The IP-Based Video Surveillance

by Sean Hattaway - Date: 2006-12-21 - Word Count: 725 Share This!


Knowing how IP-based video surveillance works doesn't have any specific explanation. This is because there is no one general position when you define ¡°IP-based¡±, or any term relating to networking.

Video surveillance was first done with analog technology. We had the closed circuit television, or CCTV, and we recorded on video tapes. The problem with this, however, was that it didn't broadcast live and actual information. It only gave and showed what had already happened as recorded. It was impractical to use to monitor stores and shops, especially those in remote locations. The quality of the stream also isn't that great and it largely depended on human hands. You had to constantly change tapes and check if it was recording well.

The Digital Revolution

Then the Internet came and digital technology took over. Charged Coupled Devices, or CCD, and digital cameras replaced the analog devices and became much more affordable for the people.

Video surveillance could now both go live over the Internet or over a closed network, and provide clear and quality images. It became easier to track and manipulate and enhance them.

A digital camera would take shots of the scene it covers first. And then it would send a signal over the local area network, where the signal is transmitted and broadcasted to a computer or server. The server would then do its job. It will either record, display, or retransmit the data it received to anywhere in the world. It will depend on the software used whichever task or tasks it would do.

You can upgrade the software package to allow analysis of data, selection of specific ¡°flagged¡± items and a host of other functions. Software packages are now very open to being customized security tools.

CCD cameras in IP-based digital surveillance use signal processing that sends video streams over the network through a cable (specifically a Cat 5 instead of a coax cable network). This will maximize greater bandwidth and standard TCP/IP communication. IP-based digital surveillance also gives more relevant data mining and information retrieval. It can also give the advantage of data encryption to avoid image tampering. This is one great difference between analog and digital recording.

Technology nowadays has also made it possible to develop digital cameras that have completely integrated, built-in web servers which directly sends information to the storage location. There would be no need for external computers to operate them. To upgrade video surveillance, you would have to utilize a digital video recorder, or the DVR. It is a system that moves to a more advanced IP technology. A DVR actually uses the same camera and cabling structures as the analog systems, except that it is the DVR that is used for storage of data instead of the VCRs. The quality of the images will stay analog but the data is converted to digital and stored on hard disks.

So when choosing a system, make sure that the system is digital regarding the recording (DVR) or the camera. This is because many companies consider a system digital when considering the DVR storage system even if the camera recording the images stays analog.

What IP-Based Video Surveillance Can Offer

Availing yourself of the IP-based video surveillance will prove to be more cost-efficient for you, especially when you're using it for security purposes. It uses LAN, but TCP/IP transmittal can also be used for those who choose to use remote monitoring of several locations. It can also be used for remote recording of data to back-up servers and hard disks.

You can also connect surveillance camera to any network or adapter when using IP- based video surveillance. You can also fret over the location of the cameras yourself, instead of limiting it to approximately ten feet when using a PC-attached video camera.

Setting up an IP-based video surveillance system is easy to do! You would already ready to go once you've set up an IP address. New developments are being created so the IP-based video surveillance is positively upgradeable, and in years to come the use of CCTV and DVR would be rare.

Sean Hattaway has been an advocate of Home Security for years. He provides vital Home Security tips and information online; teaching families how to protect their family and home. Go to Wireless Home Security System also located at

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