Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category



The Things To Know When Buying Security Cameras From a Door to Door Salesman

Written By:
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

“Hi, I’m from Fly By Night Security and we’re in your area today (going door to door) selling security systems.”  When buying security cameras, should you buy them the same way you buy Girl Scout Cookies? Let’s explore this scenario a little bit.                                                              

What are you getting, who are you getting it from, and are you secure?

For as long as we have had the push button doorbell, they have been pushed by security system salesman primarily pushing long term contracts, because that’s how they make their money. They certainly don’t make money simply “giving away free systems”. They sell by using strategies similar to salesmen pushing flood insurance who use “what if’s” as scare tactics. Security is something we know we should have, but it’s also something that we budget for the least. However, now with the arrival of Smart Phone technology, we are presented with a plethora of home automation options that allow us to remotely lock and unlock, turn on, turn up, and check the status of everything in our lives.  So with this in mind, what approach should we as homeowners take to secure our homes? How can we keep up with the latest technology while not being taken advantage of by signing the wrong 36 month contract?

Before we talk contracts and paperwork, let’s look at the equipment.

C.C.T.V Cameras.

You may be asking, “Why do I need cameras?” You could be thinking that it could be that you just purchased your dream car and you would like to keep close watch on your investment in the driveway from your bedroom or on your phone. Or, maybe you enjoy knowing what your pets are doing while you are away at work. Oddly enough, actual security is sometimes the last reason some of us think of when asked the above question. Whatever your reason, make sure you are paying for the solution that best suits your needs and not those of the salesman.

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Have you ever seen the camera above hanging on the wall in a bank or a convenience store? Me neither. However, it does look a lot the thing on top of my kids game console when they play online with their friends. Mass produced, “Plug and Play” devices like these are items one would expect to buy from an online supplier or one of the “warehouse stores”. They certainly don’t appear to be professional quality equipment that you would expect to pay a monthly fee for on your cable bill. And  they’re certainly not worth signing a 36 month contract for.

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How about this camera? Have you ever seen one of these bad boys on your neighbor’s house? Probably not, unless your neighbor lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! If I wanted to go this route, I’m guessing this item should only be in the $350 range, right?  Unfortunately, the answer is no a second time. The devices we see on CSI, spinning 360° around the crime scene, usually don’t have a place in the home security world. It’s obvious that one should ask a ton of questions when making a purchase such as this and it’s critical that you make sure that what is on the “flyer” is what is installed. Getting something you didn’t agree to in the beginning is the fastest way out of a contact.

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This is something that looks like it would be at home under my eaves keeping an eye on the front door for when the next security salesman comes a knocking!

I wonder what are my realistic options?

If you’re a “Weekend warrior” you might find something similar to this online or at a local warehouse store for around $899 in a package!

Buying online kits and doing self-installs are a viable way to save money, but there are a few things you need to look at before doing so.

Do I possess the basic network and computer skills required to get this device connected to the outside world? Whatever that answer may be, there better be a tech support agent standing by to assist when needed, right?

Is tech support going to be available when I need them?

Do we speak the same language?  Are we even on the same continent?

Do they have the patience and understanding that I’m a homeowner and not a network engineer?

There is a company out there that meets all the requirements mentioned above and if you’re looking for a DIY CCTV experience, SecurityCameraKing.com is the place to start!

The Contract

Even more important than making sure you get the right equipment for your project, is understanding and knowing the company behind the contract you’re about to sign should you choose to go with one.

I’m sure you know that reading “customer reviews” on the company’s website is a waste of time. Any company that’s been around the block understands what self-promotion is and how to use it. There are multiple “generic” review websites out there like “Yelp” where customers traditionally post honest opinions… find them and read them. Just like in any other trade, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning for example, it is “buyer beware” in the security industry as well. It can be very polarized with great companies on one end of the spectrum, and not so great ones on the other. If someone out there had a nightmare with the company you’re thinking of signing with, it’s very likely that they wrote extensively about it somewhere. By simply using something like “Google” you will see exactly what their customer service is really like. Being informed can be the best bargaining tool and headache prevention moving forward.

