Video Glossary


The first order of business to put all the pieces of the puzzle together is a quick video definitions lesson.

Auto-Iris Lens: With an auto-iris lens, the iris is controlled automatically to regulate the amount of light entering the camera. This is ideal for camera installations in outdoor locations, high-contrast situations, and areas where lighting conditions fluctuate.

Bit: a binary digit taking a value of 0 or 1 and the basic unit of measure for digital information storage.

Bitrate: the number of bits processed per unit of time (not distance), quantified as bits per second (bps) or in larger increments kilo bits per second (kbps), mega bits per second (Mbps), giga bits per second (Gbps) or tera bits (Tbps).

CCD Image Sensor: A CCD image sensor is a light-sensitive image device available in many IP network cameras. The sensor transforms light into electronic signals. CCD sensors provide strong light sensitivity allowing for video surveillance in low-light conditions.

CCTV: CCTV (or closed-circuit television) refers to the use of analog surveillance cameras to submit a video signal to a specific set of monitors. Since a CCTV system is closed, only a limited number of viewers can access the footage from a single location. With the arrival of IP-based surveillance, analog CCTV systems are now being superseded by improved digital technology.

Codec: a program which encodes (compresses) a digital stream for transmission, storage and encryption and/or decodes a digital data stream for displaying and editing Compression/Decompression.

CIF (Common Intermediate Format): Defines the resolution in terms of width and height of the video frame and the frame rate. CIF is stated as 352 x 240 pixels in the NTSC format (National Television System Committee – video television standard format used in North America). Other common resolutions are: 2CIF (704 x 240), 4CIF (704 x 480). This should not be confused with Common Image Format, a standard frame size for digital video.

Compression Artifact: the result of a significant data compression
scheme applied to an image, audio, or video which discards some critical data that may be too complex to store in the available data-rate, or may have been incorrectly determined by an algorithm to be of minimal value.

Ethernet: Ethernet is a standard technology for network communications in LANs (Local Area Networks). Ethernet LANs use twisted pair cabling, with network devices connecting to a central cable or hub. The most common Ethernet systems are 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T10, which transmit data at speeds of 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps.

Field of View: The field of view represents the complete area of coverage provided by a network camera when viewed at full frame. Field of view can be determined by camera type, lens, and image resolution.

Image: a two-dimensional artifact.

Image Compression: Image compression reduces the file size of video images to optimize bandwidth while streaming surveillance footage. The most common compression technologies for IP network cameras are Motion JPEG and MPEG-4. H.264 is the latest compression technology that significantly reduces the file size of high-quality video images.

IP (Internet Protocol): IP (Internet Protocol) is a connectionless protocol used for transmitting data over a network. Data is divided into independent packets containing the IP address of both the sender and the recipient. Each computer or network device has its own unique IP address.

IP Address: An IP address is the unique address of a computer or network device connected to that network. IP addresses allow those network computers and devices to locate each other and transfer data back and forth.

IP Camera: An IP camera (or network camera) captures and transmits live video images directly over an IP network. Each camera has a built-in web server and its own IP address. IP cameras allow for remote viewing, recording, and management from anywhere using a web server or video management software.

LAN: A LAN (Local Area Network) is a grouping of computers and network devices that share common resources within a small physical area, for instance an office building or school. LANs usually offer high data transfer rates and use Ethernet or Wi-Fi for network communication.

LUX: Lux refers to a standard unit of measure for illumination. In relation to network cameras, lux is the measure of low-light sensitivity provided by the camera.

Megapixel IP Camera: Megapixel IP cameras provide exceptionally high image detail and are the ideal choice for video surveillance applications where clear identification of people and objects is critical. A megapixel camera will also provide a broader field of view than a conventional surveillance camera, and allows users to zoom in on specific portions of a scene without a significant loss in image detail.

Motion Detection: In terms of IP-based surveillance, motion detection is a network camera application that allows users to trigger events such as recording, high-quality video streaming, and automated alerts to occur only when motion is perceived. Motion detection helps to optimize bandwidth and preserve storage space.

Network Camera: A network camera (or IP camera) captures and streams live video images directly over an IP network. Each camera has its own IP address and features a built-in web server. Network cameras allow for remote viewing, recording, and video management from anywhere using a web server or video management software.

