Making the Most of Megapixel Camera Technology

Due to the numerous advantages it offers, networked HD video surveillance is growing fast.

PoE, Wireless Play Well on Networks
There was a day when the mere idea of connecting video cameras to a LAN caused IT managers to break out in a cold sweat. Today, however, sharing bandwidth with IP cameras on a facility’s network is commonplace and it’s easily accomplished with proper planning.

As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant advantages of a network-based video surveillance system is the ability to provide camera connectivity at almost any hardwire access point in the network. And, where it’s impractical or impossible to run a wire, wireless offers an excellent alternative. When using this method of connectivity, be sure the wireless access point is secure using a common security protocol, such as WPA/WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access).

Another consideration is PoE (Power over Ethernet), a feature that allows you to power the IP cameras using the same Category-5e or -6 that carries data. This helps simplify installation while reducing overall maintenance costs. Using PoE, IP network devices, including cameras, receive their operating power from a PoE-enabled switch or midspan.

Every IP camera has a different power rating. The PoE standard supports 15.4W of power, which is sufficient for most network camera applications. When utilizing a pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) IP camera, which is designed to detect and mechanically respond to physical movement, it’s important to accurately calculate the power requirements of these devices because it’s not at all uncommon for a p/t/z to require up to 30W of power. Where the amount of power required exceeds 15.4W, some campuses will turn to a standard called PoE Plus, which will provide up to 30W of power per port.

Sorting IP Video Storage Solutions
There are also several choices for data storage to consider, and all of them must include a huge amount of storage capacity when dealing with an all-IP camera network. DVR technology exists that will accommodate IP cameras. Your options also include NVRs as well as network attached storage (NAS) devices.

DVRs, for example, provide the added ability to quickly and intuitively add IP cameras to a video system, but the maximum number of cameras is limited. This is because DVRs have a specific camera capacity, such as eight, 16 or 32 channels. DVRs, however, have the advantage of providing a black-box solution where operation is relatively easy and intuitive.
This recording solution is typically found in smaller IP video surveillance systems featuring IP cameras exclusively or in a hybrid manner using a mixture of analog and IP.

For larger applications, the NVR and NAS offer the most capacity for the money. These systems can easily be expanded to incorporate almost any number of IP cameras now or in the future by simply adding hard drives to the array.

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