Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category



Access Control and How it can Benefit Your Business

Written By:
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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AccessControl

In most business environments, companies know the real benefit of having an Access Control System in place at their office, buildings and other facilities. However, there are still many companies that wish to rely on the old-fashioned lock and key system. In this article, we’ll discuss the real benefit of an Access Control System installed and configured properly.

The most obvious benefit is that your users do not need a physical key to open or gain access to your premises. Beyond that obvious benefit, comes the ability to restrict a person’s entry by time of day, day of week, or even permanently revoke their rights on a specific date. You may wish to do that with an outside contractor who has a definitive last day that they should be entering your office or facility.

You can also implement an enterprise wide system that will allow specific users access to only one door while allowing others access to as many doors as you have in the system. All this can be done using something as simple as an RFID card, fingerprint, pass code, or other form of identification. This would allow you to issue a credential to the CEO of the company that opens all of the doors in all of the facilities of your enterprise while issuing the exact same type of card to a Janitor who is only allowed entry at 1 door during pre-set hours and days of the week.

Taking it a step further, you can require multi-factor authentication. That is to say you may require a user to present a card, enter a code, and provide a thumbprint in order to gain access to the more sensitive areas of a facility such as an IT room.

You can mix the number and types of authentication required based on the persons role, the sensitivity of the area, or other business standards.

Moving well beyond simple allow/deny entry methodology, an Access Control system can be integrated with payroll departments to confirm that an employee arrives on time, and can provide alerts to appropriate managers and human resources if an employee fails to show up at an expected time.

This could help in quickly allocating resources to fill in for missing personnel rather than wondering if someone is in the building or not.

A supported access control system can also be either directly integrated with CCTV surveillance equipment software or used with a stand-alone with basic time look-up based on events. For example, if you’re concerned that someone is presenting somebody else credentials to gain access to an area they are not meant to be in, you can easily look-up who presented the credential (Anti-Pass).

Furthermore, you can take immediate action in restricting the misused credentials to avoid any unauthorized access until disciplinary action can be taken. Access Control Systems can and should be integrated with any Fire alarm panel. NOTE: In order to have this implementation, your Access Control board MUST have the required inputs to integrate this with any Fire Alarm System. We also suggest that you talk to your local fire station to make sure the installation is up to City Codes and regulations. This will provide faster egress (exiting) in the event of a fire by allowing otherwise locked doors to be used as a point of exit in the event of a fire.

No one needs to play with keys or worry about which doors are locked. A system can be configured to accept an input directly from the fire alarm system to the access control system to trigger unlocks of all doors.

In extremely secure environments, you can also design access control to provide an audit that would allow you to quickly and accurately determine which users entered what areas of your facility and the path they took to get there.

This will also provide you with a detailed idea of who may have been present at the time of an incident. For example, if an employee slipped and fell but claimed no one saw it, you would immediately know who might have been in the area as a witness to the event.

There are a wide variety of types of credentials available to authenticate a person for access control. Some are as simple as a pin code; some are more complex requiring fingerprints and facial scans. The most common method currently deployed in commercial applications is the card reader. This has been considered “secure enough” for most applications. However, it can be greatly augmented with the use of another factor of credential such as a pin code or a fingerprint.

Many people are willing to “loan” their card to a trusted friend, but most are unwilling to also provide their entry code. You can take security even further by integrating your access control system with your burglar alarm panel. It is not uncommon that you would want the Access Control System to notify law enforcement.

Usually a denied credential or miss-typed pin would not be cause for an alarm. However, there are situations that would be appropriate. You may for example, configure a “duress” code that all employees are given.

In the event they are forced against their will, they could enter the “duress” code and trigger a silent alarm. They could then present the legitimate code to gain entry, with the knowledge that the appropriate law enforcement department has been notified. You can also say goodbye to costly locksmiths. While it’s true that the initial installation of an Access Control System is significantly higher than that of a standard lock and key system, there are more benefits in the long run.

The “lost my key” condition is easily resolved with a simple phone call to the administrator of the system. If configured, the administrator may even be able to unlock the door to a building from anywhere in the world. Combine that ability with a well-designed CCTV system and they can also verify who they’re granting access to before they release the lock. Issuing a new credential is trivial in costs with the average RFID card being around $1 USD.

