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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.

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