FAQs IP Cameras

Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs about IP Cameras

Q: What makes the network IP cameras different than an Analog CCTV video camera?

A: CCTV analog cameras connect to a video monitor or DVR using a coax connection, while IP cameras connect directly to the network using a RJ45 connector and have their own IP address.  CCTV or analog cameras transmit analog signals over the coax cables, while IP cameras transmit digitally encoded video over a standard network cable.  IP cameras have computers and intelligence, so they can be shared by many PCs using web browser and the video recorded using video management software or a NVR.

Q: What is a 4K camera?

A: 4K IP cameras are defined as having at least 4,000 (4K) horizontal pixels.  Some of the cameras that are touted as 4K don’t actually  meet the specification.  Typical high resolution 4K cameras provide over 4,000 pixels, but actually operate best with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.   4K cameras from Sony, Samsung and Hikvision all meet the 4K requirement, while Axis cameras have less resolution, but still say they are 4K.  It is best to check the details before selecting a camera and take a look at our review of 4K cameras.

Q: How large are the images in Kbytes?

A: The size of the image or video frame, depends on the resolution and the compression scheme used.  An image with a resolution of 350 X 240 that is compressed using MJPEG uses about 4-10 Kbytes.  Higher resolution cameras, with over 1-megapixel resolution, create file sizes larger than 80K bytes per frame.  Most mega-pixel cameras use H.264 compression instead of MJPEG compression.  Since H.264 compression transfers only the difference between frames, it dramatically reduces the bandwidth.  In this case, we don’t calculate the bandwidth using the frame size. Instead, we estimate an average data rate based on the resolution.  The calculations consider the resolution of the camera, the frame rate and expected activity the camera will see. In general you can expect about 20 to 30 times improvement in compression using H.264. To learn more about this take a look at our newsletter article about IP Camera System Bandwidth.

Q: Does the IP camera device have its own IP address?

A: Yes, it acts as a standalone web-server.

Q: Can I use an IP Network Camera for videoconference

A: Yes, but it’s not as good as general video conferencing solutions because there is some delay in the signals through the camera and network. if the cameras use MPEG4 or H.264 compression and support audio then it can be used for two-way communications. For example you can use the Sony dome camera which has a built-in microphone and provides simultaneous transmission of both audio and video.

Q: Do the cameras come with an application for storing and managing the video?

A: Some cameras come with very basic recording software.  The problem is that software provided by the camera manufacturer usually works only with their cameras, so you may not be able to use another IP camera brand.  For applications that require 4 or more cameras we recommend a more universal recording system. We provide a number of optional software and hardware products for viewing real time and recorded video.  These systems allow you  to create a complete IP camera system that uses many different types of cameras.  Take a look at our IP camera video recording guide for examples of the recording systems available.

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Surveillance systems can be complex because they include many different components that have to work together. Kintronics is a resource for engineering and integration of all your security projects. We can design your complete system so don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.

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