X
Get all access to the world's best video surveillance information.
Logo
680-70-2015-free-banner

IP Video 101 Training

by John Honovich, IPVM posted on Jun 05, 2012 About John Contact John

This free, online course 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.

Want more? We have ongoing IP camera certification courses.

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, Arecont AV100, IQFinder, Pelco Device Utility, etc. You can also try using tools built into VMS systems but the manufacturer's own tool is likely to work the 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:

Verifying Connections

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:

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?

What's Next

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?

Want more? We have ongoing IP camera certification courses.

 






Most Recent Industry Reports

4K Panasonic Tested (Panoramic) on Mar 25, 2015
Panasonic has released their first 4K cameras, and surprisingly, they are panoramic, which they tout include high sensitivity 1/2" image sensors, true WDR, auto back focus, and other feat...

IP Networking Book Released on Mar 23, 2015
This is the first ever IP Networking Book for Video Surveillance. The book will give you the knowledge and the confidence to make the right decisions when designing and deploying video surveillanc...

Member Invites Released on Mar 18, 2015
Members ask regularly how can they share IPVM content with their customers, colleagues, friends, etc. Now, we are introducing 'invites' that allow eligible members to give 1 month free IPVM member...

Axis vs Hikvision vs Sony Encoder Test on Mar 18, 2015
In this report, we share test findings of three popular four port analog SD encoder models: Axis P7214 Hikvision DS-6704HFI Sony SNT-EX104 Below, we share our findings in areas including: ...

Remote Network Access for Video Surveillance on Mar 13, 2015
Remotely accessing video is difficult for 3 reasons. Private Networks Almost all video surveillance uses private IP addresses, that are by definition, not accessible directly over the public Inte...

TCP vs UDP for Video Surveillance on Mar 11, 2015
TCP or UDP? What should you use for video surveillance? TCP and UDP are both in use in the video industry today, each with strengths and weaknesses when it comes to live viewing, playback, error ...

CBR vs VBR vs MBR - Surveillance Streaming on Mar 11, 2015
How you stream video has a major impact on quality and bandwidth. And it is not simply CODEC choice (like H.264, H.265, MPEG-4, etc.) However, regardless of the CODEC, one still needs to choose ...

Tyco / Exacq Illustra Cameras Tested on Mar 09, 2015
Prior to Tyco acquiring them, Exacq was one of the leading independent VMSes. Now, Tyco / Exacq is becoming a 'solution' provider, billing their Illustra cameras as: "The Easiest High Defini...

NMAPing IP Cameras on Mar 05, 2015
The Hikvision hack has increased security concerns. Indeed, most users do not know whether they are vulnerable or not, which ports of their systems are open, and what services they may be running,...

Dahua vs Bosch and Axis 4K Cameras on Mar 02, 2015
4K is here, but not without issues. High prices and poor low light performance constrain adoption. Now Dahua, one of the two Chinese mega-manufacturers, known for its incredibly low-cost HDCVI li...