What is an IP Camera or how does it work?
An Internet Protocol (IP) camera is a robust camera connected through a network and usually the internet. It is located in the area to be observed. This camera transmits a digital image and sound to a computer or Smartphone.
The connection to the computer can be:
- wired to a network router to which the computer is connected (recommended)
- wireless to the network router
- wired directly or wireless direct to the PC (note: this is technically possible but not recommended unless your PC is acting like a dedicated PVR (personal video recorder), so it shouldn’t be used for any other task or be accessed off site)
If the network router is also connected to a broadband internet connection, the camera image can be accessed via the internet from any internet connected device such as a PC, laptop or Smartphone.
Some points for consideration:
Specification of camera:
- image quality – distance from target to give a stable, usable image
- image range and control – pan, tilt, zoom
- ingress protocol ratings – dust and water proof ratings
- power requirements – battery, mains, PoE (Power over Ethernet)
- light settings – infra red, night vision, low light capability
Location of building in relation to office or house where computer or router is located; that is, the distance the image will be transmitted, and whether a wire can be installed or whether the buildings are within wireless range.
Permanent or temporary installation.
Adoption of the technology
IP Cameras have been installed in three locations within CAFRE:
- Glenwherry Hill Farm calving shed at Glenhead
- Farm Development Centre at Greenmount Campus
- Foaling stables at Enniskillen Campus
These IP cameras run through a router connected to the internet, allowing them to be accessed by stockmen from their own home computers, through Smartphone and through computer in the farm office.
Cameras, such as this, have many capabilities on a wide range of farms. As well as having the ability to transmit a live video stream, it is possible for the camera to have audio, meaning you can hear what is going on as well as see it. A further option is to have a speaker on within the camera, allowing you to speak to anyone in the shed or within earshot of the camera.
The main use for cameras such as this will be in calving pens on cattle farms and lambing sheds on sheep holdings. Other uses would be as a security camera in yards, machinery sheds or livestock houses.
For viewing on a Smartphone, the best way is to view via an IP Camera viewer application (app). These are available on iPhone and Android, with a basic app free to download and more advanced apps costing £2-£3 to download (allowing sound and so on).
This allows you access to each of the cameras and is a quicker and more mobile form of viewing the camera. Having this set up on your Smartphone means a farmer can keep an eye on livestock while away from the farm or dwelling house.
Demonstration of the technology
IP Cameras on the CAFRE locations are in everyday use by stockmen on the farms, but are also available for demonstration purposes.
This technology can be demonstrated to advisors, technologists and farmers (groups) by using the cameras at our locations.
For more information about IP cameras, please contact Ronan Coll by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone on 028 9442 6865