Concepts of monitoring with ACTi: IP solutions and equipment
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Notice: the diagrams can be enlarged
ACTi Corporation belongs to the leading manufacturers of monitoring equipment based on IP technology. The offer includes IP cameras, IP speed dome cameras, video servers, video transcoders. Below we outline the principles and show examples of practical monitoring solutions that use ACTi equipment.
IP cameras encode video signal to MJPEG/MPEG-4 data stream, which can be further transmitted within whole computer network, received and processed by any "entitled" network device. It means that the images can be viewed and recorded in any place where a PC is connected to the network (equipped with adequate software delivered by ACTi). It is no matter whether this is local, wide or global network - it only should provide adequate transmission capacity.
IP cameras from ACTi
IP speed dome cameras, aside from all features of regular IP devices, are equipped with PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) capabilities. They allow to direct the camera to any point in the range of operation, turn it in horizontal (pan) and vertical (tilt) planes, zoom the image. It is possible to watch a wide area - instead of a whole set of fixed devices it is enough to install a single PTZ camera.
IP speed dome cameras from ACTi
Future solutions for IP video surveillance are based on megapixel cameras. They provide much more detailed images and a single device can cover a large area. Comparing with a standard camera - D1 (720 x 576 pixels = 0.41 Mpix) - megapixel cameras have at least 1.3 Mpix resolution.
Megapixel IP cameras from ACTi
The next source of video data stream is video server. This device converts video signal from any type of analog camera to IP format. It enables the previously used cameras to be utilized in IP systems. From the network side, any video server is handled the same way as IP camera.
Video servers from ACTi
Transcoder allows for receiving MPEG-4 stream and decoding it in real time to analog video signal. Due to that operation, the images (in the form of IP video streams) can be viewed on the existing standard CCTV monitors.
Transcoder from ACTi
Example solutions for monitoring based on IP networks
The diagram above shows the example of employing ACTi equipment in IP surveillance video network. The area of operation has been divided into two parts: the part under observation and monitoring center. In the first part, the fundamental elements of the system are the cameras. There is no essential difference in performance of the system as regards applying IP or analog cameras, because the offer of ACTi includes video servers enabling conversion of analog video into MJPEG/MPEG-4 stream.
It is also possible to use standard CCTV recorders and monitors since every IP device of ACTi is equipped with analog video output. Such approach allows for utilization of existing older systems as the base for modern IP solutions, and makes the whole undertaking much cheaper. Of course, there is the possibility of using new IP DVRs that have the great advantage of free location within the network.
With IP networks, unquestionable advantage is possibility of locating the monitoring center anywhere, even in very remote place. The communication is ensured by local (LAN) or wide area network (WAN).
As the basic tool for managing IP monitoring system it can be used a PC with Windows OS. The software pack needed for running monitoring is the part of ACTi equipment, and the customers have access to current updates available at the manufacturer's website.
Hybrid solution of monitoring - a combination of standard CCTV and IP CCTV equipment
The above example realization, based on ACTi equipment, is especially suitable when there is a need of modernization of existing analog surveillance system. To "upgrade" the system to modern IP video network one needs video servers linking analog CCTV cameras with IP network. The video servers are equipped with analog video outputs enabling recording of the images on DVRs or direct viewing on standard TV monitors.
To get pictures from the cameras in any remote location, it is enough to apply transcoders that will decode MJPEG/MPEG-4 data stream into analog video, in any place of the LAN or WAN network. This way it is still possible to make use of the monitors that have been working in the analog system, also for monitoring images from cameras located outside the main location.
A wide range of ACTi devices enables the designer to build any CCTV system based on hybrid (analog-IP) or IP architecture. The parts of the system are IP cameras (including PTZ and megapixel devices), video servers and transcoders, as well as managing software.
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