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Network Webcams blog
Archive for the ‘IP Camera Basics’ Category

Using H.264 video compression in IP video surveillance systems

April 3rd, 2009 by Greg

H.264 is an open video compression standard. Uniquely, H.264 is the first compression format to be formed by collaboration between members of both the IT and telecommunications industries and each have their own name for it. H.264 is the name used by the ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union) and MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) is the name used by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). The video surveillance industry has adopted the term H.264 and this has become the primary reference to the standard. This is also the term we use.

H.264 is fast becoming the standard video compression format for the video surveillance world and if we look at the claims it makes we can see why. We hear bold statements about low bandwidth usage, reduced storage requirements, higher resolution monitoring and better quality images and it all sounds too good to be true… doesn’t it?

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What is an IP camera?

June 17th, 2008 by Greg

Sony IP camera

IP cameras are known by many different names such as IP camera, network camera, IP network camera, Internet camera, network webcam, and so on but they all refer to the same item: An IP video device which which can deliver live images over IP-based networks such as a Local Area Network (LAN) or the Internet.

Stand-alone device

The IP camera is a stand-alone network device which can operate without the support of a PC. This means the camera does not rely on software from a PC to help it produce images in the same way a USB web cam would, but instead the IP camera can be connected to a local network based in any home or business and deliver images to any connected PC be it at the same location or half-way round the world across the internet.

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How to prevent wireless interference

May 9th, 2008 by Greg

WiFi interference

Making the transition from wired to wireless is an exciting step and with a wide choice of wireless IP cameras now available on the market you can keep an eye on your home or business without cluttering it up with cables.

Normally wireless connections are every bit as reliable as their wired counterpart but sometimes there can be something which prevents their smooth operation. Interference.

Interference

We’ve all experienced interference in some way, from the television picture breaking up during a heavy storm or crackling on the radio when you enter a built-up area or valley. Your wireless signal works very much in the same way as your radio or television and may dip in and out depending on circumstances and the environment.

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Dynamic IP address VS Static IP address

April 25th, 2008 by Greg

Your IP address is the web address (or URL) you would use to access your camera externally from the Internet and should be used in situations where you find you have been given a dynamic IP address from your DSL provider (ISP).

Dynamic IP vs Static IP

When the Internet was originally designed they did not see the need to have an endless amount of IP addresses and today the number of addresses available are fast running out. One way to get around the problem is to share IP addresses and this is what your Internet provider does. To save using all of their allotted IP addresses they save a percentage to use for sharing. The shared addresses are then allocated to customers as and when they log in to the Internet with their computer. This is known as a dynamic IP address and this allows you to use the Internet but makes it very difficult, even impossible to access your computer from another location on the Internet. Using a telephone analogy, think of it as calling from a pay-phone, you can make a call out when you need to but you don’t really care what number you are calling from.

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Port-Forwarding 101

October 22nd, 2007 by Greg

One of the many benefits of IP cameras is their ability to act independently of a PC. Being a standalone device you simply plug it into a broadband enabled router or switch and with a bit of work you can access your camera’s video footage and administrator pages from anywhere in the world. It is not uncommon for people to use cameras to keep an eye on their home, elderly relatives, driveways or even pets and they can do so from work, from holiday or even from another country, but external access made available through port forwarding is also necessary at larger scales.

Here at Network Webcams Tech HQ we find that most people run into a basic snag which prevents them from being able to access their camera over the Internet – by default, if you try and gain access to your home network from anywhere on the internet you will find that the firewall in your router will block that incoming access. This is great for your everyday security but not so great when you want to view your camera. ‘Port-Forwarding’ is rarely, if ever, enabled by default.

In this article I will explain just what that means and point out the things to consider when setting up your IP camera for remote Internet access. Read more >>