Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

Get The Best Performance and Longest Life Out of Your Security Hard Drives!

Written By:
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Newer and larger security hard drives are always coming to the market, and there are bound to be a few kinks that need to be worked out with performance. This article will explain, in detail, how the security hard drives work and the best configuration when it comes to getting the longest life out of your drive as possible. When you have more than one drive in a DVR/NVR, all of the data will write to just one of the drives. While the one drive is spinning and is being written to the other drive(s) lay dormant. In other words it is not spinning at its full speed or potential as the other drive is. This is causing all of the stress to be dumped on one single drive at a time, and then when the drive is full the DVR/NVR will begin to write to the other drive and the first drive will become inactive. After that it becomes a vicious cycle.

Why is this not good for the hard drives?

Well, if one hard drive alone is under a great deal of stress receiving all this information from 32 cameras for a solid 2 weeks, then it suddenly is no longer being used for the next 2 weeks, and then it is back in use it can cause issues with the hard drives. Keep in mind this is a constant cycle. The drive is full speed for 2 weeks then inactive for the next two weeks, then again full speed. Obviously,  the more cameras you have the more intense this cycle becomes.

What is the solution?

In our DVRs, when you have more than one hard drive, you can group the hard drives. Say you have 32 cameras and 4 hard drives, you can set HDD groups so cameras 1-8 will record to group one which will be hard drive one. Then 9-16 will record to group two which is hard drive two, 17-24 will be group and hard drive three, and lastly 25-32 will be group and hard drive four. (See below for config instructions)

Why is this better for the drive, and how does it prolong its life?

What this does is it divides the stress on all the drives instead of having one drive do all the work for 32 cameras constantly. This ensures smooth constant use of all the drives. They are working together, have less stress, and there is no up and down process so they will all be constantly working together and doing half the work in the long run.

Now that we have covered the grouping, let’s dive into configuring these hard drive groups. For this demonstration I will be using an older model NVR we have here that we no longer carry but the process will be the same with the black interface. I will also be demonstrating the new blue interface at the same time.

Once the DVR is set up, all cameras added, and all hard drives installed the first thing you want to do with the older Interface system is log into the machine and go to the advanced tab and find the HDD Manage Icon. Once in HDD manage find “HDD Setting”. This is where you will configure the groups. For the blue interface (newer Interface),  you need to get in the main menu and look for “storage” in the bottom row. Inside storage you will go to advanced on the left side of the screen, that first tab labeled “HDD” is where you will set up the groups. If there are no hard drives connected it will not let you change the hard drive for that group. These pages should look like the first picture for black interface and the second for the blue interface.

Black Interface

HDD Grouping Art2
Blue Interface

Once you save these configurations the DVR/NVR will require to reboot. Once this is done you need to set each channel to the group/HDD it will be recording too.

For the blue interface you just need to select the “Main Stream” tab just next to the “HDD” tab you were just in. There you will assign a group/HDD to each channel and that is the HDD that camera will continuously record too. This should look like the second picture below. For the black interface you must go into HDD Manage again and choose “HDD Channel”, this is where you will assign the HDD/group for this interface, it should look like the first picture below.

HDD Grouping Art4
Black Interface

HDD Grouping ART3
Blue Interface

As you can see in the black interface I have 3 different hard drives connected HDD 2, HDD 3, and HDD 4. I have cameras 1-12 recording to HDD 2, cameras 13-24 recording to HDD 3, and cameras 25-32 will record to HDD 4. In the blue interface I have 2 HDD’s connected, HDD 1, and HDD 2. Cameras 1-8 are recording to HDD 1, and 9-16 recording to the second drive. Again this will make the hard drives all work together all of the time and divide up the work like a well organized work crew. Keep in mind that you can do the same thing with the sub stream, if you need to record to the sub stream, and the same goes for snapshots from the cameras.

