Posts Tagged ‘ ip security camera software’



Security Camera Software

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Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Security Camera SoftwareSecurity camera software can be though of as the glue that binds 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.  In essence, it provides the programming that allows you to control the camera, monitor the camera, record the digital video files, and maintain and control the DVR.

 

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.  However, these cameras may also be networked and use a Network Video Recorder or NVR.  If that’s the case, then the software used for the NVR must be considered also.

 

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 and is usually only updated on a seldom basis.

 

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.  Normally, DVRs and NVRs have OS software like Linux and WIndows 7.

 

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 and control 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.

 

IP Security Camera Software

There are lots of ways to network a digital video security and surveillance camera system.  Thanks to the digital age and the advancements of computer and Internet technology the Internet can be used as a medium for networking, allowing the user to have global access.  This is just one of the functions of Internet Protocol or IP security camera software.

 

IP security camera software may come with a variety of different functions.  For example its primary purpose may be just to make the camera IP ready so that it can transmit its video images over the Internet to the user.   These cameras are often called IP ready security cameras and it allows the user to place a camera just about anywhere there is access to broadband Internet.  The camera then transmits its videos over the Internet to a personal computer that has the IP security camera software installed.

 

This software contains the programming needed to communicate with the IP digital camera.  It normally runs as an active x function on Windows’ Internet Explorer and other browsers so the user can monitor his/her camera simply by using a compatible browser.  If the camera is a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera, the IP security camera software may even provide the necessary programming so that the user can operate the controls to the PTZ via the Browser.

 

Another type of IP security camera software uses the Internet as the vehicle for networking among IP cameras.   In other words, instead of the camera using RG-59 coaxial cable or other wiring to send its video images to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR, the camera simply plugs into a broadband Internet connection and once connected, uses the Internet to send its video image data to the NVR.

 

The NVR acts pretty much like a typical DVR however it is made for networking cameras and storing their video images via the Internet.  Some NVRs require that a certain type or brand of camera be used and some NVRs also restrict the use of the NVR and IP cameras to one physical location.  The NVR coordinates the IP system, including the cameras, file storage, and playback.

 

So why use IP cameras and IP security camera software?  In this age of global communication, many workers perform a great deal of traveling.  Using and IP camera with IP security camera software, it’s possible to monitor your IP cameras in Maine while you are in Hawaii.  You can also often gain access to the cameras using smartphones and a special type of IP security camera software designed specifically for smartphones called an “application” or just simply put, “an app.”

 

Another example for using IP camera systems is that you may have cameras located in totally different geographical areas.  However, you may want to record these cameras from a totally different location (a home office for example).  Perhaps you own 2 or 3 convenient stores in your area and want to be able to monitor them from your home office.  You simply connect the IP camera to the Internet, set up your NVR, and you can monitor all three locations at once from a totally different location than any of your cameras (home office for example).

 

These are just some of the ways that an IP camera system can be used.  If you prefer to take advantage of professional full time monitoring of your cameras IP camera software can also make it possible for the monitoring company to see each of your cameras.

 

Usually, IP security camera software is provided by the camera manufacturer or the NVR manufacturer so you seldom ever need to purchase the software separately.  Security Camera King has another type of IP security camera software called a Mobile Video Server and in comes in 4, 8, and 16 channel capability.

 

This software allows the user to embed a live stream of one or more cameras on a web page.  This means that any Web browser that can play streaming video will be able to view the cameras.  Of course smartphones, PDA’s, and the like will be able to view them too.

 

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IP Security Camera

Written By:
Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Nothing has more “global” access in the digital video security camera industry than an IP (Internet Protocol) security camera.  These cameras use the Internet as the means for their transmissions so anyone with a broadband Internet connection and a computer can access these cameras. The outreach available for use and/or monitoring has been extended even further with the increased technology in cell phones, namely 3G and 4G broadband Internet access.  In the following article we’ll take a look at some Internet security camera systems and how they work.

How a Non-IP Camera System Works

How a Non-IP Camera System WorksFirst, let’s make sure we understand how a “non-Internet” security camera system works.   In this type of system, digital video security and surveillance cameras capture video footage and send the video data to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR via a closed circuit made up cable, usually RG-59 coaxial cable or CAT5 Ethernet cable.  There are wireless systems also.

The wireless system consists of an antenna and transmitter built into the camera.  The receiver is usually located near the DVR and is attached to it by the cable mentioned above.  This is still considered a closed circuit television system because even though the camera is transmitting its signal wirelessly in is done on a private, specified frequency.

The DVR stores the video on a hard disk drive (HDD) just like the HDD found in a personal computer.  In addition the DVR may also display the video in real-time (live) on one to several monitors for surveillance purposes.  Some IP security cameras also offer the capability of storing video footage locally on the camera.  A miniature DVR of sorts is built into the camer so that footage can be saved locally on portable memory/storage media such as an SD card.

The digital video camera is responsible for capturing a light image and transforming it into an electronic image.  It does this by using a lens to focus what can be a large field of vision onto a small electronic sensor which usually ranges in size from only 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch square.

