Tag: ip intercoms

Comparison of Apartment Intercom Systems

What is the Best Intercom?

Intercom History

The first intercoms were developed in the late 1800s. They used speaking tubes to talk to other people in the building.

Business organizations were the first to use these intercoms. The office manager could reach his secretary or other people in various departments in the building.

The invention of the telephone in the early 1900s made it easier to connect everyone. By the 1950s, the telephone connected people all over the world. The intercoms used the same technology as the phone system.  In the 1970s, the analog intercoms made it easy for the manager to talk to the accounting department or the manufacturing floor.

Intercom History
Intercom History

Digital IP intercoms that attach to the network were made available in the 1990s. It made it much easier to install intercoms around schools, offices, and hospitals. The latest intercom systems use smartphone apps and cloud servers to enable direct communication all over the world.  This article provides the pros and cons of different intercom systems.

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How to Increase Security in an Apartment Building

Apartment Building Technology for Security

wall protection apartment homes illustration

Network attached security devices can provide walls of defense that increase safety in apartment buildings. Security can be provided by a number of different IP technologies such as door access control, IP camera systems, and IP intercoms and paging systems. Much like the walls of a castle, they provide increased safety and security.

Here is a summary of the lines of defense established by security technology:

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How to Connect Audio to Networks and IP Cameras

dog surveillance audio cartoon

Did you ever want to yell at someone you see on your video surveillance display? Maybe you want to tell them to get away from your parking lot or to yell at an intruder that the police are coming.  Perhaps you would like to talk to someone at your door? Then you could let the delivery man enter the back door at your office.

IP audio interface systems provide connections to speakers for paging or intercom devices. This article describes how audio can be added to your network or IP camera system.

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How IP Intercoms Communicate with Smartphones

IP Intercoms for Mobile Applications

By Bob Mesnik

IP intercom illustration

Smart IP intercom devices are making it easier to control access to your home, business, school, or any other organization.  They use your smartphone to see the person at the door, talk to them, and allow entry (or not).

There are single-button intercoms and multi-tenant intercoms. Both versions have built-in IP cameras. The IP intercom systems can use local intercom servers as well as remote cloud servers to provide the communication path between the intercom and the smartphone. These systems utilize various protocols such as VoIP SIP protocol, audio over IP, IP video, or other protocols to establish the connection between all the devices.

Smart IP intercom devices are making it easier to control access to your home, business, school, or any other organization.  They use your smartphone to see the person at the door, talk to them, and allow entry (or not).

There are single-button intercoms and multi-tenant intercoms. Both versions have built-in IP cameras. The IP intercom systems can use local intercom servers as well as remote cloud servers to provide the communication path between the intercom and the smartphone. These systems utilize various protocols such as VoIP SIP protocol, audio over IP, IP video, or other protocols to establish the connection between all the devices.

Here’s how the latest IP intercoms work.

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IP Security Year in Review – 2016

New Security Systems for 2016

By Bob Mesnik

Technology of 2016

2016 will probably be known as the year of the 4K IP cameras.  A number of manufacturers introduced these very high-resolution cameras.

Besides the increased camera resolution, new compression schemes were introduced that reduced bandwidth and storage requirements.  The latest network-attached door readers are now controlled through the cloud.

The readers also include Bluetooth connections that allow your smartphone to be used as the credential.  Video management software was integrated with other devices like door access control and digital cash registers, increasing total security.   Here’s a review of the technology introduced in 2016.

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How to Select the Best IP Intercom

Old Intercom

What are the features and functions to look for when selecting your IP intercom?

By Bob Mesnik

IP intercoms are simple in concept, but complex in practice.  They are easy to install, but there are many options to consider. We have evaluated a number of different types of intercoms, and found that the more successful products are provided by those who understand the black art of audio, rather than science of networks.

IP intercoms are simple in concept, but complex in practice.  They are easy to install, but there are many options to consider.  We have evaluated a number of different types of intercoms, and found that the more successful products are provided by those who understand the black art of audio, rather than science of networks.

What are the most important features and functions for an IP intercom system?

Of course, the sound quality of all the intercoms is one of the most important aspects to consider.  Reliable communication is another important capability.  After all, controlling a door is one aspect of your overall security.  Many of the other features and functions depend on the application.  For example, some intercoms just include two-way audio, while others also include video.   Some can control an electric lock or interface to an IP door access control system.  You may need a system that allows you to communicate with a Windows computer, or one that communicates with your smart phone.  Here are the features and functions you should consider when selecting your IP intercom system.

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How Network Attached Amplifiers and IP Intercoms Work

Wizard of Oz Network Attached Audio Concept

How do the latest network-attached IP audio systems work?  The latest digital IP systems use protocols that are similar to Voice over IP (VoIP) protocols. This communication method also uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power the telephones, IP paging systems,  and IP intercoms.

These IP audio systems use the network cable rather than using individual wires that go from an amplifier to a speaker.  What is the magic behind sending multiple paging announcements on the same wire at virtually the same time? 

Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Here’s how the magic works.

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Integration of Audio and Video in IP Camera Systems

The Jazz Singer Movie Poster

Back in 1927 audiences were amazed by the latest motion picture technology.   The “Jazz Singer” was the first full-length motion picture to incorporate synchronized dialogue.  The new “talkies” had come of age.  Today we are seeing the introduction of audio into our video security systems.  The confluence of IP cameras, IP intercoms, and IP paging systems are enabling more versatile security and control systems.

IP camera systems have been around since 1996.  They changed the way CCTV surveillance cameras transported and recorded the video.  IP cameras have included two-way audio for many years, but this capability was not used effectively.  Adding audio was not as easy as it appeared.  There were many problems to be solved, including audio feedback, background noise, and microphone sensitivity.  The addition of special audio filters and feedback control made this technology more viable.  Today we see new opportunities created by adding intercoms to IP camera systems.  Intercoms can also be integrated with IP door access control readers, providing a complete door control system.

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What is the Right Sound Level for Your Paging Speakers?

speaker horn

Whether it’s an emergency announcement or page in a school, how do you determine the speaker and amplifier required for a specific location? IP paging systems can provide exactly the right sound level to exactly the right location, but what is the right sound level?

How loud does the emergency paging system need to be? How much sound is needed to hear an announcement in a classroom or in a sports field where there is a lot of background noise?

This article provides the technical background and practical information needed to help you determine the right power and speakers required.

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In Cases of Emergency

school building

An emergency once set in motion,  can not be taken back. All we can do is assess the situation, spread the word, then throw roadblocks in its way.  No one knows this better than those responsible for school safety.

Whether it’s the principal, vice-principal, or security officer, all he or she can do when an emergency looms is is learn as much as he/she can, and based on the specific situation, alert teachers and students in classrooms – and oh, yes, hope that the countless hours spent in repetitive fire, evacuation, or lock-down drills have taken root.

The good news is that if the school is protected by an IP Physical Security System, they’ll have a head start.

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