IP Video Security Camera Buyers Guide

IP Camera Buyers Guide

A comprehensive guide in selecting the right camera for your Video Surveillance system. IP Cameras offer high resolution up to 5MP and offers a superior video image. There are many options in selecting the right IP Video Security Camera and Video Recorder. Use this guide as general information for your IP Video Security System project.

Important Factors in choosing the right IP Security Camera

• Location

• Main Field of View

• Lighting conditions at night

• Resolution Requirements

• Aesthetics and Form Factor

IP Cameras will provide enhanced monitoring of your video security system with much higher resolution than traditional analog cameras. Higher resolution means better clarity and details in the camera views with the ability to post-record zoom into critical areas with a much wider view reaching up to 90 degrees.


Outdoor cameras are contained within a weather-proof housing able to withstand the temperatures and moisture of the outdoor environment. Both dome-style and bullet-style cameras are used at outdoor facilities and home security.

Indoor cameras tend to be smaller and lighter and are not weatherproof.

Both types of cameras can have infrared night vision capabilities if required.

Mounting Location. Consideration of the camera mounting location is determined by first and foremost the most optimal view from the camera. Secondarily, but just as important, the ability to run cabling to the location and also the security of the camera. Cameras get stolen and you can sneak up on them if placed in the wrong location.

Types of Video Surveillance Cameras

The camera selection depends on several factors including the shape and form factor of the camera. Dome cameras or Bullet-Style Cameras are the most popular today and each offer essentially the same lens and video compression circuitry, so it’s a matter of personal choice in packaging.

There are several choices when choosing a surveillance camera style:

Location – Will it be intrusive? Can it be tampered with? Best Viewing Angle?

Infrared Requirements – Bullet-style cameras are available in longer IR lengths (up to 400 feet)

Deterrence Factor – Many times the mere spotting of video cameras will deter a security situation. How well do you want the cameras to be seen? Deter or Discrete?

Bullet Cameras tend to be placed in areas needing higher intensity Infrared and have larger lens for a longer Field of View. Bullet Cameras need to be placed out of reach as they are not vandal-proof devices.

Dome Cameras are the most common camera package and are discrete and can be placed on drop-ceiling tiles very effectively. The dome camera is offered in vandal-proof packages that can be placed in almost any location without fear of theft or damage.

Camera Resolutions

The resolution of the camera is the relative pixel size of the screen being recorded. The higher the resolution of the camera, the more detail and clarity is available. More data, or more pixels, means more detailed image being captured.

Camera Lens

Camera lens are generally built-in to the dome and bullet style cameras. The lens is either fixed, vari-focal, or with a PTZ Manual and Auto Vari-Focal in the case of a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Camera

• Fixed (example 3mm),

• Vari-Focal (example 2.8-12mm)

• Optical Zoom (5mm- 100mm)

The camera lens determines the Field of View (FOV) of the Camera based on the camera image requirements. The following chart details the lens information:

Lens Size Degrees View

2.8mm 95 Degrees

3.6mm 80

5mm 68

8mm 44

12mm 24

50mm 5.3

Fixed lens and Vari-Focal lens (ex. 2.8-12mm) are available with IP Cameras. Many camera lens today are included with the cameras, and are not required to be bought separately.

Infrared Technology

Infrared cameras are very common today and are offered in almost every camera package including dome and bullet-style security cameras. Infrared cameras work from reflected infrared light off of objects that are being monitored.

An Infrared Camera provides a color image during the day, and when the amount of light drops to a certain level (automatic or adjustable) the infrared automatically switches on. The IR LEDs on the camera are then activated and the IR camera produces a black and white image which can provide great detail dependent on the camera quality.

IP Camera Networks

IP Cameras are typically setup on a private network and camera data is not shared across the enterprise local network due to bandwidth concerns. A HD camera can require up to 5MPS, so a private and local network is established for communication between the IP Cameras and Network Video Recorder. Cameras are made available by a connection to this on a demand-basis for Local and Remote Access.

