Before moving to the PoE IP camera, let’s make clear what is IP camera first. IP camera, also referred to Internet Protocol camera, is a digital video camera which captures image and transmits it over the network. IP camera needs power and communicating network to function.Therefore it has to be used with Ethernet cable to send data and the power to supply the camera. PoE IP camera has integrated with Power over Ethernet technology. Both data and power are transported through single Ethernet cable(Cat 5e/Cat 6) and videos are transmitted in the same cable. The PoE IP camera simplifies the cabling job and gets rid of the power adaptor closed to each cameras.
There are many ways to power a PoE IP camera. We will go through each of them below.
PoE IP camera can be connected and powered by PoE NVR. PoE NVR, or name PoE network video recorder, is little different from the traditional NVR. PoE switch is built in the video recorder, which can provide power and data to the cameras. Cat 5 or Cat 6 ethernet cable is the standard network cable to transmit data and supply power in PoE. To link PoE IP camera to PoE NVR, only one Ethernet cable is needed. Simplified installation reduces time and cost. PoE NVR can record video files and export it as forensic footage. It isolates IP video camera system from the main network. Usually PoE NVR has four or eight Ethernet ports. If you want to set up few IP cameras in the system, PoE NVR is a good choice.
PoE switch can also power PoE IP camera. The PoE switch connect to the cameras for power supplying and data exchanging. Using PoE switch can link multiple IP cameras and the network video recorder all together. You can choose the number of ports of PoE switch based on the system design. There are 8/16/24/48 ports PoE switch available in the market. This solution is made for those who want to set up PoE IP cameras for small-medium system.
The third way to power the PoE IP camera is by connecting to a PoE injector. The injector can add the power to Ethernet cable and the power is transported to remote IP camera as well as data. Power is taken from AC outlet before converting to DC48V. Usually the injector has two RJ45 ports. The data port will be linked to network hub to receive the data. PoE port will be connected IP camera for transporting the power and data. Since there is only one PoE port, single injector can power one PoE IP camera with this solution.
The PoE injector is able to work with PoE IP camera. If the camera doesn’t support PoE, a PoE splitter can be added to convert non-PoE IP camera to PoE available. The PoE injector and splitter usually work in pair. PoE splitter receives both data and power from the injector, and then separates them into two different outputs to the IP camera.
Last way to power PoE IP camera is to use passive PoE injector. The passive injector doesn’t have any protection for the power transporting. The users should possess the basic know-how to operate passive PoE splitter. The passive PoE injector simply forwards power from the external power adapter to remote IP cameras. It can only power up low voltage device. The passive PoE injector is the primitive PoE solution which works in a short distance.
The cable distance is limited to 100 meters in PoE system. Using PoE extender can extend the network beyond 100 meters.