Video, Camera, Security Fundamentals Glossary

The definitions referenced were/are obtained and collected from multiple sources including industry publications and YourSix trusted partners such as Axis Communications.


Axis Camera Application Platform (ACAP) is an open application platform that allows members of the Axis Application Development Partner (ADP) Program to develop applications that can be downloaded and installed on Axis cameras and encoders.


The ADP (Axis Development Partners) Program is designed to help software vendors streamline their software integration.


The Autofocus (AF) feature on the camera lens automatically focuses on a selected part of the subject.


Automatic Gain Control (AGC) is acontrolling algorithm that automatically adjusts the gain and offset, resulting in a visually pleasing and stable image.


Analog High Definition (AHD)

Anti-Ligature Camera

A camera that is contoured into a structure reduces the ability for something or someone to remove or harm themselves on the camera.


Axis Object Analytics (AOA) is AI-based object detection and classification software.


The Angle of View (AoV) is a camera's coverage area in degree.


A hole within a camera through which light enters the lens.


Axis Real Time Picture Encoder (ARTPEC) is a chip designed by Axis for image compression.


Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) A circuit designed for a specific application, as opposed to a general-purpose circuit, such as a microprocessor.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of an image's height to width such as 16:9 and 4:3.


Audio Video Interleave (AVI) is a video format that supports simultaneous playback of audio and video.


On-premise connection appliance for cameras providing a secure connection from the on-site cameras to the cloud servers, and local temporary storage.


8 bits make up a byte.


Constant Bit Rate (CBR) is a camera streaming mode that varies video quality in order to maintain a constant bandwidth level.

Closed Platform

VSaaS platform that only supports the vendors' own proprietary cameras. The cameras only continue to work if you purchase their respective cloud service to view and record video. If you do not pay for this or stop paying for this, the cameras can no longer be viewed or video recorded.

Cloud Audio

Provides proactive security measures along with advanced cloud capabilities for leveraging audio components for other business means when not needed for security. Smart speakers can stream music or white noise through a facility until a smart camera or access control system signals the smart speaker to invoke a security response.

Cloud Monitoring

Highly trained station agents who verify alarm triggers with actionable HD video.


Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is used in deep learning to analyze visual imagery.

Coaxial Cable

Type of electrical cable used to transmit analog video in a CCTV system.


Used to convert analog video and audio signals into a digital format for transmission.

Continuous Recording

Video is always being recorded, even when there is no activity on camera.


Difference between the lightest and darkest parts of an image or video stream.


The art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.


Decibels (db) are a unit of measurement for acoustic and electronic signals.

Deep Learning

A type of machine learning based on artificial neural networks in which multiple layers of processing are used to extract progressively higher-level features from data.


A software process that makes panoramic images more usable for the human eye.

Digital PTZ

Digital PTZ or ePTZ camera does not physically move. Users digitally zoom and navigate the camera’s viewable area.


Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) is a software used to reduce image noise in low light situations


Depth of Field (DoF) is the area before and after the focal point that appears acceptably focused.

Duress Alarm

Also known as a silent alarm; a device that enables a person to call for help without arousing suspicion.


Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is a piece of hardware that records video in a digital format to a storage device.

Edge Redundant Recording / Trickling

Camera recording may be used for redundancy, recording continuously to the camera and a recorder. If the camera's network connection is down and the recorder cannot be reached the camera continues to record locally.

Edge Storage

Video is recorded and stored locally – close to or onboard the camera, typically on a NAS or an SD card. NAS devices are placed on-site and connected to the network, whereas SD cards are usually inserted directly into the camera or video encoder.


Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is a camera feature that minimizes image blur due to device vibration.


The rate at which a material radiates thermal energy.

Factory Default Settings

Settings that originally applied to the device when it was first produced. Resetting a device to its factory default settings will completely reset any settings that were changed by the user.

Fault-Line Attack

An attack that exploits gaps in security coverage to gain access to a system or facility.

Fixed Lens

A lens that is locked to a single focal length.

Focal Length

Measured in millimeters, the focal length of a camera lens determines the width of the horizontal field of view.

Forensic WDR

Allows Axis cameras to deliver detail in scenes with a wide range of lighting.


Field of View (FoV) is what a camera can see horizontally and vertically.


Frames Per Second (FPS) is the number of images a camera captures per second. Typically this ranges from 8 to 30.


A complete video image.

Frame Rate

The frequency at which a video stream is updated is measured in frames per second (fps). A higher frame rate leads to less image blur.

Frame Types

I-frames, P-frames, and B-frames are different types of frames used for encoding video.

The 3 types are I, P, and B frames. I-Frames contain the entire image. The P-Frame contains only changes in the image from the previous frame. B-Frames are Predictive frames based on previous I and P frames.


Electrical amplification of a video signal. Creates a brighter image but creates more image noise.


Group Of Pictures (GO) is a collection of frames, beginning with an I-frame and includes all subsequent P and B frames. The next I-frame indicates the start of a new GOP.


Compression standard for digital video offers higher video resolution than Motion JPEG or MPEG-4 at the same or lower bit rate and bandwidth.


High-Definition Television (HDTV) provides up to five times higher resolution than standard analog TV. 720p and 1080p are HDTV formats. UHDTV often refers to 4K and 8K formats.


The Horizontal Field of View (HFoV) is the angular width of a camera field of view displayed in degrees.

IK Ratings

IK Ratings measure the impact resistance of a device.