One of two different sensor chips is used for this purpose.  They are the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. When light strikes these sensors they emit electrical charges which can be measured and used to create a video image.  The data that is created by these chips is actually analog in form until it passes through an analog-to-digital converter chip.  Another highly specialized electronic chip called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP insures the integrity of the data and may make any corrections that are necessary.

At this point, the camera passes the digital data along to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR whose job is to record the data and store it as mentioned above.  It does this by compressing the file into a fraction of its original size but still managing to maintain a high quality.  It does this by using a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility.

How an IP Camera System Works

IP Security CameraAn Internet security camera system is very similar to the above system, however once the data becomes digital, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities, especially including the use of the Internet.  There are basically two types of Internet security camera systems.  One system consists of cameras that are Internet compatible also called Internet Protocol ready or IP ready.  The other system consists of a DVR that has its own Web server technology and is called IP ready as well.

IP ready cameras contain their own web server technology so that they maybe connected to the Internet.  Instead of sending their digital data directly to a DVR, they send their data via the Internet to anywhere there is a client that wants to access the information.  Generally these cameras use two CODECs at once.  Many of the cameras pass the information on to the DVR using the MJPEG CODEC while streaming the information via the Internet for live viewing using the latest CODEC, H.264.

These cameras may direct their video via the Internet to a specific type of DVR that is designed for this purpose which is called a Network Video Recorder or NVR.  One of the advantages of this system is that multiple cameras in multiple locations can be recorded by the NVR.  These locations can be widespread, such as two or more commercial facilities that are located in two different cities.  An Internet security camera system of this type can lend itself to all sorts of networking possibilities.

Another type of Internet security camera system exists where the DVR is the IP ready device and it takes care of all Internet related inquiries.  In this system, the cameras are not IP ready and they send all of their digital data to the DVR.  The DVR then contains its own Web server technology and allows a client access to the system through the DVR.  All of Security Camera King’s featured DVRs have these feature built in to the DVR.

This internet security camera system records the video locally on the DVRs HDD, but it allows a user to control the DVR and in many instances, even the cameras (for example, PTZ movements) remotely.  As a matter of fact, these systems can ever be monitored and controlled using a smartphone and 3G or 4G Internet technology.

Additionally, the IP Camera/DVR can be set up to send alerts if the camera includes (and most do) motion detection.  Specifically, the user can have emails sent to then upon a variety of different triggers.

Wireless IP Security Cameras

In addition to using the Internet as the vehicle for delivering the digital data to its final destination, the wireless IP security camera may have the capable of connecting to the Internet wirelessly.  Although non-IP wireless cameras can be wireless as well, their wireless architecture is limited to a couple of different methods while the IP security system has the same wireless architecture but may have a few extra methods that only the IP camera can utilize.

Most wireless non-IP security cameras use a couple of different specific methods for transmitting their data.  Probably one of the most often used methods is the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz transmission method.  Some also use the 900 MHz technology, although as technology increases, there seems to be less of a tendency for using the 9000 MHz technology.

The 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology boosts ranges possible of up to 5 miles Line Of Sight or LOS.   LOS means that the manufactures specification for range in length is dependent on objects that could impede the signal.  LOS means that the range is directly from camera transmitter to receiver, although this is an ideal situation and seldom does it ever really exist.  As a matter of fact if something does impede the LOS it usually reduces the range but does not entirely disable the wireless signal.  In fact, it usually just decreases the length of the range based on the material involved such as trees, walls, buildings, glass, etc.

Wireless IP security cameras on the other hand use a different mechanism for wireless transmission; normally wireless Internet known as WiFi.  WiFi is basically a brand name for products using the IEEE 802.11 standards.  Typically, wireless IP security cameras using WiFi have about a 65 foot maximum “hot-spot” to connect to their wireless router or modem that receives the WiFi signal.

Benefits and Differences of IP security Cameras

First and foremost IP network security cameras are capable of producing video at an extremely higher resolution than standard non-IP systems.  The highest resolution non-IP camera can record with a maximum regulation known as “D1″ which is 720 x 480 pixels.  A 3 megapixel IP security camera can record at a resolution equal to 2048 x 1536 pixels; this is about 9 times greater detail than D1.

Equally amazing is another benefit involving networking.  Non-IP cameras send their signals to a DVR.  IP cameras send their signals to an NVR or Network Video Recorder.  So what’s the difference?  Non-IP cameras are normally located in one general geographical area, i.e. the digital video cameras in a department store connected to a DVR in the stores office.

As mentioned above, IP cameras use NVRs instead.  Most IP cameras can be located anywhere you want to put them (geographically speaking) and although they are in totally different locations they can all be routed to the NVR via the Internet.  In other words, you may own three small convenient stores in a city.  If each convenient store has IP cameras, their video signals can be sent to somewhere not even connected with the geographical area of the cameras such as a home, home office, or office location.

IP cameras are available in a myriad of types sizes and functions.  Security Camera King currently offers 3 different cameras:  1. 3 Megapixel IP Network Box Security Camera Product # IPBC-EL3MP; 2. 3 Megapixel IR Vandal Dome IP Security Camera Product # IPVD-EL#MPIR; and, 3. 18 x 1.3 Megapixel IP Network PTZ Security Camera Product # IPPTZ-EL13mpl18x.

 

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