The beauty of this setup is when you need to go find footage, absolutely nothing changes. You will NOT have to specify a certain drive or group to find the footage of a camera. The drives are working as one in a sense so when you search in playback it searches through all the drives and finds the correct file. To me it is a no-brainer and I configure all of my clients DVRs this way when I deem necessary. When I say “Necessary” I mean any situation where there is more than one drive. To me, makes no difference the amount of cameras, I see no reason why the drives should not work together as a whole. All it does is improve performance in your drives and make them last longer for you. Please understand this is in no way a guarantee that your drives will not fail, they are electronics that is inevitable, but I can tell you that it will improve the way the DVR runs and the drives perform. All in all, making your system that much more reliable. Also, let me say that if you need any help please feel free to give me a call at my desk at (561) 948-2614, Ext. 124! You can also post your question to our Online CCTV Forum.

Good Luck, Take care!


How to Create your own Speed Cam with TechProSecurity Network Cameras and Speed Cam Software

Written By:
Monday, April 20th, 2015

Speed monitoring on autobahn A5

Many communities that have families, especially with children, are implementing ways to prevent homeowners or their guests from speeding in their communities. This is for safety reasons, as well as to gain revenue for Maintenance and Security. Sometimes they have a Security Officer on site which is not enough since they can only report to a police officer. There is also no way to log every vehicle that comes and goes without having multiple officers and a Speed Gun, which is an expensive device ranging from 200$ – 600$ for a good model. This can get pricey especially when there is a need of a Patrol Officer that is Certified to utilize the Speed Gun as well as the Surveillance Equipment on the Patrol Vehicle as well.

I have a solution that will not only gather the Data for you making it automated, but also giving you the ability to use the same surveillance equipment that you currently have (if you have our Network Cameras, Network Video Recorder, Analog or CVI DVRs. It will use the RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) feature on the Devices to get the Video and Data Streams.

Here are the Items I used for this Project:






* Any other Software that will produce a Virtual Webcam from an RTSP feed will work as well. I used Wirecast because I have used it and it works for this.


*Speed Cam Software can be found here

We first start by Connecting the camera to the PoE Switch. In my case I mounted the camera temporarily onto the side of our TechPro Security Products Building facing a Street that for some reason did not see any traffic on that day so I had to improvise and drive my car through the sensors. Once you have installed the camera properly at a good height and angle you can go onto the next step.

ONVIF Manager 1

Lets start by Creating the “Virtual Web Camera”. For this I have an application called “ONVIF Device Manager” found here . This software will enable me to make some changes to my camera and capture the RTSP feed string without the need to access the camera via the Internet Explorer Browser.

ONVIF Manager 2

Once we have the RTSP Feed on the “Live Video” Tab we must ensure that the resolution output is correct for our software. We do this by going to the “Video Streaming” tab and selecting “h.264 1080×720″. After we check this resolution to be correct we will move on to select the Frame Rate to be 30 FPS as well as select the best Quality with the slider.

ONVIF Manager 3

After this we will move onto WireCast. I have the Pro Version of this application, so all the features are enabled.

ONVIF Manager 4

We will focus only on creating the virtual webcam. Select the “Source” Tab and click on the “New Web Stream” Option and a new window will appear.

wirecast 2

Select RTSP as your Protocol

wirecast 3

Click on the “Live Stream” radio button and paste the RTSP Stream String that we had copied from the Onvif Manager Software here. Use CTRL + V to ensure there are no spaces.

wirecast 4

Click on the “Connect” button and Save your settings.

wirecast 5

Once you have saved the settings, click on the (+) button on the camera feeds/sources. Click on the Camera logo and select the Camera stream in my care its name is “Add Web Stream Source 0 Shot”. This will select the feed.

wirecast 6

Double click to select the feed in the mixer and push it out using the  –> button.

wirecast 7

After all this is done its time to select the Video Output resolution. We do this by selecting the “Output” tab and selecting Virtual Cam Out and a drop down will appear. We will select 1280×720 Resolution and after this click on the “START” button and then we are done with the Virtual Camera settings.

Speed Cam:

Speed Cam 1

Lets first select the camera feed. In my case I am selecting “Wirecast Virtual Camera” and the proper resolution 1280x720p .

Speed Cam 2

Lets move the two sensor feed back panels to the bottom of the screen and after this remove the Privacy Shapes by selecting the “Privacy” tab and turning off or just deleting the shapes. This will clear up the area. If you need to add privacy, just in case there is a house in the way and you do not want that in your Data Feeds, you can do so. It is user friendly; just match the area to block.

