Archive for the ‘ HowTo Articles ’ Category



How to Install Access Control Software Standard Server Version from IDTECK

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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Access control is the ability to allow or restrict access to a place or to have the ability to deny or allow the use of a resource. The idea behind this is to control certain users and resources at a specific place so there is full control of how, when and where the resource is utilized.

Access control can be done manually or completely automatic, but how would you keep track of who, when, and how the resource was accessed? The short answer to that is Access Control Software.

Many access control devices are network capable, which means that they can be accessible over a web browser or through a software via TCP/IP. These devices can also have a Web Service Interface that can show you basic information such as logs, alarm events, etc. Most of these devices that have that capability are very limited on the things you can configure.

Every access control is different in the way they might require a specific set of settings to successfully connect with the main software. In this demonstration I will be showing you how to configure the Standard Version of IDTECK’s Access Control Software.

This software will require 2 sets of programs and setups. One is the server communication and the access control software itself. It is necessary to install SQL for the database of the software so it will be easy to export any database with settings later on. SQL Express comes with the Standard version for free so there is no need to acquire a greater version, unless there is a necessity to have advance settings on SQL. Other than that it should be straight forward.

NOTE: To make sure the installation runs smooth make sure that the following requirements are met:

1.- Windows 7 x32 or x64 bit
2.- At least 10GB of Space on your Hard Drive
3.- Make sure no other SQL Instance is running on your PC
4.- Minimum of 4GB of Ram and a Dual Core Processor with at least 2.00 Ghz.

Software installation

Download the Server version of the software from here: https://docs.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=P8oW&id=0Bwe1rQdTv-n4YTNyQloteUtxZWM

Double click on the icon and proceed to install the software. Follow the prompt and install all of the necessary updates until you get to the section where you will need to named the Instance. See picture below

IDteck SQL Instance

After naming the instance of your SQL installation you have to make sure you remember the password because this will be required to configure the communication server. Click Next and the SQL process will begin by decompressing the files and preparing the installation process. When done, the following window will appear:

Customer Info

Type a name and a company name to continue the installation. Select all of the features on the list and click Next.

Database Selection

On this section make sure the database server is typed as shown in the picture above. Select SQL server authentication and use the following default username and password (sa) and (1234). Note: If you change the password then you will need to type that info under the password field. Click Next to begin the installation process:

SQL Finish Installation

Click Next to begin the installation. Check the following picture summary to make sure you have all of the SQL features that will be installed.

SQL Copying Files

When the installation is completed, the following 2 icons will appear on your desktop. These icons are essential to the software and a few more adjustments need to be made before we fire up the communication server.

Idteck Comunication and server

The next step is to make sure we have the software executed with administrative rights. To do this, right click on each icon and click on the compatibility tab, then select the “Run this program as an administrator”.

Run As

Double click on the IDTECK communication Server to begin configuring its settings:

Server Settings

After the software launches, click on server setup and the following settings will show as the picture above. Click on the Server IP and make sure that the IP is your computer name\IDTECK. The Database name will be STARWATCH_STD. Username is “sa” and password is “1234”. Authentication should be DB Authentication.

Note: if you change this (username and password) when installing the software then you will need to input the right information. Click OK when done and the result should be as show in the picture below:

Logview

Double click on IDTECK STANDARD Server Icon and input the username and password. The default username and password is admin.

Software login

After all this the software will open up and will display the following interface. From here we can prepare the software to communicate with the device you are trying to manage.

IDteck Software Interface

Note: This software is free with a limit of users and doors that can be run without a license. A pop-pop will show after the software is launched:

IDTECK Pop-up

 

Notice that because the software doesn’t have a device configured in it, the software will display certain errors. See picture below for reference.

No Comunication

To add a device go to “Device Setting Wizard” to configure the Default Site settings. Click the checkbox labeled “Whether to use” and click on the “Site Setting” button. A site settings box will display for you to type the communication server  IP address. The IP address will be the one your computer have. You can find out what IP address your PC have by going to command prompt and execute the ipconfig command.

