Everything You Need to Know About Buying a HDMI Camera

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High-resolution video recording is becoming increasingly popular, especially for security applications. With the ability to support 4K resolution, HD-ready 1080p resolution, and even lower resolutions such as VGA and QVGA, there is a range of options available on the market. 

Both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras can benefit from using an HDMI cable connection. You can use them in security systems with DVRs or other recording devices for high-quality images that are easily stored and recorded rather than low-resolution alternatives such as analog signals. 

However, not all cameras have an HDMI output, so you’ll need to ensure your potential camera has this feature before making a purchase. In this blog post, we explore what you need to know about HDMI cameras below so that you can make an informed decision when buying one for your home or business premises.

What is an HDMI Camera?

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HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. It’s a standardized audio/video interface that allows the transmission of uncompressed digital data, along with control signals, between two devices. 

A camera with an HDMI output lets you connect directly to a screen such as a computer monitor, TV screen, or projector so that you can view the image in high-resolution. This is useful for security cameras to display a clear image rather than sending a low-resolution signal, which is harder to see. 

The HDMI interface can be used for transmitting both high-quality audio and high-quality video. HDMI connections don’t require any additional components, such as a network cable or USB cable, as they use a single cable to transmit both audio and video.

Types of HDMI cameras

There are a few different types of HDMI cameras available on the market. These include: 

  • HDMI PTZ Camera – used in a variety of applications such as security surveillance, these can be remotely controlled.
  • IP Cameras – designed for connection by Internet Protocol, these cameras can be accessed remotely using a computer or smartphone app. 
  • HD-Ready Cameras – designed for connection to a screen such as a monitor, these can record in full 1080p resolution. 
  • 4K Cameras – designed for connection to a screen such as a TV, these can record in very high resolution up to 4K. 

Things to be aware of when buying an HDMI camera

It’s important to closely consider your specific requirements before choosing a camera. Be aware of the following points before you make a purchase.

HDMI Resolution and zoom

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The resolution of an image is measured in pixels. The higher the resolution, the clearer the image will be. You’ll need to choose a camera with an HDMI output that has the resolution you need for the specific application you’re using it for. 

The resolution of an HDMI camera determines the pixel density of the image, so the greater the resolution, the higher the pixel density is. A higher pixel density means that the image is much clearer. 

The standard HDMI resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is the same as Full HD. This is the highest standard resolution for HDMI cameras, which means that if you’re using a camera with this resolution and an HD screen, the image will be displayed in full 1080p clarity. 

Some cameras have zoom functionality where you can zoom in on an image to a certain extent. Zoom functionality may be available on both indoor and outdoor cameras. This means that you can adjust the lens to focus on a specific area, while the rest of the image is less clear. 

The zoom functionality is usually found on indoor cameras, but some outdoor cameras also have this feature. If you’re using a higher resolution camera, such as 4K, the zoom function is likely to be reduced.

Another important feature is the frame rates. This refers to the number of images captured in a certain amount of time. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the image will be, particularly when there’s movement. You’ll need to choose a camera with an HDMI output that has the frame rate you need for the specific application you’re using it for. 

HDMI Streaming protocols

The streaming protocols determine how data is transmitted via the HDMI connection. While most cameras operate using the HDMI standard, there are also some that support other protocols, such as the ONVIF protocol. 

The main protocols for HDMI cameras are: 

  • H.264 – This is the most commonly used streaming protocol for HDMI cameras. It’s used to transmit both video and audio data. 
  • MJPEG – This can be used to transmit either video or audio data. It’s common for cameras that transmit low-resolution images. 
  • Audio – Some cameras have audio functionality. This may include being able to record audio, or having a built-in microphone so that you can talk through the camera.

H.264 is the most commonly used streaming protocol for HDMI cameras.

Summing up

There are many benefits to using an HDMI camera, from better image clarity and higher resolution to the ability to remotely view the image using a computer or smartphone app. It’s important to closely consider your specific requirements before choosing a camera. 

Be aware of the following points before you make a purchase: resolution, frame rates, zoom, and streaming protocols. Choosing the right camera helps you achieve the best results for your home or business security system.

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