Welcome to 2009's fourth and final chapter of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION's acclaimed "D.U.M.I.E.S." series: "Megapixel Video for D.U.M.I.E.S."
Brought to you by Pelco, this four-part series has been designed to educate readers about megapixel cameras and video - the next phase of surveillance technology following the leap from digital to IP-based, or networked, CCTV systems. "D.U.M.I.E.S." stands for dealers, users, managers, installers, engineers and salespeople.
Recently, the megapixel revolution has begun to affect all of us in the industry. First came the megapixel camera, then megapixel lenses and, of course, megapixel video recorders. Perhaps the megapixel sport coat is next! It's for certain that this changing technology is on a very fast track, and a great deal of hype has surrounded the megapixel revolution. But what exactly is this so-called revolution all about? What is required to support megapixel systems and what are the main advantages of megapixel and IP cameras over analog cameras?
The answers lie in this series of articles, which cover the theoretical and practical technology and design theories required to intelligently sell, install or service megapixel solutions. Throughout, we've looked at many different aspects of the technology, from lenses to compression and everything in between. What is yet to be covered, however, is what happens when that glorious video is sent from one place to another. This is where this final chapter begins.
Megapixel's Circulatory System
The IP revolution in video security was the catalyst for a great number of emerging technologies, but none more than megapixel. The IP camera itself was a cool toy, but it rapidly became not much more than a stepping stone.
We know that megapixel-sized video isn't possible over an analog coax line, so the acceptance of network transmission really opened the floodgates.
We can talk all we want about standards, protocols and infrastructure, but the real reason that Ethernet networks really made megapixel cameras what they are is their ability to move very large amounts of information across what could be very far distances.
We are going to look at what it takes to move that much data, how to move it more efficiently and, most importantly, what to do with it when it gets to the other side. But before we start looking at the actual data, there is an important concept to acknowledge.
When designing a network, it isn't enough to simply say, "Well, I have a 100Mbps network and my cameras are only 2.4Mbps, so I should be fine." This is a common mistake.