SITE SETTING’S SCREEN

Site Settings

IPCONFIG SCREEN

ipconfig

At this point you will need to follow the steps to build your database for your access control and configure the connections between the software and your access control equipment.

For more information about this software play the video below to see a quick video demonstration of the operations and configurations of this software.

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Quick Tips to Maximize Your Surveillance System CCTV Hard Drive

Written By:
Friday, August 15th, 2014

Space

Most of the time when someone purchases a security system, it’s so they can have a recorded record of events that can be reviewed and analyzed at a later time. Unless you plan to view your cameras remotely and never record or review past video footage you will need a storage device or (CCTV Hard Drive) to record to.

Everyone’s storage requirements vary. In many cases 1 week of storage might be fine, assuming that you would be aware that an event had taken place within that 1 week time frame. If you are a business owner, someone who travels, or someone who leaves their properties unattended for long periods of time, you might need more storage. This is due to the fact that it may be weeks or even months before you realize that you need to go back and review your recorded video. One of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a security system is to try and save money be purchasing less storage. If in fact a crime does take place the most important thing is the the video is still there to be reviewed.

When you have a storage device or drive installed it will keep recording until the drive if full and then overwrite the oldest recordings first in order to store new video. In that respect it’s very similar to a television DVR such as TiVo or one supplied by Comcast, DirectTV or Dish Network.

When calculating how much drive space you need it’s helpful to know a two basic things.
1. First how many cameras will you have.
2. Second, How many days of recorded video to you want to have stored at any time.
Other factors include the resolution your cameras will be set to record at, the video frame rate, and how many hours per day you will be recording.

Once you have this basic information you can do some standard calculations to find out how much CCTV hard drive space you will need for your DVR or NVR. Instead of turning this in to a math class I recommend using the “CCTV Hard Drive Calculator” on SecurityCameraKing.com.

In the illustration below we’ve determined that if we will have 4 cameras recording at D1 resolution, 30 frames per second, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, it will take up 357.70 Gigabytes. So what does the all mean?

CCTV Hard Drive Calculator

First it’s important to understand that 1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte. Now if you do some basic math this becomes a bit clearer.

350 Gigabytes x 3 = just over 1 Terabyte. So a 1 Terabyte hard drive will get you about 3 weeks of video storage. That sound pretty good, but what if you have 16 cameras?

CCTV Hard Drive Calculator2

Now you can see you are using almost 1.5 Terabytes per week. So that means if you have a 1TB hard drive you will only get around 4 days of recording.

It is also important to note that the video resolution we are using for this example is D1. D1 is 720 x 408px resolution and is standard for most analog video cameras. Once you get into high definition cameras like HD-CVI and IP cameras, the resolution increases greatly and requires a lot more storage space. A 2 Megapixel IP camera for instance has a resolution of 1920 x 1080px (1080p). That will take up about 3 times the storage space as a D1 camera.

So if you don’t want to sacrifice how many cameras you have or how many days of video you can store, what do you do?

The first thing you could do is record at a lower resolution, although that’s not a very popular option. There is really no reason to purchase a high resolution camera simply to record low quality video.

A more popular approach is for you to lower the frame rate or frames per second. Don’t get Frames Per Second (FPS) confused with the resolution of the camera. The FPS is how many frames are stored for 1 second of recorded video. The more frames recorder per second, the smoother the video plays back.

frame-per-sec_01

That basically means if you drop your Frames Per Second from 30 to 15 you will double your hard drive capacity. But be careful, if you set the frame rate to low it may result in choppy surveillance footage. The good news is that you would be surprised at how smooth 15 FPS looks. Some people even record at 7 FPS and still find it sufficient.

Remember, even if you reduce you FPS you are still recording at full resolution for each frame that is recorded.

Another option is to reduce the number of hours per day you record footage. A scenario were this could work is in a secure office or lab environment where video only needs to be recorded during working hours. In this case you could set you cameras to record from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. In a case like this you could triple your hard disc space.

