IP Surveillance & Resource Uses
By Christian M Gillman
As IP surveillance emerges as the new and soon to be dominant force in surveillance we find it necessary to start and broaden our horizons and learn about this newer technology. So in light of this we will go over some IP resource facts and ideas that are critical to know when installing or using IP surveillance equipment.
NVR & Network Resources
As they progress IP cameras are delivering higher resolutions and picture clarity than their analog counterparts. This is a great thing as it allows us to more easily identify and produce evidence when our security cameras detect something happen. The downside to this increase in is its more extensive use of our available resources. When I talk about resources I am mainly referring to the key three which are bandwidth, hard drive size, and frame rate.
A networks bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can travel through your system, basically think of a highway as your bandwidth and the number of cars it can accommodate as data When it comes to internal networks the bandwidth is determined by a multitude of factors including your routers, switches, cabling, and other network devices and what their performance capabilities are. Externally however if you are trying to remote access your equipment you will mainly be relying on your service providers capabilities, and this will usually be specified as either your download or upload speed.
Your upload speed will determine how fast your network can serve up the video over the internet, whereas your download speed determines how quickly you can access and download that information onto your external device. The fastest at which you can access your equipment will be the lower of the those two numbers, which is usually the upload speed.
The main reason this is a key resource is that the more IP cameras you have and the higher resolutions at which you're using them, then the more data you are streaming over the network and the more bandwidth you are using. So depending on your setup you may be able to access your equipment more quickly or slowly depending on your bandwidth and the amount of equipment.
One good trick to lower the amount of bandwidth used is to lower the frame rate at which you are recording and reviewing your IP cameras. This leads us into our next sub category.
The frame rate at which you record or view a security camera will affect how smoothly the video looks. If you've ever watched a video and seen the subject seem to skip around on the screen unnaturally, this is most likely due to the video being streamed or recorded at a lower frame rate. This is something that is sometimes a subjective setting that can be turned up or down depending on the situation. Depending on your equipment however there will be a maximum frame rate at which a security camera can be recorded, and that is usually around 30fps (Frames Per Second).
When it comes to NVRs (network video recorders), depending on the number of IP cameras you have, it may limit the frame rate. The reason for this is that like your network your NVR has a certain limit on its resources and it can only handle so much. For example a 16 channel NVR that can handle 8 IP cameras at 15fps may only be able to handle 16 cameras at 7fps.
Ultimately if you can lower your frame rate to one that you are comfortable with, this can help alleviate some of the burden on your bandwidth, NVR, and even on the hard drive.
Hard Drive Size
As we've discussed earlier IP cameras use a lot more data and information than their analog counterparts. This in turn leads to larger storage needs, which means that you will need larger hard drives to accommodate the higher resolution video. So when it comes to NVRs you will generally see no less than a 1TB (Terabyte) HDD in your equipment.
So the main thing to take away from this last resource is that if you plan on using large numbers of IP cameras you will want to keep it in mind to have a good sized hard drive array. Otherwise your only options to help save space will be to either eliminate cameras or to turn down settings such as frame rate and resolution to help conserve space.
Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 7 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at http://www.cu1.com
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