Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category



Our Goofiest Security Camera Demo videos.

Written By:
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Here at SecurityCameraKing.com, we make a lot of product and demonstration videos. Most of them are very straightforward unboxing or how-to videos that are generally intended to be factual, informational, educational, and just plain good for you. But a few months ago, we started making a series of Daytime / Night-Time Infrared (IR) security camera demos, to help illustrate not only the quality of video the camera can produce in the daytime, but also how they look in total darkness. The first few IR security camera Demo videos were fairly standard fare. Someone would walk into a warehouse, pretend to steal something, and walk out. Perfectly fine for demonstration purposes, but after a while, they a felt little bit samey. We needed something fresh. Something with pizazz. Then, as if by fate, we found just the guy to add that aforementioned pizazz.

The Pizazzinator.

The Pizazzinator.

We discovered our affable and good-hearted co-worker Ian had some very unique and baffling acting talents, and was keen to show them off at the drop of the proverbial hat for our humble security camera demo videos. We’re still trying to decipher what exactly those particular talents are, but rest assured, when we finally figure it out, we’ll be submitting these videos to the Academy for award consideration.

But wait! It gets better. If discovering you have one preternatural acting prodigy in your midst is like finding a crisp new 2 dollar bill in your jeans, then finding a second genius performer among your co-workers is like finding a bowling pin juggling Bigfoot on a bicycle riding through the forest. But we found our Bigfoot, and his name is Jose.

Bigfoot.

Bigfoot.

On their own they’re good, maybe even great, but when they combine acting forces they are unstoppable camera demo acting machines, as you’ll soon find out. I present to you now a mercifully truncated list of some of the goofiest camera demo videos these two maverick method actors have assisting us in bringing into the world.

May cause nausea and uncontrollable eye rolling. You have been warned.

1) FLAPPY DANCE JAMBOREE

Beware the Flappy

Beware the Flappy

In this first video, you’ll witness a rare sighting of something we’ve come to know as “The Flappy”.  The Flappy only only makes itself visible for fleeting moments every few months, but when it does it’s a thing of glorious wonder, not unlike Robocop riding a unicorn.

Still not as impressive as "The Flappy"

Still not as impressive as “The Flappy”

The Flappy can’t summarized by a screen grab.. and it’s glory cant be verbally described. It can only be witnessed in it’s full-motion glory.

No relation.

No relation.

2) WORST THRILLER TRIBUTE VIDEO EVER

Not Thriller.

Not Thriller.

The internet is choc full of creative and touching tributes to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, arguably the most important music video of all time. And this is not one of them. Instead of having, say 1000 Filipino prisoners dancing in unison to the actual Thriller song, we have 2 reluctant security camera company employees that were forced into shabby, unconvincing zombie costumes bought at a dollar store and ordered to dance to complete silence, so that we would then have public domain dance music played over it. Thus creating a dance video that, while terrible, somehow achieves “so bad it’s sort of amusing” status.

3) COUNTDOWN TO GETTIN’ DOWN
The Gawdfather of Funk

Most of us at Security Camera King like to get down. Others like to get funky. These two factions rarely mix. But our good pal Ian is the rare breed that will not only get down, then turn right around and get funky, and then top it off with a classy slow dance, with himself. But we know that if he had the chance, he’d ask the world to dance. Sadly, that’ll never happen.

Ian want's you... to get the funk out.

Ian want’s you… to get the funk out.

4) LASSO-MASTER / MARCH OF THE CONEHEADS

Nooooooo!

Nooooooo!

Some told him it was time and money frivolously wasted, but we beg to differ, because as you can see here, that’s not all that was wasted.

5) HORSEY RIDE & DANCUS INTERRUPTUS

Dances with Ponies

Dances with Ponies

As a child, all Jose ever wanted for Christmas was a pony. When his parent’s cruelly denied him this humble request, humiliating him in front of all those kids who he had been telling for weeks that he was really getting a pony FOR REALS, it drove him mad. That madness only surfaces from time to time, causing him to grab a mob or broom and gallop around on it in a warehouse. It can also manifest itself as random dancing in a warehouse. We’re not sure why that is, but we don’t judge him for it. We just back away slowly.

