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IP Video Security – Buyers Guide to High Definition Video Security

IP Network Cameras have to be considered in any CCTV Video Surveillance project today as high definition IP Cameras are being introduced in the market at a rapid rate. IP camera systems starting entering the market at a significant level 2 years ago and today we are benefiting from severe price reductions and better yet, High Definition Video Surveillance has arrived in full force. With resolutions reaching 2560 x 1920 in 5 megapixel cameras for video surveillance, real-time High Definition Video has Finally Arrived!

High Definition means massive video volume and Network integration. The evolution of Hard Drive Technology (i.e., cost and performance) and the simplicity of Network Architecture in today’s IP LAN world make IP Network Video technology a major step for Video Surveillance. The result is high definition video on Video Security systems just as you experience HD at home television. HD IP Video is the standard Video Surveillance system of choice for any mid to high-end professional CCTV deployment as we enter 2013.

The following is a basic recommendations and considerations you should have with Advanced IP Video Surveillance projects. The general design, integration, and installation of IP camera systems is very different than the old style analog systems. This guide objective is to highlight key considerations in IP Video Security technology.

IP Cameras

IP Cameras have the same fit and form as analog cameras. Basic camera types include dome, bullet-style, infrared, and Pan Tilt Zoom. The real difference is in the video resolution increase from 520 TVL (see old TVs) to 5 Megapixel Cameras that provide resolutions up to 2560 (H) x 1920 (V).

Consider:

  • In 2012, Network-based Camera system will be approximately 20-30% more $$ than a comparable Analog Video Surveillance System (In 2010 it was about 50% with only 1.3MP resolution)
  • IP Camera may replace up to 2 analog cameras dependent on the location
  • A Panoramic 360 Degree Network Camera can replace up to 5 Cameras
  • PoE Power Over Ethernet means standard Cat-5/6 cable and no more extra power supply boxes, thus reducing the installation time and difficulty by as much as 25%
  • IP Camera prices will probably fall 20-30% in 2013
  • IP Network Cameras will probably exceed 10 Megapixel resolutions in 2013
  • Many IP cameras do not have the same low lux rating as analog cameras, so be careful in selection considering low light conditions
  • Infrared is available in many IP Dome camera models
  • Look for IP Pan-Tilt-Zoom(PTZ) Cameras prices to fall in the coming months as more vendors are releasing more models on the market. Many analog PTZ cameras complement an IP system with approximately 50% less cost.
  • Audio is built-in to many Network camera models
  • You should consider 2 megapixel IP Network cameras at minimum today (cost/performance). In 2013 I would suggest that 4 MP Cameras will be the norm
  • Panoramic 360 Degree Cameras should be considered at any location that requires multiple cameras in target areas such as retail stores.
  • In 2012, although standards are in place, you still need to be aware of IP Server compatibility with specific Network camera models. Obtain a certified Camera list from the NVR Vendor

Digital Video Recorders and Network Video Recorders

IP Camera Video Recorders or Network Video Recorders (NVRs) operate without the massive DSP hardware that processed the old analog composite video. No DVR hardware required, but fast CPU processors and large Hard Drive requirements are with massive video files and multiplexing high definition video has taxed more than one system in the last two years of early adopters to IP can attest.

Choices include Standalone NVRs and Computer-based NVRs and each, like their analog brother, meets different requirements and your decision is based on several factors. Standalone NVRs typically offer Linux-based OS that are closed architectures in that there are limitations. Computer-based NVRs offer flexibility in the number of monitors, resolutions, video storage capacities, and in a general sense are open platforms that can expand and be refined over their productive life.

Hybrid Video Recorders that will operate both Analog and IP video systems should be considered as you upgrade or expand your existing CCTV system. A Hybrid Video Recorder allows you to keep existing analog and upgrade to IP Cameras. So the analog and IP cameras coincide in the same system with the same user interface and remote access, and save money not having to scrap existing analog cameras in place.

