Frequent Asked Questions

Why are MOBOTIX cameras described as software-flexible?

The system concept of the MOBOTIX camera is software-based, i.e. software is used to create everything from the pixel of the image converter right on up to the compressed image in the web browser. The MOBOTIX camera does not use a video signal, a video digitizer or an image compressor.

Software is also used to control all the exposure control, the white balance and the color correction.

Why are MOBOTIX cameras called format-independent?

The advantage of the software-based solution is that the MOBOTIX camera can be easily updated to the latest image and sound standards of the web browser via software upload. Other network cameras equipped with hardware JPEG encoders cannot even be updated to the new JPEG-2000 standard.

Why are MOBOTIX cameras equipped with a frame buffer and a player?

Depending on the model, MOBOTIX cameras are equipped with a frame buffer with up to 64 MB for the compressed JPEG images, i. e. time or event-controlled, up to 4500 images (320×240, 50% JPEG quality) can be stored internally in the camera (e.g. M10 Secure and Night models). The integrated player can be used to view series of images frame by frame or in cue-and-review with or without the image series (pre- and post alarm images).

The event images can be compressed as archive images from the camera to a computer or also sent as an e-mail attachment. The archive can be accessed with virtually any unpacking program (e.g. WinZip) and the contents unpacked and the images then viewed on an HTML page in any web browser. No plug-ins, no activeX-file, no Java or any other programs are required. The only prerequisite: JavaScript must be activated in the browser.

In this case, neither a MOBOTIX camera nor the MxControlCenter is needed to view the images.

Why do MOBOTIX cameras have such high image quality?

The MOBOTIX camera uses the variable video motion windows to reliably identify motion in the image and is able to allocate them to specific actions. Because the system is able to identify and represent moving objects in the image, the viewer is also enabled to do such things as to secure escape routes more easily.

Basically, for MOBOTIX cameras only high-quality perfectly coordinated components are used, starting from sensor to the processor. Because MOBOTIX cameras can flexibly optimize image compression, particularly in the lower quality levels (15-30% JPEG) and small image storage sizes (5-10 kBs, 320×240), they are superior to any hardware encoder in terms of image quality. Even 64-bit arithmetic produces images that do not look “patchy”.

What’s more, thanks to their rapid two-stage exposure control, the cameras guarantee excellent color and image quality, even at dawn and dusk.

How are the images evaluated?

The MOBOTIX camera uses the variable video motion windows to reliably identify motion in the image and is able to allocate them to specific actions. Because the system is able to identify and represent moving objects in the image, the viewer is also enabled to do such things as to secure escape routes more easily.

What does the term “dual camera” mean?

The MOBOTIX camera is the only camera on the market that uses a telephoto and a wide-angle lens at the same time to capture the scene via wide-angle and the spot via telephoto lens (or alternatively as a picture-in-picture) and can show these images on the browser.

The night models are equipped with a color sensor on the right-hand side for color images and with a black-and-white sensor on the left-hand side for night recording (approx. 8-times the light sensitivity compared to the color sensor!).

Together with the digital zoom functions of models with megapixel image sensors, this combination enables a multitude of applications.

How are MOBOTIX cameras different from other “web cams”?

Everything is already integrated into the weatherproof MOBOTIX camera enclosure: Camera, computer and modem. This saves on wiring, for ISDN even on the power supply and makes installing the system as easy as it can be.

It only makes sense to use regular surveillance cameras with video servers that process the images recorded by the cameras (motion detection, image storage, …) in a central system.

In contrast to these systems, every MOBOTIX camera is equipped with many additional sensors and functions. The images can be viewed on any JavaScript-enabled browser with no licensing fees required and free upgrades are available to easily adapt the system’s functionality to the newest standards. Low-priced file servers equipped with standard components can be used to store and archive the images, whereby each camera automatically administrates the storage space allotted to it.

What makes the MOBOTIX camera’s hardware so unique?

The weatherproof enclosure, the integrated ISDN connection, the extremely low power consumption (approx. 2.5 W), power supply over several hundred meters via ISDN, Ethernet line or two-wire (Mx2wire), the integrated microphone and the speaker, the many sensors (motion detector, IrDa, temperature, remote interface), INTEL StrongArm CPU with 235 MIPS, serial interface, switched input, switched output (partly model-dependent). By not using moving parts, the system becomes extremely robust and flexible that has every right to call itself unique.

Why isn’t it necessary to install any software on the MOBOTIX cameras?

No software installation is required to operate a MOBOTIX camera, a browser (Netscape, Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Apple Mac Safari, …) with activated JavaScript is all you need because the entire configuration and image viewing runs via the camera’s web server.

For the camera software itself, free updates are available for downloading and installation on the MOBOTIX homepage under Support.

In addition, there is the free MxControlCenter for Windows™, which can be used not only to view the images provided by the MOBOTIX cameras but to solve demanding problems in the security sector as well. For smaller or private solutions up to a maximumm of 16 MOBOTIX cameras, the latest software MxEasy can be used for a simple and self-explaining application.