Image Compression

Image compression minimizes the file size (in bytes) of an image.


Infrared Radiation (IR) is radiation at a longer wavelength than visible light, which means it cannot be seen by the human eye. IR is often used in low light situations to return a move visible image.

Ingress Protection

Ingress Protection (IP) is a rating that measures the resistance of a device to dust and moisture.


Inputs/Outputs (I/O's) allow a network camera to be used to connect any device that can toggle between an open and a closed circuit. For example, a door switch triggering the upload of a video image and the sending of a notification message

Intrusion Detection Device

Technology that uses sensors to detect potential or actual physical security breaches.

IR Cut Filter

Designed to reflect or block near-infrared wavelengths while passing visible light. When "on" the IR cut filter will block IR wavelengths and supply a color image. When "off" the IR cut filter will allow IR wavelengths to pass through to the sensor creating a black and white image.


Controls how much light comes through the aperture/lens. Cameras can be equipped with a fixed iris, manually adjusted iris, or an auto-adjusting iris (DC-iris).


Commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images.


Found on Axis Cameras this allows for high-resolution color images in low light.

Lossy Compression

A compression method that removes redundant or unimportant information from the video stream to lower bitrate.


License Plate Recognition (LPR) is a software that detects and analyzes characters on a license plate


Measurement of visible light.


Maximum Bit Rate (MBR) is a streaming mode that allows the camera's bit rate to vary up to a specified maximum or cap. Video quality settings are dynamically adjusted to maintain a bit rate below the set cap

Minimum Illumination

The smallest amount of light in lux is needed for the camera to produce an image of useable quality.

Modular Camera

Separate lens/camera from the main unit (Memory, NIC, Processor).

Motion/Event Recording

Motion or event recording means the video is only recorded when the camera detects motion or is triggered by an event.

Motion JPEG

Video compression format in which each video frame or interlaced field of a digital video sequence is compressed separately.


Megapixel (MP)

Multi Directional Camera

The camera uses a single casing but contains multiple sensors/lenses. Multidirectional cameras go one step farther than multisensor cameras by allowing the sensors to be adjusted independently of each other.


Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) is a measure of the sensitivity of a detector of thermal radiation in the infrared spectrum.

Network Amplifier

Enables existing analog speakers to be powered and controlled via the network.

Network Horn

A speaker that is integrated with your Physical Security system to make live callouts or play prerecorded announcements.


Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a specialized computer system that includes a software program that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card, or other mass storage device.

Open Platform

VSaaS platform in which you can choose between using the VSaaS's own camera offering or using a third-party camera.

Optimized IR

Allows for the IR LEDs beam angle to adjust and match the camera's FOV.

Panoramic Camera

In physical security, a surveillance camera uses a 180- or 360- degree lens to capture a broad field of view.

Perimeter Security

The concept of providing protection of the facility's outermost boundary.

Pixel (Picture Element)

A pixel is one of the many tiny dots that make up a digital image.


Pixel Per Foot (PPF) is a measure of image quality, obtained by dividing horizontal pixels by field of view width. Also can be displayed as PPM or Pixels Per Meter.

Privacy Masking

Enables selected areas of a scene to be blocked or masked from viewing and recording.


Pan/tilt/roll/zoom (PTRZ) cameras are similar to PTZ cameras but also include the ability to roll/rotate the camera's lens.


Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) devices contain a built-in mechanism allowing for the device to swivel from left to right, tilt up and down, and zoom in and out.


Image resolution is a measure of how much detail a digital image can hold: the greater the resolution, the greater the level of detail.


Real-Time Control Protocol (RTCP) is the protocol that works with RTP to monitor data delivery on large multicast networks. The purpose of monitoring delivery is to determine whether RTP is providing the necessary Quality of Service

RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol)

Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) is a network protocol for delivering audio and video over IP networks.


Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is a protocol that provides a framework for real-time media data transfer at the application level.


in physical security, a sensor is a lens.

Smart Codec

Encoding techniques used to dynamically adjust streaming factors in order to reduce required bandwidth without losing image quality.


A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory, and functioning as secondary storage in the hierarchy of computer storage

Thermal Camera

A camera that produces an image by using heat that an object radiates.

Thermal Palette

The different color schemes are used to view thermal footage. Examples: White-hot, Black hot, Rainbow, Fusion, Green.


The API for Axis devices. It is how 3rd party systems integrate with Axis products.

Varifocal Lens

A Varifocal Lens is a camera lens with a variable focal length in which focus changes as focal length changes.

Video Encoder

Device or software that enables video compression for digital video.

Video Verification

Using video to varify an event notification prior to taking action,


Video Motion Detection (VMD) is a feature of a device or system to detect motion and either trigger a recording or a notification


Video Management Software (VMS) is a system used to manage cameras and other devices in a physical security solution.


Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) video surveillance provided as a web-based service. It is hosted in the cloud and is typically subscription-based. Subscribers can use as much or little of the service as they want. Subscribers pay for and get a worry-free monthly service rather than procuring and maintaining a system.


Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology improves a camera's image quality under high-contrast lighting conditions where both dimly and brightly lit areas are present in the field of view. It enables the camera to capture details clearly in both the poorly and strongly illuminated areas of the video.


Compress storage and bandwidth depending on the importance of the footage.

Zoom Ratio

The ratio of the shortest and longest ranges of a zoom lens. Typically displayed in mm.

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