Consider:

  • NVRs typically require more Hard Drive Video Storage space. Calculating drive space as well as HDD allocation are critical decisions in the IP Video Security experience
  • DVRs and NVRs both offer Remote Internet Access and iPhone and Droid Access
  • NVR bandwidth problems basically occur in the HDD Write process. HDD allocation may require limiting high megapixel to 2-4 per HDD (Meaning you may need up to 8 Drives or more to operate and maintain 5 Megapixel camera video in a medium to large-scale CCTV Video Surveillance project
  • Use Hybrid Recorders and plug in IP Hi-Def CCTV cameras in critical areas and where you need high definition video
  • Be aware of recording speeds with IP Cameras. Although a camera may provide 5 Megapixel video feeds, it may only record at 5 FPS or so.
  • Use as many separate Hard Drives (HDDs) as possible. Computer Hard Drives are relative inexpensive, so load up with multiple drives when possible
  • Many IP Cameras have built-in micro storage devices that can record up to 10 GB of Video. Perfect backup on the device for temporary issues and/or problems with main Video Recording System
  • Be aware of 3rd party camera license costs and limitations
  • Require HDMI Output for any IP Video Surveillance system
  • The iPhone, iPad, and Droid Remote Access applications are excellent and offered for both NVR and DVR systems today.

These are just a few tips on approaching any CCTV solution with high definition video security. There are many details, but clearly IP Network Camera deployments are typically less difficult than analog if performed correctly.

The technology in Close Circuit Television (CCTV) otherwise known as Video Surveillance or Video Security is undergoing tremendous changes from Analog to IP Camera systems. In 2012, the Video Surveillance manufacturers have embraced standards early and adopted them allowing you, as a customer, to benefit from an open platform standard. This standard adoption means that you mix and match components and vendors and not be so concerned about compatibility. The IP technology changes in the CCTV/Video Market in 201X parallels the IP technology advancements in VOIP and the telecommunications market in the 1st ten years of this century. Video Resolution and Video clarity is increasing as prices decrease with new and advanced IP Network cameras and video recording systems entering the market every month.

IP Cameras have presented other issues with the typical CCTV installation and integration. No longer can the technician plug-in coax video and adjust the analog system. Today the CCTV provider and integrator needs to have extensive IT and LAN knowledge and the ability to setup and manage network devices and video transmission within the network. However the IP Network Camera project for Video Security is no more complicated than analog camera installations, it just takes a different skill-level to implement and manage.

The end result of IP Network Cameras which high definition is the ability to say Goodbye Fuzzy Video, Hello 1080p in the Video Security world.

The Internet Video Technology That You Will Use Every Day!

Let’s face it, the internet has moved from a place to surf the web to discover and read interesting factoids, run tax software or play games. Now it is a vital communication link for both businesses and family. Internet video technology is the next the next major shift in communication. These are the Internet Video tools you will soon be using. Video mail and instant messaging will be used daily by most for both business and family conversations. Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather have a face-to-face chat with your customer without leaving your office? Wouldn’t you rather smile and talk then type another email? Don’t you think your customer will be happier to see a brief video from you than read yet another email? Yes, yes and of course.

Video-mails, (emails with video in addition to text), and Video Instant messaging are the Internet video technology tools that will soon be part of your daily life. If you weren’t born with “IT blood” running in your veins or if are over 25, can you learn to use these tools to stay connected on the internet and expand your business? The answer is Yes. Let me explain what and how to use these Internet video technology tools.

Video mail is an email with a film strip that, once it is clicked on, plays a short 2-4 minute message. All of your facial expressions are displayed which by itself increases the retention of this information from 10% to 50%. Your face, your words delivered directly face-to-face have a much greater impact than reading a traditional written email. Here is where you set yourself apart from the others that are offering similar services. You become known by your potential customer.

