Functionality of an IP Camera

When it comes to capturing and processing video data, IP cameras are the right choice. These internet protocol cameras are widely used as webcams, network cameras and CCTV cameras, in offices, homes, public areas and more. These cameras are available as basic units but can even be used in multi-channel systems having advanced software. So, not just the applications but the resolution and video data capture of the camera should also be considered when purchasing. Although the hardware is common for CCTV devices. (learn how CCTV Cameras work) , the major difference in devices is how data is transmitted over the network and how these devices are set-up.

What kind of applications can be used for IP cameras?

hikvision IP camera

IP cameras do not need to be connected to any other device but can be directly connected to a network. This is in contrast to USB webcams that can function only when connected to a computer having the needed software. Some IP cameras utilise Power over Ethernet chargers (POE switches), that does not require them to be wired for power supply. But what makes these devices better than other video cameras is their built-in software. The audio on IP cameras is two way thus allowing interaction with the footage. Anyone connected to the configured network will have remote viewing, without security breaches. The camera feeds can be easily monitored on the user’s smartphone or remote devices.

How does Data Capture and Transmission take place?

An IP camera is connected to a network of devices, whether it is the LAN at home, the office wide area network or the internet. They can be either wired or wireless connections. However, most people opt for wireless connections due to their convenience and flexibility. As long as the camera is within range, it will work well in capturing the footage.

The captured video can be stored on a memory source or by live streaming over the internet or by connecting the memory source to the internet itself.  The digital video captured can be sent to other network devices too. With regard to data resolution, these cameras capture footage in High Definition, whether it is 720p or 1080p. More than half the IP cameras in the market were found to be HD, according to the IPVM.

Understanding the Compression of Data over Networks

Although high resolution videos give better clarity, they need extra bandwidth too. But with a codec, which is used to compress data before transmitting it, a sender can save bandwidth while ensuring the video decompresses and is clearly visible to the receiver.

A high speed internet connection is needed for IP cameras. Whether it is the wireless or wired router, they both have to be configured for port forwarding so that they can transfer data out of the network. A static IP address needs to be there for the router so other network devices can identify and connect to it. However, if it is a dynamic IP address, a fixed URL through the Dynamic Domain Name Service should be set up.


Things to know about IP cameras

Waterproof IP cameras can be used outdoors. They come with motion enabled recording which does not waste memory on the hard drive because the data is captured only when movement is detected. With a configurable mask in place, the camera will pick up only unexpected motion. An IP camera can be easily disguised in clocks, books and DVD players due to its discreet appearance.

You can easily pick up an IP camera off the shelf  but check the network specifications, applications and connectivity before making your pick. A quick glance through the item description will tell you if this is the device you wish to have for your residential or commercial applications.