“Fuzzy Math”

The average C.C.T.V or Alarm System contract usually spans about 36 months and can come in around $3,200.00 … AND … you still may not own the equipment at the end of the contract! Automatic renewing leases, yes – LEASES, are very popular with the larger companies out there.

If the word “free” is used in the contract, be aware that the individual in front of you didn’t show up this morning out of the kindness of his heart because he was worried sick about your personal safety. Nothing in the world is free.  The $3,200 over three years covers four things: the cost of the equipment, the cost of the installation, the cost of the sales team, and the profit for the company. Though upfront costs of equipment may appear expensive initially, when signing an amortized contract, ask yourself how many times you will pay for the same equipment over the next 36 months.

Very Important Information otherwise known as “what aren’t they telling you”.

ALL door to door security sales are high pressure and quota based. Most companies want to close you in the morning and install in the afternoon. Why is this? They want to get around what’s called the “Three Day Cooling Off Rule”. This federal law protects consumers in their homes during door-to-door sales pitches or at sales in temporary business locations. According to the FTC, the 3-Day Cooling-Off Rule does NOT apply to the purchase of new automobiles or items sold online. It only applies when a company is selling something that costs $25 or more at a location other than its regular place of business.

Don’t let “One Day” sales and “we’re only in the neighborhood for today” fool you because they will absolutely return the next day after you had a chance to review your Q & A list overnight.

Please use our free Q&A check list provided below.

Q & A Check list

Here is a basic check list to fill out in front of the sales person or overnight by yourself when researching the company.

Q: Where is their corporate office located and do they have a brick and mortar in my city or state?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Will my contract be sold to the monitoring station after signing?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: What are the terms in months of my contract and will I own the equipment at the end?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: What is the cancellation policy and is there a fee to cancel?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Is there an AUTO renew policy and do I need to submit a 30 day cancellation letter?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Have I seen the exact pictures of the product that will be installed in my home?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Does my city require a permit and if so permit fee?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: If installing C.C.T.V Cameras, has the dealer performed an UP speed test on my network to insure that I currently have accurate speeds to view my video offsite?

A:_____________________________ UP________ DOWN___________

Q: Will the offsite video be accessible from my cellular device platform?

A: IOS_________________________Android____________________

Q: Is the company BBB accredited (and have I reviewed other customer experiences on line)?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Does my estimated monthly cost include taxes and all applicable fees?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Is the company insured and will they provide immediate proof?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Who will service my account and what are my trip charges in the event of an issue? Are service issues “subcontracted” to another local company?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: What are other people paying for a similar system?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Is there referral program?

A:________________________________________________________

Q: Will my salesman give me his direct number in case I have questions after the install? Is he local or from out of state?

A:________________________________________________________

All of the questions above are realistic, current industry standard questions that should be answered before any purchase is made. Any representative of a legitimate security company should be willing and able to answer all of these questions or retrieve answers quickly. Any attempt to disregard or to play down the importance of the questions should raise additional questions.

When buying security for your family and property, sometimes a contract is the best answer, and sometimes self-install or buying equipment upfront is the answer. Whatever you choose to do, make sure in the end that you and your family will be secure in your home or business for the money you spent. Make sure you take the precautions to protect your investment by researching the system you choose and the company you choose to partner with.

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Best of luck on your search for true security!

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Affordable High Definition Surveillance Systems for Banks and Financial Institutions

Written By:
Monday, April 27th, 2015

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Banks and financial institutions are high-traffic, high-risk facilities that require safety and security. In these businesses, there is a need to secure employee and customer safety, as well as a need to protect and secure valuable banking assets. In a banking environment, Affordable High Definition Surveillance Systems are critical to secure, monitor, and deter theft. For these reasons it is important for the financial institution to keep their surveillance equipment up to date with high definition video.