Next: Instant messaging. You might be familiar with the traditional style, when you log the computer, a business associate would be notified that you are available and you begin communicating. However the process is awkward and time consuming… you type, and you wait while they read, and then type a response. Meanwhile your business associate has to wait until you read and respond.

Upgrade this IM with a video IM. Simply have an IM appointment to meet on the computer. Now you can have a “virtual meeting”, a true face-to-face, and real time communication with one or more colleagues. Imagine, saving you and your company the hassle and the expense of battling the local traffic and weather, airport delays, disruption of spending time from your family. With a Video Instant Message you can do your presentations, or discuss any business situation. Now with the tool of video instant messaging, you can maintain face-to-face connection to your satellite offices, co-workers or sales staff. Your Video IM could include associates from different offices or even different countries all talking together while each staying in their own office.

Using this same technology, the video instant message tool, for your family and friends will allow you to schedule a weekly family chat with your children and grandkids. Let the cousins grow together, sharing their lives even if they live thousands of miles apart. It is a Grandparents dream! The use of video Instant messaging will keep the family connected regardless of the location of residence.

These are the internet video tools that everyone will be using in the next year. Relax, they can be point and click easy. So get ready to show your face to your colleagues and friends via your computer.

Video Phone Calling – Slash Your Phone Bill With The Latest Technology

What if there was a way that you could make unlimited phone calls anywhere in the world to the people you love and care about, and those calls are Free?

What if there was a way you could not only speak to those people, but see them as well.

Just like Star Trek, video phone calling is here right now and it is surprisingly affordable.

Most people think of banks of computers, expensive technology, a degree in IT, and bucket loads of money, when they think about video calling. Video technology has actually been around for almost 2 decades. Until recently though, this video phone calling and conferencing was very much in the realms of high end corporations and government agencies. This technology is here now, affordable for everyone, and surprisingly simple to use.

There are basically two kinds of video calling: Skype-based and non-Skype based. Both require a high speed internet connection as they work over a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) platform.

Skype was the forerunner of affordable online video communication using VoIP, and was good up to a point. There are a few pitfalls to be aware of. Mostly the connection is so erratic that it becomes too frustrating to bother with. Of course, computers are required at both ends, and very much open to computer viruses. Calls to other Skype users are free, but times need to be arranged in advance, so you can ‘Skype’ each other. Unfortunately, you also lose some of the phone features that you are used to, such as call waiting, call forwarding, etc. Skype becomes an ‘Addition’ to your current communications, rather than a suitable replacement.

Just as everything else has moved to the digital age, so too has Video communication. Selecting the right video phone will allow you to replace your existing fixed line phone and connect with digital quality and clarity, and still keep your existing phone number. A flat monthly fee, generally less than you currently pay for local and long distance calls, will allow you to make unlimited calls across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. So immediately you have made an enormous saving.

Video phones are easy to use, and require little or no set up. Simply attach the Ethernet cable to your hi-speed Internet, and plug in to a power source. That’s it. No computer required. As this is a secure system you are also protected from computer viruses. You can now use your video phone just as you would any other phone – simply pick up the handset and dial. You can make audio calls to any other phone – local, long distance, cell phone, etc. To enable video calling and conferencing, the other parties must also have a video phone. Talk to and see friends and family, anytime, anywhere, completely FREE. You can even plug your video phone into your flat screen television, and see family and friends on the big screen in living color. It’s like having them right there in your living room.

All of the features that you’re used to are available with today’s video phone technology, plus many more: messaging, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, hide me, find me, etc. What’s more, these features are also free.

What is critical is that you ensure you make the right choice when selecting your new Video Phone handset and service provider. The difference in quality can be considerable. To get the most from your video phone experience and slash your phone bills at the same time, it is critical that you choose a reliable service provider for your new technology.

Skype certainly had its place in the VoIP market. However, with Video Phones great features and great savings, it makes sense to utilize 21st century technology today.

Lieneka Tollnar