Archive for 2011

How to Catch Vandalism

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

How to Catch VandalismIs your home a target for vandalism or “harmless” pranks from neighborhood kids and do you feel like you need a “How to Catch Vandalism for Dummies” book? Does your business suffer from the same thing?  Identifying the perpetrator(s) and getting documentation evidence of the actual act of vandalism is easier and much less expensive than you probably think.

One of the best and easiest solutions on how to catch vandalism, including video images of the act itself and the perpetrators that are performing the act, is to use a digital video camera.  Having an outdoor camera to watch your property is like having a full-time security guard on duty. With only a single camera or two, you can tell who’s driving up the driveway or see who’s knocking at the front door. And if you’re away, you’ll be able to know if someone was in your back yard retrieving that soccer ball that was accidentally kicked over the fence, or if someone decided to take a dip in your pool.

Use a “Vandal Resistant” Camera

The most common question we get about cameras is “which one should I use?”  Each situation is different and may require a different camera.  Security Camera King offers 10 different vandal resistant cameras for you to choose to solve your problem of how to catch vandalism.  A common issue when utilizing security surveillance is that the cameras become the target of vandalism themselves. The security cameras are the most visible component of the surveillance system and, if installed correctly, they are in the areas of highest risk. Vandal resistant dome cameras were designed with this in mind. Tough metal housings with remarkably tough Lexan domes will deter all but the most determined criminal.

We suggest either a true day/night camera(s) or an day/night infrared camera(s) so that you can monitor your property 24 hours a day.  In fact Security Camera King’s bundled entire system deals all contain vandal resistant infrared day/night dome cameras.

You will also need to determine if you have any situations that require special features such as a really high Wide Dynamic Range or WDR.  When it comes to how to catch vandalism you will want to take advantage of every aspect that can benefit you.  Take a look at our 10 vandal resistant dome cameras first and see if there isn’t one or more there that would apply to your situation.

Gather your Documentation

Most people are confused when we say gather your documentation because they think we mean written pages.  However, when we say gather your documentation, we mean gather your digital color video files that have recorded the vandals in the act and may even provide identification as to who is committing the crime.

You can use a USB Flash drive or the CD/DVD recorder that comes standard with some of our DVRs to prepare a disk(s) to offer to law enforcement, insurance agencies, and prosecutors.  There’s nothing more convincing than digital video footage to document the destruction.

What Kind of DVR (Digital Video Recorder) do I Need?
Once again, each situation is unique and so the selection of the DVR will also be unique.  You will need to consider how many cameras (channels) will be needed to do the job (in the security video industry, the word “channels” often means cameras).  Whether you want a CD/DVD recorder included to make backups and record footages of the vandalism being committed and want kind of resolution and frame rate you think you will need to record your cameras.

If you’re stumped on this decision or any decision pertaining to setting up a digital video surveillance system, please contact one of our experts for help.  They will be glad to speak to you in order to help you design your system and determine what type of equipment you will need.

All of Security Camera King’s DVRs are the highest quality DVR for that category.  Once you take a close look at what we have to offer we think you’ll be amazed at the quality, performance, and features our DVRs have to offer compared to any other in the industry.

Contact Us!

Whether you need help on how to catch vandalism, or specific help on what type of camera, DVR, or monitor to use, how to design and setup your system, etc. our security experts are there to help you decide.  You can contact them on-line using our “Live Chat” or you can telephone them at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.



Bus Surveillance Cameras

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Bus Surveillance CamerasIf you are a school bus driver and you have bus surveillance cameras, you know what a blessing they truly are.  Equipment that is visible (whether it’s actually working or off) has an incredibly large deterrence factor.  This doesn’t apply to just school buses but all kinds of buses and public transportation.

What is different on bus surveillance cameras than on regular surveillance cameras?  First, the whole system is a bit different.  Here is why.

A typical digital video surveillance system consists of one or more cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor.  The cameras capture the video images, process them and send them to the DVR where they are processed further and saved on the DVRs Hard Disk Drive (HDD).  The HDD on a typical surveillance system is the same type of disk drive that is found on a personal computer.  It can hold terabytes of information but doesn’t do well when under the forces of vibration.

