Video Surveillance industry these days is witnessing a magnum shift from Analog to IP and this trend is catching up all around the world. In smaller installations involving IP cameras, the task of installation and maintenance is a bit easy. But in large scale installation, things do not fall in place as expected. But if the following tips are followed, then things might turns simple to users on long run.
Camera and Network Configuration- Users need to first decide on system configuration, including the number and make of cameras, video storage and recording needs, physical location of each camera and the cabling and other hardware needs. One of the first considerations to make will be on the quality of the video you want, as this will determine the type of camera used and your network speed requirements. These days, High Definition surveillance is the most preferred, as they support video analytics.
Installation and Cabling- Using Cat5 and Cat6 cables to connect the cameras is what most installers these days are insisting. One must make sure that the cable length should always be less than 328 feet. If you have more area to be covered by the cameras, then a switch can act as a repeater. Unless you use standard cables, you will have to fit RJ-45 connectors to the cables, so make sure you get the connections right and be careful not to damage the cable. Connect the IP camera to the switch and in turn connect the switch to your Internet router and the recorder.
Power for security camera- The network cameras needs power supply to function and the easiest method to supply power is through Power over Internet (POE). Make sure the camera is POE enabled and if you are using a POE power supply, then it should be placed between the switch and the camera unless the switch is POE enabled. Alternatively, a rack mounted POE midspan device is ideal for powering several cameras.
Setup task- In order to setup a network camera, all you need to have is an IP address and a MAC address. In most cases the IP address is not static and depending upon the system, it may be necessary to set the IP address to a static one. Normally, you would start the setup with the Network Video Recorder (NVR) and configure this according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and once this is complete, configure each IP camera in turn. The actual set up differs for each manufacturer but is usually normally quite simple.
Resolving Issues- In large scale installations, usually several things go wrong on first go. Any wiring issue, incorrect RJ-45 connection or an incorrect MAC address may make it impossible to communicate. Additionally, if the CAT5/CAT6 cables are too long, you might find that the POE voltage will become too low by the time it reaches the camera. Each of these issues can be rectified by painstakingly working through the system, but this may take a considerable time in a complex system. A more effective approach is to use a specialized digital network tester.