Monday, October 27, 2014

5 myths of IP surveillance cameras debunked

5 myths of IP surveillance cameras debunked

There are more benefits in using IP-based surveillance over its analog counterpart. One main advantage is the cabling. IP-based cameras transmit video images over Ethernet cable, which is the same standard used in IT networking, while analog systems transmit signals over coaxial cabling. Another advantage is the cost and management. Users use standard PC server for video management and storage. These make maintenance easier and cost-effective.

1. IP cameras cost more than analog cameras
It is true that IP cameras cost more than analog cameras. However, do consider the whole system, including cabling, recording and monitoring instead of solely the costs of the cameras. You will then discover that the total IP video system is often lower in cost than an analog camera solution. On a broader perspective, when you include installation and maintenance costs, the surveillance landscape can favor the network camera-based solution more.
In many system configurations, the upfront cost for a surveillance system based on network cameras is even lower when compared to analog solutions. This is mainly due to back-end applications and storage that can run on open systems-based servers. This reduces management and equipment costs. Also, additional cost savings come from the infrastructure used. IP-based networks such as LAN and wireless can be leveraged for other applications across the organization and are less expensive alternatives than traditional coax and fiber.
IP-based video system uses standard server and network equipment, so replacing faulty hardware takes less time and less cost than it does with analog. Replacement parts can generally be procured from any electronics retailer as IP-based surveillance is based on open standards that allow for the use of products from different manufacturers.

2. IP video image quality is not as good as analog cameras
There are 2 common methods for "painting" a video image on an electronic display screen – interlaced scanning and progressive scanning.
Most analog cameras use interlaced scanning - only lines with odd numbers are scanned on the first pass, followed by even numbered lines on the next. The two subsets are then combined into one image. However, any motion happening in between the passes will result in a blurry final image. Even analog cameras at high resolution has significant problem with interlacing.
Network cameras employ progressive scan technology that better depicts moving objects. This advanced image capture technology captures the whole image at once, hence resulting in superior image quality even with a high level of motion.

3. IP surveillance is less reliable
The prevalence of IP-based surveillance has been increasing rapidly. However, there is still concern about the reliability of IP-based video systems. This is due to the fear of network failure or unstable network.
The stability of IP-based video systems depends on the configuration of the network. Today, most networks operate with a high percentage of uptime. If minimal downtime is unacceptable, there are technologies and configurations to further increase reliability. A feature that IP-based video systems use is power over ethernet, also referred to as PoE. PoE enables an IP camera to receive both data and power over the same cable. As such, IP cameras can continue to function even in the case of a power shortage. This is not possible in an analog environment.
As compared to analog cameras, IP cameras have built-in intelligence, which can detect interruptions in the video transmission and determine whether a lens is covered or the camera has been repositioned. The system can monitor itself and send alerts if any component is faulty.

4. IP surveillance will overload my network
With a larger amount of IP cameras, it is true that higher performance and reliability is required in order to manage the large amount of data and bandwidth. IP-based video systems will utilize bandwidth based on how they are configured. How much bandwidth an IP camera will use depends on several factors, including image size, compression, frame rate (images per second) and resolution. However, because of built-in intelligence, most IP cameras will send video over the network if it is worth recording, which might only be 10 percent of the time.
Unlike small installations, enterprise-level deployments cannot always plug directly into an existing network. Extensive installations are required to ensure that IP surveillance technology will not tax the network.  If the IP-based video system is large enough, a separate network to handle the video transmissions will be required. However, IP-based video systems operate with standard networking equipment, separating networks is typically an easy and inexpensive process.
If many devices are connected to the same network, network switching can be done (a common networking technique - separates one network into two autonomous networks). Even though these networks remain physically connected, the network switch divides them into two virtual and independent networks: one for data and one for video.

5. IP surveillance is not suited for enterprise-level deployments
IP-based surveillance is very scalable. Enterprise-level deployments would regularly require a few hundred to thousands of cameras. Analog-based systems would not be practical for a deployment of that size.
IP surveillance technology is able to accommodate many cameras due to its basis in IT networking. Internet Protocol is the most common computer communication protocol today and is the basis for almost every newly installed network. To add, IP-based video systems allow cameras to be added one at a time. Analog systems typically require cameras to be added in multiples of 16 or more, because of the number of inputs on a DVR.
With additional cameras added, additional processing power and storage will be needed. These can be easily added with standard IT equipment as mentioned earlier. Storage and server technology also makes it easy to back up network video systems. IP-based video systems are also easier to power as most systems require Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE combines power and data into a single network cable, which eliminates the need for local power at the camera level. By using PoE, power outlets will not be needed at each camera location and cameras can be moved easily. Also, the security system can continue to operate even during a power outage by using backup power available in the server rooms.

IP surveillance technology is proven, with solutions that are far superior to analog systems and often provide both lower costs and easier maintenance. Its ability to leverage existing infrastructure, provides improvements in performance and functionality. IP surveillance technology is able to achieve more than just a greater level of security; it is able to provide insights to your business.