Irrespective of how large your video security system needs to be, there are 5 components that need to be considered:
- Security Cameras – the number and type needed to capture a quality image in the camera’s environment. There are two choices: analog or digital. Visit our security camera page for details. When compared to analog cameras, fewer IP cameras are usually required because of their ability to capture high resolution images with wider field of views.
- Video management/storage – analog cameras require a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to convert and store video. IP cameras can leverage existing machines (FTP severs, NFS/Windows shares) to store digital video. Some Mobotix IP cameras can accept flash storage up to 16GB to store video on camera without the need for external recorders. This can reduce the network load.
- Wiring – IP cameras can leverage existing networks – one Ethernet cable is all that is needed to transmit video and power each camera. Analog cameras commonly use RG59 coaxial cable but can transmit video over CAT5e using baluns which is a media converter.
- Power – Analog cameras require either 12V or 24V power, depending on the model. IP cameras are powered using “Power over Ethernet” (PoE) which is available on many switches or using inline injectors for a nominal cost.
- Displays / Output – IP cameras are viewed using computers using common web browsers or software bundled with the camera. Mobotix cameras include free software that can be installed on as many Windows PCs as required. Analog cameras are viewed through a DVR either using monitors connected to the video out terminal or online if the DVR has network capabilities. Most Internet IP cameras and DVRs can email or FTP images to a remote location. Mobotix cameras include a built in web server that can be accessed via phone web browsers, SIP VoIP telephones in addition to nearly every web browser.
The trickiest part of installing a surveillance camera systems is the wiring. IP camera deployments have an advantage since wiring (CAT5e) may already be in place. Not every IP camera needs to be plugged in at the same location – they could be distributed across a LAN or even WANs. Analog camera deployments do require termination at the DVR. This can be easy for some applications with smaller areas and using pre-made siamese (RG59 & power in one cable) cable available in a variety of lengths.
The first step in choosing a video security system is to define your requirements. What assets need to be monitored? What is the resulting image needed from each camera? Do you need to be able to read a licence plate? Identify a person? Identify an animal? What is the distance between the camera and the target? Start with requirements!