IPVM has long been the best online resource for the Video Surveillance Industry. It is a paid member only service covering news, reviews and test results on IP cameras, VMS, NVRs, VSaaS, video analytics and more. For the quality and quantity of rich data they roll out, the money they charge for becoming members is justified. Apart from latest news on the industry and new product launches, IPVM does a lot of product reviews themselves testing cameras in actual working conditions and sharing the results and comparisons with screen grabs and tables.
IPVM also offers online courses on CCTV, networking, access control where they use webcasting software and live chat, presenting demonstrations, graphics and explanations. IPVM courses allow interactions where dozens of questions are answered in classes to complement the informative reading materials. Some of the free data is also great for installers as well as the sales people.
I got a mailer from IPVM suggesting to have a look on their new Camera Calculator and decided to have a look. It is the best online tool that I have seen which is linked with Google Maps and Google Street View. So, if an installer is planning cameras for a city surveillance project, he can easily select a Honeywell or an Axis Camera model and place it on the Google Map and check out from Google Street View the estimated field of view. Registered members can even upload floor plans and export layouts to be shared with customers. The layouts can be exported in powerpoint with individual slides for each camera to be shared with customer after editing with project details. It is sure to give customers much more clarity on what he is supposed to get from the different cameras planned across his office or campus and the meetings can be more productive where adjustments are made from planning stages to camera field of views and image quality.
The calculator allows to set parameters such as required pixels per foot (ppf) or pixels per meter (ppm) and have the other parameters adjust automatically based on your specific camera which can be chosen from an extensive list of 3,000 models from 41 manufacturers. By adjusting the camera parameters, the installer can check whether the pixel per foot and the field of view improves or not.
Some of their other data which is available for non-members are available at:
- https://ipvm.com/reports/free-ipvm-resources – 12 free whitepapers or reports on low light vs. image quality or average frame rates used for recording in practise
- On subscribing to their newsletter, IPVM shares the 2016 IP Camera Book which talk about pixels, frame rate, resolution, bandwidth, WDR and other fundamentals and is an excellent reference guide. It is an excellent resource for sales persons as well preparing for their next interview and worried about the fundamentals!
- IPVM Camera Finder is available at https://ipvm.com/camera-finder – another excellent tool for CCTV installers
There are critics who say that IPVM reports are not much connected with the actual world scenarios and there have been issues where camera manufacturers have complained against their reviews. But currently, IPVM does not seem to have much competition.