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Grains of Video Surveillance Cameras Print
August 2010

Many schools have installed closed circuit cameras for security surveillance purposes.  Some have success and some do not.  Cameras play a major part in this fortune game and we would like to explain what, why and how. 

We have the traditional CCTV cameras that use analogue magnitudes to represent video images and we also have the modern Internet Protocol cameras that use computer binary methods.  The transition is abrupt in terms of technologies employed but very gradual in terms of deployment by the market.  Put an analogue camera and IP camera side by side and assuming they have the same shape and colour, we will see that IP is obviously bigger than its analogue counterpart.  This is because IP needs more space to accommodate the computing chips that convert analogue into binaries.   Are these computing chips justifiable for the increase in size, complexity and presumably price?

Without going into technical details, the simple answer is that IP has improved the resolution or clarity of video images significantly for security surveillance purpose.  The best commercial off the shelf (COTS) analogue camera is equivalent to VGA (640 x 480 pixels) standard whereas a good but not best IP camera is SXGA (1280 x 1024). 

A tutorial on video surveillance cameras can be found here if you wish to know more about cameras.