Speed Cam 3

After this I move to the “Sensor” Tab. Here I remove one sensor position and configure it properly how I want it on the image and turn around the next sensor so that it will detect on both directions. If the image or lanes are big enough you can add two sensors coming and going for each of the lanes. Keep in mind that the Green Dots are the starting points and the Red Dots are the end point sensors. The middle point will move accordingly.

Speed Cam 4

After we have placed the markers correctly onto the areas to measure we will move on to input the length of the driveway from point to point in meters. For this go to the Distance tab and input the correct figures. You will need to select each lane.

measuring wheel324

To get a good measurement, use a measuring wheel and mark each spot properly. For this demonstration I used the ruler tool on Google Earth as I did not have the Measuring Wheel Tool with me. Make sure the measurements and  resolution on this software is correct. If it is not correct the Data will be incorrect. This software has an accuracy of plus or minus 3%. You can use this tool here to convert Feet to Meters.

Speed Cam 5

We then move to the Radar tab where we can save the data to a folder. In my case I only wanted Radar Photos so I enabled this feature and set the minimum speed to 3km/h which is 1.86mph. After doing all of this I left the software do its thing for a few hours and went back to the software to look at the images it had captured.

The first image is of a Glass Installer’s Company truck. This truck was going approximately 17.64Kmh. I say approximately because this test was not done with accurate measurements although I did a last test where I drove my vehicle in the middle of the sensors and it was 1 Mph off which is pretty accurate since I did not spend the time to get these numbers correct nor the position of the sensors. In the images you can see the Km/h and Mph of each Lane.

Final Testing

When it is all set and done, and all the measurements and mounting of the camera are correct the SpeedCam Software  along with our Cameras performed great. I would recommend this setup to any Community trying to deter the Home Owners or their Guests from driving at excess speeds. Safety comes first and we must obey the laws.

Speedcam pro is about to be released in June/July.

It features automatic weather / night time compensation, license plate recognition, USB and IP and video file support and much more. I can’t wait to get a hand on the new software and see how it can be implemented in situations such as this one.

I would like to thank Raser Abwehr for allowing me to use his software and create this article. You can find the SpeedCam Software here , If you wish to purchase the software using their Amazon account please go here and of course any of our Products can be found on Security Camera King.


CCTV Power Supply and Electricity

Written By:
Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Using the right CCTV power supply is important. Without the right power supply, cameras will not function properly. This isn’t good if one day your camera goes bad and you get robbed. You would not have any footage to back it up or prove that you got robbed. With multiple options to choose from we offer a huge variety of power supplies.

You need to figure out before you purchase a power supply how many cameras your system will be running. You also need to know how much current each camera will use. I recommend to get a bigger power supply then you need in case you want to get more cameras, or just to make sure your power is adequate.

Knowing how many cameras you want is the most important role in determining whether you need a power adapter or a power supply box. If it’s just one camera you’ll only need a 12v DC power supply, such as the one pictured below.

1 Amp Power Supply

If you have 16 cameras then you might want a power supply box. You can mount a power distribution box on a nearby wall and plug it into a standard outlet. A power distribution box is also secure as it is a metal box and is usually locked and requires a key. They are also durable and sometimes weatherproof. A power distribution box makes it easier to manage the power for multiple cameras at a central point, which is usually near the DVR. It makes the camera installation look better and it’s easier to run cable and have it organized. Instead of having 16 power supply plugs, you can just connect all the wires into the power distribution box. All your wires that power your cameras can run easily into the power supply, instead of have wires hanging all around your DVR. The power supply plugs into a standard 110 volt wall outlet. There are 4,8,16,and 18 channel power supply boxes.

8 Channel Power Distribution Box

With IP cameras a POE switch can be used to send power over the Ethernet cable. POE (Power over Ethernet) has made it a lot easier to power cables and have network access. By having them be powered over the samecable that delivers data it makes it a lot cleaner installation and less trouble to the installers, or yourself if you are doing your own installation. An analog camera usually requires two cables. One for video/data and one for power. With an IP camera, the video and power can run down the same cable using a POE switch. This saves time and costs.

4 Port POE Switch

When you buy a new system and already know what power supply to buy it will save you a headache later on.

