Streaming form an IP camera to multiple computers?

What I want to do is to use a single camera pointed at a lab table and I need at least 4 computers to be able to access it without compromising video quality (incl. fps). There will be some small mobile robots running over the table and these 4 computers are to analyze video and do something with the robots. Normally I would just hook a USB camera to each computer, but perhaps it makes more sense to use just one common camera? Can I use an IP camera for that? I have very little experience with IP cameras… Will I have any problems with getting the video stream? Any delays, lower framerate?
Thanks for your comments and hints

Probably this is more a networking problem than a computer vision issue.

Never tried IP cameras, but I imagine you tried to connect to the same stream with several computers…

If you need to broadast the image from a computer on the network, I suggest to use some networking library like ZeroMQ, which has good multicast capabilities.

take a look at ROS, “Robot Operating System”. ROS has infrastructure for distributing real-time data. does all the work for you.

It will depend on the IP camera. Usually they have several sub streams allowing you to stream lower resolution than the main stream and sometimes they also let you stream the main stream to several clients. The frame rate will depend on the IP camera, 25 fps seems to be the norm with higher resolution camera’s but I am pretty sure you can get 50 and probably more.

If you get a camera which you can’t stream to multiple devices you could consider placing a proxy server on a device directly connected to the camera and streaming. Live 555 proxy server for example is incredibly simple to use.