IP surveillance is a digitized and networked version of closed-circuit television (CCTV). In an IP surveillance system, an IP camera records video footage and the resulting content is distributed over an IP (Internet protocol) network.
Digitization offers a number of benefits over traditional analog CCTV, including:
- Improved search capability.
- Greater ease of use.
- Better quality images and no degradation of content over time.
- The ability to record and play simultaneously.
- The ability to compress content for improved storage.
Adding networking capability to digital CCTV provides additional benefits, including:
- Improved ability for remote viewing and control. Anyone on the network can potentially see video from any camera connected to the network.
- IP storage makes it possible to store data in any geographic location.
- Greater ease of distribution. An image of a crime suspect, for example, can be immediately distributed to officials.
- The ability to connect to email and other communications systems so that alerts can be sent automatically.
There is a growing industry trend towards replacing analog CCTV with IP surveillance systems.