Network Video Recorder: A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a hardware box that receives video streams over a LAN or WAN and captures them onto hard disk in digital format. Recording and playback can be managed remotely using a network PC.
Pan: IP cameras with panning capabilities can move back and forth horizontally in order to monitor wider areas. In many cases a camera’s panning functionality can be controlled remotely from a network PC using video management software.

Pixel: (picture element) is the smallest portion of information in an image. Pixels are merely samples of original images.

PTZ: PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom functionality) is a feature available in many IP camera models. PTZ allows users to monitor large areas with a single network camera. Pan, tilt, and zoom functions can be controlled remotely so operators can follow activity and focus in on specific details.

Resolution: distinct number of pixels in each dimension that “MAY” be displayed. Resolution can be specified as the number of pixel-columns (width) by the number of pixel-rows (height).

Sample: a set of values at a point in time and/or space.

Tampering Alarm: A tampering alarm is a sophisticated application found in some network cameras that can detect when a camera is being tampered with. The alarm can be triggered by potential acts of tampering, for instance if the camera lens is adjusted, obscured, or covered up.

Tilt: Tilt refers to an IP camera’s ability to be directed up and down in a vertical plane. The camera lens can be aimed at a specific part of a scene, and in many cases the tilt can be controlled remotely.

TVL (TV Lines): Method of defining resolution in analog video.

Video Server: A video server is a computer-based device dedicated to delivering video streams online. In terms of IP-based video surveillance, a video server converts video footage from analog security cameras into digital IP video streams. This allows users to incorporate existing analog cameras into an IP surveillance system.

Wireless Network Camera: Wireless network cameras are able to connect to a network wirelessly, allowing for flexible installation in virtually any location. In general, wireless IP cameras are recommended for use in areas where the installation of cables isn’t feasible, and for surveillance applications where cameras will be moved and repositioned regularly.

WPA: WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a wireless encryption standard that indicates compliance with security protocol established by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure wireless networks.

Zoom: Zoom functionality is available in many network camera models. It allows users to zero in on specific details and areas of a scene, and can often be controlled remotely.

The first order of business to put all the pieces of the puzzle together is a quick video definitions lesson.

 

Auto-Iris Lens: With an auto-iris lens, the iris is controlled automatically to regulate the amount of light entering the camera. This is ideal for camera installations in outdoor locations, high-contrast situations, and areas where lighting conditions fluctuate.

 

Bit: a binary digit taking a value of 0 or 1 and the basic unit of measure for digital information storage.

 

Bitrate: the number of bits processed per unit of time (not distance), quantified as bits per second (bps) or in larger increments kilo bits per second (kbps), mega bits per second (Mbps), giga bits per second (Gbps) or tera bits (Tbps).

 

CCD Image Sensor: A CCD image sensor is a light-sensitive image device available in many IP network cameras. The sensor transforms light into electronic signals. CCD sensors provide strong light sensitivity allowing for video surveillance in low-light conditions.
 
CCTV: CCTV (or closed-circuit television) refers to the use of analog surveillance cameras to submit a video signal to a specific set of monitors. Since a CCTV system is closed, only a limited number of viewers can access the footage from a single location. With the arrival of IP-based surveillance, analog CCTV systems are now being superseded by improved digital technology.

 

Codec: a program which encodes (compresses) a digital stream for transmission, storage and encryption and/or decodes a digital data stream for displaying and editing Compression/Decompression.

 

CIF (Common Intermediate Format): Defines the resolution in terms of width and height of the video frame and the frame rate. CIF is stated as 352 x 240 pixels in the NTSC format (National Television System Committee – video television standard format used in North America). Other common resolutions are: 2CIF (704 x 240), 4CIF (704 x 480). This should not be confused with Common Image Format, a standard frame size for digital video.

 

Compression Artifact: the result of a significant data compression

scheme applied to an image, audio, or video which discards some critical data that may be too complex to store in the available data-rate, or may have been incorrectly determined by an algorithm to be of minimal value.

 

Ethernet: Ethernet is a standard technology for network communications in LANs (Local Area Networks). Ethernet LANs use twisted pair cabling, with network devices connecting to a central cable or hub. The most common Ethernet systems are 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T10, which transmit data at speeds of 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps.
Field of View: The field of view represents the complete area of coverage provided by a network camera when viewed at full frame. Field of view can be determined by camera type, lens, and image resolution.

