An Internet protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera commonly employed for surveillance, and which, unlike analog closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, can send and receive data via a computer network and the Internet.

IP Security Cameras & IP Video Servers

IP security cameras and IP video servers are connected to an IP network using an Ethernet connection / CAT-5 cable. IP cameras and video servers have built in web servers so that the surveillance video that they transmit can be viewed directly from the camera over the Internet using a web browser, such as Internet Explorer. There is no need for a DVR or video capture card in order to broadcast the surveillance video over the Internet. IP video servers, also known as network video servers turn any CCTV camera (with a standard BNC output) into an IP based network camera (Ethernet output).

IP surveillance

What is IP surveillance?

IP surveillance is a digitized and networked version of closed-circuit television (CCTV). In an IP surveillance system, an IP camera records video footage and the resulting content is distributed over an IP (Internet protocol) network.

Digitization offers a number of benefits over traditional analog CCTV, including:

  • Improved search capability.
  • Greater ease of use.
  • Better quality images and no degradation of content over time.
  • The ability to record and play simultaneously.
  • The ability to compress content for improved storage.

Adding networking capability to digital CCTV provides additional benefits, including:

  • Improved ability for remote viewing and control. Anyone on the network can potentially see video from any camera connected to the network.
  • IP storage makes it possible to store data in any geographic location.
  • Greater ease of distribution. An image of a crime suspect, for example, can be immediately distributed to officials.
  • The ability to connect to email and other communications systems so that alerts can be sent automatically.

There is a growing industry trend towards replacing analog CCTV  with IP surveillance systems.

Learn More About IT:
> This Motorola white paper discusses the benefits of IP surveillance.

> Barbara Darrow writes about the opportunity IP surveillance creates for VARs.

> This Axis Communications white paper discusses migrating from CCTV to IP surveillance.

> Andrew Hickey reported on IP surveillance catching criminals in New Orleans.