What is IP camera?
An Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, and which, unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet. Although most cameras that do this are webcams, the term "IP camera" or "netcam" is usually applied only to those used for surveillance. The first centralized IP camera was Axis Neteye 200, released in 1996 by Axis Communications.
There are two kinds of IP cameras:
- Centralized IP cameras, which require a central network video recorder (NVR) to handle the recording, video and alarm management.
- Decentralized IP cameras, which do not require a central NVR, as the cameras have recording function built-in and can thus record directly to any standard storage media, such as SD cards, NAS (network-attached storage) or a PC/server.
An IP camera is a networked digital video camera that transmits data over a Fast Ethernet link. IP cameras (also called "network cameras") are most often used fo
r IP surveillance,
a digitized and networked version of closed-circuit television (
They come in many shapes and sizes. Perfect and ideal for both indoor and outdoor conditions depending on the specifications.
BENEFITS OF AN IP CAMERA OVER ANALOGUE CAMERAS.
- Remote administration from any location.
- Digital zoom.
- The ability to easily send images and video anywhere with an Internet connection.
- Progressive scanning, which enables better quality images extracted from the video, especially for moving targets.
- Adjustable frame rates and resolution to meet specific needs.
- Two-way communication.
- The ability to send alerts if suspicious activity is detected.
- Lower cabling requirements.
- Support for intelligent video.
Disadvantages of IP surveillance include greater complexity and bandwidth demands. One alternative for organizations with substantial investment in analog technology is to use a video server to, in effect, turn analog CCTV cameras to IP cameras. A video server is a small standalone server that converts analog signals to a digital format and provides the analog cameras with IP addresses.
Nevertheless, because it offers much more sophisticated capabilities, IP surveillance is increasingly replacing analog CCTV. An industry report from International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that shipments of IP cameras and related products will increase 45% between 2009 and 2013
IP cameras differ from previous generation analog cameras which transmitted video signals as a voltage, instead IP camera images are sent using the transmission and security features of the TCP/IP protocol, which provides numerous benefits:
- Two-way audio via a single network cable allows users to listen to and speak to the subject of the video (e.g. gas station clerk assisting a customer on how to use the pay pumps)
- The use of a Wi-Fi or wireless network.
- Distributed intelligence such as video analytics can be placed in the camera itself allowing the camera to analyze images.
- Transmission of commands for PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras via a single network.
- Secure data transmission through encryption and authentication methods such as WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES.
- Remote accessibility  which allows live video from selected cameras to be viewed from any computer, mobile smartphones and other devices (with sufficient access privileges).
- PoE Power over Ethernet to supply power through the ethernet cable and operate without a dedicated power supply.