What functions do the MOBOTIX cameras include?

The latest in CMOS camera technology, integrated image storage, simultaneous recording of the wide-angle and telephoto images in the dual-lens models, megapixel models with digital zoom, MxPEG continuous recording with audio (except for basic models), night versions with an automatic switch from the day lens (color) to the 8x more sensitive night lens (black-and-white), variable date formats thanks to software codecs.

What advantages do MOBOTIX cameras offer in terms of installation?

There is no power supply required at the installation location, direct operation with voltage supply at the ISDN connection (NTBA) or via the network cable or – in connection with the Mx2wire media converter – very easily by using an existing two-wire line, e.g. telephone line (up to 500 m).

Can be configured and serviced via remote control using the browser-based user interface.

What is the difference between “time-controlled” and “event-controlled”?

Time-controlled
The camera is equipped with a real-time clock. Images or entire archives of images can be transmitted at specific, predetermined points in time. In the same way, it is also possible to trigger events at specific, predetermined points in time. The corresponding settings can be found in the following dialog: Admin Menu > Camera administration > Time control.

Event-controlled
Images can also be transmitted or stored on the basis of specific events. An event can trigger the sensors integrated in the camera (motion detector, switch input, microphone, etc.) to store an image, for example, or initiate an action or a message. This can be set up in the following dialogs: Setup Menu > Actions, Setup Menu > Messages, Setup Menu > Messages 2 or Setup Menu > Extended switch output.

In this way, it is possible to have one image transmitted via FTP every hour (time-controlled) and several images transmitted via e-mail before and after the event if the motion detector is triggered (event-controlled).

Is it possible to swivel the camera?

Yes, using a swivel-tilt head, which is available as an accessory and supported by MOBOTIX.

 

The corresponding swivel/tilt head is controlled by the serial interface and the soft buttons on the browser. In the MxPEG viewer, swivel/tilt heads can even be operated directly using the mouse or a joystick.

Note: The HTTP-API functions are not available for the MOBOTIX Basic and Web models.

Is the camera equipped with a power zoom for the lens?

No, but this is actually an advantage because having no moving parts eliminates the need to service the camera, which in turn adds to the unparalleled robustness and reliability of the MOBOTIX cameras.

 

In all the MOBOTIX Dual Camera models, one of the image sensors can be fitted as a wide-angle lens and one as a telephoto lens. The advantage of this is that both image formats can be viewed beside one another or in the picture-in-picture mode.

 

The models equipped with megapixel image sensor technology also have a digital zoom (1x, 2x, 4x) that allows you to use the panning function to shift the image section you have zoomed in on (2x and greater) within the megapixel image (1280×960) by clicking the mouse in the image.

Can the MOBOTIX camera be upgraded with new functions?

Yes, because the MOBOTIX camera is a software machine 100% without any dependence on specific hardware. Its software can be upgraded with new software at any time via the browser in the local network, via the Internet or an ISDN connection.

This is a major difference to other network cameras.

Use the software download on our Internet site at to obtain the latest version and load it onto the camera using the administration menu.

Software updates are free of charge.

Exceptions:

  • Basic models can be upgraded with certain features only.
  • Depending on the camera’s storage capacity, there are certain restrictions, which are described in more detail on the MOBOTIX Support site.

Why is the camera M12/D12 equipped with a PIR (Passive Infrared) motion detector?

So that the camera can recognize people or objects in the dark and switch on the light, for example, via the switch output and a relay. After that, it is usually the video motion detector that assumes all the other tasks.

Is a completely self-sufficient camera system possible?

As a rule, a completely self-sufficient camera system can be created with the help of a solar panel, a rechargeable battery and a GSM/GPRS or WLAN module.

Can I obtain separate images from the left or right lens from a camera with two lenses?

Yes, this can be done using the corresponding Image profiles ( Admin Menu > Image profiles) while transmitting the images via FTP or e-mail.

The integrated HTTP-API also offers interfaces to configure the camera by remote and read out the images. You can adjust the parameters for the lens, image size, quality and other parameters yourself.

For a more detailed description of the HTTP-API and its parameters, refer to the camera Reference manual or the camera help site for HTTP-API.

Note: The HTTP-API functions are not available for the MOBOTIX Basic and Web models.

What pan and tilt heads are currently supported by MOBOTIX cameras?

Pan and tilt heads are always manoeuvred via the serial interface using control sequences. These control sequences can then, for example, be configured as soft buttons provided the camera is to be freely controlled by the user. As a consequence, pan and tilt heads controlled via an RS-232 interface and that recognize the control commands can be used.

The following pan and tilt heads are currently employed:

Manufacturer Models
Provitek all models
Videor-Technical eneo VPT-42RSVT-PO I
Videotronic SN-15AH