In conclusion, a properly configured access control system can save a business time, money, and lost man hours. It can also provide an extra level of security and safety features that greatly enhance traditional building level security and safety systems.

For more information and to learn more about Access Control, check out this link on our website.

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Why Do I Need A Security Camera System?

Written By:
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

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When speaking to customers, I often get the question of “why do I need a security camera system in my location”.  My simple answer is that video evidence is the most powerful tool a prosecution attorney can get, as long as the video is of high quality.  Now there are so many different types and qualities of systems on the market.  Remember that you often do get what you pay for.

Now I am not saying that every homeowner needs a “department of defense” quality camera system.  They should have some sort of protection to give them piece of mind when not at their property.  With all of the Techpro Security Products DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) and NVRs ( Network Video Recorders) on the market, you get the ability to remotely monitor your property from anywhere in the world you have internet connection, as long as your property has an Internet connection itself.

Another thing that is awesome about Techpro Security Products security recorders is that with a purchase of a new recorder, Techpro Security will give you a free DDNS account.  A DDNS is a dynamic domain name system, which means that no matter what your IP address is, you will be able to reach your property.  Generally most homes and properties get a Dynamic IP address from their ISP (Internet Service Provider), and now you do not need to spend extra money to have a static IP address.

Now if you are a business owner, you really should look into a higher quality system as it can help to protect your business in more ways than just outside threats.  With any camera system in a business you will naturally help to keep your employees honest.  You will also notice less loss of product as when normal customers know they are being watched, they are more likely to not do the wrong thing.  With a camera system you can generally talk to your insurance company and they should help lower your rates.  This also can help you to settle workman’s comp claims, as you have video evidence of what took place.  Camera systems can also help to stifle frivolous law suits by customers and their “slip and falls”.  Not only can a camera system help to protect you if your location is targeted by thieves, it can help you to keep your costs lower by minimizing your cost of doing business.

I am not saying that cameras are needed on every single corner of every street, but I am saying the more camera systems that are being utilized the less likely people are to do something than if they thought no one was watching.  I understand that the more cameras the government has, the more likely they are to be utilized to police people without really being present.  I know there are shows like People of Interest, where a computer utilizes every camera to locate and track people.  Currently, the government has not let us know this is possible, but I wouldn’t doubt it if they have been working on this technology.  Now the more private systems that are properly locked down, the less need for government systems there are.

When I put my camera system into my house, my neighbors freaked out!  This was a tough sell to most of the neighbors, that is until there were a rash of break-ins in my neighborhood.  No houses in my direct vicinity got touched.  Can I directly take credit for their properties not being touch, No.  But when a fellow neighbor captured the perpetrators vehicle on camera and informed me of what to be on the lookout for, that gave me something to go on.  When I spotted the vehicle coming into the neighborhood, I was able to alert the authorities to what was happening.  While I was informing the police of what I saw, I heard of an alarm call coming in from my neighborhood and I was able to describe what the authorities were looking for.  Ever since then there has been no real crime in my neighborhood, especially by my house.  These events helped to change the minds of my neighbors.

If you want to learn more about our Techpro Security Products security camera systems click here.

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Washington’s I-502 Setup and Configurations from a Techie!

Written By:
Monday, April 6th, 2015

I can imagine how much of a pain it is to get into legal Marijuana growing and retail sales. This is the kind of headache a lot of people in the state of Washington are dealing with right now. There are all kinds of permits, inspections, fees, and start up costs that go into something like this and I can see how this becomes extremely stressful. Now, it is no secret that these facilities, whether it is growing or retail sales, have to have a security camera system with minimum requirements such as resolution, camera positioning, and days of recording! I know there are plenty of camera companies that you can go with and I am not here to try and explain why you should choose us, the link below will do that job for me!

Everything you need to know about I-502 Security Cameras

I am here to give you guidance on how to configure your I-502 setup and get your system running in order to pass your inspections and complete one of the major steps on your way to getting your facility operational. I work on the Tech Support team, and have had a lot of experience configuring these types of systems all over Washington. This goes for Analog systems, HDCVI systems, and even IP systems. We have done it all and are more than willing to do all the configurations for you. The first step to getting your camera system set up is by calling our sales experts and getting the system that will best benefit you. Once that is done and you receive your equipment, I need you to test every single camera before you mount it, because if you mount the camera and it is DOA the return process will become a hassle for both parties. So, testing the equipment before the install is always the best way to go!

