What is an IP camera?
An IP camera is the evolution from analogue signal to a digital signal. IP cameras are based on the same networking technology used to connect computers (PC’s) to a network switch. The term IP camera is an acronym for Internet Protocol. IP cameras are also commonly referred to as HD cameras, High Definition cameras, Megapixel Cameras. Megapixel means millions of pixels.
IP cameras achieve a higher resolution than analogue cameras. The more pixels in a picture allow for a sharper, clearer image
|Number of Megapixels||Resolution||Aspect Ratio|
What is Aspect Ratio?
Aspect ratio is the Vertical and the horizontal resolution of an image. The higher the pixels the bigger the image will be. High Definition TVs now broadcast in 16:9 aspect ratio where the older Standard Definition TVs used to broadcast in 4:3.
Video Compression and how its affects image quality
IP cameras run on a compression called H.264. H.264 is the evolution of Mpeg4 and allows for multiple Megapixel Cameras to record to a single NVR (Network Video Recorder) and run multiple cameras on a network without losing picture quality. H.264 profile works by only logging the changes in the P-frame and I-frame of images. The B-frame is completely ignored thus allowing for lower latency, lower bandwidth and increased recording space. H.264 can be as much as 60% more efficient over the previous Mpeg 4 codec. The next standard of video encoding will be H.265 or Hvec which will allow for encoding of higher resolution cameras i.e 8 Megapixel – 29 Megapixel at a lower bandwidth.
How will IP cameras benefit me?
Because IP cameras are based on a digital IP system this allows for higher image resolutions and clearer images. The installer can also access the camera directly and setup the camera from a PC in the control room.
Most IP cameras can have an SD card slot where recording can take place on the camera, thus allowing for a failover of recording should the server be compromised. IP cameras that have audio can also record audio over a single cable.
Installations can are also minimized due to IP Cameras only needing 1 cable for power, video streams, audio and any i/o switching.
With the advent of High Definition cameras over Analogue Cable(HDTVI/HDCVI) it has allowed for entry level installation of HD cameras. The limitation of this technology is the highest resolution it can record is 2 Megapixel. All audio, power, I/O have to be run on separate cables.
Example Of Analogue vs IP
Below is an example of and IP camera and an Analogue camera. A Rotakin was used to test the cameras integrity. Both cameras were recorded at the exact same time looking at the same object. A two megapixel IP camera was used with a 3-9mm lens with the lens set at widest setting. The Analogue camera had the exact same lens also set to widest setting at highest recording quality. Please note this testing was done in-house by CCTV Security Surveillance, all cameras are tested using the same