When buying a surveillance system package, the right power supply is usually included and it will be practically plug and play. If you need to get a new power supply for any reason, keep your eye out for how many cameras it could withstand and also the brand of the power supply. Also look for the UL certification to make sure it meets the highest safety standards.

When connecting wires to your power supply, make sure you have a screwdriver and wire-strippers. Also it helps to have a staple gun with rounded staples to secure any visible wire to a wall. It should only take a few minutes to install a power supply. However, if you are not very experienced with any DYI projects call your installer or a handyman to help you install it.

To avoid any problems in the future sometimes it’s a good idea to call a qualified installer. A professional. There are plenty of professional installers that will do all the dirty work for you. If you have the extra money it’s a good idea to get it done professional as they run wires correctly and make it look neat.

TIP: half an amp is 500 milliamps.

What does 12vDC and 24vAC mean? what’s the difference? Lets start with 12vDC. What does DC mean? DC stands for direct current, meaning its electrical current running through a wire is unidirectional (it only goes one way). The electrons keep cycling through one path going one way. This was made famous by Thomas Edison. He tried using it in houses and almost powered towns with it.

AC on the other hand stands for alternating current. It means electrons travel in two directions and alternate back and force. This is now used in household electricity and was made famous by Nikola tesla (The Tesla automobile was named after him). AC is what we use today. We use 60 htz, which means it alternates 60 times a second. The electricity switches direction 60 times per second. In the United states all wall outlets use AC power.

AC/DC… the band got there band’s name after there younger sister saw the initials AC/DC on a sewing machine.

What is voltage? Voltage is basically electrical pressure that runs through a wire. For example, on a battery with 1.5 volts it is safe to touch because 1.5V is too low of voltage to give you a shock. Although high voltage is dangerous like the 120V that comes out of a wall outlet. To begin to understand voltage you need to know what an electron is. A battery is designed to create the force to move electrons. Conductors (usually copper) provide a path for electrons to flow on, which is called current. A electron is a negatively charged particle that spins around the outside of an atom. Electrons are what moves through wires and make electricity work. When electrons move through a wire its called current. Electrons travel outside the negative side of a battery and are attracted to the positive side. But, never connect a wire directly from the negative side to the positive side, that will cause a short circuit. The conductor will get hot and the battery will quickly lose energy.

For more information on different power supplies, take a look at some of our CCTV power supplies.


Interesting Ways to Utilize Your Video Surveillance Systems

Written By:
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015


You can do that? Or, in other words, a few interesting ways to utilize your video surveillance systems.

OK, we know the basics of a camera system. Record video, see what happened. But, it turns out that there are quite a few unusual ways to implement video surveillance systems.

We have seen time lapse recordings of building construction, plants growing, and flowers blooming. Bet you didn’t know that you can do that with your surveillance system, did you? This was developed by Jose Malave in our sales department. He did a beautiful job with it.

Also, you can check out the whole article How to use an IP camera to create a Time Lapse Video for a Web Page

Another interesting thing is when you have two areas that you need to get video from, but there is no way to run wire. Across streets, across pavement, where you physically cannot trench or hang wires. OK, we have a solution for that. Our TP-LocoM5 wi-fi bridge will transmit video over 9 (NINE!) miles. You can also use these to get Internet to remote locations. Even VOIP phone systems. Your imagination is the only limit. Comparing to the old generation of wireless for analog signals, these are far better performance and far better costs. Oh, I said two areas? You can run many more that just one set. Each set can handle up to 8 two megapixel cameras, lots of bandwidth available here.


Our Wireless access point/bridge will allow you the ultimate flexibility when it comes to IP cameras and DVR wireless transmission. The TP-LocoM5 is very versatile and can be used in several different ways. The most common use is as a wireless IP bridge. You can use 2 of these units to allow you to mount an IP camera or DVR outside in a location that would be either difficult or impossible to wire to. You will connect an Ethernet cable from your network to one of these wireless devices, then mount the device outside (these units are weatherproof) facing in the direction of where the IP camera or DVR will be mounted. The second unit will be mounted on the pole, tree, wall or wherever you have the IP camera or DVR mounted. This will allow you to create a wireless bridge between your network and the IP camera or DVR you have mounted outside. One of these units is powerful enough to provide wireless transmission of several IP cameras or DVRs if they are in the same general location and connected to a switch. With up to 150mbps of bandwidth available and up to 15KM of line of sight distance capability, you are sure to be thrilled with the results. Each of these devices can be configured as an access point and can connect a non wireless device directly to your wireless network. When you purchase this unit from us, you also get our free tech support to help you with your configurations and setup. Oh, the price is right too! In the past, analog transmission systems were in the thousands of dollars. Now you can have a really good IP transmission system for under 200.00!!

