Welcome to CCTV Cameras UK Support Page
IP Cameras Explained
DVR Cameras Explained
Mpeg Format Explained
H.264 Format Explained
Port Forwarding explained
Glossary of Terms
Welcome to CCTV Cameras UK the leading suppliers of CCTV Cameras in the UK.
CCTV Cameras UK offer free support via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and have put together this support page to help those who have little knowledge of CCTV Cameras and components. As expected this document aims to cover the most frequently asked questions concerning CCTV Cameras and their components and to try help our customers make an informed decision regarding their prospective purchase.
You can have the most advanced CCTV Camera system available, but if it does not do what you need it to achieve there is little point having it!
Every effort has been made to make this page as informative as possible; if you have any suggestions as to how it may be improved, please feel free to mail them to the The support team.
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2. IP Cameras Explained
Network Cameras (also called IP (Internet protocal) Cameras) allow you to have access to live or recorded video from your PC, or any other PC connected to your computer network or the Internet. For example, your CCTV cameras could be located in your branches in London, Bristol and Birmingham and you would be able to view them all. Simply by connecting your own PC or any other PC connected to your network or the Internet.
Network camera systems allow you to monitor and control your CCTV cameras from any remote location. Remote monitoring of multiple locations from one central station offers huge cost saving potential and is one of the of the many advantages network video (also called IP video) has to offer.
Network cameras (or IP cameras) are used as CCTV cameras, as ‘webcams’ on company websites and intranets and as a remote monitoring and management tool. If you have an existing (conventional) CCTV camera system, it easily can be converted into a network camera solution without the need to invest in new cameras. In this scenario network video servers are used, which convert the analogue output of the existing CCTV camera into a digital signal that is transmittable over IP (Internet Protocol) networks, such as Local and Wide Area Networks (LAN / WAN) and the Internet or upgrade your DVR recorder to one that is networkable.
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3. DVR Cameras Explained
For CCTV Camera applications, the ‘industry-standard' image compression format is JPEG - which is perhaps best known for digital still photographs. In fact, using JPEG compression a network camera is acting rather like a digital camera - taking 25 (PAL) or 30 (NTSC) pictures per second.
Often referred to as Motion JPEG or M-JPEG, it has relatively low processor demands and has made possible the current generation of network cameras. It's also quite well suited to monitoring applications where it's not always essential to provide a TV-quality frame-rate. On the negative side, the M-JPEG format dates back to the early 90s and since then the technology of compression has advanced considerably.
The other standard form of compression, MPEG-4 is actually a series of standards, developed by ISO/IEC Motion Pictures Expert Group (MPEG), and MPEG-4 Part 2 is supported by most Sony network cameras. In 2006, however, Sony began introducing a more advanced MPEG-4 format known as H.264 (or MPEG-4 Part 10). Specifically developed to provide high-quality video at a much lower bit rate than MPEG-4, it uses a variety of different advanced techniques to achieve this aim - most notably block patterns used to predict movement across video frames.
MPEG-4 compression not only operates on each individual frame (intra-frame compression) but also across a series of frames (inter-frame compression). Since a large amount of data is frequently unchanged between frames, this enables a highly significant increase in compression.
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5. H.264 Format Explained
H.264 was developed to provide high-quality video at a much lower bit rate than standard MPEG-4 or JPEG. As a result, H.264 compression represents a significant benefit to network security camera operations, offering enhanced images with reduced bandwidth.
The market uptake of this technology has been growing quickly due to its wide use within consumer products and its significant improvement over MPEG-4 in terms of compression ratio. For network cameras designed to work with H.264, less bandwidth is needed. MPEG-4 requires approximately one-third of the bandwidth used by JPEG and H.264 requires just one-fifth. That's almost a 40% saving between standard MPEG-4 and H.264. With better compression, stored files will take up much less room on a server - hence potentially saving significantly sums in network storage requirements.
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6. Port Forwarding Explained
Port Forwarding is becoming more and more common with Internet Providers having customers use Broadband Modems / Routers.
Basically all Port Forwarding does is this. The connection from the client (person making the request to see your webpage for example) comes through the Internet and hits the Router. The Router then accepts the connection from the Internet IP Address, and forwards it to the correct Local IP address.
When configuring port forwarding it is suggested that the IP CCTV Camera or DVR on the local network has a static IP address (192.168.1.XXX). Normally your router is already handing out an IP address via DHCP . You can simply configure a static IP Address on that IP CCTV Camera or DVR.
So now you know the port you are accepting the connection on, and the IP address the traffic is going to. That really is all the information you will need to configure the router. A great site I would suggest for port forwarding questions on your specific router is portforward.com. They have a comprehensive list of routers, and step by step guides for setting up the router itself for port forwarding.
Once you configure the router to pass the traffic to the IP CCTV Camera or DVR that is hosting the traffic, that is basically it. You can easily setup multiple forwarding options to different IP Cameras or DVR's, or the same computer. Just remember that you can not forward the same port twice. If you have two IP Cameras or DVR's, you will need to accept the connection on another port. This way the router knows that connections coming in on port 80 go to device 1 and connections coming in on port 85 go to device 2.
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7. Glossary of terms
3G Third Generation
BNC - Bayonet Neill-Concelman
CCTV - Closed Circuit Television
DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
DVR - Digital Video Recorder
Gb - Gigabyte
HD - High Definition
IP - Internet Protocol
LCD - Liquid Crystal Diode
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A DVR camera is a CCTV system which links one or more CCTV cameras to a digital video recorder. It's main advantage is that it can record for much longer periods without the need to change tapes. The technology also means it is possible to review the CCTV footage immediately while continuing to record.
If you've ever seen a device such as a TiVo®, you'll be able to get a good idea how a DVR CCTV camera works. The input video is recorded to a hard drive rather than a video tape. Instead of connecting a cable or satellite box to the DVR, the user simply hooks up one or more CCTV cameras and records the feed.
Using a DVR CCTV camera overcomes one of the biggest limitations of a cassette-based recording system. Usually even the largest video tape recording at the slowest speed will be limited to eight hours recording time. This means that it's impossible to use the system for extended periods without somebody being on hand to change the tapes.
It's much easier to run a multi-CCTV camera system with a DVR CCTV camera. With video tapes, you either need a separate recorder for each screen, or must use a split-screen system which means the picture recorded from each CCTV camera is smaller and thus less detailed. A DVR can process full-screen feeds from multiple CCTV cameras simultaneously.
Because a DVR CCTV camera records digitally, it's much easier to archive recordings in case you need to refer back to them later on, for example when providing evidence in a criminal investigation. The size and relatively low capacity of video cassettes means a week's worth of recordings can easily fill an entire shelf. Many users are thus forced to reuse tapes and only keep a limited amount of footage. Footage from a DVR CCTV camera can be stored on DVDs, meaning an easily portable 240-disc carry case could contain archives from two full years of recordings. The discs are much more portable than cassettes, meaning they can be moved off-site for extra security.
Another major advantage of a DVR CCTV camera system is that you can play and record at the same time. With a cassette system you could not watch recent footage, such as checking on a report of an attempted break-in, without either waiting until the tape was full, or switching tapes. A DVR CCTV camera allow you to rewind and watch footage from any point from a second ago to as far back as the hard drive recording covers.
There are also some security advantages in the way a DVR CCTV camera is powered by a computer. You can set password protection so that anyone stealing the hard drive would be unable to view the footage. Some models can even be connected to the internet and set up so that if an alarm is triggered, the footage recorded just before the alert is automatically e-mailed to another computer such as your home PC or even to the police.
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4. Mpeg Format explained