PoE – Power-Over-Ethernet has made installation of IP Cameras a plug and play method achieved by most Network Video Recorders as IP addressing and configurations are a thing of the past. The quality NVRs will provide configuration tools and systems that make IP Camera systems quiet and very easy to install. Many NVRs today provide onboard PoE so external power sources for the cameras are not needed. Also, the data network for the cameras is built into the NVR device.

Advanced Features of IP Camera Systems

Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) – One of the best enhancements in high quality camera systems, WDR provides a dynamic contrast and balance in shadows (dark areas) and bright light. Old cameras treated the entire FOV and tried to balance the brightness that resulted in poor quality in contrasting areas of view. WDR provides brightness in shadows and within the same FOV, lower brightness at the window areas with a setting sun.

Smart Search Functions – The ability to search on motion detection is a great feature and Smart Search provides motion within any area in the FOV. Motion detection detects movement within the entire FOV and Smart Search provides that same ability in any area of the FOV. For example, you can search a front parking area or search who went through the door in the lower right portion of the FOV.

Alarm Notifications – The ability to text message or email certain notifications is an under-used feature available in most DVR and NVRs in the marketplace. The ability to alert you via text or email with hard drive failures, video loss, etc. can allow proactive service of the critical video security system. Another popular alert is motion detection in certain cameras that provide not only a text or email of the motion, but a video snapshot of the motion detection.

Facial Recognition and Analytics – Facial recognition is the most recognized video security analytics, however the pro-active video surveillance features that can track certain movements and alert monitors to special events are also valuable. Crowd detection and aggressive behavior patterns are observed in large complex systems that require a proactive monitoring program.

Network Video Recorders

Network Video Recorders (NVR) are the hub of the Video Surveillance system and provide the Live and Recorded Video in multiple channels that are typically 4,8,16,32,64,128 Channel (or camera). The NVR provides the network management of IP Cameras and many times include a built-in switch with PoE. The NVR is responsible for maintaining the Video Recordings and are archived to the Hard Drives installed. Large NVRs can hold up to 32 TB of Hard Drive space for Video File storage.

Remote Access via any Device

Remote and Local Access to the IP cameras is achieved through the secure connection to the Network Video Recorder. Applications such as CMS Software on a PC and/or remote client applications for the iPhone, Android and Tablets.

Accessing the facility cameras through the cell phone via smartphone applications is very poplar today due to the speed in which the facility can be video accessed at any location. The ability to monitor residential and business facilities 24×7 at any location is a great tool for managing a facility or enhancing the security of your home.

Benefits of IP Video Security

IP Cameras deliver detailed high definition images. IP Cameras are now achieving 3-5 megapixels and compression technology is advancing towards 4K Video Security and beyond. Pricing for IP Cameras is continuing to lower as more IP cameras enter the marketplace.

IP Video Cameras can now scale in the thousands using multiple NVR servers and PoE connections make setting up cameras as easy as installing a Cat5 connection.

IP Video Cameras are ONVIF compliant and devices can be interchanged offering the best of breed camera for the project. ONVIUF is the standard for IP manufacturers allowing cross-vendor integration. Integrating the best camera for the requirement no matter the manufacture allows Video Security projects to have greater quality and reduced project costs.

Remote Access of IP Video Camera systems via any device including PC, iPhone, Android or Tablet Device. This on-demand application is a fast access to your facility video cameras.

Top 5 things you should consider in IP Camera Systems:

1. Only consider 1080p or above resolution cameras. The quality and performance is superior to 720p and cost difference is negligible in 2015. In 2017, we will be saying the same thing about 4K resolution cameras.

2. Not all ONVIF specification cameras are the same. You may get a picture, but not all IP cameras are able to enable motion detection so you end up having to have full-time recording. Look for confirmation of testing and certification with IP cameras and NVRs.

3. The IP Camera Network should be on its own VLAN or self-contained network and not directly connected to the enterprise LAN. Should a Local Network connection be required it should be routed to it through a routing statement. Most NVRs provide its own VLAN.

