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  • Western Digital
Lens & Layout Design
  • Theia Technologies
  • IPVM

CCTV camera calculators

Calculating the different project requirements is essential in video surveillance projects. Here are some useful few online calculators that provide an easy-to-use solution for system integrators working on projects that require CCTV storage or bandwidth calculation or decisions about camera placements and lens requirements.

Video storage and bandwidth calculators for IP cameras

Storage is a major factor in CCTV camera projects, with surveillance storage costs a major part of a project’s overall cost. Hence, it is important to correctly estimate how much storage is needed to avoid having too little storage capacity or budget overruns.

Western Digital surveillance storage capacity estimator tool

For quick calculations, Western Digital’s Surveillance Storage Capacity Estimator Tool is a simple and quick video storage calculator for estimating storage requirements for projects.

With this calculator, you input your surveillance project parameters to estimate the necessary storage space needed for your environment. The calculator considers the following parameters: number of cameras, frames per second (FPS), how many hours of recording per day, needed number of retention days (e.g., 15 or 30 days), recording resolution, video quality, scene activity, compression type (MJPEG, H.264, H.265 or H.265+).

The downside of this calculator is that it can calculate storage only up to 64 cameras and that it assumes all the cameras in the project will be the same.

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IPICA software IP camera bandwidth calculator & CCTV storage calculator

In case you want to mix and match different cameras in the same project, you can consider using the IPICA Software IP camera bandwidth calculator & CCTV storage calculator instead.

Using this CCTV calculator, you can estimate the size of disk space needed and network bandwidth for H.265, H.264 and Motion JPEG video compression. This calculator allows users to calculate the requirements for several different cameras and is also available in languages besides English (including German, French, Italian, Chinese, Korean and more).

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CCTV security camera lens calculator

These calculators assist in calculating for the correct lens or determining the field of view for an existing lens

Theia Technologies lens calculator and image resolution simulator

Lens manufacturer Theia Technologies offers a free lens calculator and image resolution simulator that simulates the resolution one can expect from different lens-camera combinations.

The calculator shows a picture that represents the image resolution you can expect from the camera and lens combination as well as a picture showing how wide the field of view is.

We like that users can choose the field-of-view units (e.g., switching between feet and meters) and that the calculator is easy to use. However, it might not fit all the available options in the market. The calculation is theoretical and actual results might be different since different camera models use different proportions of the available pixels in the camera sensor. Therefore, you might want to consider a calculator that has the details of a specific cameras to get a more accurate calculation.

Want to learn more about the topic? Check out these detailed articles written by Theia:
Understanding the trade-off between image resolution and field of view
Calculating image resolution

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IPICA lens calculator and video system design tool

One example of a CCTV calculator that is based on data from specific cameras is the IPICA Software lens calculator. This calculator helps calculate CCTV camera lens focal length, pixel density and camera zones in 3D, based on a database of over 7,000 cameras.

In addition to the free online calculator, IPICA also offers a paid IP Video System Design Tool. This software offers more features and is available for a free trial or for purchase.

The IPICA IP video system design tool allows users to:

• Calculate precise camera lens focal length, viewing angles and pixel density (PPM/PPF).
• Check identification, recognition, observation, detection and monitoring zones of each camera on a site plan.
• Load site plan or floor plan from JPEG, PNG, PDF, or TIFF file and import AutoCAD DWG drawings.
• Minimize dead zones to increase the security level of premises using 2D and 3D modeling.
• Select cameras from a large built-in database of camera models (over 9,000 cameras of 80 brands).
• Get estimations of required network bandwidth and calculate the required HDD storage space for video archives.
• Plan cable layout and calculate cable lengths.
• Print or export your project to PDF. Copy your calculations, drawings and 3D mockups to MS Word, Excel, Visio or other software to create a high-quality project visualization.

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IPVM camera calculator

Another calculator is the IPVM camera calculator. The calculator uses Google Maps for the layout and design cameras. The benefits of the calculator are the user-friendly interface and choice among thousands of camera models. The calculator delivers FoV and image quality previews as well as blind spots.

However, not all features are open and the full version requires paying for a yearly membership fee. Another downside of the IPVM calculator is its reliance on Google Maps, if there are no good Google Maps of your area, the calculator will not deliver good results.

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