“IP CCTV – been there, done that!”

September 21st, 2009

Axis 210 Review

That’s fantastic!

Can you spare a moment to share your experience and pass on a little of your wisdom to all of those folk following in your footsteps and currently pondering:

Peer reviews are a fantastic point of reference for anyone trying to make a buying decision.

What you have to say carries a lot more weight than anything we might say …

We have added a new and improved Product Review feature to our IP CCTV webshop.

It allows you to tick what you consider to be the Pros and Cons of a particular product.

Our new system even allows you to create new Pros & Cons if you don’t like the ones we’ve started with 🙂

The killer question is handled with a simple drop-down selection:

Would you recommend this product to a friend?

Choose: Definitely Yes, Probably, Not Sure, Unlikely, No Way.

Simple as that, only takes a moment to do, and yet it means so much to anybody reading it!

Of course, there’s also plenty of space for you to offer as much experience and feedback as you feel able to give.

So, can we please ask, that if you own, have used, or have experience with any of the products in our IP CCTV shop, could you please just spare a moment to help those who are still trying to choose?

Just go to the product page and click the link – it will either say ‘Be the first to click this link’ or ‘Add your review’ if there are already reviews for the product.

We don’t mind where you bought your product from, that’s not important, we would just be really grateful for your product feedback and any words that would help others with their choices.

Thank You.

Click the link to visit our IP CCTV Shop and let the feedback flow.

How do I find more information about IP cameras?

September 21st, 2009

IP Camera Questions

Simple – just ask!

And we will try to make it as quick and hassle-free to get answers as is technologically possible!!

We have added a Product Question feature right on the product pages in our IP CCTV webshop.

That’s right, on each and every product page you can ask questions and find answers to questions about the very product you are looking at and interested in.

We already try to include as much information as possible; we have added datasheets, photos and videos; we have a forum dedicated to IP CCTV; we continue to write IP CCTV articles in this blog …

But …

Sometimes YOU just want to get a quick answer to a simple question:

  • How do I …?
  • Do we need to …?
  • Can it …?
  • How big …?
  • How far …?
  • Is it compatible with …?
  • Etc.
  • To be honest, if we knew what the questions were, we would already have put the answers there for you 😉

Well, we now have this ‘Product Questions’ feature, right there on the product page.

If you can’t see the information you need, or if you just want to check some particular detail, just click the link near the top of the page ‘Be the first to ask about this product’ or if somebody else has already asked questions, the link will say ‘Ask a question (1)’ – the number in the brackets tells you how many questions have already been asked and answered.

Throughout most of the day you should get a pretty quick response; our system lets us know immediately you ask the question, and emails you with the answer the very instant that we publish it! 🙂

All questions and answers are published on the product page, near the bottom, just scroll down to see what others have asked.

If you have any questions, about any of our products, don’t be shy – just click the link on the product page and ask!

Right there, right away, rest assured you won’t be the only one wondering.

We will be glad you asked. Everyone who follows you will be delighted to find the answer already published there thanks to your question.

If you have big old questions about solutions, applications, or technologies please take a look in our IP CCTV Forum and feel free to start a thread there …

We are trying to help …

If we can do any more to help you choose the best IP Cameras or the best CCTV recording software and network video recorders, please just let us know – comments below – Contact Us form to the right …


June 18th, 2009

IPCCTV manufacturers promo videos at YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

IPCCTV is a complex technical subject and there are almost too many possible solutions to choose from.

We know that our customers like to do lots of research before selecting their network cameras and CCTV recording software so, we have put together a web page to collate all the IPCCTV Video Channels from our Partner manufacturers.

There is a growing trend to use video web services such as YouTube and Vimeo to deliver good promotional videos.

At the time of writing ACTi are obviously an early adopter with nearly two hundred videos on YouTube. Axis only set up an official channel yesterday, and Vivotek uploaded their first videos to Vimeo in the last 24 hrs.

Some of the videos adopt a formal instructive style.

Some are just for fun.

Some have rockin’ soundtracks!