 

Image: a two-dimensional artifact.

 

Image Compression: Image compression reduces the file size of video images to optimize bandwidth while streaming surveillance footage. The most common compression technologies for IP network cameras are Motion JPEG and MPEG-4. H.264 is the latest compression technology that significantly reduces the file size of high-quality video images.
 
IP (Internet Protocol): IP (Internet Protocol) is a connectionless protocol used for transmitting data over a network. Data is divided into independent packets containing the IP address of both the sender and the recipient. Each computer or network device has its own unique IP address.
 
IP Address: An IP address is the unique address of a computer or network device connected to that network. IP addresses allow those network computers and devices to locate each other and transfer data back and forth.
 
IP Camera: An IP camera (or network camera) captures and transmits live video images directly over an IP network. Each camera has a built-in web server and its own IP address. IP cameras allow for remote viewing, recording, and management from anywhere using a web server or video management software.
 
LAN: A LAN (Local Area Network) is a grouping of computers and network devices that share common resources within a small physical area, for instance an office building or school. LANs usually offer high data transfer rates and use Ethernet or Wi-Fi for network communication.
 
LUX: Lux refers to a standard unit of measure for illumination. In relation to network cameras, lux is the measure of low-light sensitivity provided by the camera.
 
Megapixel IP Camera: Megapixel IP cameras provide exceptionally high image detail and are the ideal choice for video surveillance applications where clear identification of people and objects is critical. A megapixel camera will also provide a broader field of view than a conventional surveillance camera, and allows users to zoom in on specific portions of a scene without a significant loss in image detail.
 
Motion Detection: In terms of IP-based surveillance, motion detection is a network camera application that allows users to trigger events such as recording, high-quality video streaming, and automated alerts to occur only when motion is perceived. Motion detection helps to optimize bandwidth and preserve storage space.
 
Network Camera: A network camera (or IP camera) captures and streams live video images directly over an IP network. Each camera has its own IP address and features a built-in web server. Network cameras allow for remote viewing, recording, and video management from anywhere using a web server or video management software.
 
Network Video Recorder: A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a hardware box that receives video streams over a LAN or WAN and captures them onto hard disk in digital format. Recording and playback can be managed remotely using a network PC.
Pan: IP cameras with panning capabilities can move back and forth horizontally in order to monitor wider areas. In many cases a camera’s panning functionality can be controlled remotely from a network PC using video management software.

 

Pixel: (picture element) is the smallest portion of information in an image. Pixels are merely samples of original images.

 

PTZ: PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom functionality) is a feature available in many IP camera models. PTZ allows users to monitor large areas with a single network camera. Pan, tilt, and zoom functions can be controlled remotely so operators can follow activity and focus in on specific details.

 

Resolution: distinct number of pixels in each dimension that “MAY” be displayed. Resolution can be specified as the number of pixel-columns (width) by the number of pixel-rows (height).

 

Sample: a set of values at a point in time and/or space.

 
Tampering Alarm: A tampering alarm is a sophisticated application found in some network cameras that can detect when a camera is being tampered with. The alarm can be triggered by potential acts of tampering, for instance if the camera lens is adjusted, obscured, or covered up.
 
Tilt: Tilt refers to an IP camera’s ability to be directed up and down in a vertical plane. The camera lens can be aimed at a specific part of a scene, and in many cases the tilt can be controlled remotely.

 

TVL (TV Lines): Method of defining resolution in analog video.

 

Video Server: A video server is a computer-based device dedicated to delivering video streams online. In terms of IP-based video surveillance, a video server converts video footage from analog security cameras into digital IP video streams. This allows users to incorporate existing analog cameras into an IP surveillance system.
 
Wireless Network Camera: Wireless network cameras are able to connect to a network wirelessly, allowing for flexible installation in virtually any location. In general, wireless IP cameras are recommended for use in areas where the installation of cables isn’t feasible, and for surveillance applications where cameras will be moved and repositioned regularly.
 
WPA: WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a wireless encryption standard that indicates compliance with security protocol established by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure wireless networks.
 
Zoom: Zoom functionality is available in many network camera models. It allows users to zero in on specific details and areas of a scene, and can often be controlled remotely.