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Q: Do I need a DVR with my IP cameras?

A: No. DVRs or Digital Video Recorders are only used with the older analog CCTV systems. Analog cameras connect to the DVR using a coax cable and BNC connector. IP cameras connect right to your network like another computer. They have a RJ45 connection on the back, not coax. The video is stored on your computer’s hard drive rather than a special DVR storage system.

Q: What makes the Network Cameras different than a CCTV video camera?

A: Network Attached or IP cameras connect to the network with their own IP address while the analog CCTV cameras connect to a CCTV monitor using coax cables. The IP camera has intelligence and can be connected to the network without the need of a PC. Major advantages include choice of very high-resolution cameras (2048 x 1536 compared to 700 x 480 resolution of CCTV cameras), the ease of adding additional cameras (just connect another one to your network), viewing the cameras from anywhere on your network or even over the Internet and much more.

Q: How large are the images in Kbytes?

A: The size of the image depends on the resolution and the compression scheme used. An image of (352 x 288 or 352x240) that is compressed using MJPEG is only about 4-10 Kbytes. Higher resolution cameras such as the IQ301, with resolution of 1200 x 1024, create file sizes as large as 80K bytes per frame. Since MPEG4 improves compression by transferring only the difference between frames, we don't use frame size with MPEG4 compression. Instead we estimate an average data rate based on the resolution, frame rate and expected activity the camera will see. In general you can expect about 4 times improvement in compression using MPEG4. To learn more about this take a look at our newsletter article on this subject:

Q: How much bandwidth is used by an IP camera system?

A: The bandwidth depends on the number of cameras, the resolution of the cameras, the compression scheme used, and the frame rate of the cameras. For example if a camera has a frame size of 30Kbytes (which is equal to about 300Kbits) and you send one frame per second, the bandwidth is 300Kbits/second. To learn more about this take a look at our newsletter article on this subject.

Q: Does the device have its own IP address?

A: Yes, it acts as a standalone web-server, with some limited memory space reserved for your own web pages.

Q: What is the difference between MPEG4 and MJPEG compression?

A: MPEG4 provides better compression, but MJPEG provides higher resolution. MPEG4 improves the compression by transferring only the difference between frames. MJPEG supports very high resolution. For example the IQ303 has a resolution of 2048 x 1536. For more information about the difference between MPEG4 and MJPEG take a look at our newsletter article on this subject..

Q: Can I use an IP Network Camera for videoconference?

A: Yes, if the cameras use MPEG4 compression and support audio. For example you can use the IP3111 which has a built-in microphone and provides simultaneous transmission of both audio and video can be used. Just remember that you need a high speed connection between the two locations to handle the bandwidth of this high frame rate video.

Q: Which camera is best for my application?

A: It depends on your application. To determine the best cameras you need to answer some questions.

What do you want to view? How far away and how wide an area you want to view will determine the lens.

Do you plan to use the camera indoors or outdoors?

How much light is available? The amount of light determines how sensitive the camera needs to be.

Do you have a large area that requires a Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) camera? A PTZ camera can step through a set of positions (guard tour).

Adding additional software, such as NetDVR, will instruct the camera to stop and record the video as long as motion is detected.

What frame rate is required? Fast frame rate is required if you are looking at a fast moving object, but if you are using it for general surveillance; you may only require 1 or 2 frames/sec. The higher the frame rate the more storage you will require.

What resolution do you require? To be able to identify a person's face you require about 50 pixels/foot. This means a camera with a resolution of 700 x 480 can be used to identify a person in a 14 foot wide area. To get this I divided 50 pixels/ft into 700 pixels. If you want to view a larger area then you need a higher resolution camera.

For more about how to select the right system take a look at our newsletter article on this subject or contact us for help in selecting the right system.

Q: Where can I get accessories such as replacement lens, zoom lenses or other devices?

A: Kintronics provides a choice of lenses, enclosures, brackets and video cameras.

Q: Do the cameras come with software for my PC that provides the storing and managing of the video?

A: Some cameras (like the Vivotek and IQinvision cameras) come with very basic software. For applications that require 4 or more cameras we recommend additional software. We provide a number of optional software and hardware products for controlling cameras, viewing and storing the video on standard hard drives. Take a look at our IP Software guide for examples of the software available.

Q: What is a Video server?

A: A Video server, is the popular expression for a Web attached Video Server, connected to a digital network, i.e. LAN. The purpose of the Video Server is to, automatically or on request deliver live video to you browser or other applications over a digital network. This server function can also be integrated into a network attached (or IP) camera.

Q: What is the purpose of Video Servers on the network?

A: The purpose of a Video Server on the network is to provide a very easy way of distributing live pictures so they can be viewed by any computer on the network or Internet. There is no need for a separate Video surveillance system with coax wiring and dedicated monitors tucked away in a security office.

Q: Where is the Video Server or IP camera connected in the network?

A: Practically anywhere on the network. As the Video server or network attached camera (IP camera) is a self contained web server it connects to your router or hub in exactly the same way as a workstation, server or other peripherals.

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