Plainly this presentation medium is going to grow and grow …

Grab a cup of tea, pull up a comfy chair, make sure you’ve got a good broadband connection, switch your speakers on and …

Let the IP CCTV Camera Manufacturers entertain you!!!

We look forward to your comments and feedback below …

Network Camera Bandwidth Calculator

June 9th, 2009

Network Camera Bandwidth CalculatorJVSG, the Joint Video Surveillance Group, have developed a great software tool which helps you to calculate the bandwidth needed for network CCTV cameras.

This is one of the major concerns expressed (typically by IT Managers) when people suggest adding video cameras to their network.

The software can calculate the bandwidth requirements for cameras with all the common resolution specifications and allows you to calculate the effects of varying resolution, frame rates, numbers of cameras, the video compression standard (H.264, MPEG4, MJPEG) etc.

You can even estimate the impact of varying amounts of motion activity in the scene.

See below for more information on the settable parameters, or click the image above to visit their website.

You can download and run a FREE 45-day evaluation copy of this software from their website, and if you decide to buy it’s just £39 to licence the software for continued use.


  • Resolution – Camera resolution in pixels. You can select resolution from the drop-down list. The list contains most popular PAL and NTSC camera resolutions (like 352×288 CIF PAL, 704×576 4 CIF PAL) as well as some typical network cameras resolutions (like 640×480) including megapixel resolutions (1280×1024, 1600×1200), HD and full HD resolutions (1920×1080) as well as others.
  • Compression – Video compression. You can choose from MPEG4, H.264, four levels of Motion JPEG (MJPG) compression (from Low to High) and “RAW Data”. If you use Motion JPEG you can use different JPEG compression levels. If you use low MJPEG compression (level 10) you get best quality of picture and about 10 times lower frame size. If you use Medium MJPEG compression (level 20) you usually obtain a good picture quality and an optimal Quality/Frame Size ratio. With a JPEG level of more than 50 your picture becomes bad for video surveillance purpose.
  • FPS – Frames Per Second. Typical FPS for video surveillance system is from 5 to 15 frames per second. In some applications (like CCTV in casino) it is required to use higher speed values (25-60 FPS). Alternative name for FPS is IPS (Images Per Second).
  • Days – Required length of video archive in days (24 hours). Used for storage space calculation.
  • Cameras – Number of cameras in your CCTV installation with the same parameters.
  • Recording % – Estimated motion recording activity. 100% for constant recording. This parameter is used to calculate disk storage space in case the video is recorded on a schedule or on a motion detector.
  • Image Complexity – Frames from some CCTV cameras are more detailed and have a higher frame size.
  • Motion % – Motion activity (100% for constant activity). This parameter is used for MPEG4 and H.264 bandwidth estimation.

CCTV Surveillance Facts?

March 5th, 2009

CCTV Surveillance Camera

CCTV camera statistics are often quoted to illustrate how we are all watched by 300 cameras a day, and how many millions of security cameras there are in the UK.

We’ve commented on these ‘facts’ previously and pointed out that they never seem to increase since we first quoted them over five years ago, and wonderment at how these numbers of installed surveillance cameras were ever established?

There was an interesting piece in The Guardian yesterday by Paul Lewis, with many links to research and the original documents that first cited (in some cases made-up) these claims.

David Aaronovitch has been snooping on statistics. His mission: to get to the bottom of the dubious claim, often quoted as fact, that the average Briton is caught on 300 CCTV cameras a day.

The statistic is fiction. Or at least was written as such when it first appeared in 1999 in the book The Maximum Surveillance Society. The author, Sheffield University’s Professor Clive Norris stated clearly in the book that the “contrived account” of a day in the life of a man called Thomas Reams was “a fictional construction” designed to mirror the reality of routine surveillance. That important detail appears to have been lost when the estimate was referenced in a landmark study for the Office of the Information Commissioner.

The original detective work of chasing these stats was carried out by David Aaronovitch in an article in The Times:

The mystery stat was sitting on one of our Times blogs and read “the average Brit is caught on security cameras some 300 times a day” and, God knows why, I just decided to chase the number down and find out where it came from. The colleague responsible for the blog referred me to a couple of news stories, and to a document issued by the office of an important and newsworthy quango.