Keep in mind, you guys have a few minimum requirements, but that does not mean that you have to go with the bare minimum. For example, 10 FPS is the minimum FPS you can configure at a minimum resolution of D1. Again, that does not mean that you have to use those settings. If you decide to go bigger and better that is fine too. If you do decide to go with a higher resolution and more FPS then you will need to buy more Hard drive space to compensate for it. You have to have 45 days of continuous recording, and the biggest thing that eats up hard drive space is FPS and resolution. The higher the resolution and FPS the more space you will need to reach the 45 day requirement. There is a calculator on our website that looks like this (Below). You will need to enter how many cameras you have, the resolution of said cameras, the FPS (aka Frame rate), hours per day you will record (24 for you), and the amount of days you need to reach! Keep in mind that this is an estimate, so you should get a bit more storage to give yourself sufficient leeway!

HDD Calc.

As you can see with the settings I put in the calculator you would need about 7-8 TBs in order to make your 45 day requirement and have some left over as leeway! So if you wanted to go with HDCVI or IP for better quality cameras that will be no problem at all.

Now that everything was tested and you have the install complete, any of our techs, including myself, can begin the configuration process with you. This article is being written to help you possibly do these configurations yourself, and better understand them at the same time! So, to start you will need to get the DVR hooked up to your network and make sure it is on the correct IP scheme so you can access it over the web, and possibly remotely after we configure the router. If you would like to configure the router on your own there is a port forwarding guide on our website under networking downloads. Before we get to that you will need to do a few things. First you want to make sure the time of the DVR is set correctly. I will do my configurations through the web as I see it to be easier. Once you get to the Web Service through the IP address, you will go to the setup tab to begin configurations. You will go to system, General, Date & Time, and make sure you change it to MM DD YYYY and 12 hour. Then you will need to set the GMT to -8:00 (Washington) and if the time does not change to the correct time, make sure you change it and you can save that page!

Next step is to go to the “Storage” tab and check “HDD Manage” and make sure that all of your hard drives are being recognized and are the correct size all with a status of normal. Then I will need you to go to “Schedule” and make sure you are set up for 24/7 recording on all channels for all days, and the way you will do so is look at the picture below and see on the right side where you have set up for period 1, click on that.

Schedule Tab2

Once in that tab you will see the screen below and there you will make the exact same selections that I have there. This is setting your DVR to record 24/7 on all days for channel one. Then once you save you will see the screen above again then I want you to click on copy select copy to all channels and click save.

Schedule Tab

Then you will need to click on “Record” and you will see a screen that looks like the below picture. This is where you will set certain channels to record and certain channels not to record (on the main stream that is). Sub stream should be set to stop on all channels. In the main stream you want to set the channels that have cameras to “Schedule” or “Auto”, and the channels that have no cameras attached set it to stop. The way a DVR works is, it will record every single channel even if there is no camera attached. If you are pressed for hard drive space like you are to meet the 45 days, then turning channels with no cameras off will stop the recording of blank channels to preserve your space for actual footage. You just have to remember that if you add a camera you need to set it to record or you will not have any recorded footage for that channel.

Record Tab

The next and final step is to set up the resolutions of your cameras to make sure you get your 45 days of recording! You will do this under Camera tab and then Encode. If your cameras need to be set to D1 at 30 FPS then just set up channel 1 and then copy to all channels as a shortcut, no need to do every channel one by one. After that you are all set, although you may still need port forwarding for remote access.

If you wanted to go with IP that is an option as well. As a matter of fact I just finished the configuration of an 80 IP camera job in Washington. The layout of the network is a bit more complicated than Analog or HDCVI where there is no network necessary for cameras. I created a little layout as to how it works and you have to have some understanding of how to configure dual NICs in the NVR, which which you can read about here!

You configure the cameras to be separated from your main network using the second NIC of the NVR. There is quite a bit of configuring that goes into that type of set up, but it is possible if you wanted to go that way. I would be more than happy to configure this type of set up for you, and so would any of the techs here in the office. Just look at the diagram I created and if you have any questions please call us at (866) 573-8878 option 3 or 124 for my personal extension. This diagram will not teach you how to configure this type of set up, but it will give you a better understanding of how to wire everything and how to set it up. Then we can walk you through the configuration on the phone! Hope all of this was helpful, Thank You! This diagram below is actually the exact set up we did on that 80 camera setup.

