360 and 180 degree IP camera technology has hit the mainstream of the video surveillance industry. These cameras can be implemented into many different applications requiring omni-directional recording and playback on one video stream, let’s take a further look how an installer and end user of video surveillance cameras is going to be able to harness this technology.
End Users: First, we need to define what an End User is. An End User is someone who actually has a surveillance system installed on their private or corporate property. As an end user here is what you can expect from 180 and 360 degree camera technology.
1. 180 and 360 Technology is for IP based systems, not Analog (Ethernet Cables/No Coax).
2. Define what you would like to see out of the video stream, always remember to let the need guide the technology.
3. Industry leading manufacturers have started to make or are about to produce 180 and 360 degree cameras. Take time and test competing models from different manufacturers.
4. Check your VMS compatibility, if you have a proprietary Video Management Software that your existing surveillance system is on make sure the 180/360 product you like works with your software.
5. 180 and 360 degree cameras use more hard drive space than a typical IP camera.
6. 180 and 360 degree cameras use much more computing resources than a typical IP camera.
7. 180 and 360 degree cameras come in 3 MP versions up to 20 MP models. Typically, the higher the megapixel rating, the more expensive the camera.
Installers: Installing a 180 and 360 degree camera is not much different than a normal IP Camera. 180 and 360 cameras in my research do not have the hardiness that a normal IP camera possesses so they need to be handled with a lighter touch and more care. Below are a few tips to get you on your way to a better understanding of 180 and 360 cameras.
1. Before diving into one brand of 180 and 360 IP cameras, test out multiple manufacturers products and see which ones best fit your customer’s needs.
2. Check VMS compatibility
3. There are 180 and 360 degree cameras made both in the USA and internationally.
4. 180 and 360 degree cameras require a strong understanding of how the network load and storage requirements are affected in the overall system. 180 and 360 cameras are more processor intensive than other IP cameras.
5. 180 and 360 cameras have advanced optics and onboard processing hardware that drives up the cost of the product. Do expect to pay 3-5 times the cost of what you would normally expect to pay for a regular 1.3 MP camera.
6. Get trained and certified on a few different camera brands.
The above was a basic outline of what to look for and expect out of 180 and 360 camera technology. Another great information resource regarding the above topics would be different manufacturers and distributors of security products websites.