by Pulkit Punj, Director at AnG India Ltd.
We are indeed living in the future, which is augmented by breakthrough scientific discoveries and technology changing the structure of every section, including that of video surveillance. Video surveillance, more commonly called CCTV (closed-circuit television), is a technology that is more than 30 years old and one that has had its share of technology shifts from the poor quality of analog cameras to the present-day cutting edge solutions. Video surveillance systems had its humble beginnings as 100-percent analog systems, which have gradually taken a digital turn. Similar to other industry, end users’ increasing demands on the products and solutions have driving implementation for changes. Hence, evolving technologies have helped maintain the steady stream of progress with new products being introduced at a consistent pace. Today’s systems, uses network cameras and PC (personal computer) servers for video recording in automated digital systems, with IP based videos becoming the latest to take the industry up by storm.
IP stands for Internet Protocol, and basically refers to a digital video camera that can send and receive data via a computer network, as opposed to sending a feed to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). It is steadily revolutionizing the video surveillance sector with its comprehensive usability to aid modern age buildings and homes in becoming a safe haven for its inhabitants. Here are a few of its salient features-
- High resolution: IP-based cameras are a class apart from low resolution analog cameras. Equipped with a 5-megapixel IP camera, one get’s up to ten times more clarity and detail as compared to an analog 4CIF. While analog cameras have a maximum resolution of 704 x 480 pixels (4CIF), IP cameras are known for their optimized resolution that includes HDTV (720p/1080p) and 5 megapixels (2560 x 1920) camera quality. This results in coverage of a much larger area alongside getting a highly detailed image. This meets more demanding identification requirements, proving to be apt for identifying physical features of criminals clearly.
- Digital Comprehensiveness: In comparison to an analog video feed, the image from an IP camera won’t degrade while being transported long distances along with conversion between different formats occurs in a seamless fashion, with IP cameras boasting adaptability in a variety of arrangement. An analog signal will decrease in quality when transmitted over a distance and converted, whereas a digital signal will remain true to its form. In fact, a single camera can provide simultaneous streams for viewing or storing in multiple locations while streaming different parts of the image to different recipients at the same time, minimizing the need for bandwidth and storage.
- Intelligence of camera: IP cameras have the bandwidth, paired with world-class technology, to do much more than just providing video feeds. Built-in intelligence enables cameras to perform a host of tasks, reducing pressure on operators while delivering vital business data. This, in-turn, helps increase surveillance efficiency and renders redundancy obsolete. The camera’s Remote Zoom feature enables the optimization of resolution while Remote Focus reduces the requirement for manual focusing at different camera positions. The feature of Pixel Counter verifies whether the resolution fulfils customer requirements and adjusts accordingly. These cameras come equipped with motion sensors which help them to trigger activation at the occurrence of any event.
- Easy scalability: IP-based camera surveillance is a fully-functioning, augmented device that extends when the need arises. The cabling requirements are comparatively simpler to those for an analog system. Armed with a foundation of all-inclusive standards, the cameras are not locked in to proprietary technology. Adding more cameras or functions to an analog system involves multiple new cabling. Matching these new equipments to the older proprietary system results in a limited selection. IP based cameras come equipped with digitally connected/operated systems, reducing the need for unwanted cables. Its wireless connectivity ensures that the cameras can extend to a greater length, rending its use with endless possibilities.
- Total integration: The automation of an IP camera is programmed in such a way that it integrates power, video, audio, PTZ control and I/O in a single cable. That results in saving cost, increase in functionality and vast potentiality in integration. An IP camera not only requires less cabling; it also offers a plethora of integration possibilities. By using the input or output ports on the camera, one can easily facilitate entrance control without operator supervision. Armed with built-in two-way audio, it enables the operator to communicate verbally with a person standing in front of the camera. The camera also uses audio for detection, and trigger alarms or recordings, providing complete security solutions when required.
Today, IP cameras come with a host of above mentioned facilities alongside being economical. The initial cost is certainly extensive, yet it’s important to remember that a single IP camera does the work of three or four comparable analog cameras. So, single unit may cost more, but is worth its remuneration owing to its optimized functionality. This results in a greater efficiency- both monetarily and functionally. Such cost-saving measures work well in the longer run. Thus, one can safely state that IP is the future of a successfully integrated surveillance system.
About the author – Pulkit Punj is the Director at AnG India Ltd., one of the leading Electronic Security Solution Specialists in India. He has driven the organization with the aim of providing sophisticated hi-tech security solutions. He attended Hult International Business School from Dubai, holding a Master’s degree in International Business.