I502 IP Setup

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TechProSS Mobile Setup

Written By:
Friday, April 3rd, 2015

 Where do I start for remote access to my video security system?

It is important to view your cameras on your phone and tablet so that you can keep an eye on your assets.  Downloading the TechProSS application is the first step in making this a reality.  If you own an iPhone, you need to use the App store or iTunes to download the program to your phone.  There is a TechProSS Lite or TechProSS Plus that you can download for your phone.  Compare the features and see if the $5 one-time fee for TechProSS Plus includes features that you will need compared to the free Techpross Lite version.  The Lite version contains a majority of the features, and most people will not use the additional features.  However, if you want to support the development of a maturing program, the paid version will help out in that respect.  There is an HD version for iPad that fits the bigger screen and higher resolutions.  If you own an Android phone, then you will need to use Google Play to search for TechProSS.  There will also be a lite version, a plus version, and an HD version for the tablets.  Whichever version you choose, they will look and feel the same.  This article is going to focus on the Lite version, which is what most people will install or start with.

The network needs to be set up and port forwarding needs to be done!

If you want to view cameras on your phone, the port forwarding needs to be set up in the router.  Let’s just say for the purpose of an example that your router takes a Gateway address of 192.168.1.1, and your DVR takes the default address of 192.168.1.108.  Make sure that your DVR is set to static and NOT Dynamic / DHCP.  You would then need to forward the default TCP port of 37777 to the IP address of 192.168.1.108.  It is extremely important for the DVR to be on the same network as the Gateway.  How do I know what address my Gateway is located?  Good question!  You can open a DOS box in windows and type “ipconfig” to find your Gateway address.  It will also show the IP address that your computer is connected to the Gateway.  If you have a cable modem at a 10.0.0.1 network, you can then set the IP address of your DVR to 10.0.0.108 for example.  If you need to know if that IP address is available on your network, you can ping 10.0.0.108 using a DOS box terminal window to see if anything responds.  The traffic from the internet needs to go through the router straight to the DVR using the port you specify.

The networking part is done, so let’s move on to the configuration.

devicemanagersmallThe most import part to be aware of is the Register Mode.  P2P is the default, so this must be changed before you get started.  The Register mode that you will use is called IP/Domain because we will enter an IP address or a Domain name.  A Domain name can be any name that points to your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or Network Video Recorder (NVR), but most people will be using a DDNS or Dynamic Domain Name System.  An IP address is a number that points to your DVR or NVR, but be aware that there are Internal IP addresses and External IP addresses.  My screenshot has an internal IP address so that I can access my DVR on my Wifi.  If you want to access your DVR on your Wifi, you will need to do the same.  You can treat your one DVR as if it is two DVRs so that you can view your cameras internally from within your network and externally from the outside of your network.  The next entry in your Device Manager Setup screen will be Name.  This is a generic term that you name your DVR.  For example, “DVR at Home” is a name for inside the network, and “DVR Away” is a name for away from my home.  Address will be your name or number.  An example could be 192.168.1.182 as a number, or javajeffsdvr.techproddns.com as a name.  The port is going to be 37777, which is the default in the DVR.  Some people have two DVRs, and may set one of them to the recommended 47777.  If you only have one DVR, you will always use 37777 which is different than the 80 TCP or 88 TCP port that you use for Internet Explorer.  Username and Password are easy to understand, but this is where you need to be concerned.  It is very important for you not to use the default admin / admin account.  Create a new admin level account so that you do not lock your only admin account.  The other accounts that come in the DVR are used only at the machine, so you can be away from your DVR and easily be locked out.  You absolute need to make a new admin account, so I would do something like this for my access to my DVR:  jeff / jeff.   This way if I ever lock the account, I can log in using the admin / admin account to reboot the unit or unlock the account that I use daily.  Always create extra accounts for people using the DVR so your only account is not locked from typos and other issues.  Moving on to the streams, the extra stream is the default.  You should not use the high bandwidth stream on your smart phone or tablet.  I only saw one exception to the rule where a person had a 22” android tablet.  If you have an android based computer, I can understand using the Main stream on a big screen like that.  Otherwise, stick with the default lower bandwidth Extra stream for viewing on a smart phone or tablet.

How can I view my cameras in TechProSS mobile software without having to select each camera every time I run the application?