6) THE AIR-BASS MASTER – LIVE IN CONCERT

Ace of Bass

Ace of Bass

Ever since little Ian learned that world famous bass player and all around rock-god “Lemmy” Ian Kilmister of Motörhead shared his same first name, he was determined that he, too, would master that bass.

The Two Ians

The Two Ians

Sadly, due to an appalling lack of musical talent and manual dexterity, his dreamed turned to ashes in his cramped little fingers. Not to be deterred, he decided then and there that if he couldn’t ace that bass, he could at least master an invisible one. It took him years of half-hearted training to become a slightly passable air-bass player due to his complete lack of work ethic, but he finally became skilled enough at his craft to starting playing free concerts in warehouses for adoring imaginary audiences.

Bravo indeed, Mr. Ian.
audience-applause

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Setting up a DDNS Service using GoDaddy and 3rd Party DNS provider

Written By:
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

logogodaddy

As you all know GoDaddy is one of the major Domain Registrars. You can simply click and in matter of minutes you can own a domain name. A lot of you want the ability to add a sub directory and point it to a Surveillance equipment, and thus give you access to your Recording Device by simply opening up your browser and imputing “http://mycctv.mydomainname.com”. By doing so, this will point to your recorder. You can also do this to host your own server, keeping in mind that the bandwidth from serving your own webpage can be large. Many of you already know what DNS is and how it relates the Domain name to an IP address, so that anyone trying to navigate to the Webpage or Server will get routed to the correct IP. This article will explain the process of setting up a DDNS service using GoDaddy and 3rd party DNS provider.

Your ISP will provide you with a Dynamic IP address, This means that the NODE in which your Modem will be connected to will get an IP that will change depending on the lease time that the NODE provides. This can be Hours, Days, or if you are lucky, a Year. This is why many people are using a DDNS service that allows a device to run a script that will update the Server with the correct IP address. This type of service does not come for free and many are looking for a method  that will allow them to do this without giving away money. This also helps to know how DNS works as well as learning a bit of code.

The steps to get Dynamic DNS are:

  • Register into a free DNS service that offers an API.
  • Configure the DNS server and add our domain.
  • Change the GoDaddy DNS provider to the new free DNS provider.
  • Create a script that checks if the IP address of the server has changed and if so, automatically update the DNS server IP.
  • Put the script in the CRON every 10 minutes

Lets start with registering into a free DNS service that offers an API. There are many that will provide this and we will be utilizing FreeDNS

Once you have signed up for an account we will have to configure the DNS server and add your domain.

Configure DNS server

This is where we will need to add our domain name. For this we need to click on “Domain” and fill the space with the information. Its very important to select Shared State to “Private”. The rest of the fields leave blank.

Once we have clicked on Submit, we will get the following:

“Domain DomainName.com has been added to the system.

Domain has been marked as BROKEN until the nightly check verifies the domain is properly delegated to afraid.org.”

This message comes from Godaddy not having the correct Server Names. Lets dive into this.

Changing the DNS with the new free DNS providers server Address.

DNS godaddy set

The Servers that you will need to add as “CUSTOM SERVERS” are NS1.AFRAID.ORG, NS2.AFRAID.ORG. Keep in mind this is is for FREEDNS.org, and so it may be different for your DNS provider. Once you have done this, it may take up a few hours to reflect onto your account.

Next we will have to write a script that will notify the DNS service with the new IP if it changes. There are many scripts for both Windows and Unix that allow us to update our IP. In all of them you just have to change the URL + ID assigned to us by FreeDNS in our account that we can get out of our control panel FreeDNS in DNS Dynamic menu. The address we have on Direct URL is what we will use in our scripts, copy it to the clipboard for pasting into the script that I put below.

