Eye on Video: IP video tricks of the trade

Tools that simplify network video installation


One of the biggest misconceptions people have about IP video is that despite all its great benefits, the technology is too complex to install and maintain. That might have been true years ago when the network video first hit the market. Back then, many installations required a fixed IP address, no network cameras were outdoor-ready, nor were there any appropriate tools to help expedite camera installation and focusing. But today the circumstances are very different. Vendors have begun incorporating a variety of tools to make it extremely fast and easy to set-up network cameras and maintain optimal operation.

PoE and Hi PoE: Do it all with a single cable

When the first Power over Ethernet (PoE) standard, called IEEE 802.3af, was ratified in 2004, network video surveillance reached a new cost-savings plateau. While operating an analog camera meant running two cables to the head-end for each camera, network cameras could now use a single cable connected at a network node to both power the camera and transmit the video. It was a great solution for an indoor fixed camera. But the power provided by PoE was still insufficient for a single cable to operate pan-tilt-zoom and outdoor-ready network cameras.

A new PoE standard ratified in September 2009 changed all that. Called Hi PoE or PoE+, the IEEE 802.3at standard boosts the power that Cat 5 and Cat 6 cables can deliver so you no longer need a bundle of cables to power the camera, run the heater and fan, and send control commands. Hi PoE carries enough power for a single Ethernet cable to do it all, even for an outdoor or PTZ camera. This makes it simpler and less costly for security providers to incorporate pan-tilt-zoom and outdoor-ready network cameras into their surveillance plans.

The new Hi PoE standard increased the amount of power that can be supported on a standard Ethernet cable from 12.95 watts to 22.55 watts with an option of up to 50 watts.

Powered Device Classifications

Here’s a quick look at the common PoE classifications, wattage and typical devices that would fall in each of these classes:

Class 0, 0.44 W to 12.95 W
-Any device that does not advertise its class

Class 1, 0.44W to 3.84 W
-Network cameras

Class 2, 3.84 W to 6.49 W
-Network cameras, encoders, VoIP phones, access control readers, RFID, small wireless access points

Class 3, 6.49 W to 12.95 W
-Network cameras, VoIP phones, access control readers, RFID, wireless access points,
video phones

Class 4*, 12.95 W to 22.55 W
-PTZ network cameras, camera heaters and fans
* For Hi PoE-compliant network devices only

Outdoor-ready: Mount right out-of-the-box

Today's outdoor-ready network cameras come pre-assembled for optimum operation under extreme conditions and are IP-66 rated against dust contamination and water damage. Installation is quick and easy because the robust weather-proof casing that encloses the camera contains a pre-installed heater and fan and dehumidifying membrane. Advanced outdoor-ready cameras also include intelligent temperature controls to ensure reliable operation even in extreme climate variations (-40 degrees to +122 degrees Fahrenheit). To simplify installation even further, these outdoor-ready network cameras are powered through Hi PoE which means only one cable is needed for video, power and PTZ control. The outdoor-readiness also makes it easier to swap out a camera as needed.

Modular installation designs for network-connected video surveillance cameras

Above: The modularity of outdoor-ready cameras makes them easy to deploy
in the harshest outdoor environments.

Remote focus: Cut setup time in half

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