How about a camera that will track an intruder? And also will generate an alarm if an invisible line is crossed? You can do that, too.

Here is a 2MP ONVIF Pan Tilt Zoom Camera (PTZ) that has an amazing auto tracker built right in. Auto tracking is the ability for the camera to follow an object such as a human or vehicle until that object is beyond the view of the camera.


One feature of this Auto Tracking PTZ is within its Intelligent Video Surveillance Function. Using virtual “tripwires” you can literally draw with your mouse on screen lines where you would like to put a “tripwire”. It will act as if you have a laser beam outside, but instead this camera is so smart, it knows when an object moves across this tripwire and will set the auto-tracking into motion. When hooked up to our NVR, it can also send an email alert when an object crosses the tripwire or set off a siren or strobe when connected to a relay system.

Patterns and tours can also be programmed into this camera. It comes preset with 5 patterns and 8 tours.

This ONVIF IP PTZ has a 4.3mm to 119mm lens giving you up to 30X Optical zoom, and comes equipped with a 1/3 inch Exmor CMOS Image Sensor.

At night this PTZ has a powerful IR of up to 250 feet, so day or night it will send a 2 megapixel (1080p) TRUE HD Image to our NVR.

This 1080p Pan Tilt Zoom camera also features a 4000 volt anti-lightening surge protector and is IP66 rated making it weather resistant.

There is also an SD card slot with a max of 64GB. The SD card is not included. A 24v AC Power Cord is included, as well as free tech support and a 2 year warranty.

Pretty cool, huh? For a LOT more info on these sophisticated features, look at an article written by one of us, Ian Bailes. He is much more than the funny guy dancing around on our product demo videos. Check out the Smart Features of an IVS Camera and what this camera can do.

Our suggested camera for this application, use our IPOB-EL3MPIR100L2812-US.


Have you heard about the newest tech in CCTV? 4K. 12MP video, supreme clarity. We now have a NVR that offers this feature, along with many more. NVR-ELHS-64-4K-DH, 64 camera capacity, hot swappable hard drives, Our 64 Channel High Definition NVR is a powerhouse of a security recorder. It can record up to 64 ONVIF IP Megapixel Cameras at the same time up to 12MP each. Wow! This is one of the most powerful NVRs on the market today. It also utilizes the new 4K display technology so that you can view your cameras on your Super High Resolution 4K Monitors. Of course the detail is amazing on a 1080p monitor as well.


The hard drives are completely Hot Swappable and are easy to install. Just click open the front panel and put the hard drive in. When you want to swap it out, there is no need to shut down your NVR. That is the great thing about a Hot Swappable Hard Drive capable security recorder. You can install up to 8 Hard Drives at one time. We currently sell hard drives from 1TB to 6TB, so there is a potential of 48TB total hard drive storage..

Another of my favorite functions is Facial Detection. This means that when the video catches a face, it will recognize that image as a face, record it on a special file, e-mail an image (if programmed to do so), and let you know to check it out. This is not a true facial recognition system that requires a huge data base, but a simple version. IPOB-EL3MPIRL2812-US is our camera with this function.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of interesting things that you can do with our camera systems, and probably a lot more not shown here. Please, let me know if you have some that you feel like sharing.


Using Security Cameras in Shipping and Receiving

Written By:
Monday, April 13th, 2015

HD-CVI Camera

Security cameras, also referred to as the surveillance cameras, are one great way of providing security at the place of work and at home among other places. Usually the cameras provide owners with video footage which is recorded when events occur. Security cameras usually act as a visible deterrent especially when it comes to criminal activities. Over the years, the trucking as well as the freight distribution industries have been faced with a lot of challenges, especially when it comes to security. In the ports, for instance, as well as in the distribution centers, the container parks tend to grow while the number of the incoming and outgoing trucks also tend to increase. This means that the opportunity of fraud, theft, and injuries, as well as other costly inefficiencies also tend to increase.