#!/bin/bash
 
##############################################################################
#
#  application name: dnsactual
#  other files: dnsactual.conf (keeps the last updated ip)
#               dnsactual.log  (register date & time of the actualization)
#  Author: Ernest Danton
#  Date: 01/29/2007
##############################################################################
 
HOME="/home/dnsactual"
 
echo "#######################################" >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
echo `date` "--- Start ---" >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
if test -f $HOME"/dnsactual.conf"
then
    CacheIP=$(cat $HOME"/dnsactual.conf")
fi
# Sometimes wget does not return anything, which is called until the return
cont=0
while [ -z "$CurreIP" ]
do
        CurreIP=$(wget http://ipecho.net/plain  -o /dev/null -O /dev/stdout)        
        cont=`expr $cont + 1`
        echo `date` "Iteration number: " $cont >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
done
 
echo `date` "Current IP: $CurreIP Cached IP: $CacheIP" >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
 
if [ "$CurreIP" = "$CacheIP" ]
then
    # Both IP are equal
    echo "Update not required..." >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
else
    # The IP has change
    echo `date` "Updating http://free.afraid.org with IP:" $CurreIP >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
    msgerror=`wget http://freedns.afraid.org/dynamic/update.php?xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx -o /dev/null -O /dev/stdout`
 
    echo `date` $msgerror >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
 
    SUBJECT="IP Address Has Changed on your DDNS"
    # Email To ?
    EMAIL="someone@gmail.com"
    # Email text/message
    EMAILMESSAGE=$HOME"/email.txt"
    echo "Changed the FreeDNS IP to $CurreIP " >>$EMAILMESSAGE
    # send an email using /bin/mail
    /usr/bin/mail -s "$SUBJECT" -a "From: BlogName<blogmail@blogname.com>" "$EMAIL" < $EMAILMESSAGE     echo `date` "Mail Sent: " $? >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"
    rm $EMAILMESSAGE
 
fi
rm -f $HOME"/dnsactual.conf"
echo $CurreIP > $HOME"/dnsactual.conf"
echo `date` "--- End ---" >> $HOME"/dnsactual.log"

 

Once you have done this and uploaded it to the server, we will need to setup the CRON service script and this will run every ten minutes.

name@username:~$ sudo crontab -e

# FreeDNS actualizacion de IP de dynamic DNS
*/10 * * * * bash /home/user/dnsactual/dnsactual.sh

Once you have completed these steps you should set up your port forwarding on your router. Depending on your router is how you will need to setup your port forwarding rules. In my example I have a firewall and a complex network that is more restrictive than normal. I opened the ports for HTTP as well as for the Mobile. This can be found on the recorder’s Network tab under Connection. In this case I am only focusing on ports 80 for the (http) as well as TCP port (37777)

Screenshot (128)

Once you have done this and GoDaddy has updated the DNS servers to point to the correct server and your CRON script is running the Update script, you will have a free DDNS service. Of course this is for a more advanced user that has some knowledge when it comes to CRON, DNS, and others. This is why I did not go into detail as to what sections you need to change as it would mean that I would have a 3000 word article as opposed to a smaller one with just the necessary information to get you up and running. If you have any input for this article feel free and contact me. You can also contact me if you have an item that want to integrate with any of our systems.

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Layouts and Modeling – The Advantages of Modeling your Surveillance Camera Positions

Written By:
Monday, October 20th, 2014

4

After you have decided that you have a need for a surveillance system and you’ve worked through what kind of system you want to use, you are going to run into the question of how many cameras you need and where are you going to place those cameras.  One tool for determining this is to create a model or floor plan of your facility or home.  There are more than a few advantages to doing this: The first is being able to get a rough overview of the coverage you are going to have and an approximate view of what the cameras will be able to see without actually installing them.  The second way floor plans and modeling can be used to assist you in placement is allowing you the ability to see where your cable runs may need to go, and also allow you to get an estimate on the measurements of cable length you may need. Finally, if you are an installer, floor plans and models allow you to create accurate examples for co-workers, employees, and clients about what to expect in installing in a building and viewing their surveillance system. This article will explain the advantages of modeling your surveillance camera positions.

rooom 1

Once you have a rough idea of what areas of your residence or business you want to have camera coverage, you can start conservatively estimating where on your floor plan you would want to place the cameras and what their approximate coverage would be.  A physical walk-through of the residence or facility is always advised prior to plotting cameras on your layout as there are fixtures and features that may not be visible on your floor plan or take up too much time to place on a model.  With the locations mapped, as we discussed in the first paragraph, you can begin plotting out the viewing angles and coverage.  In the examples I’ve created for this article you can see I’ve marked the cameras with yellow blue and green viewing angles.  This allows us to observe just which cameras are covering what areas and how we can attain 100% coverage of this greenhouse.  Doing this will take some adjustment and some research into which cameras provide what kind of viewing angles and exactly where placing these cameras will give you optimal coverage.  A rough guideline for 1/3 inch chip set can be found here.