You can add cameras to a favorites group. Once you create a group of cameras, you can then load your group at the Live Preview screen by pressing the star and hitting the play button. You can create many groups and name them what you like so they are easy to find.

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Check out our demonstration videos of our video management apps here.

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Use Smart PSS instead of Web Service

Written By:
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

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Use Smart PSS instead of Web Service

Smart PSS excels at Live viewing and playback.  In tech support, we really like that web service for configuration changes, and that is where it should be used as a quick way to make changes.  However, the Smart PSS is superior for viewing Live video and playback.  First off, you do not have to worry about installing the web plugin, active x, compatibility views, or any other computer related issue in getting that plugin to work.  You just install the executable file on PC or MAC, and you have software designed to manage all your Digital Video Recorders (DVR)s, Network Video Recorders (NVR)s, and cameras in one centralized software program.  You get the same interface in PC and MAC, so learning the interface one time will work for both platforms.  Let’s gets started and go through the main benefits.

Manage all your devices in one place

The Device Manager allows you to add up to 50 Digital Video Recorders (DVR)s, Network Video Recorders (NVR)s, and cameras.  This is convenient if you have a business that has more than one DVR or NVR, or you want to use a local IP address and an external IP address in one software platform.  It is a good idea to have a DVR at Home and a DVR away so that you can use your Wi-Fi while you are at home for faster access to the DVR.  If you have more than one DVR or NVR, then this is where the SmartPSS really shines.

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Create views for one or many DVRs and NVRs

viewsCreating a view is very easy in SmartPSS.  You simply drag the cameras that you want to any window.  This is very useful if you want to rearrange the order of your cameras without doing any changes to the back of the DVR or NVR.  Then you can save your views and have a quick access one click way to get to them.  What makes this really special is that you can create a view from multiple DVRs and NVRs.  For example, let’s say you own a dry cleaner business and have four locations.  You can create a view called “front counters” and list all four counters from the four store locations.  If you only have one DVR, you can utilize the view feature to create different views for different needs.  Perhaps, you have multiple storage locations that you want to set up in one view that you only check occasionally.  Or perhaps you want to customize your main Live view, then drag it to your second monitor, and then make it full screen so you can see your specific cameras at all times.  Once you get started created views, the options are endless and you will find that more customization will allow you to organize your security.

Smart PSS is an excellent tool for playback and saving video

In the playback section, you select your date and cameras and hit the search button.  You will now see a timeline at the bottom of the screen providing that you are recording 24/7, and will have the option to synchronize video between windows.  If you selected more than one camera to search, start playing one camera and click the synchronize button to synchronize all the video feeds.  Let’s say you searched for 4 cameras and want to watch synchronized video on all 4 at 10AM.  Click on 10AM on the first timeline and then hit the synchronize button, and all four videos will automatically synchronize at that time.

If you find something that you want to save, click the scissors on the right to start a snip. Then select an ending spot on the timeline and click the scissors a second time.  This will bring up a dialog box where you get to choose a save location on your hard drive.  It will create one file the length of your snipped selection.  Another option for saving videos is to click the Event button on the left to see all the files that make up your timeline.  Every hour is one file, so you can select which hours and cameras that you want based on your search criteria.  Also, by seeing the file sizes, you can do the math to determine the amount of Hard Drive space you will use while recording with all your cameras.  Many people have expressed interest in determining their Hard Drive usage, and Smart PSS is an excellent tool for that use as well.  All you need is one day of recording, and all cameras set at the same encoding settings to determine the hard drive space needed.  This is a very important feature for our I-502 (Washington’s Marijuana Recreational Law) customers.

filesizes

Everything changes if you are using motion recording.  Every motion event is one file and you will not be able to synchronize video since all motion events will be at different times.   If you are trying to play slivers of video created by motion, use the magnifying option to zoom in on the timeline to make it easy to select those video files.

timeline

What is the Accounts section of Smart PSS

There is a default account of username admin with a password of admin.  This account has nothing to do with your DVR or NVR.  This software is designed to manage multiple devices, so the passwords for those devices are controlled in Devices under Settings.  The user section of the software is for you to control the accessibility of the software program.  You can eliminate buttons and options at the software level to control accessibility to the DVR or NVR. This gives you some flexibility limiting control at the Software level since you can use one admin login at the DVR level if you wish, and still lock down computers and the software to prevent certain functionality.

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