So what is the difference between a Webcam and an IP or Network camera? They can both run on a network, both can be viewed on a PC and
they both can be viewed over the Internet (or World Wide Web)
Well when you refer to a Webcam you are usually talking about a camera that plugs directly into a PC (or Mac) usually via a USB port. The
computer then handles the processing of the images and acts as a Webserver to deliver them to the Network or Internet.
An IP or Network Camera....or sometimes as they are called IP Webcams have a built in Webserver.
So, to broadcast video over a network or the internet without using a PC you need an IP camera or an IP video Server. An IP Video Server is a box
that connects ordinary video souces like CCTV cameras, home video cameras and video outputs from VCR's, DVD's etc. directly to the network or
internet withou using a PC.
An IP Camera is a camera that has a Webserver built in so it connects directly to the network or internet without using a PC.
They both have their advantages. For a single camera or cameras in different locations far apart, IP cameras are fine.
However If your converting an exisitng analogue system to IP or have a number of cameras close by, or if you may need to change camera types
or lenses without disturbing your network connections then an IP Video Server is best.
Which ever you choose, the video images can be viewed using a Web Browser e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox etc. Or by using the viewing software
that comes with the devices when you buy them. You can even embed video players in your own web site and view the images by logging on to
your site (like we have done on Camsecure) and most units these days also include motion detection and Emailing of the images too.
Camsecure IP cameras and Video Webservers are high quality full featured units that will stream video and audio over the internet or your LAN with
ease and we have chosen low cost but high quality and performance as our product requirements.
Our range of IP webcams for websites are specially designed kits to allow you to get an IP webcam running on your own website with the minimum
of fuss and the camera will be viewable by any graphic browser on any operating system - even mobile devices with no need to download plugins
or install an extra software.
What is an IP Camera compared to a Webcam or CCTV camera?
Camsecure IP Webcam for Websites Kit used
for Streetwatch Application, for all Browsers
Webcams CCTV Software and Systems
We also offer assistance in getting your images on to your own website with sample code etc. and
(with your permission) we can stream your camera to one of our demonstration pages with a
reciprocal link back to your site.
Another part of Camsecure's technical support facility is to set up Dynamic Nameservers on your
behalf (if you are not sure about doing this yourself) so you can still access your cameras without a
fixed IP address using a name instead of a number.
Check out the various other topics in our Knowledge Base section for information on port forwarding,
dynamic DNS and lots more too.
The Camsecure Blog is also regularly updated with news, live camera information and technical
bulletins. Here is a link to our Blog with a full description of what an IP camera is and can do.
CCTV and IP Camera Standards
Analog or Conventional CCTV uses established CCTV and broadcast television formats (e.g. CIF, NTSC, PAL, and SECAM) . Since analog video standards are mature,
concerns over incompatibility between analog surveillance cameras and recording systems are uncommon.
IP surveillance cameras, on the other hand, do not benefit from the same level of standardization. Generally speaking, each make of IP camera will differ in terms of its
specific features and functions, video encoding (compression) schemes, supported network protocols, and the API to be used by video management software. Also there are
issues of Web Browser compatibility and while all IP cameras are compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer, many IP cameras are not compatible with Web Browsers such
as Firefox, Netscape and Google Chrome.
At Camsecure we offer IP equipment which is compatible with all Browsers and also provide help and advice for our customers who
are about to embark on an IP camera project with reference to cross browser compatibility and information on how to stream the video to your website.
In order to address issues of standardization of IP video surveillance, two industry groups were formed in 2008. The Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) and the
Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA). While the PSIA was founded by Cisco and ONVIF was founded by Axis, Bosch and Sony, each group now has numerous
members. As of January 2009, each group had released version 1.0 of their specification.
Advantages of IP Cameras
There can be cost advantages when using IP cameras such as reduced system cost and added functionality due to general-purpose IP networking equipment infrastructure.
Lower cost of cabling in large installations (CAT5e instead of RG-59 coaxial cable). Reduced space requirements in large (many camera) CCTV setups because video
switching and routing is done via computer and does not need physically large and expensive video matrix switchers.
Flexible image format is another advantage of IP cameras over conventional CCTV, there is support for a variety of image resolutions including both standard analog CCTV
resolutions (CIF, NTSC, PAL, and SECAM) and megapixel resolutions. Capability for digital zoom of high-resolution megapixel images. Progressive scan (versus interlaced
scanning). Note that not all IP cameras operate in progressive scan mode. Progressive scan allows still images to be removed in better quality from a video feed. This is
particularly true for a fast moving target, in which case interlaced scanning will introduce shutter-blind artifacts. Ability to select specific frame rates and resolution for each
camera in a system. No additional video encoder hardware is required to convert analog video signals into digital data for recording onto hard drives. Choice of video
compression codec such as Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 Part 2, or H.264.
Extensible network infrastructure Convergence onto new or existing IP cabling infrastructure, including sites with multiple buildings. Ability to use Power over Ethernet allowing
for one cable to handle power and data. Capability for deploying with a wireless bridge. Ability to use legacy coaxial cables with appropriate converters. Ability to use fiber
optic links with appropriate twisted-pair to fiber converters. Transmission of commands for PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras via a single network cable. Simple to add one camera
at a time to the system.
Wireless network links allow the cameras to be placed just about anywhere. No limit on resolution inherent in standard analog video formats. Megapixel cameras can far
exceed image detail from conventional CCTV cameras. On-camera automated alerting via email or file transfer in response to video motion detection or dry-contact alarms.
Password lockout of unauthorized personnel to prevent viewing images or altering the camera configuration. Support for different streaming media and compression formats to
relieve transmission bandwidth and data storage requirements. Encryption of camera control data and audio/video data. Support for new embedded intelligent video motion
detection (video analytics) with shape recognition and counting applied to objects, people, and vehicles. Integration of video surveillance with other systems and functions
such as access control, alarm systems, building management, traffic management, etc. Remote configuration, diagnostics, and maintenance. Future-proof installations with
field-upgradeable products due to the ability to upgrade camera firmware over the network.
Disadvantages of IP Cameras
There can be some disadvantages when using IP cameras over conventional CCTV such as a Higher initial cost per camera, less choice of manufacturers, lack of standards,
different IP cameras may encode video differently or use a different programming interface. This means a particular camera model should be deployed only with compatible IP
video recording solutions. High network bandwidth requirements: a typical CCTV camera with resolution of 640x480 pixels and 10 frames per second (10 frame/s) in MJPEG
mode requires about 3 Mbit/s. Technical barrier. Installation for IP Cameras requires a series of complicated network settings including IP address, DDNS, router setting and
port forwarding. This is very difficult for most users to do alone without help from IT technician.
So as with everything in life there are advantages abd disadvantages when choosing IP CCTV over Conventional CCTV. Of course it is possible to use both in a system.
Camsecure webservers are an ideal solution for this as you can connect your existing analogue CCTV cameras to our Webservers and then they can be treated as IP
cameras by taking advantage of features such as built in motion detection, network transmission, streaming to a website, network digital recording etc. which is all built in to
our webservers. Even our most cost effective model the 9100A has all these features.
Please contact us if you need any more information or have any particular projects in mind and we will be only too pleased to recommend products for the job.