It is important to note that this is a rough estimate and camera optics can vary depending on a variety of construction, placement and installation considerations.  As such, there is a limit to estimating modeling and floor plans and conservative calculations should be made when creating your model or layout.  When we at SecurityCameraKing.com (TechPro Security Products) prepare digital models or floor-plans/layouts, we often include these margins of error in order to provide a better estimate with more satisfying results. But again this is still just an estimate and exact measurements are best reserved for installers with direct perspective when and while installing the equipment to acquire the best results.  In fact it is best to always remain flexible and prepared as measurements can differ from modeling by a significant margin.

room2

Next we can use our floor plan and models to assist us in placement by allowing us the ability to see where cable and power may, or should need to be, run for optimal results all the while minimizing costs by plotting out the shortest runs possible. Plotting these distances will give us rough estimates of how many feet of cable will be needed from the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to camera, and from camera to power supply.  Since most runs are installed through the attic it is recommended that you include ceiling measurement and estimate extra cable for avoiding obstacles in the ceiling, such as air conditioning conduit etc.  Even with these advanced estimates it is always possible to experience the unexpected, so try not to undercut cable lengths too exacts as it is always possible to encounter a hindrance that could not be expected by modeling, and one that may change the route of cabling entirely.

ACCESS CONTROL

ACCESS CONTROL2

This can also be exceptionally valuable with access control as power supplies and battery backups increase the amount of equipment being physically installed.  With the increase in equipment as expected there is an increase in wiring which also can help to plan out by modeling.  The level of detail to be included in a model is limitless, however it is recommended not to go too in depth because as with close caption television surveillance systems, access control system installation can differ from the model when it comes to the physical installation.  For example an expected convenient place to put a push to exit button or reader, may actually have significant conduit containing wiring behind the drywall that did not leave you enough space.  So try not to be overly detailed in your placement and expect to be flexible in your instillation.  Despite the potential for differentials between model and physical install, modeling will give you a significant advantage in what to expect. It is also convenient to show customers how access control systems may work and this can give you a significant edge over a competitors quote.

Finally, if you are an installer, models and floor plan / layouts will allow you to create accurate examples for co-workers, employees, and customers to be able to see what your goals and expectations are for their surveillance install.  The advantage of modeling in the competitive industry of installation and monitoring cannot be over emphasized. The ability to not only explain the coverage and services provided, but visually exemplify it are unparalleled.  We here at SecurityCameraKing.com regularly construct and design surveillance floor plans for our customers. This allows us to give our customers and installers an accurate idea of what kind of placement to look for and an edge when building virtually any size systems.  Again this is not for exact detail but is an excellent way of gaining a better understanding of where and how your cameras should be placed.

field of view2

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Upgrading from Analog to HD-CVI is an Affordable Approach to High Definition Security Recording

Written By:
Thursday, October 16th, 2014

If you own a CCTV analog security system, then you know the headaches of trying to make a positive ID of a criminal when it comes to your security recordings. After you experience a theft, vandalism or any other criminal act, you rely on your security camera system to provide you and the authorities with as much detail as possible. As you know, when you digitally zoom in on your recordings to see the criminal’s face or tattoo, for example, you experience image distortion. You might even have been frustrated in the past because of this “pixelization” that occurs. You have always wanted to upgrade your system to High Definition, but were afraid of the high costs that used to be associated with this. Well, in this article I will explain just how upgrading from Analog to HD-CVI is an affordable approach to High Definition Security Recording.

What is HD-CVI?

