Online Tutorials include Milestone IP Video

Useful Basics and How-To Info on 24 Network Security Topics
Want to learn more about the basics of IP Video, Video Surveillance or CCTV?

The non-commercial website has published 24 video surveillance/CCTV tutorials that cover such topics as Camera Basics, IP Cameras, Megapixel Cameras, Introduction to H.264, NVRs, Storage, Video Analytics, Networking, Convergence, Wireless, and more. 

Here is an excerpt from just one of them, that also mentions Milestone:

Introduction to IP Video Surveillance and NVRs

Almost everyone agrees that to be designated an NVR a solution must support IP cameras. Indeed, the network in “network video recorder” is generally accepted as referring to the use of an IP network to connect IP cameras to an NVR.

Moreover, a debate exists in the industry over what to call these solutions. Reflecting the legacy of DVRs, many call these systems NVRs. However, this brings the connotation of hardware and proprietary appliances which goes against fundamental principles that many hold of providing open 'software only' solutions. Frequently manufacturers refer to their products as "IP Video Management" solutions or "IP Video Surveillance" solutions. For purposes of brevity, I use the acronym "NVR" in this document.

Most NVR suppliers offer their product as software only. That is to say the NVR provides the user with files that are loaded on a computer of the user's choosing. The user does not have to purchase the hardware of the NVR supplier. This is widely considered to be a major benefit of NVRs and is referred to by Milestone Systems, as busting out of proprietary jail. Choosing your own hardware can reduce total costs and increase flexibility to design and deploy a system that best meets your needs.

However, many NVR suppliers do offer appliances. Appliances in IT refers to bundles of hardware and software that you must purchase together.

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