Meeting today’s video surveillance challenges
The video surveillance market is booming, driven by
increased public and private security concerns, as
well as a technology shift.
The transition to network video is a reality as customers
take advantage of flexible, industry standard systems
for security and video surveillance. As security
management over the IP network expands and
intelligence capabilities move out to network
cameras, systems can scale much more easily. This
move to open systems empowers a much more
productive and cost-effective means of surveillance
than was ever possible
For the security manager, the shift to network
video creates new opportunities where digital
technology can be put to use to deliver
The IP Way
How it works
Protecting existing CCTV investments
Significant investments in analog CCTV systems may have already been made. The technology shift to network video does not, however,
mean that existing analog CCTV investments have to be discarded. With a network video solution, you can integrate your existing
analog system into an IP-based solution. The solution enables you to take advantage of numerous functionalities such as remote
pan/tilt/zoom, Power over Ethernet, audio, video motion detection, while meeting user requirements for image quality, recording
capabilities, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.
Video encoders make it possible to move toward a network video system without having to discard existing analog equipment.
They connect to analog cameras, digitize the images and send them over an IP network, allowing analog cameras to take advantage
of many of the same benefits as provided by network cameras.
Connecting directly to the IP network, they capture and send live video directly over the IP network.
Video management and storage
A standard PC with video management software can be used to monitor
and record the video.
Any camera can be monitored remotely from anywhere
on the LAN or the Internet.
If network video streams need to be monitored on existing analog equipment,
an Axis video decoder can be used.
The real benefits
of IP video surveillance
Superior image quality
Image quality is clearly one of the most important features
of any camera, if not the most important. Superior image
quality enables the user to more closely follow details and
changes in images, making for better and faster decisions
to more effectively safeguard people and property. It also
ensures greater accuracy for automated analysis and
alarm tools. Network cameras provide high-quality video
images, and megapixel and HDTV network cameras are
available to provide even more image details.
Scalability and flexibility
A network video system can be expanded by adding
more network cameras. You can choose exactly what you
need today, and scale the system at any time to meet your
growing needs. New technologies, additional cameras,
and extra storage capacity can all be easily added as
required, thanks to strict adherence to industry standards.
Easy, future-proof integration
There are almost no limitations as to where a network video
product can be placed. Network video has the capacity
to provide a high level of integration with other equipment
and functions, making it a continually developing system.
A fully integrated network video system can be used for a
multitude of applications simultaneously: for instance,
access control, building management, point-of-sales
systems, ATMs, as well as fire, intruder and visitor management.
These days, a massive amount video is being recorded, but
never watched or reviewed due to lack of time. As a result,
events and activities are missed, and suspicious behaviors
remain unnoticed. With network video, intelligence has
been brought into the camera itself. Network cameras can
have built-in video motion detection and alarm management
so the camera decides when to send video, at what
frame rate and resolution, and when to alert a specific
operator. Other unique features include audio detection
and active tampering alarm.
Lower total cost of ownership
The majority of businesses now have high-speed, IP-based networks connected to
the Internet. Adding a network video system simply utilizes and extends the same
infrastructure to include video functionality.
Standard IT equipment such as switches, PC servers for video recording and
storage, are used, so existing investments in IT infrastructure and devices can be
leveraged, ensuring high return on investment.
A more secure system
Network video offers more ways to secure access to video than can be provided
by an analog CCTV system. Passwords can be used to limit access, and video can
be encrypted before being sent over the network to make sure it cannot be
viewed or tampered with. The system can also be set up to authenticate the connection
using encrypted certificates that only accept a specific network video
device, thus eliminating the possibility of anyone hacking into the system.
Easy and cost-effective expansion
A network video system is extremely flexible.
Cameras can be moved freely around the network,
and the system can be expanded by adding more
network cameras. This is easily done regardless of
whether the new cameras are to be placed at the
same site, or at a new location communicating over
With network video, users can access real-time video at any time from any authorized computer anywhere. Network video
products provide an easy way to capture and distribute high quality video over any kind of IP network or the Internet.
The video can be stored at remote locations for convenience and security, and the information can be transported over the LAN
Based on open standards, Axis network video products run on IP networks. Using standard PC
server hardware rather than proprietary equipment such as DVRs radically reduces management
and equipment costs, particularly for larger systems where storage and servers are a significant
portion of the total solution cost.
Additional cost savings come from the infrastructure
used. IP-based networks such as LANs and the Internet can be leveraged for other applications
across the organization.
Many network cameras employ progressive scan technology
that better depicts moving objects clearly. This
advanced image capture technology means that the whole
image is captured at one time, thus providing crystal clear
images even with a high degree of motion.
Power over Ethernet: Increasing savings and reliability
Not available for analog cameras, Power over Ethernet
(PoE, IEEE 802.3af standard) means that the cameras get
power from a PoE-enabled switch or midspan over the same
standard cable that transmits video. PoE provides multiple
benefits, including reduced installation costs and flexibility in
camera placement. In addition, cameras can get centralized
backup power from the server room, so in the event of
a power failure they will continue to operate.
HDTV and megapixel resolution: See what you’ve been missing
A megapixel network camera provides more detail or can
cover larger areas. In addition to the advantage of
depicting more detail with greater pixel density, it can be
used to digitally pan, tilt and zoom, and to create multi-view
An HDTV network camera provides even better video quality
with full frame rate and excellent color representation.
For full installation flexibility
Sometimes wireless solutions are the best and most costeffective
option for video surveillance installations. For
example, it is useful in historic buildings, where the installation
of cables would damage the interior, or within facilities
where there is a need to move cameras to new locations on
a regular basis. The technology can also be used to bridge
sites without expensive ground cabling.
All the advanced features offered by network
video come at a cost. The initial price for a
network camera can be higher than an analog
camera, if one compares only the camera. But
comparing the cost per video channel, the
network video system, with all its superior
flexibility and performance, quickly becomes
comparable with an analog system anchored
by a DVR. In many system configurations, the
upfront cost for a surveillance system based on
network video products is lower.
Total cost of ownership
at a glance
According to independent research on the differences
between analog and digital solutions, installation, configuration
and training costs for analog systems are almost 50%
more than for IP systems. For example, cabling is almost three
times as expensive in analog systems compared with
IP-based systems. The primary reason is that coaxial cabling is
more expensive than Ethernet cabling.
Also, analog typically
requires separate power cabling, while Power over Ethernet
eliminates the need for electrical connections in the IP
system, and separate cabling is also needed to control
analog PTZ cameras. A network video system allows users to
incorporate open PC systems and open storage with video
management software, which costs 20% less than DVRs.
If an IP infrastructure is installed, the network video system is
always lower in cost. Network video systems of 40 cameras or more have a lower
total cost of ownership than analog-based systems.
32 cameras is the break-even point for IP systems vs. analog.
Beyond 32 cameras, the network video system in common
scenarios has a lower cost, and between 16 and 32, the cost
is quite similar or may be slightly lower for analog systems.
Network video products have other benefits that cannot be
quantified: scalability, easier integration with other systems,
superior image quality, better maintenance and service,
easier troubleshooting, and many more.