4. Consider the interface to the iPhone, Android or Tablet Device as an important factor in NVR/camera selection as this has major impact on monitoring /accessing the security system.

5. Consider a name-brand camera as there are many import cameras that are of inferior quality with very limited warranty options for you.

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Sarasota Shopping Districts

Sarasota is a beautiful small city on the Gulf Coast of Florida that feels like a small town. Each Sarasota shopping district is walkable, and most are within 10 minutes of each other. Sort of like lily pads on a pond, each with its own characteristic atmosphere and charm. While there are local shopping malls, it’s much more interesting to search out the unique shops & restaurants that make you feel you’re in a special place. Sarasota’s shopping districts include Downtown Sarasota, Burns Square, Southside Village, Southgate Shops, Gulf Gate, St Armands Circle, and Siesta Key Village.

  • The Downtown Sarasota shopping district encompasses Main Street, Lemon Avenue, Pineapple Avenue, First Street, and State Street. Whole Foods Market Centre anchors the First Street and Lemon Avenue area. Also on First Street, you’ll find Envie, a fabuloso sort of home decor and gift shop, Petropolis pet boutique, T. Georgianos Shoe Salon, Write-On Sarasota, and Jane Boutique. Lemon Avenue is the site of the very popular Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market, which extends from First Street to State Street every Saturday from 7AM to 12Noon year-round. It’s full of produce, flowers, plants, ready-to-eat foods, arts and crafts, music, and all kinds of dogs leading their owners from booth to booth. At the corner of Lemon Avenue and Main Street, Mattison’s City Grille is an outdoor, covered restaurant with top-quality live entertainment most nights. Main Street is a multi-block stretch of local shops and restaurants that offer foods of every international flavor, including Asian, Greek, French, Mexican, Spanish, Italian, and American standards, among other tempting cuisines. During Season, Main Street, Pineapple Avenue’s Five Points Park, and Lemon Avenue are the site of numerous arts and craft fairs and holiday street festivals. Palm Avenue features many art galleries, which participate in the First Friday Art Walks each month during Season. It’s easy to miss State Street, which is tucked just south of Main Street. At State of the Arts Gallery, you’ll see world-class art by local artists, most of whom are entirely self-supporting through their art. Also on State Street is European Focus, a charming shop with gifts from various European countries, and owners who lead custom small tours of cities in Europe during the summer.
  • Burns Square is a small historic Sarasota shopping district and dining neighborhood two blocks south of Main Street, on Pineapple Avenue and Orange Avenue. A destination for art-film afficionados due to the Burns Court Cinema one block west of Pineapple, Burns Square will surprise you with excellent quality fashion (L Boutique, L’Atelier, Paris Couture), home furnishings (Malika, Sarasota Trading Company, Jack Vinale 20th Century Classics), contemporary craft (Parkland Art Gallery), and orchids (Awesome Orchids), for example.
  • Southside Village radiates out from the intersection of Osprey Avenue and Hillview Street, about one mile south of downtown Sarasota. There are restaurant hot-spots such as Libby’s, Sam Snead’s, Gateway to India, Chutney’s, and Pacific Rim. Morton’s Market is a gourmet market that displays a wide range of foods, including fresh produce, deli, home-cooking-style hot meals, meats, condiments, and baked goods. At night, the 5 O’Clock Club and New York New York fill the neighborhood with patrons ready for dancing and listening to music.
  • Southgate Shops, on Siesta Drive east of Tamiami Trail, offers local Sarasota shopping on the north side of Siesta Drive, including Kazu Japanese food, Fuel motorcycle café, Deli Lane gourmet deli restaurant, Bloom Organics, a yarn shop, and a compounding pharmacy, among other retailers. On the south side of Siesta Drive is Westfield Shoppingtown – Southgate Mall, Sarasota’s upscale mall, with anchors Saks Fifth Avenue, Talbot’s, and Macy’s.
  • Gulf Gate is an old neighborhood of mostly one-story buildings with international restaurants, bars and shops. On Gateway Avenue, The Irish Rover presents live music 6 nights a week, along with hearty comfort food. On Superior Avenue, Zest Café feels like a cozy European hideaway, with healthy, creative and delicious home-cooked food. On Gulf Gate Drive, Veg restaurant presents a menu of vegetarian dishes and friendly service.
  • St Armands Circle is located on Lido Key, just across the John Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota. At its center is a small park, with shopping and dining streets radiating out in all directions. There are many popular restaurants on St Arrmands, including The Columbia, Cha Cha Coconuts, L’Europa, The Crab & Finn, and Settimi gelato and pizz. Shops include typical mall shops like Chico’s, along with some local unique retailers. Off one of the spokes of the Circle is Lido Beach, where you can walk right out to the Guld and watch the beautiful surf and sunsets. During Season, there are art shows and jazz concerts on the Circle.
  • Siesta Key Village is lined with funky beach bars, restaurants, and cafes, such as S.K.O.B. (Siesta Key Oyster Bar), Gilligan’s, Baja Hub, The Beach Club, Blu Smoke, Blasé Café, Sun Garden Café, JoTo Japanese food, and numerous others. Many of them draw you closer with musicians playing live music on their decks and in their outdoor eating areas. There are also ice cream shops, of course, such as Big Olaf. For gifts, stop in at Bliss. The Beach Bazaar is an emporium of clothing, bathing suits, flip flops, kitchy gifts, hats, and other fun stuff for vacationers. Fun during the day, Siesta Village continues into the night with live music at many of its venues.