Having an HD Security Camera System benefits the financial institution significantly. Bank employees are dealing with everyday interactions with the public and handling valuable assets that the bank is liable to protect. Having access to high definition surveillance video in a high risk situation allows you to capture details and transaction exchanges that a traditional analog system may have previously missed.

With technology and industry advancements in CCTV and video, there has never been a better time to upgrade to a high definition security camera system. Enhance your banks security with HD video and protect yourself against fraud, theft and other liabilities.

Affordable High Definition Surveillance System: HD-CVI (High Definition Composite Video Interface)
HD-CVI Technology has provided CCTV experts with a cost-effective method to upgrade high-security banking and financial institutions to high definition. In cases where the bank already has traditional analog system installed, the cost of new cabling and IP surveillance systems may not be an option. This is where HD-CVI Technology comes into play. With HD-CVI, upgrading from analog is simple, reliable, and provides multiple features that make installation, setup and access convenient.

HDCVI Feature benefits:

  1. Upgrading from analog: Utilizing already existing coaxial or cat5 cable, HDCVI can easily replace traditional analog systems for 1080p HD digital video. (HDCVI cameras are also compatible with standard video power baluns.) This allows for flexible and cost efficient installation.
  2. Reliable long distance transmission: HDCVI is able to transmit data and high quality video without loss up to 1600ft vs. HD-SDI which is only able to transmit data up to 320ft, making HDCVI ideal for coaxial installs.
  3. Two way control: Allows the user to control the camera’s OSD settings such as WDR, DNR and Sense-up from the monitoring location and desktop.
  4. Motorized Zoom: Cameras with motorized zoom allow you to easily adjust and refine an image from the monitoring site.
  5. Monitoring Software: Allows for easy access through desktop or mobile devices that does not require you to be on location to review video. Adjust camera settings, review video playback and capture live video from anywhere.

Up to 2 MegaPixel Resolution:
Generating clear crisp imagery in 1080p is important to deter criminal activity as well as protecting employees, customers, property and assets. Whether you need to identify currency, review the details of a transaction, or identify a person of interest, high definition surveillance plays a critical role in protecting your business.

Affordable:
Easily migrate a traditional analog system to digital with HD-CVI. Utilize our free technical support to customize and optimize a system to fit your facility’s unique security and surveillance goals. Your systems can be designed to enhance your already existing security protocols. Our industry experts and technical support teams are available to serve as your support throughout the entire process. Our team will help design, execute, and install. Additional technical support is also available if a problem should occur in the future, saving you time and money.

Environment Security:
Security is more than just protection against criminal activity and violence. As a business you are also trusted to protect and secure customer assets and investments, as well as secure a safe work environment for your employees. You can trust our quality equipment to secure your banking environments. You can monitor and protect your customers, employees and valuable assets.

When you are in an industry dealing with the public and having to secure valuable assets, it is a good idea to enhance your security systems to ensure reduced risk factors and to provide your business protection from liabilities that could affect the business negatively. Having high-quality, high-definition surveillance systems will allow you to capture the full image while also allowing you to capture the details.

High Definition Systems:
Although HD-CVI Technology is affordable and easy to upgrade, the technology is limited to 2 Megapixels (1080p resolutions). If your institution is looking for higher resolutions (3MP and above) I would suggest looking into IP network surveillance systems. IP network surveillance systems can be more flexible and the technology ranges from 2– 12 mega pixel resolutions. Upgrading from traditional analog surveillance to IP network surveillance comes at a higher cost. The system upgrade require a new cabling infrastructure to be run, along with equipment and installation costs.

What Resolution do I choose?
Resolutions are based on a combination of job requirements and location size and personal preferences. For enclosed locations in lower traffic situations you will be okay with 720p-1080p (1-2 megapixels) resolutions. If you’re a business that has high traffic and has large areas to cover you may want to consider some of the higher resolution options. 6-8 mega pixel resolutions are more effective for large high traffic locations like Sports stadiums, arenas, and hotels and require higher bandwidth options to operate effectively.

