IP video upgrade path

01 April 2008

Texas Instruments and Aptina Imaging deliver high-definition surveillance IP at analogue prices.

Move over CCTV, IP (Internet Protocol) networks keep overall security camera system costs down, increase image quality and reduce camera design complexity and implementation time. Texas Instruments and Aptina Imaging, a division of Micro Technology, have collaborated to produce the DM355IPNC-MT5 high-definition IP network camera reference design based on the former’s DaVinci TMS320DM355 digital media processor and the latter’s 5Mpixel high-definition security image sensor.

The DM355IPNC-MT5 camera can provide remote viewing and storage in a distributed network, something CCTV systems cannot offer. The reference design produces a field of view of 1280 x 720 pixels, an improvement on traditional systems which use two D1 cameras each seeing 480 x 720 pixels to capture the same scene. The image sensor also contributes to low noise levels and low-light sensitivity.

During MPEG-4 encoding, the camera operates at less than 3mW, reducing power requirements in all systems however complex.

The reference design also supports analogue output for existing CCTV, in readiness for those who may want to upgrade to IP systems. It is claimed to reduce development time from 150 to four months encompassing device drivers and application software to hardware and image pipe tuning. The reference design includes complete and optimised schematics, gerber files and free Linux application source code, which includes functionality for integrated auto white balance/auto exposure, simple motion detection, dual stream high-definition MPEG-4 and MPEG video codecs and DaVinci IP network camera software frameworks.

The cameras can be added to existing systems, the two companies estimate the total bill of materials to be less than $40, for an IP-based upgrade.

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