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IP camera

What is IP camera?

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 for IP surveillance, a digitized and networked version of closed-circuit television (CCTV).

Benefits of IP camera over analog technology include:

  • 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.

Learn More About IT:
> Wikipedia has more information in its entry about IP cameras.

> Barbara Darrow writes about VAR opportunities related to IP surveillance.

> Vivek Naik reports on the predicted increase in the IP surveillance market.

This was last updated in May 2010
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