High Definition Composite Video Interface (HD-CVI) is an amazing technological advancement in High Definition Security recording. It allows CCTV Analog users like you the ability to keep your standard coax cables and power right where they are. All you need to do is just swap out your old, outdated DVR with an HD-CVI DVR and replace your cameras with HD-CVI security cameras. That’s right! High Definition recording can now be transmitted through standard coax cable. Before, the only way to get HD was to replace all of your cable with Cat5. That is very expensive since you need to either take time out of your work schedule to do that or hire an installation company. On top of that, you would need to hire an IT professional to figure out all the networking for you, if you didn’t have time for tech support or don’t posses the networking knowledge. Already, upgrading your analog system to HD-CVI is saving you a lot of money by not incurring the extra cost and hassle of re-wiring.

Another benefit of HD-CVI is the ability to control the On Screen Display (OSD) right through the DVR. Remember when you were setting up your analog cameras and had to control the OSD directly from the camera? You had to go up the ladder, make your changes, and then go down the ladder. What a hassle that was. Now, with HD-CVI, you can connect all of your new cameras (on your existing wires), and then tweek your settings through the DVR interface (from the comfort of your chair). PTZ control is also another advancement in HD-CVI. If you own an analog PTZ you know that you have to run an extra set of wires to the back of the DVR. You do not need to do this with HD-CVI as all control of the PTZ is transmitted through the video cable.

How does HD-CVI resolution compare to Analog?

Analog vs HD-CVI

As you can see by the pictorial above, HD-CVI High Definition recording will give you a greater advantage in making a positive ID on a criminal. The reason is since the image is greater in pixels, you will be able to zoom in more digitally, without the distortion that you experience in your analog system. As noted, these images are not the actual size, but they are scaled down for comparison purposes. To see the actual size differences in these image resolutions, you can view the resolution comparison pictures here.

How easy is it to install an HD-CVI System?

HDCVI-vs-Analog

From the image above you can see that both an Analog DVR and an HD-CVI DVR have the same Video Inputs. That is why you can leave your coax cable right where it is. When your new HD-CVI DVR arrives, all you need to do is disconnect the video cables from your old DVR and connect them to the new DVR. It’s that easy! Also, if you have any connections into the audio ports, video out, Ethernet, Alarms, etc., just plug those exactly into the same corresponding spots on the new HD-CVI DVR.

On the camera side, the connections will be as easy, but the installation will take a bit of work. It all depends on how your cameras are installed. You will first need to unscrew your old cameras from the wall, ceiling or wherever they are located. Then you will disconnect the video cable and the power cable from the camera and attach them to the new HD-CVI camera. After you have done that you can attach your new camera to the wall or wherever the old cameras were mounted. That’s it. Just turn on your new HD-CVI DVR and start configuring the settings as you had done with your existing analog system. Except, now you can finally record in High Definition!

HDCVI-vs-IP-cost-comparison

As you can see, purchasing an HD-CVI System is around half of what you would pay for an IP Megapixel System. Of course, if you already have your cables and power in place, the cost is even lower. Plus, as I had stated above, if you upgraded to an IP system you would need to replace all of your existing wire and learn how to network (or pay an IT guy to figure it out for you).

When you take into account that the system as a whole is less expensive than IP, and that you can keep your cables and power in tact, HD-CVI is definitely an affordable approach to High Definition Security recording.

You will be amazed at how crisp and clear your recordings will be with High Definition recording. Imagine if you ever experience a break-in or a car accident in your parking lot. You can give your recordings over to the authorities with confidence knowing they will have an easier time making a positive ID with your High Definition recordings, than with your Analog D1 recordings.

That is the main benefit of HD-CVI. High Definition recording at an affordable price. If you have been on the fence about upgrading your CCTV analog system to HD, I hope this article will help you with your decision. You aowe it to yourself to be able to see crisp detail in your recordings and catch that thief!

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The Benefits of a Security Camera System for a Business

Written By:
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Complete 16 Channel HDCVI Security System Package

A well implemented security monitoring system is essential this day and age and there are many benefits of a security camera system for a business owner.

