PTZ cameras come in many options, and one of those options is IP functionality. IP PTZ cameras are easy to install and integrate into your current network. But what exactly are they? How do IP cameras work, and what makes them different from a webcam?
Let’s take a closer look at IP cameras and what they are all about.
What is an IP Camera?
An IP camera, or Internet Protocol camera, is a digital camera that transmits data over a network or the web. These cameras have their own IP addresses and only need a network connection to start transmitting and receiving video and images.
The ability to transmit and receive imagery over a network is one of the biggest differences between IP vs analog cameras. Analog cameras record footage to a video recorder, and the information is then sent to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) over a coaxial cable. IP cameras connect to a network and then transmit and receive data through that network.
These cameras connect to networks the same way you’d connect a tablet or printer.
Because they connect to a network, you can typically view their footage remotely without having to record to a separate device.
IP cameras can have a wide range of features, including:
- High resolution of 4K.
- Wide fields of view to capture more of the area.
- Low-light sensitivity for clearer images in low-light environments.
- Digital noise reduction.
- Up to 30x zoom.
- Multiple connectivity and output options.
- The ability to livestream quickly and easily.
- More advanced IP cameras will give you more flexibility and provide broadcast-quality footage.
How Do IP Cameras Work?
Now that you know what they are, you may be wondering: how do IP cameras work? IP cameras capture imagery similar to a digital camera. The imagery is then compressed and transmitted over the network. Compression plays an important role here because it allows the footage to transmit without using too much bandwidth.
IP cameras can capture footage in high definition, and thanks to advancements in compression standards, there’s very little loss in quality.
IP cameras connect via Ethernet or wirelessly. Ethernet connections tend to be more stable and reliable, but they do restrict where you place your camera. Wireless connections give you a little more freedom in where you place the camera and cut down on cord clutter.
To use an IP camera, you will need:
- An Internet connection
- A wireless or wired router
- Static IP address or DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name Server)
- Computer to configure the camera
- Network Video Recorder (NVR) software
NVR software can store the video footage from your IP cameras and allow you to view multiple cameras at once. NVRs are similar to the DVRs used with analog cameras.
The Difference Between a Webcam and A PTZ IP Camera?
We’ve answered the question “how do IP cameras work.” But there’s still one important question to answer: what’s the difference between a PTZ IP camera and a webcam?
One of the biggest differences between an IP camera with PTZ function is the way it connects. An IP camera only needs a network to start recording and transmitting footage. A webcam, on the other hand, connects directly to a computer.
You have more freedom when placing an IP camera. On the other hand, webcams are more limited when it comes to placement, and they do not have the pan-tilt-zoom function that PTZ cameras have.
IP PTZ cameras make it easy to add a camera to your network and start streaming, recording, or surveilling today.