What is an IP Camera?

An IP Camera is essentially a computer and camera combined.

IP Camera can be referred to as a computer camera or a network camera as they connect directly into a LAN and have their own network IP address. Once a camera is connected to a Local area network (LAN) it can be accessed from any computer in the world.

Uses and applications

IP Cameras are primarily used for video surveillance and continue to outgrow older analogue CCTV sales. Recently IP cameras have become a vital part of manufacturing, mining and industry.

Some advanced Megapixel IP Cameras offered from brands such as Mobotix are often referred to as intelligent devices. Cameras have built in file storage systems, bi directional audio, motion detection, and can be pre configured to perform an array of functions.

Advantages compared to Analogue CCTV

Traditional CCTV systems run on analogue signals. Analogue signals have to be converted to digital for storage and retrieval. Conversion is done by expensive Digital Video recorders which have many limitations.

Installation can be complicated because CCTV systems require co-axial cable, multiplexers, DVR’s and other TV style components. An entire system can be prove to be much more expensive than a simple IP Camera installation.

IP Cameras are digital and the digital architecture offers greater flexibility for development and functionality. Signals can be compressed making image storage, retrieval and handling much easier.

A digital signal can enable alarms and snapshots when movement is detected. Cameras can also be set to only record on motion vastly reducing network components and costs associated with constant recording.

Cameras can be used not only for vision but also to communicate with people as they have inbuilt microphones enabling live two way audio.

IP Cameras offer Megapixel resolution which can be up to 12 times the clarity of traditional analog CCTV systems.

Cameras are simple to install and can be powered from the same cable that they use to transmit data. This is known as Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Viewing and recording is simple as IP Cameras come with inbuilt file storage and management systems.

The good news

You do not necessarily have to entirely discard your old CCTV system as you can integrate your IP Cameras into existing installations. A video server can enable you to plug CCTV cameras into an IP network.

There has also been a break through that now enables Ethernet over CCTV coaxial cable. This means that with the help of a simple converter CCTV cameras can be replaced with IP Cameras. Existing coaxial cable can be used to power and transmit data for your new IP Camera – Swap and Play.

Mobotix Megapixel IP Cameras have a low failure rate. Cameras feature no moving parts, require no additional housing or heating, viewing software is included and have unlimited scalability for network expansion.

Paqworks  is a leading supplier for Mobotix Megapixel IP Cameras.