Bus surveillance camera systems are a little different.  First and foremost is the DVR.  The vibrations for normal travel of the bus are libel to make the hard disk skip and not record the video images properly.  Now there are many different types of bus surveillance systems and accordingly corresponding DVRs.  However the one thing that bus surveillance camera systems have in common is that most of these systems use non-moving parts.

They are able to endure very harsh environments making them well suited for
high risk vehicle applications like school buses, law enforcement, EMS,
transit, taxi, service or delivery vehicles that require rugged solid state
dependability for video evidence.

Creating a system with non moving parts is important because of the vibrations that are created by the bus.  The bus surveillance camera system must be able to work properly in spite of that factor.  SO how do they do it?  Most bust surveillance camera systems use a “no moving parts” SD recorder system.  All of the footage is saved on the SD card and when it’s full you just pull that card and insert another one or re-write over the one that’s already in the DVR.

These SD cards can be removed and inserted into a computer to view or store any of the media that is on the card.  The technology for creating these cards is constantly improving yielding greater and greater storage capacities.  Today, they can easily place a 2 hour trip on one card.

Bus surveillance cameras come in many configurations as well.  Some units are made with the camera, DVR, and monitor all in on piece.  Other units allow for the DVR to be mounted somewhere on the bus while up to four different cameras can be used for more comprehensive coverage.  Some of these multi camera systems are able to record all four cameras at once in D1 resolution.  Furthermore these multi bus surveillance camera systems, because of the larger separate DVRs can have record times of 60 to 200 hours!

Another benefit of bus surveillance cameras is that not only can they record unsafe or dangerous activities of the passengers but they can also record unsafe or reckless driving activities of the bus driver offering dual protection.  The following is a list of just some of the passenger activities that have been documented already on buses (school, public transportation, etc.):

  • Civil or criminal violations of the law
  • Drug use, sale, or distribution
  • Gang related activities
  • Vandalism such as cutting the seats, graffiti on bus surfaces
  • Sexual acts with or without consent
  • Throwing objects out the windows
  • Assaults, abuse or other harassment against the bus driver
  • Alcohol abuse or smoking while inside the bus
  • Standing or walking in the bus while the bus itself is in motion.

As we mentioned earlier, bus surveillance cameras provide dual coverage because they can provide documentation of the activities of the passengers as well as the driver.  Here’s a short list of driver related activities that have been documented:

  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Failure to stop at railroad intersections
  • Bus driver, while driving, is drinking, eating, sending text messages, or using their cell phone for casual conversation
  • In vehicle driver passenger interaction, arguments, or abuse
  • Accident can be documented with the video used in court as evidence

If you are interested in more information concerning bus surveillance cameras, contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts today.


Covert Video Surveillance

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

There are basically two types of video surveillance:  1. Overt video surveillance and 2. Covert video surveillance.  Each has its own requirements and purpose and Security Camera King has the equipment you need for both types.  In this article we’ll take a look at both methods and the equipment involved.

Let’s begin with overt surveillance.  Overt video surveillance is a type of surveillance where there is no attempt to hide the fact that you are video recording something.  Generally, the camera may be exposed to the point that it is very easy to detect.

In fact, this is a secondary advantage of overt video surveillance.   Studies have been conducted that prove that visible video recording components (cameras, for example) are enough to deter acts of crime.  At any rate, overt surveillance basically means that the individual or business doing the recording doesn’t mind letting you know they are doing it.  Generally speaking, most cameras used for overt recording are box, bullet, or dome cameras.

One of the primary benefits of overt as compared to covert video surveillance is that the camera(s) can be mounted in a place that provides the best camera shot without regard to exposure of the equipment.  Covert video surveillance is usually just the opposite; the camera has to be hidden from view but still be able to get the shot you’re looking for.