If you need help choosing your system’s resolutions you may contact your local dealer or installer to help with system design, or call one our sales representatives who will be able to help in selecting the proper surveillance system for your facility.

Resolutions:
VGA: 640 x 480 | D1: 720 x 480 | Full D1 (FD1), 960H: 960 x 480 | 720p: 1280×720 | 1.3 MegaPixel: 1280×1024 | 1080p, 2.1 MegaPixel: 1920×1080 | 3 MegaPixel: 2048×1536 | 5 MegaPixel: 2592×1920 | 6 MegaPixel: 3072×2048 | 8 MegaPixel: 3840×2160

Comparison:

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Conclusion:
Having high definition video has many benefits and have the ability to reduce liabilities, observe the handling of valuable assets, and protect customers and employees from shady interactions. Access to high definition surveillance video in a high-risk situation allows you to capture details and exchanges that traditional analog systems may miss. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of technology advancements and upgrade to a high definition security system. Enhance your security with HD video and protect yourself against fraud, theft and other liabilities.

To learn more about the benefits of HD-CVI as well as some side by side comparison security camera videos, check out our “What is HD-CVI” Page.

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CCTV Cable and Connector Types

Written By:
Friday, April 24th, 2015

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When you first open up your system you may find yourself asking, “How do I connect all these wires and connectors?” As the surveillance industry grows and develops, so to do the methods of recording. Each different type of system has its own somewhat unique type of CCTV cable and/or connector. Today I’d like to break down the different cable types and how to terminate the appropriate wires that come with your system. But, before we begin, it is important to note that most of our products come with a lifetime of tech support and this service is invaluable to the end user. We highly advise contacting our tech support if you are unfamiliar with any part of the installation process. There are also un-boxing videos under virtually every product in the video tab. This will allow you to get an idea of what the product is and what type of connections it has on it.

So, what are the different types of CCTV cable and connectors? Before we go into how to connect each system, we need to understand what the different types of systems are. Let us break down the 3 main types of systems: traditional Analog, IP and HD-CVI. An IP (Internet Protocol) system operates around an NVR (Network Video Recorder) and utilizes Cat5/Cat6 (Category 5 or 6) cable and connections, and generally receives power via a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch. While an Analog system utilizes Siamese cable (Coaxial cable with BNC connectors for video and 18-2 for power). An HD-CVI (High Definition Composite Video Interface) system utilizes the same type of cable as an Analog system but a higher grade of cable is generally recommended to accommodate the quantity and quality of data being transferred over the cable. To find out more what HD-CVI is check out our page “What is HD-CVI“.If you are unsure about which quality of cable to buy, feel free to contact our sales department and they can help you choose the best cable for your situation. Now that we know the different types of systems and their respective cables we can begin to discuss how these connections and connectors go together.

The first major system we discussed was IP, so let’s start there. IP systems utilize Cat5/Cat6 Ethernet connections as we mentioned before. When you receive this cable in a spool it does not come terminated so you will have to place the connectors on the ends, after of course, you’ve cut the appropriate length. The process for terminating CAT5/CAT6 is relatively simple. It is important to note that a Crimper tool is necessary for this process. There are two common wiring standards for CAT5/6 “TIA/EIA-568-A” and “TIA/EIA-568-B”. For our example we are going use the B standard. While this is common it may be a good idea to check which method will work best for your ideal use. The first step is to strip the shielding to expose the wires. You should strip about three quarters of an inch to have sufficient room to adjust the wiring pattern. The Color code should be as follows: white/orange, orange, white /green, blue, white/blue, green, white/brown, brown. Once you’ve arranged the wires appropriately all that’s left is to insert them into the RJ-45 jack and crimp locked. It is advised that before crimping the jack locked you ensure the bare wires are properly connected to the jack. For your convenience here is a brief video demonstrating the above description. Once this is completed test the cable by connecting two devices already known to be configured properly to ensure the cable is properly terminated.

