Security camera software is the glue that ties together digital video cameras and Personal Computers (PCs) or Macintosh Computers (Macs) as well as Digital Video Recorder (DVR) units for standalone systems. It’s also the heart of remote DVR monitoring applications (Apps) that allows your smartphone to access your video security system. It essence it provides the programming that allows you to control the camera, monitor the camera, and record the digital video files.
There are many types of security camera software. Perhaps the simplest to use is a typical web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox Mozilla, Google Chrome and others. For digital video security cameras and DVRs that are IP (Internet Protocol) ready, a web browser may be all that is needed to control, monitor, and record digital video security images.
Although it may be difficult to describe what security camera software is, we can easily describe what it isn’t. Security Camera Software is not firmware. Firmware is basically the drivers and internal commands that a device needs to communicate with processors and other devices. Firmware is device and manufacturer specific.
Security camera software is not Operating System (OS) software. Operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, and others provide the basis for central communication between devices, processors, and users. OS software is what makes a computer system work.
So where does that leave us with security camera software? As stated earlier it could be considered as a web browser, but typically security camera software is specific programming that is designed to operate a digital video security system. We can list the types of security camera software based on how they are designed to work. Security camera software can be:
• Designed to provide the control, monitoring and recording of security cameras and DVRs;
• Designed to allow PCs and Macs to provide the control, monitoring, and recording of security cameras when used in conjunction with a security video PCI card;
• Designed to provide the control, monitoring and recording of security cameras and DVRs that may be networked using the Internet (IP ready);
• As mentioned earlier, designed as Apps for Smartphones to allow them to monitor IP ready cameras; and
• Designed to integrate a variety of digital video capture devices such as webcams, netcams (or IP ready cams), computer PCI capture cards and computers to create a digital video security system.
The first type on our list is software that is normally provided when you purchase a standalone digital video security system with a DVR. The manufacturer of the DVR or the Cameras (or both) may provide the software that is normally installed on the DVR unit. This software is used to control camera functions such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functions and timers that turn the cameras on and off.
The second type of security camera software on our list works with computers that use a PCI card. There are some digital video security systems that are specifically designed to work with your computer. For example Geovision brand PCI DVR cards provide inputs for multiple security cameras that connect to your computer. This system uses your computer’s hard drive as the DVR. The software that accompanies this card that allows the computer to control the cameras and store the digital video files is a type of security camera software.
Our third type applies specifically to IP ready digital video cameras, DVRs and servers, and systems. The software is normally produced by the manufacturer of the security system and is designed to allow a computer to control, monitor, and record security video using the network. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it may be something as simple as a web browser, but it can also be a proprietary program produced by the security equipment manufacturer that is used to coordinate the video security system’s functions. These may also be in the form of browser plug-ins such as ActiveX subroutines that must be installed in the browser before it is used with the system.
The fourth type of security camera software is Smartphone Apps which we have already described.
The fifth and final type of security camera software allows you to use a variety of video capture devices (such as webcams or capture cards) in conjunction with your computer to create your own digital video system. While this does not create the ideal video security system, it does save money by allowing you to use equipment you have already purchased to create a digital video system.