Covert video surveillance on the other hand requires a bit more planning.  Speaking of which, before we go any further please take note of the following paragraph:

A word of caution.  Each state has different laws governing the use of cameras and especially audio recorders without the subject’s knowledge.  Make sure you confirm your state’s laws before attempting to record anyone covertly.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t record improper or criminal activity but planned, deliberate, covert recording may require special concessions on the part of the person recording.  If you choose to hide your cameras or if they are readily visible some states require signs be posted in plain sight such as, “This area is protected by video and audio recording devices.”

Department stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and many other businesses apply to prefer to use overt methods because of the actual benefits they realize from patrons just knowing the equipment is there.  Although obvious display of digital video recording equipment does act as an excellent deterrent it obviously isn’t 100 percent effective (i.e. people still commit acts of crime knowing full well that they are being recorded).

The premise behind covert video surveillance is of course, just the opposite.  Most covert video surveillance involves hiding the camera and equipment from plain sight or using hidden or disguised cameras.  Since modern cameras are so small, they can be built in to just about any device and they can be small.  For example take a look at Security Camera King’s Product# HC-SCREW-WC; this camera is in the shape of a Phillips head screw or Product# HC-PEN, where the camera and DVR are all within the pen and the pen actually writes too!

It’s not always necessary for the camera’s disguise to be tiny.  Large objects can disguise cameras also making it almost impossible to detect that recording is in use.  For example Security Camera King’s Product# HC-BMBOX-DVR is a fairly large boom box that works as a boom box but also contains a camera and SD card type DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

There are no specific instructions on how to conduct overt video surveillance, but there are a few general items to consider:

  • Remember that if you can’t see the camera from the area you are recording, then the camera can’t see you.  This is why disguised cameras as so useful.   Rather than hiding a fairly large and obvious box camera, you can use a disguised camera in plain sight.
  • Make sure you take environmental conditions into account.  For example, make sure there is plenty of light or make sure you use a camera that doesn’t require much light.
  • Even though the camera may be well disguised, if possible place in somewhere out of the way to increase the chance of not being discovered.

Security Camera King offers a tremendous amount of hidden or disguised cameras for covert video surveillance.  To see them click on “Security Cameras” on the left had side of the web page then check out all three categories:  1. Hidden Security Cameras; 2. Wireless Hidden Cameras; and, 3. Hidden Camera Systems.



Long Range Surveillance Cameras

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The term “Long Range Surveillance Cameras” can mean several things.  Probably one of the most popular meanings is long range infrared (IR) capability, but it can also mean long range zoom optics or long range wireless transmission technology.  In this article will take a look at each.

Long Range IR

Long range surveillance cameras use a wealth of technology these days to reach far and yet produce a crisp, detailed video image.  Some cameras use a large array of super IR Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs to increase the range of the camera.  If these are placed properly in series they can extend a camera’s night time range to 1,000 feet or more.

Security Camera Illuminators can also be used to extend the night time range of your camera.   These illuminators contain nothing but super powerful IRLEDs.  IR radiation is invisible to the human eye but is like ordinary light to your camera’s sensor chip.  Therefore, with the proper placement of illuminators the range of any IR camera can be greatly increased.  Even Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras can cover massive areas with well placed IR illuminators.

A newer method combines laser diode technology that creates long range active IR illumination greatly exceeding both the performance and distance of traditional IR LED illumination.

Luckily, the sensors used to capture daylight for the camera are also sensitive to infrared light (although our eyes can’t see it).   These sensors, either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS produce extremely detailed IR illuminated video images even at long ranges with the proper IR illumination.  IR illumination is in that part of the magnetic radiation spectrum that is not visible, so IR video shot at night is usually either black and white or in monochrome color.

Long Range Zoom Optics

If you are willing to pay the price, highly refined long range zoom optics are available for many cameras. In fact there are dozens of manufacturers that produce high-quality high-cost zoom lenses that can have very long ranges.  Sometimes it may be better off to consider the placement of a second or third camera as these may actually cost lest than long range zoom optics.

These lenses may start at around 50 to 100 dollars but the real highly refined long range zoom lenses usually start around the low $300 mark and may range up to a thousand dollars.

