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IT Helpdesk Network Management

helpdeskYour Business and Staff Require Technology to Work.

There’s no getting around it, there’s almost no business on the planet these days that cannot fucntion without technology. It is a tool that all businesses and staff require to function.

Help Desk:  Professional, Certified Experts Supporting Your Business

In the world of IT, problems happen. Computers crash, passwords are lost, email stops working, and the list goes on. And without proper technical support in place, these problems can bring your business to an abrupt – and potentially damaging – halt.

Not every support issue can be called a catastrophe…until it prevents you from being able to do your job. We’re here to help you stay ahead of the curve, so you can focus on growing your business – and to do so, we’ve adopted a proactive approach to network monitoring and IT maintenance.

That’s why our help desk is a seamless extension of our Sentinant Networks remote monitoring platform. So when you call to report an issue, there’s a good chance we’re already aware of the problem you’re experiencing – and are actively working to resolve it.

Our technicians receive regular training, coaching and quality review to continuously sharpen their skills, and they’re backed by a team of professional supervisors and managers to ensure consistency and unmatched service delivery.

What is video management software?

Video management software running on a Windows or Unix/Linux server, supplies the basis for video monitoring, analysis, and recording. A wide range of software is available, based on the users’ requirements. A standard Web browser provides adequate viewing for many network video applications, utilizing the Web interface built into the network camera or video server especially if only one or a few cameras are viewed at the same time.

To view several cameras at the same time, dedicated video management software is required. A wide range of video management software is available. In its simplest form, it offers live viewing, storing and retrieving of video sequences. Advanced software contains features such as:

  • Simultaneous viewing and recording of live video from multiple cameras
  • Several recording modes: continuous, scheduled, on alarm and on motion detection
  • Capacity to handle high frame rates and large amounts of data
  • Multiple search functions for recorded events
  • Remote access via a Web browser, client software and even PDA client
  • Control of PTZ and dome cameras
  • Alarm management functions (sound alarm, pop-up windows or e-mail)
  • Full duplex, real-time audio support
  • Video intelligence

Video management: Monitoring & recording

Video management of a network video system includes video monitoring, which can be conducted from a Web browser or specific video management software. Video recording can be conducted from video management software installed on a PC or through the use of a Network Video Recorder (NVR), which is a hardware box with pre-installed video management software.

In a network video system, video can be viewed from any point on the network provided there is access to a Web browser. Each camera has a built-in Web server with an IP address, so to view the images on a PC, one simply opens a Web browser and types in the camera’s IP address in the Address/Location field:

Even though video can be viewed directly from a standard Web browser, video management software can be installed if more flexible viewing options, as well as the ability to store and manage video, are required. A wide variety of software solutions exist on the market, which range from independent solutions for a single PC, to advanced client/server-based software providing support for multiple simultaneous users. Common functionality includes video monitoring, event management functions and alerts to alarm events via siren or e-mail for instance.

What is a video encoder?

A video encoder, or video server, makes it possible to move toward a network video system without having to discard existing analog equipment. It is ideal for integration with existing analog CCTV (closed circuit television) system. A video encoder brings new functionality to analog equipment and eliminates the need for dedicated equipment such as coaxial cabling, monitors and DVRs – the latter becoming unnecessary as video recording can be done using standard PC servers.

A video encoder typically has between one and four analog ports for analog cameras to plug into, as well as an Ethernet port for connection to the network. Like network cameras, it contains a built-in Web server, a compression chip and an operating system so that incoming analog feeds can be converted into digital video, transmitted and recorded over the computer network for easier accessibility and viewing.

Besides the video input, a video encoder also includes other functionalities and information which are transported over the same network connection: digital inputs and outputs (I/O, which can be used to trigger the server to start recording and transmitting images, or activate alarms and devices such as lights and doors), audio, serial port(s) for serial data or control of pan/tilt/zoom cameras and devices. With image buffers, it can send pre-alarm images. A video encoder can also be connected to a wide variety of specialized cameras, such as a highly sensitive black and white camera, a miniature or a microscope camera.

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.