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What is CCTV?
October 31, 2009
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November 15, 2009

How does a security camera system work?

There are two types of security cameras systems, Analog and IP (sometimes refered to as network cameras). Here is a very basic explanation of how they work and what the major difference is between analog surveillance systems an IP camera systems.

Analog surveillance systems:

Most security cameras on the market today are standard analog security cameras connected directly to a digital video recorder. The cameras is this type of system consist of a lens, DSP chip (digital signal processing chip) and a housing. The cameras are simply the window used by the DVR (digital video recorder) to see. The cameras are connected to the DVR using transmission cables. There are many types of cables, but they will all have a connection directly to the DVR. The DVR is the heart of this system. The security digital video recorder receives the video from the camera, compresses it and stores it on a hard drive to be retrieved later. Most DVRs also convert the analog video to digital format and are able to stream that video over the internet using a built in webserver. In this scenario, the DVR is responsible for compression, conversion, storage and streaming of all the video that comes from each camera. addittionaly, the DVR is the inteligence behind the cameras and is responsible for all the motion detection, schedules, notifications, alarm inputs and more.

In the end, this type of surveillance system is usually less expensive because the cameras are simply cameras and there is only one unit that does all the grunt work, the DVR.

IP Surveillance systems:

IP or network security camera systems are very different from analog systems because each camera does the job of the DVR. essentially, an IP camera is a standard security camera that can also compress video, convert the video to digital format and stream it over ethernet. So each camera is esentially its own DVR. Some IP cameras also have SD card slots so that they can store video directly onto an SD card. IP cameras are sometimes connected to an NVR (network video recorder) instead of a DVR. Since the video is compressed and converted to digital at the camera, the camera can stream the video over a network to a PC or NVR that will record the compressed video. The benefit of IP cameras is that it is easy to add additional cameras to the network and there are higher resolutions available than in standard analog surveillance systems.

There are several challenges facing IP camera systems. To benefit from the higher resolution available with IP cameras places greater demand on both bandwidth and storage. Also, because each camera basically acts as a DVR and must have it’s own built in webserver, they are much more expensive. At this time, only about 10% of surveillance systems are IP systems. At some point, when technology catches up with itself and is able to solve the bandwidth, storage and cost issues, IP camera systems will begin to take more of the CCTV market share.

Security Camera King
Security Camera King
Security Camera King is not just a Web wholesaler; we are a security manufacturing and distribution company that stands behind our product and we make sure to only sell CCTV Systems that we would use ourselves. We will never try to sell you something you wouldn't truly need. We also offer free technical assistance for the life of the product you have purchased from us.

5 Comments

  1. Andrew Pelt says:

    Some interesting information on cameras, thank you! I found lots more information like this over here

  2. admin says:

    Pin hole cameras are usually designed for covert recording. We recommend you use security cameras that can be noticed by your customers. Security cameras are a great deterrent in a retail store!

  3. Everest Tech says:

    Hi, your blog is informative. As we all know that CCTV camera systems are the best way for people to enhance the security of their home, office like places. One question always occurs in people mind how this camera system works. Thanks for sharing information regarding this camera working.

  4. Stevie says:

    I do have a question, I have been looking into a video security system. My question is this. How an what would I need to set it up so it would back up to something more then the dvr. I’m just thinking if someone broke in it would be as simple for them to just take the dvr an then they would have everything. So I’m guessing there’s away to do both. Have it do to the dvr an have it backed up to a secret place. Maybe something I could hide. I don’t know if this is possible.

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