What is an IP Network Video Camera (also known as an IP Camera)?
An IP Network Video Camera is a Video Camera with a built in web server that can be controlled, monitored and viewed from virtually any location via High-Speed Internet Access.
How does a Network Camera work?
A Network Camera has its own IP Address and built-in computing functions to handle network communication. Everything required for viewing images over the Network is built into the unit. An IP Network Video Camera can be described as a Camera and a computer combined. It is connected directly to the Network as any other network device and it has built-in software for a Web server, FTP Server, FTP client and e-mail client. It also includes alarm input and relay output as well. More advanced Network Cameras can also be equipped with many other value-added functions such as motion detection and an Analog Video Output.
The Network Camera's camera component captures the image, which can be described as light of different wavelengths, and transforms it into electrical signals. These signals are then are converted from Analog to Digital Format and transferred into the computer function where the image is compressed and sent out over the network.
The lens of the Network Camera focuses the image onto the image sensor (CCD). Before reaching the image sensor, the images pass through the optical filter, which removes any infrared light so that the "correct" colors will be displayed. The image sensor converts the image, which is composed of light information, into electrical signals. These electrical, digital signals are now in a format that can be compressed and transferred over networks. The Camera functions to manage the exposure (light level of image), white balance (adjusts the color levels), image sharpness, and other aspects of image quality.