Security cameras and video surveillance play a very important role in the shipping industry, container parks, and in the distribution centers. The cameras normally assist in the prevention of any crimes by deterring criminals or perpetrators because they know they are being watched and at the same time that evidence is being recorded. The security cameras have opened new ways that tend to integrate with different security devices and systems that enhance monitoring and surveillance, hence improving the operational efficiency. In other words, security cameras tend to provide proven strategy that simultaneously improves and also reduces the security cost.

Preventing Mistakes
The security cameras are in most cases used to prevent mistakes as well as to monitor a company’s inventories. Some of the things that the cameras usually help with shipping companies is the prevention of losses. One of the effective loss prevention strategies in the security department of any institution is by catching the persons perpetuating a crime which could be in the form of a theft. Most of today’s surveillance cameras have the capability to enable the warehousing and the freight companies to track the warehouse deliveries as well as unloading and making sure that the trailers and trucks are fully unloaded. The cameras also document the fraudulent workers compensation claims in case of accidents that did not happen. More importantly is that the cameras help in the making of better decisions especially on how to make adjustments that can assist in improving the security around the distribution centers.

These are just two of many incidents(from where packages have been mishandled. With Security cameras these occurrences are less often to occur.

Companies that have many store locations, for instance, may use the security cameras to ensure that security is at par and that every detail is being collected and documented. The cameras are usually placed or fixed at one specific point in order for them to pin point certain specific activities. With such surveillance, criminal activities can easily be spotted and documented. These activities include theft and fraud among other acts that are illegal or tend to pose security threats for the company and the shipping industry.

Improvement of Operations
The security cameras also improve the operations for the shipping industries as well as company warehouses. Through centralizing the security cameras, the surveillance system tends to provide excellent tools for the management to use especially in the improvement of the operations. This system can then be used in monitoring the cargo movement in the freight terminals in order to review them later. As a result the management also tries to look for strategies as well as techniques that can be used to improve the efficiency on safety of the personnel, for example, and the loading procedure among other activities.

Security cameras help keep an eye on every piece of inventory a shipping company has. Also the security recorder’s will provide footage of when inventory was moved, where it was moved to, and who moved it.

Many companies use security cameras in their operations. An example would be to monitor trucks at the companies’ warehouses as well as at the distribution centers. The surveillance cameras tend to track all the movements that are made at that particular time. The cameras are able to record all the loading and unloading processes, the details of both the truck and the driver as well. One advantage of this kind of system is that it is able to provide visual evidence in the event when there is a shipping problem. This system plays a very crucial role in giving protection against intruders or any other possible theft that is likely to occur outside or inside any of the shipping facilities. In case of other mistakes that may occur, such as loading the wrong truck with the wrong merchandise, the cameras are very effective in recording as well as documenting where the problem was. This, therefore, implies that the truck is identified as well as the workers that may have done the mistake so tracing the lost merchandise becomes easier and effective. The quality of the products that are being brought in are also improved, for instance in case of perishable products, the cameras are able to track them as they are being removed from the truck. This implies that the suppliers of such products are likely to be very careful with the quality of the produce they ship in, since they know that they are being watched.

Tightened Security
In most cases, companies tend to acknowledge that there is a need to ensure that the company has greater security. Most often many companies tend to focus mostly on the human resources to implement the company’s need for security thus using a lot of financial resource for its efficiency. However, security cameras as well as the surveillance system tend to be perfect and also cost effective in patrolling the perimeter and ensuring security of the company’s warehouses and also the shipping facilities. For instance, the loading docks sometimes may be overlooked by a larger security department, yet this is a perfect place where a shipment can easily be shortchanged or even get stolen.

In the warehouse as well, good warehouse systems tend to have very comprehensive operational rules that are well backed up by appropriate security systems such as the surveillance cameras. This therefore implies that the guards only need to watch the video and respond to any security threats. The cameras also increase the scene safety for the response through providing clearer video.