Friday, February 01, 2008

IP Network Cameras for Security

Security cameras are a must for most business locations. Often they are a standard black and white or color analog camera that provides a video output to a monitor and perhaps a video tape recorder. But as camera technology has advanced from image tubes to solid state sensors, circuit density has made it possible to now include network connections as well as composite video output.

An IP security camera, or network camera, has a built-in processor and NIC or Network Interface Card. Most have a 10/100 Ethernet jack (RJ-45) but might also have WiFi networking capability. The big advantage of network cameras is that you can access them anywhere on the network. When the network extends to the Internet, you can log-in and view your security cam anywhere in the world via a Web browser. Wonder what's going on in the store or parking lot late at night? Check your network cams on your notebook computer and put your mind at ease. Or, call the cops if you need to.

An example of a professional grade network camera designed for security applications is the Sony SNC-CS3N. This is a full color camera with low light sensitivity and CS mount lens. You have the option to change lenses to suit your application. It comes equipped with an auto iris, vari-focal lens.

The SNC-CS3N has two video outputs. There is a RJ-45 100Base-TX/10Base-T Ethernet connection for use on a network. There's also an analog composite output at the standard 1.0 Vp-p feeding a 75 ohm BNC connection. You can hook a video monitor or recorder locally using the analog output. But the real fun comes from using the network output.

The network feed is actually a built-in Web server that can be accessed from any standard Web browser. Up to 50 simultaneous user can access and monitor the images of this camera simultaneously. Security of the security camera, if you will, is provided by user name and password protection, and IP-filtering to restrict access. How's picture quality? The video is standard JPEG format at a VGA resolution of 640 x 480 pixels running at 30 frames per second for smooth motion. You can select a different resolution or frame rate, or use a variable frame rate that adjusts to available bandwidth.

Another useful feature of this network camera system is a built-in activity detector that can trigger an alarm if motion is sensed in the field of view. An external alarm sensor, such as a passive infrared sensor, can also be used. An 8 MB buffer stores hundreds of pre-alarm and post-alarm still images when the trigger is activated. Those images can be transferred to an FTP server or a single image can be sent as a JPEG attachment to your email to show what happened that caused the alarm trigger.

With IP network cameras readily available, it's easy now to keep an eye on your business property from wherever you happen to be. Check out the wide variety of security cameras & surveillance systems now.

You may also want to check into T1 dedicated broadband Internet access or Carrier Ethernet service to your business location. Prices have recently dropped, making professional grade bandwidth more affordable than ever.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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