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Product Focus: Setting up POE IP cameras

Over the last couple of years we have seen IP cameras revolutionise the world of CCTV. Previously limited to high-end commercial systems, now the kits are now simple enough to be used without needing the same level of in depth networking knowledge. This means that even home users can now reap the benefits of the amazing image quality and flexible setup that IP systems allow. The extra flexibility they bring however does mean that options for setting them up can get quite confusing for new users. Nowhere is this more evident then when figuring out how to run power to the cameras, with options like local power, injectors and splitters adding to the confusion. Where possible, one simple solution for this conundrum is to use Power Over Ethernet, or POE IP Cameras.

POE IP cameras can greatly reduce the complexity of your system's wiring
POE IP cameras can greatly reduce the complexity of your system’s wiring


What is POE?

Simply put, power-over-ethernet cameras draw their power from the same ethernet cables that you use to connect them to your network. This means that you just need one cable for power, data and video, and don’t need to worry about finding a local power source where the camera is installed and also saves the hassle of having to use injectors and splitters- just plug the camera in with a single cable! There are however two important limitations that you need to be aware if you plan to use POE:

  • You need compatible gear. In order to set up a system in this way, both the cameras and the ethernet switch or NVR that you intend to plug them in to need to be POE compatible. This is important, as many switches do not support this feature.
  • You need the right length cables. As with power cables on traditional CCTV systems, the longer the cable is the more power can be lost due to voltage drop. In English, this means that POE will only work down a maximum cable length of around 100m.

Our POE Camera Kits

If all of this has still left you rather confounded, then don’t worry! To make setting up an HD IP camera system as simple as possible, we have put together a range of complete kits that include every single component you need to install it using POE. We currently have 2 available, letting you choose between 720p or 1080p Full HD bullet cameras. Each version features 20m night vision range, and a fully fledged HD NVR kitted out with a massive 2TB hard drive for storage. The NVR has 4 POE ports built into the back of the unit, allowing you to quickly and easily plug the camera cables directly in to the recorder to run both video and power, and means there is no need to faff about with plugging them into a multi-port network switch. This makes it by far the best option if you want a multi IP camera system without the stress and hassle that too often comes with them!

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