When you think about security systems you may think they are for preventing theft or crime, which is a valid assumption. Security systems have other useful applications in the private sector, such as performance evaluation. With an appropriate security monitoring system tailored to your business, you will have the tools necessary to evaluate the day to day operations. For instance, you may own a warehouse where you have been experiencing problems with outgoing orders being either incomplete or incorrect, or there may be customers phoning you with concerns that their order was incomplete. If either of the these situations occur you are able to go back to the day and time of the incident and review whether an error actually occurred.

You can’t always be at your place of business. By owning a security monitoring system you can watch what is happening in real time anywhere you are by the use of the Internet with various applications that are designed for your smartphone or computer. In the comfort of your own home you can view or review the day to day activities. If there is a conflict of how a certain situation occurred, you are able to go back and review what actually occurred.

Business owners are constantly striving to improve the way they operate. By reviewing day to day operations through the use of security cameras they can go back and isolate a problem in the way their employees perform a specific task. Then we can analyze the data and change what was ineffective and improve the way a particular task is performed. This could be as simple as the ergonomics of a workstation, or a particular member of a team not performing up to the standard set by your organization.

We all tend to work harder if we think we are being watched. So just by installing a security monitoring system you should see a spike in job performance.

Legal issues are a big concern for businesses today. Whether coming from inside or outside the organization, lawsuits happen. Could be a slip and fall by a patron, or a workmen’s compensation case. Having video evidence for your attorney or insurance company may be the edge you need to save you countless dollars due to scammers and unnecessary legal fees.

Theft happens; it is a thief’s job. Don’t get mad at the thief as he is only doing his job! Our job is to give you the tools to catch the thief. Just by installing visible cameras is a deterrent. People are less likely to steal or even misbehave if they think they are being watched. This can go for employees or customers. You should install cameras monitoring exits and entrances, cash registers, and safes. Also it is a good idea to have exterior cameras.

Safes can be used to store a wide variety of valuable positions from cash to guns. You may not access a safe for long extended periods of time, so you would not record every moment. You may set up motion detection to trigger the camera to only record when the safe is accessed. This isolates recording to only when someone is in close proximity to the safe. This can be set up to send an email to you every time an event takes place.

You can monitor all activities involving the use of your cash register by installing a camera directly above. This is a deterrent because it is simply there; people tend to behave because of the perception of being watched. Also all transaction may be tracked through a DVR by software built in to show anything from the amount of the transaction to if there was a sale, or when the register was opened. A situation may occur with an employee giving incorrect change and the cash register coming up short. You can determine whether it was a mistake or blatant theft.

You will want to monitor all exits and entrances. These are choke points where you can see who is coming and going. This is valuable because of the mere fact that you can see if your employees are arriving and leaving on time. Also you can check to see if unexpected or unwanted visitors are at sensitive entrances. This can aide in the prevention of burglary, theft, or even armed robbery. This is a dangerous world we are living so make sure you are prepared.

The exterior of you building is commonly overlooked. There are any numbers of reasons to monitor the exterior of your business from theft to protecting the well-being of your employees. You may own a restaurant where you have young attractive females leaving at late hours. There is the possibility of one of your employees being attacked in the parking lot. Not only can you see if such an attack it happening in real-time, but you can go back to the date and time of the incident and aid law-enforcement with the video. Cars are commonly the targets of thieves. This is because of the relative ease in simply breaking a window and gaining access; people often leave valuables in their cars such as electronics to woman’s handbags. Once again the exterior cameras can play a big part in aiding law-enforcement.

It is unfortunate that we have to keep such a close eye on our employees but it is a harsh reality of a business owner. Businesses like the restaurant industry experience theft from employees all the time. Often times the perpetrators are very good at not being seen inside of the business, but they may have more trouble concealing their actions in the parking lot. By having cameras around the parking lot and dumpsters you can see what is being thrown out and what people are taking with them at the end of the day.

As you can see there are countless advantages to having a well implemented security monitoring system, it is up to you to decide how it is in your businesses best interest to implement one. The picture at the top of this article is an example of a 16 Channel HD-CVI Complete Packaged System and you can learn more this surveillance system here.

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