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What is a network camera?

A network camera, often also called an IP camera, can be described as a camera and computer combined in one unit. The main components of a network camera include a lens, an image sensor, one or several processors, and memory. The processors are used for image processing, compression, video analysis and networking functionalities. The memory is used for storing the network camera’s firmware (computer program) and for local recording of video sequences.

Like a computer, the network camera has its own IP address, is connected directly to a network and can be placed wherever there is a network connection. This differs from a web camera, which can only operate when it is connected to a personal computer (PC) via the USB or IEEE 1394 port, and to use it, software must be installed on the PC. A network camera provides web server, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and e-mail functionalities, and includes many other IP network and security protocols.

A network camera can be configured to send video over an IP network for live viewing and/or recording either continuously, at scheduled times, on an event or on request from authorized users. Captured images can be streamed as Motion JPEG, MPEG-4 or H.264 video using various networking protocols, or uploaded as individual JPEG images using FTP, e-mail or HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

In addition to capturing video, network cameras provide event management and intelligent video functionalities such as video motion detection, audio detection, active tampering alarm and auto-tracking. Most network cameras also offer input/output (I/O) ports that enable connections to external devices such as sensors and relays. Other features may include audio capabilities and built-in support for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Network cameras also support advanced security and network management features.

Telemedicine speeds care to stroke victims

If ever an endorsement of Telemedicine were needed surely the recent story regarding a 56-year-old woman who was taken into the accident and emergency unit of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton showing symptoms that she was having a stroke is exactly that.

The on-call stroke consultant was at home and would have had to travel to the Royal Sussex to assess the patient – potentially wasting vital minutes before any action could be taken.

Instead she logged onto the hospital’s pioneering Telemedicine system remotely.

It meant she was able, via a screen at the end of the patient’s bed, to see and talk to the patient and work with the senior nurse to assess her medical condition and suitability for thrombolysis.

Thrombolysis is a specialist treatment that breaks up a blood clot to minimise brain damage caused by a stroke.

The team decided this was the right course of treatment and by the next morning the patient was symptom free.

Four days later she was well enough to go home.

It is the first time staff at the hospital have used the computer and video system to care for a stroke patient.

Hospital chief executive Duncan Selbie said: “Someone having a stroke loses two million neurons a minute.

“By using Telemedicine out of hours, crucial minutes will be saved and brain tissue salvaged.

“This is because assessment will no longer have to wait while the on-call consultant travels to the hospital and treatment can start much sooner.”

Julia Carter, 45, from Hove, whose father was left paralysed by a stroke three years ago, said the technology was a great idea.

She said: “Every second counts when it comes to a stroke so something like this will really help.

“I know from experience how devastating the effects of a stroke can be so anything that can reduce that impact is very important.”

Strokes happen to people of all ages, from babies and young children to adults in their more senior years.

At Rustyice Solutions our innovative Telemedicine Solutions including RPIMS and CTWS provide the tools to access to medical care for consumers and health professionals all across the country via telecommunications technology. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist your organisation exploit this powerful emerging new technology.

Designing a Commercial CCTV Camera System

When laying out a camera system for your business or company, it is important to look at five factors that will give you a good quality system. Many camera systems are designed based on false assumptions or what people see on their favorite TV show. Knowing the facts about cameras and camera systems will give you a CCTV system that will provide you the most benefit for your money.

1. What problems are you looking to solve or prevent with the cameras? – You have to sit down and decide first why you want a CCTV system in the first place. Is this going to save you money, prevent a theft or burglary, catch a thief that has already stolen from you, etc…? You want to be able to clearly define what you want from the camera system. This will allow you to choose the right cameras and location of cameras to solve or prevent your problem.

2. Are you having problems at day or at night? – Most of the time problems occur at night, but when people are looking at cameras and their quality, the demonstration of the cameras take place during the day. Seeing how a camera performs in similar lighting conditions is crucial to deciding if a camera is right for you. Many cameras can provide great images during the day or under optimal lighting conditions; but what happens at night or even low light with the image? Does the camera still produce good quality video, and are the images still sharp? Most importantly, are you able to accomplish the goal you established in item #1?

3. Will the cameras be used for live, playback or both? – Most camera systems are used for playback to see what happened after an incident took place. In this case, make sure that you know what the quality of the video will look like in playback. Many systems may look good when you are watching the live video feed but what happens in playback mode? Many Digital Video Recorders have the ability to record in different quality modes. Look at all of the different modes and pick the quality that is right for you.

4. Are you looking for general surveillance or forensic detail? – Most people have seen the TV show where a person is able to view video from a convenience store and zoom in and enhance the video to see amazing facial recognition or a license plate. This is only TV fiction and is not CCTV fact. Zooming in on video and clicking an imaginary “enhance button” does not exist. Since this doesn’t exist, you have to decide where you need general surveillance or where you need forensic detail. General surveillance will allow you to see a parking lot with one or two cameras. You may be able to see the color and type of car but that’s about it. With forensic detail, you are looking for registration plates or very close up facial details of a person. The same camera may be able to provide you both of these but the field of view and the lens used, will determine which one you get.

5. How will you, your security staff, or others responsible for security access the system? – There are many ways with today’s technology to access your camera system. Are you going to use a PC, a MAC, wireless laptop, or a Blackberry or iPhone? Simply identify who will access the cameras and decide which of the above is going to be used. Then make certain that you select a camera system that will work for you.

After thoroughly considering all of these issues, you are ready to look at different CCTV camera systems. You can now base your decision on facts and on how the system is going to perform for you. Remember that each situation is unique and that the security products must meet your needs. Not all camera systems are designed equally, so ensure that the products you select are the right ones. Rustyice Solutions can advise you on the best product selection to match up to your requirements. Call us today.