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This brings us to Analog systems. Analog cable is relatively simple however there are several types of BNC connectors you can attach to the cable. Three types to be specific, these three types are twist-on, crimp-on and compression. Twist-on is the most common and easiest to install. Crimp-on holds a slightly tighter connection but requires the correct tool and a bit of knowledge. Compression is the tightest, but also the most difficult and slightly more expensive.

Above is an example of a twist-on type connector, which is easily twisted on once the cable is cut and stripped to the appropriate length. Be sure the center most part is inserted all the way through the inside of the connector. Also, a small amount of mesh should be folded over the lip of the rubber shielding.  This will act as somewhat of a ground for the cable.  Next is an example of crimp-on type connectors.

Crimp-on connections offer a slightly more secure type of connectors.  While allowing a somewhat inexperienced user a relatively simple install.  The disadvantage to crimp-on connectors is they should be utilized with a special tool.  On a small install this might be unnecessary. This leads us to the final type of BNC connector.

The final type of BNC connector is the Compression type fitting. The compression type fitting is the most secure, but is also the most unforgiving. If the tool is misaligned or inappropriately secured a wasted fitting will cost you more in addition to the specialized tool required for the job. These fittings are often used for large installs or areas where the cable may be in a somewhat unforgiving environment.

The final part of an Analog cabling are the power connectors on the camera side of the Siamese Cable. These connectors are simply twisted on after the rubber is removed. Once the pair is twisted to its corresponding color it is simple matter of covering the exposed wire with a gel cap.

The last system we offer, HD-CVI, is, for cabling purposes almost exactly like Analog. The only difference is a higher quality cable is recommended under ideal situations. The amount of data being sent in an HD-CVI system is exponentially larger than that of traditional analog systems. As odd as this sounds in terms of physical installation there is, again, virtually no difference aside from the thickness of the cable.  This often increases so that less interference reaches the line. This allows that large amount of data to flow with less chance of interference or breakdown over distance.

So, as daunting as it all appears at first, the cabling portion of your install is relatively simple.  And when you factor in our experienced techs and lifetime tech support, you should never feel overwhelmed by a perspective install!

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The Advantages of a “Tribrid” Digital / Network Video Recorder

Written By:
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

The field of security camera and video recording technology is changing every day. Advances are constantly being made. Sometimes change can happen so fast that there’s a need to merge different technologies into a single device, especially when there’s a need to support older technologies because it still may be in heavy use.

In the security tech world, this is where the Tribrids come in.

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The basic concept behind “Tribrid” DVRs aren’t a exactly new. Far from it. Previous to the release of Tribrid DVRs, there were Hybrid DVRs. Hybrids are capable of streaming and recording both standard analog and IP Network cameras. The Tribrid simply introduces the ability to now have HD-CVI cameras (itself a bridging of technologies) in addition to those analog and IP cameras.

So lets take a quick look at each of these camera styles.

Analog Cameras

Analog camera technology goes back a long way. A very long way. Decades in fact.

Most modern analog cameras max out about 960H resolution, which, though better than older analog cameras, still doesn’t allow for much image detail.

Older Analog CCTV security cameras capture an analog video signal and transfer that signal over Siamese (coax) cable to the DVR, the recorder then converts the signal from analog to digital, compresses it, and stores it on a hard drive.

Currently, the only real advantage analog cameras offer is that they can be acquired fairly cheaply.

And because they’ve been so common for so many years, odds are most businesses have a few lying around, or even still have them currently in use. And while they can offer a baseline level of security, they’re quickly being replaced with their newer, smaller, sharper, higher resolution descendants.