Wireless Long Rang Surveillance Cameras

There are many “wireless methods” out there these days including WiFi, 2.4 and 5.8 GHz, 900 MHz to name a few. Most all of these wireless methods are called Line of Sight or LOS methods.  Line of Sight means that the range on the wireless transmission (as stated by the manufacturer in the specifications for the camera) is based on a clear path between the camera and the receiver.  In other words, put yourself at the place you intend to mount your camera and look toward your receiver.   If there is nothing in the way impeding your sight to the camera you should get maximum wireless range.

On the other hand, if there is anything that blocks the LOS path, that can reduce your range or make the wireless connection impossible.  Items that block the LOS have different effects upon the transmission.  Objects that often block the LOS include walls, building, trees, window glass, stone, brick, or concrete block to name a few.  The good news is that most of the time these materials do not totally inhibit transmission, they just reduce it.

The typical range for average wireless cameras ranges from 50 to a few hundred feet.  However, long range surveillance cameras, according to their manufacturers, can transmit from 2400 feet up to 3 or 4 miles!

So we have identified three different modes of long range surveillance cameras.  There are long range Infrared cameras, long range high quality optics that let the camera see longer, and wireless long range surveillance cameras.

If you have any questions concerning long range surveillance cameras contact one of our security experts via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.  We love to help!


How to Shop Online for Security Systems

Monday, December 5th, 2011

How to shop online for security systems is a lot easier than what you maybe thinking.  In addition to the ease of shopping, shopping online also provides a large amount of different vendors and equipment to allow you to comparison shop, all from the seat of your chair at home.

So how to shop online for security systems may seem to be a somewhat difficult project, however it really isn’t.  If we wanted to, we suggest that you ignore all the other security websites out there and just make your purchases through Security Camera King but we know that you will more than likely return to us anyway once you’ve made your shopping comparisons.

Speaking of comparisons, shopping online makes this part at least, easier than running from store to store.  Incidentally, think about your locality and think of how many actual stores there are that actually have professional type cameras, Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), and other digital video security items on display (not many, are there?).  So we’ve established one thing already and that is it would seem that our shopping experience for security systems will lend itself to those stores that are online.

Check Out Some Online Stores

The first suggestion we have pertaining to how to shop online for security systems is for you to visit a few online stores (including Security Camera King of course).  At this point, don’t worry about any particulars; you just want to get somewhat of a working knowledge of what is out there.

Design Your System

After you have spent some time just perusing online security systems so you can get familiar with the industry, it’s time now to design your system.  Do NOT attempt to purchase any digital video equipment without creating a design first.  We have had several customers in the past admit they “designed on the fly” and came back to us and said they wished they had consulted with one of our security experts first.

Incidentally Security Camera King has security experts available for you to help you in any way possible.  The help you design your system, recommend what equipment is right for you, and assist you with your purchase.  They can be contacted either through our online “Live Chat” feature or by toll-free telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6 PM EST.   (Once again it would be easier to tell you to go to and forget the others, but by having you check out online stores earlier you’ll see that very few offer security experts that will help you every part of the way from design to installation of your system).

Now, once you’ve designed your system, you’ll know how many cameras and what type of cameras you will need.  Take a close look at each camera location (and we don’t mean on paper, we mean go to each camera location to see what the camera will actually see).  This will help you to determine if you will need any special features.  For example object tracking for a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera, infrared night vision, wide dynamic range due to excessive backlighting, etc.  It helps if you make a list of items that will be needed for each specific camera.

Purchase a System

Now that you know what you need to the job, it’s time to consider purchasing the system.  Check out several sites if you wish and see if they offer everything you need.  Please don’t forget to include us!  Price is definitely important, but when you are dealing with a security and surveillance system, quality is a strong contender.  Once again, we you come to Security Camera King, ask to speak to a security expert and they can help you find exactly what you need.  At other online stores it is really easy to buy a camera or system that either doesn’t have what you need, or has an overkill of features that you don’t need that will make the system cost a small fortune.  At Security Camera King our security experts not only have the knowledge but they also have the experience to help you choose the item(s) that will have the exact features you seek but will not send you into bankruptcy.

One last point about how to shop online for security systems.  Our security experts aren’t there just for the purchase, once you receive your system and begin installation, they will help you install it every step of the way if necessary.