One of the draws of the luxury apartment buildings on New York’s Park and Fifth Avenues has been the access control provided by uniformed doormen; trusted employees who know every resident by sight and can be counted on to screen all visitors and grant them access only after announcing them and gaining permission over the apartment’s intercom.
The cost for such security: co-op and condo prices that reach into the two-digit millions. But there’s an alternative for those of us who cannot afford to live in such luxury – a digital doorman.
Why should I use an IP camera when the analog cameras are so much cheaper?
That’s a question we get especially from those people who have been using analog CCTV (closed-circuit TV) systems for many years. Actually CCTV has been around for over 45 years. Olean, NY was the first municipality in the US to use cameras on its main street to help reduce crime (according to Wikipedia this was back in 1968).
Not only have the analog CCTV systems been around for a very long time, but they also haven’t really changed from their original capability. Well yes, they have gotten much cheaper, and there are efforts to use higher resolution cameras, but their capability hasn’t changed. The first systems were based on the TV standards established by the National Television System Committee (NTSC). The standard indicated that there should be 525 vertical TV lines, with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Take a look at our video, How the Video Camera Works.
Some applications require IP cameras with a wide dynamic range (WDR). What is a wide dynamic range? It means that the video will look much better in situations where there are very wide light differences in the scene. You may have seen this type of problem, where you are viewing a person in front of a bright background. The background is clear, but the person is very dark and hard to see. The older IP (and analog) cameras used “Back Light” control to enhance the darker area (foreground) and ignore the background.
In this case, you can see the person but the background is lost in a bright haze. If there are people in the background you can’t see them. Today’s new IP cameras use a wide dynamic range to allow you to view both the foreground and background.
IP cameras with Wide Dynamic Range capability are the answer to monitoring areas where bright illumination coexists and contrasts with low light or shadows within the camera’s field of view. That’s why we’ve written about them and our sales engineers have recommended them so often. But who would believe one of Kintronics “very own” would find himself in a situation where a camera with WDR might have made things a lot easier for the detectives charged with identifying the suspects caught on a security camera?