HD-CVI

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HD-CVI is a brand new bit of technology which stands for High Definition Composite Video Interface. It combines the best of both analog and high definition (HD) technologies. Until very recently, standard analog CCTV video maxed out at 960h resolution. The only way to get higher resolution would require completely swapping out the old system, including wiring, and switching to an HD compatible format.

Using a video transmitter / receiver, HD-CVI can transmit up to 1080p resolution uncompressed video and audio over a single ordinary standard CCTV coaxial cable (instead of needing separate cables for video and audio) over larger distances than HD-SDI or Network IP, without the latency and lag issues that can notoriously plague those formats.

One of the biggest advantages HDCVI tech brings to the table is it allows anyone that has previously installed analog cabling to leave their cable and power in place and upgrade to High Definition which saves on having to re-wire.. an incredibly practical and resourceful bit of innovation.

Network IP Cameras

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One of the most important changes in the security camera field in recent years has come from the incorporation of ONVIF standard. So just what the heck is ONVIF? ONVIF is an acronym for Open Network Video Interface Forum, which is industry forum for developing a universal global standard interfaces of IP based physical security products. In short, it means that no matter which camera, digital video, or network manufacturer you buy from, if they’re ONVIF compatible, they’ll all be cross compatible.

Network IP cameras are sort of distant cousins to their older analog relatives, as they do actually capture an analog image. But, that image is then, almost instantly, converted to a digital signal inside the camera, and then that digital stream is sent through the “Local Area Network”, or LAN, through your Ethernet cable. The power supplied to the camera over the same cable is through Power-Over-Ethernet (POE).

So essentially, Network IP cameras can be accessed easily over the internet via your NVR. They can even be aimed (in the case of Pan Tilt Zoom, or PTZ cameras) or adjusted via an software app from your cell phone or tablet device, making these cameras some of the most versatile and configurable on the market. In addition, they are able to transmit BluRay DVD quality video (1080p), and in with some cameras, even higher than that.

Keeping it simple

For all complicated technology that goes into a Tribrid, they couldn’t be easier to use. Actually, it’s almost exactly the same as using a traditional DVR or NVR, they typically use the same type of graphical user interface, or GUI. The only difference being that you’ll simply be getting all the features and inputs that would normally be separated in other DVRs or NVRS merged into a single unit.

Storage

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One of the most crucial elements of any security system is storage. If you don’t have enough storage space, you’ll constantly need to be rewriting your old footage, or lowering the quality of the image inside the settings of your DVR/NVR, which will no doubt cause you to miss crucial details in your footage.

Luckily, even the smaller model Compact Tribrids can hold up to 4 hard drives, each up to 6 terabytes each… so with the smaller version, you’ll have a total capacity of 24 terabytes. Full size Tribrids can hold up to 8 (!) hard drives.. that’s a whopping 48 Terabytes of video data. In simple terms.. if you connected eight HD cameras, you could record up to 98 (24 hour) days of hi def, 1080p video, at 30 frames per second. Or if you connected cameras to all sixteen channels, you could record up to 49 days of uninterrupted HD video.

Furthermore, if you decided to back down the footage to, say D1 resolution, you could get over 230 days of recording time at 30 frames per second.

To determine just how much storage you need, and how long you’ll be able to record, check out the hard drive storage calculator.

All In One

Tribrid DVR’s are basically the all in one, “one stop shop” that will essentially take on whatever syle of cameras you have at your disposal, and are especially useful for those that just don’t want to go thorough the hassle of replacing their wiring, or just don’t want to throw out their old security cameras. Whatever your video recording needs, the Tribrid can handle it.

