IP cameras, often called network cameras, offer the ability to utilise and computer network environment to transport video signals from the camera to the recording and display devices.
IP CCTV cameras are available in a number of formats, these being:-
- Static domes for internal applications
- External static domes
- Motorised PTZ domes
- Traditional body cameras
- Bullet type cylindrical integrated cameras
Not all IP CCTV cameras can be described as megapixel or HD, as some will offer the equivalent resolution and performance of an analogue camera (i.e. resolution up to D1 or 0.4 megapixels.
However, the use of IP cameras will allow the use of existing network infrastructure to be used reducing installation and support costs. Care should be taken when using a shared infrastructure as security of video data may be compromised.
The implementation of IP CCTV cameras will normally require additional skill sets to be used as knowledge of network configurations, firewalls routing and bandwidth all play a significant role in the successful implementation of IP CCTV.
There is a growing trend for the use PoE (Power over Ethernet) to reduce cable counts and to remove the need for separate power supplies.
The latest standard for PoE have now been produced allowing the increase of available power supplied via PoE (known as High PoE) enabling PTZ domes or cameras with LED illumination to be utilised linked by a computer cable to the appropriately specified PoE switch..
New implementations of IP CCTV technology, known as Closed IPTV can make deploying an IP Video, CCTV system safe, secure and simple.
Closed IPTV automatically allocates IP addresses to IP cameras by physical port. In this way the system is completely deterministic, creating firewalls and monitoring IP connections by individual network ports so they cannot be hacked or intercepted.
This type of solution provides a very simple and secure answer to IP Video, meaning that limited prior knowledge of IP networking is required.
Currently these systems are propriety but is hoped that international industry standards for IP camera technology (such as ONVIF and PSIA) may evolve to reflect the changes in this type of technology.
It should be noted that the migration of legacy CCTV systems to IP does not necessarily mean changing otherwise serviceable cameras, as a number of manufacturers offer video to IP codecs which allow existing camera to be retained.