It can be for crime prevention, industrial observation or traffic watch.
They can be installed anywhere and everywhere like banks, casinos, offices, airports, government buildings and other locations which need vital protection. Video surveillance cameras are invaluable tools to post crisis and post crime investigations as it was proven by the July 7 London Underground attacks wherein a close circuit television video surveillance camera was able to capture the picture of a suspect in the attack. Because of its usefulness, governments opt to use them more in public places in order to prevent more crimes. In the United Kingdom, they have one camera for every 14 people. The United States is starting to do the same however it is smudged in debates and controversies.
There are those who are for the use of video surveillance cameras in public places in order to prevent crime.
On the other hand there are those who oppose it because they say it violates the rights of every citizen for privacy and it violates the Fourth Amendment which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. For those who support the use of video surveillance cameras they say that the need for public safety weighs more compared to the need for privacy. However, for those who would want to protect themselves it is now easy to purchase a video surveillance system for small offices or even homes.
The auto focus feature of IP Surveillance cameras that can be zoomed could be handy when working with PTZ IP Cameras.
Many CCTV cameras support night vision by turning off the IR Filter which makes the image viewable at night, in black and white.
Some IP Surveillance cameras can identify the light source used and compensate for its color which is useful to reflect the natural colors.
Certain IP Surveillance cameras can limit the bit rate at which the images are sent via the network and hence controlling the network bandwidth that is required to transmit the captured video images of the IP Cameras. But there might be some loss in image quality due to this.
Images can be freezed during the pan, tilt and zoom operations (for PTZ Camera) and the current image can be shown after the camera has reached its position.
This feature makes the focused objects look more clear against a bright background.
Some IP Cameras allow for recording the voice along with video (external microphone connectivity is provided in the cameras). With some models, a full duplex voice communication is possible which enables to transmit and receive audio like a telephone conversation.
Camera Preset Positions:
Many IP PTZ Surveillance cameras allow for setting pre-set camera viewing angle/zoom positions which can be accessed with a single click, later. The camera can also move through the selected pre-set positions in set order or at random.
360 Degree View:
Certain PTZ cameras support continuous 360 degree rotation for coverage. Even if there is a mechanical stop in between, the camera can exhibit continuous Pan movement in the same direction by reversing the camera lens and slipping it over when the camera reaches the mechanical stop.
This feature is used to generate an alarm whenever movement occurs (or stops) in the image. There are certain include windows which can target specific areas within the images and there are certain exclude windows which can ignore specific areas for motion detection. Motion detection may not function which the camera lens is moving.
Some IP Surveillance cameras provide interchangeable components (including the CPU, power supply, cameras etc) and individual components can be replaced/changed at any time. This helps rectify faults and there is also no need to change the whole camera when the CPU becomes obsolete, for example.
Some IP Surveillance cameras come with an optional analog connectivity which can also connect to the co-axial cable network in addition to the IP network. Analog surveillance cameras can be connected to the IP network using Video encoders.
IP Surveillance cameras allow to block/blur certain parts of the screen using privacy masks. In fact, multiple privacy masks can be deployed in the same scene. In some IP Cameras, these privacy masks increase their size automatically, when the image is zoomed in.
Some IP Cameras allow the recording of the movements of the operator (pan, zoom included) and the same can be played back later.
If any unwanted incidents happen with the cameras like cutting the cables etc. that can stop the functioning of the IP cameras, certain alarms can be activated by them based on the event and severity. These alarms can range from sending emails, SMS to activating an external device automatically through input/output ports available in the cameras.
Simultaneous streaming of multiple formats:
Certain IP surveillance cameras support the streaming of multiple compression formats (like Motion JPEG, MPEG 4), frame rates, resolutions etc. simultaneously to multiple devices for optimum performance.
Some IP Cameras support auto-tracking of images where Pan and Tilt can be automatically controlled by the camera to follow moving objects by centering them in the screen.
Power Over Ethernet (POE):
Many IP surveillance cameras support POE – Power Over Ethernet feature which lets the network data cable (Cat 5E/6) to carry both power and data simultaneously without having to carry a separate power cable to the cameras.
Some IP surveillance cameras support wireless connectivity to networks/access points through IEEE 802 wireless standards. This can be useful in cases where the data cables cannot be taken/very expensive to be taken till the IP cameras.
Some IP Surveillance cameras give an open standards based Application Programming Interface that enables many software vendors to write programs for specific applications using the IP Cameras.