Do Monitors Waste Higher Resolution Surveillance Cameras?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Jun 18, 2011

One fear we commonly hear about using higher resolution cameras is that capturing more pixels than can be displayed live on the monitor is a waste. For instance, if you have a 1920 x 1080 camera but display it on a 1280 x 720 monitor, the greater resolution of the camera will be essentially 'thrown away' displaying only the maximum resolution of the monitor. The same situation (or worse) goes for higher resolution cameras - 3MP, 5MP, 10MP, etc.

This is quite misleading and ignores the most powerful practical value of higher resolution cameras.

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  • Live ******* ****: An operator can digitally zoom the live video feed of a camera to focus on a specific area. This will increase the displayed details on the monitor for a certain area of interest. This is a quite common, but not ubiquituous, feature in today's Video Management Software. This functions in a similar manner to optical zoom in traditional PTZs. Instead of adjusting the focal length of the camera lens, digital zoom instructs the computer to display more pixels in a certain region of the image. The operator can now see more, take advantage of the higher resolution of the camera and overcome the limitations of the monitor.
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