Cameras

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IP cameras, which capture digital images, are able to offer very high resolution images as compared to the analog cameras. Many IP cameras also come in-built with motion detection feature. This is a useful feature to have when used in a security surveillance system.

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Grid Communications Page 1 IP Cameras: An Insight of Things Introduction IP cameras first came out into the market around 1996 but they were not as well received as the analogcameras initially. Back then the image quality of the IP cameras was poor as compared to that of the analog cameras. Since then IP cameras have come a long way to surpass what the analog cameras can offer. Key insights of what IP Cameras can offer Video analytics IP cameras which capture digital images are able to offer very high resolution images as compared to the analog cameras. Images from IP cameras are already in digital format and therefore needs no conversion when stored in the Network Video Recorder NVT. Depending upon the needs IP cameras comes in various resolutions to suit different customer’s needs. When forensic evidence is needed of objects or persons captured from a distance away digital images from IP Cameras can be magnified with little or no distortion. In the case of analog cameras their images has to be converted with loses and distortion induced to digital via an encoder before storing in a Digital Video Recorder DVR. Consequently images from analog cameras are as suited for forensic evidence as images IP cameras. Many IP cameras also come in-built with motion detection feature. This is a useful feature to have when used in a security surveillance system. When motion is detected the IP camera can do

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Grid Communications Page 2 several things: sends an alert with images though the internet to Smartphones trigger an alarm or alert the security firm or police without the need of an expensive motion detection system. Video analytics of IP cameras can also be used in retail business. For example IP cameras at departmental stores can be programmed to detect if a certain parts of the stores are getting crowded and store managers can be alerted to deploy more sales personnel to these areas. By being able to determine where their customers tend to patronize more from the customer counting analytics retailers can also better plan their marketing activities to increase sales. Less popular merchandize can be replaced with more popular ones. Flexibility and Scalability One advantage of IP cameras is that groups of cameras that are near to each other can be connected to the network via switches without needing to connect all the way to the NVR. Only the switches need to be connected to the NVR and this reduces the amount of cabling runs which also makes it less labor intensive. The switches themselves have multiple ports and are easily scalable to allow for more IP cameras connection. By connecting to switches the ports on the NVR are also not likely to be used up. The designs of IP cameras are also versatile and some comes with extreme field of vision such as the GRID 720º IP Camera by GRID Communications which has a 720 º field of vision. As such a single IP camera can do the job of three or more analog CCTV cameras. Power of Ethernet PoE Another great advantage of IP Cameras is that for PoE enabled cameras they can also be powered up via PoE switches. This takes away the need to lay separate power cables or plugs to power the IP Cameras. Conclusion The manage advantages that IP cameras can offer make them an attractive choice over analog cameras. While the cost of an individual IP camera may be more costly than the analog camera each IP camera can do the job of three or more of the equivalent analog cameras. IP camera system also requires less wiring and labour to install. This could make the cost difference between the IP camera system and the analog camera system negligible. Owing to the flexibility and scalability of the IP camera system it would also be less costly when upgrades and expansion is needed on the system.

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