IP Video 101 Trainingby John Honovich, IPVM posted on May 06, 2015 About John Contact John
This free, online training allows you to learn the basics of IP video in under 2 hours by watching a series of 6 videos and take a 14 question quiz.
It is for security technicians and security managers that want to use IP cameras but want to improve their skills with IP networks.
The videos go through each of the practical steps and key challenges you might face trying to get an IP camera online.
If you like this and want more, take the IPVM IP Networking Course and Get Certified.
PART 1 - BASICS
Getting started with IP cameras can be daunting for those without experience in computer networks. Fortunately, it is not that hard. In this part, we train networking novices on how get started using IP cameras, featuring a 9 minute video screencast and a series of screenshots showing the key elements.
Here is the full video walking you through the entire process:
Now we will review key areas covered inside the video.
Discovering IP Cameras
Discovering the IP address of your IP camera is the first step. To do so, use the IP camera manufacturer's discovery / finder tool. Examples include ACTi Utility Suite, Axis Camera Management, IQFinder, Pelco Device Utility, etc. You can also try using tools built into VMS systems but the manufacturer's own tool often works best.
Pinging IP Cameras
Once you discover the IP address of the camera (e.g. 192.168.2.144), you can then try to ping it from your PC. Pinging tests whether one computer (e.g., your PC) can reach another computer (e.g., your IP camera).
Below is an example of where pinging fails. This often happens when you first try to connect:
Being on the Same Network
The IP camera and the PC need to be on the same network. Typically, this means that the first 3 segments (called octets) need to be the same.
- Good: IP Camera address is 192.168.2.4 and PC address is 192.168.2.10 - The first three are the same (192.168.2) so they should be on the same network
- Bad: IP camera address is 192.168.2.4 and PC address is 192.168.1.10 - The first three are NOT the same so they are likely not on the same network.
Exceptions do exist in advanced configurations but this rule of thumb (first three being the same) will work in most situations.
Checking Network Configuration
Often the IP address of the camera and your PC are different. To find out your PC's IP address, you use a command called, ipconfig, showed below:
Changing IP Addresses
To connect to an IP camera and do initial setup you might need to change your IP address to be on the same network as the camera. Here's the Windows interface to do so:
Once the IP camera and your PC are on the same network, you can ping again to verify that you can reach the IP camera. Here's what it looks like when pinging is successful:
Once you can ping the IP camera, you can then connect to it via a web interface (using the camera's IP address) or add it into a VMS.
PART 2 - Setting Up Your PC
Over and over, The most common and fundamental problem techs have getting started with IP cameras is setting up their PC.
Here's a recent example shared by a manufacturer:
"We just went through a series of IP training courses with a major distributor (we met with 100 dealers in our trainings) and 90% of dealers had no idea how to change their laptops from DHCP to fixed IP to be able to connect an IP camera."
The video below teaches new techs how to successfully handle this, setting up their PC and connecting to an IP camera:
PART 3 - IP Camera Setup
Once you have your PC setup and connect to an IP camera, you need to set it up so that the camera can integrate with a VMS or NVR. In this part, we show you how to do it and what issues to avoid.
The most fundamental step in setting up IP cameras is assigning an IP address to the camera. In the video below, we explain:
- Choosing between dynamic and static IP addresses
- How to get the right IP address
- When and why to use DNS information
Watch the 6 minute video to see this in action:
The next step is to verify that the correct firmware / software is loaded on both the IP camera and VMS side. This is very easy to overlook and is one of the most common problems in using IP video surveillance. While it is not particularly hard to resolve, often users are just not aware of these element.
Watch the 4 minute video below for an explanation on the importance and impact of firmware:
PART 4 - Bandwidth Basics
Finally, understanding bandwidth is critical to using IP cameras. In this new part, we show how to measure bandwidth and how significantly bandwidth can change in different scenes and with different settings:
For more on bandwidth, we have extensive advanced training and test reports, including:
- Bandwidth Guide for Video Networks
- CBR vs VBR vs MBR - Surveillance Streaming
- H.264 vs MJPEG
- Reducing Bandwidth Through Privacy Masks
- Bandwidth vs Frame Rate
- Bandwidth vs Image Quality
One of the most painful and common problems in dealing with bandwidth is misunderstanding the difference between bits and bytes. The video below explains the differences and how it impacts using IP cameras:
QUIZ YOURSELF NOW
How much do you know about IP Video 101?
By now, you should have enough knowledge to try connecting to your own IP camera. If you do not have one, you can buy one online for less than $100. Just make sure you buy an IP/network camera and NOT a USB camera. While USB cameras are fine for personal use, they do not scale well in surveillance systems.
With your own camera, try connecting to it, changing the camera's IP address, connecting it to a VMS system, etc. Go ahead and measure the bandwidth of the camera, try changing some video settings on the camera (frame rate, resolution, CODEC) and see what happens.
Once you get these fundamentals down, it should get easier and easier to expand your knowledge.
If you have questions or hit problems, let us know in the comments and we will provide advice and feedback to help you overcome them.
Want More - Get Certified?
If you like this and want more, take the IPVM IP Networking Course and Get Certified.
Most Recent Industry Reports
Testing Axis' Top Low Light Camera Q1635 on Nov 23, 2015
Low light performance continues to improve, first driven by advances in image processing and now increasing number of 1/2" imagers in 1080p HD cameras. IPVM has recently tested new super low light...
Audio Analytics Aggression Tested on Nov 20, 2015
What if you could use your IP cameras to detect fights before they start? That is the goal of Louroe / Sound Intelligence with their recently released Aggression Detector audio analytics. Cl...
Pelco Optera 12MP Multi-Imager Tested on Nov 09, 2015
This summer, Pelco came out firing against Arecont, touting the superior performance of its new multi-imager line vs Arecont's. But is this really the case? We bought a Pelco Optera 180° multi...
IP Camera Bootup Shootout 2015 on Nov 04, 2015
IP cameras, like PCs, take some time to boot up. And just like PCs, the amount of time can vary greatly. Many people do not care but some people find it annoying. Perhaps more importantly, in surve...
Live From China on Nov 02, 2015
China's growing influence, if not dominance, of the global video surveillance market is unquestionable. To better understand this, IPVM has gone to China. Our first stop is CPSE, which claims ~100...
Network Cabling for Video Surveillance Guide on Oct 30, 2015
In this 14 page guide, we teach the fundamentals of network cabling for video surveillance networks, how they should be installed, and the differences in testing them for production networks. Spec...
Large Video Surveillance Systems Guide on Oct 29, 2015
This 14 page guide explains the key uses, design factors, and players in the large system surveillance market. A global group of 80 integrators responded, each offering insig...
Sony 20MP / 4K Camera Tested on Oct 26, 2015
For 18 month, Sony has been hyping 4K cameras, a year before they even announced a 4K network camera. Now, amidst intense competition and price pressure, Sony has released their long awaited 2...
ONVIF Screen Capture Tested on Oct 23, 2015
Recording a PC's screen to a VMS has several uses, but historically has required expensive dedicated encoders or specialized software for each VMS. Now, a new offering called Screen ONVIF has...
Milestone Arcus VMS Tested on Oct 21, 2015
For more than a decade, Milestone was a Windows only VMS. With the Internet shifting power away from Windows OSes, Milestone launched a new VMS, called Arcus, which can be embedded onto Linux ...