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Viewing CCTV on a Big Screen TV using an Android Mini PC

Written By:
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

A lot of our customers purchase high-value systems that do not have extra features, and unlike the flagship systems, they are limited in some of their capabilities. In my previous article, “Where is my Video Signal? Understanding Video Resolution!” I went over the ways the customer can view his cameras and also the types of video outs that our DVR/NVRs have. Not all of our units that we offer have the secondary HDMI port or Spot out. One of the most desired features that the user wants is to customize the view of his exciting CCTV system. It starts from viewing it in different locations and sometimes multiple views on multiple monitors. That is why customers are asking if there is a possibility to install one of our viewing apps on their smart TV. It is impossible to do since the smart TVs are sold with the manufacturer proprietary operating system and our viewing software and apps can only be installed on OS, Android and Windows devices. So, how can you connect the unit if it does not have any of the additional video outs and you still want to view your cameras on a big screen TV? There is a way to do it! If your TV set does not have the smart features, there is a trick to make it happen.  That will be a great advantage for customers that have an old TV set or a projector.

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The solution is a little device that looks like a USB flash drive and runs on the Android operating system. When I say little, it is not much bigger than a standard USB flash drive. What it does is basically turn your TV screen into a large Android tablet. Some manufacturers call it “Mini Android PC”. You will find plenty of those devices if you do a simple search on Amazon. I purchased mine for about $60 and a little wireless keyboard that is necessary so you can control your device which cost me about $20. There is a big variety of those devices so do your research in regards to capabilities of the specific device. Some of those Mini PC devices carry a lot of power and run on Quad core CPUs with 2GB of RAM. They all take a MicroSD card which makes your storage expandable up to 64GB of additional storage memory space. The device is connected to your TV via HDMI and all of them are Wi-Fi capable.

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So the first thing you want to do is to connect the Mini PC to your TV via HDMI and power it. The device supports the 720p or the 1080p resolution and the picture is crisp on a standard 50 inch TV set.  You can power it with the 5V power supply that comes with your device or do what I did and that is to power the device with one of the USBs of the TV set. It looks more aesthetic if your TV is mounted on the wall and your Mini PC is hidden behind your TV set with no cables visible running down the wall.

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It is time to power on the device and make sure that you are on the right HDMI input on your TV set. You will have to go through an initial setup process the way you do it with any new Android device. Very important is to setup your Wi-Fi connection since this is your gateway to the outside world. Since this device is working similar to an Android tablet, you will need an account with Google so you can install applications from their Google Play store. After the setup, it will be a complete entertainment center including movies, music, web, games and apps, all on a small stick. The device comes pre-installed complete with Google apps such as Google Search, Gmail and Chrome browser. But the most important feature is the option to see your surveillance system on any TV set you choice.

To view the CCTV system all you have left to do is to install our app “TechproSS HD Lite” or “gDMSS HD Lite” from the Google Play store. After the installation of the app, setup of your CCTV system is required. Remember!!! If you are connected via Wi-Fi to the same network as your DVR/NVR, then you have to use the internal IP of the DVR. If your setup is at remote location and you are connected to a Wi-Fi connection that is not on the same network as the DVR, you have to use an external IP of the DVR/NVR. You can find more information on how to setup a remote access to your DVR/NVR on our website in the video vault section.

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So what is the downside on those Mini PC devices? Well, not a lot. Just before buying the device, remember that there are a lot of Chinese manufacturers that manufacture those devices, and they are not always performed the way they are advertised. The Wi-Fi reception on some of those devices is just terrible. Make sure that you are buying a device that is well known and well reviewed on the market. Amazon’s reviews are a very good resource to find a reliable device. There are some devices on the market that have external Wi-Fi antennas and they are more sensitive to Wi-Fi signal. But there is no doubt that the best option is hard wired LAN connection which is always preferable over Wi-Fi connection.

The bottom line is if you want a solution that will replace a smart TV, the Android Mini PC is the way to go. You can see your CCTV system on any TV screen with HDMI port, which is a great solution for customers who want to stream their video content on multiple monitors without being limited by DVR/NVR features. Besides the CCTV capabilities the user gets a multimedia system that will add so much more to his experience or benefit him if he purchased it for business applications. Value per money??? Thumbs up for me!

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