In addition to the primary Sarasota shopping districts, there are numerous convenience shopping strips around town, some of which offer specialty shops and restaurants worth checking out. For instance, at Paradise Plaza (intersection of Bee Ridge Road and Tamiami Trail), behind the Publix supermarket, you’ll find J-Pan sushi, Heather’s Closet boutique, and Monterey Grill. At the shopping strip on Tamiami Trail just south of Constitution Blvd, head for Simon’s Cafe, a locals’ favorite for healthy and tasty food.

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Working From Home

Working from home holds the promise of having it all – meaningful work and more time to be with family and loved ones. Working from home may be the ideal way for you to have a fulfilling career as well as a happy household.Working from home allows employees to put the kids on the bus, go to an afternoon event, play golf, or fish in the morning and work in the evening, but they have to balance it with the tasks that must be completed for work. Working From Home Has Its Challenge Factors that must be considered before starting your business from your home.Working from home has never been easier. It can be the first step towards living the lifestyle of your dreams. Working from home in any profession requires a high degree of self-motivation and self-discipline though and, as with most everything, has its ups and downs. Working from home is a dream for many, but now you can make your work from home dream a reality through the internet and your home computer. Working from home can indeed provide freedom, flexibility, an ability to choose the projects and type of work performed, and to set working hours that fit the needs of the self employed.Working in the home offers people a greater opportunity to share quality time with family members, to promote family values and develop stronger family ties and unity. Working from home is a popular working arrangement for employers and employees alike across a wide range of job types and industries.As an independent contractor or employee (this varies per company), you’d work from your own home office, set your own hours, and service clients in your area. Why pay for an office when you can just as easily get the job done from home? It doesn’t take long to re-outfit your home office (or spare bed room for that matter) to accommodate your new business interest. It’s hard to find an electronics store or mass merchandiser that doesn’t have a home-office section. Learn what basic supplies you need for your office area, and set things up to be ergonomic so you don’t injure yourself. There are many reasons for setting up an office at home. One might need to be with the children or maybe saving office rent is a requirement. Telephone, stationary and other such overhead expenses are shared between the house as well as the office thus cutting cost if it is a personal business.Working from home is the best that one can ask for and I predict “Working From Home” will be the premier resource for anyone wanting to start a home business for many years to come. A Complete Working from Home Business anyone can use to finally make the kind of money from home they have always wanted to. Several factors account for the new options and suggest that working from home is not only here to stay but also the wave of the future. The great advantage of working from home is that you can integrate it with family life. I love working from home and I am so grateful for being able to. Working from home is a growing trend that is here to stay.

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