24.7clock

If it’s not possible to only record during a certain time frame, you could also choose to set your cameras to record on motion only. This means that a camera will only record when motion is detected in the camera’s field of view. This will also greatly decrease the amount of disc space needed and increase you recording time. Another benefit of recording on motion is it makes it much easier to find events when reviewing your recordings. This is because most DVRs and NVRs will set a visual marker on the cameras timeline each time motion occurs.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to set all cameras to work the same way. You can mix, match and schedule each individual camera’s behavior.

Some security cameras can be set to record on a schedule, while some can be set on motion detect. You can even have all your cameras set to record motion between the hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. then switch to full time recording at night.

If you combine the scheduled recording with motion based recording along with a frame rate reduction you will most certainly get a lot more recording time and increased storage out of you security system.


If you would like to try more CCTV Calculators please visit our “CCTV Calculators” Page.

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How to Configure the AIR ROUTER HP

Written By:
Monday, August 4th, 2014

Air-Router-HP-Wirelsss-Router

Networking is essential in security systems from access control to security cameras. There are many types of systems out there designed for security. To operate normally most security systems don’t need the Internet, but to utilize all the bells and whistles in conjunction you will need to be connected to the web. There are many options for networking devices out on the market. Chances are you already have your own equipment. If you have internet service you have a router or modem.  In most cases when you add a security system you want to have it setup on its own network. To create your own network that will require another router. We suggest the Air Router HP from SecurityCameraKing.com

A new router introduced to your local network will need to be setup properly to allow for connectivity and be able to implement security or restrict access to the system and subnet.  Our TP-Airrouter-HP is a great device to handle the job. It has a huge amount of integrated features for a small price. If you purchased a comparable router from AT&T you would be completely restricted and be missing standard routing features. When it comes to the networking there is much more than just getting “online”.

This router comes with a default IP of 192.168.1.20. That IP may or may not work with your current network subnet. Most people or home users likely you will be OK for the initial part of accessing the router.  Routers are designed to operate within different separate subnets of each other. This first issue you will run into is that this router is handing out the same subnet as the current router of 192.168.1.1-.254 with a default gateway of 192.168.1.1. This is not going to work as the routers will not know which route to use to transmit data packets to devices on the given network. Devices may stay connected but become sluggish or lose connectivity all together. There are a few ways to go about configuring the router for connectivity.

To begin you need a computer connected directly to the AIR ROUTER-HP. Then you will open a browser and enter the routers default IP 192.168.1.20 into the browsers address bar and hit enter. You will arrive at the router’s login page.  Ubnt/ubnt is the user name and password to login. Once you log into the router you will see 6 tabs at the top of the page for different groups of features. The features we initially need access to be located in the network tab.  As we need this router to work with another router on the network there are a 3 ways to configure the router.  The network role is what you are looking for and the network mode is what needs to be changed. The modes of the Router are: Router, SOHO Router, and Bridge.

Putting the device in bridge mode is the easiest option to configure connectivity. Save and apply then connect to your other router and you will have network access. Bridge mode bridges the two routers together so they are in the same virtual network. In other words your main router is still handing out IP addresses to all devices connected to main router and secondary router. The next option that can save time is on the same page it is called Configuration MODE. Your options are simple and advanced. If you are going to bridge the router I would suggest leaving it in simple mode. Most of the options in advanced mode you probably won’t use. From here all you set is the secondary router’s IP address to be static or dynamic. For port forwarding it really does not matter as in bridge mode the forwarding is only done on main router.  If you decide to go into advanced mode this can change, but not necessarily. The features you gain access to in advanced mode are: Interfaces (physical ports on router) IP aliases (associating multiple IP to one interface), Vlan (restrict access to devices), Firewall (stop traffic coming in), Static routes (manual routing), Traffic shaping (rate limiting).

SOHO Router and Router mode are just about the same. SOHO means small office/ home office. The main difference is in the Network address translation feature. In Router mode all the NAT protocols are enabled. In SHO Router mode the features can be disabled or enabled as needed. In both SOHO router and router modes the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) have to be manually configured.  In the WAN feature you can set the router to DHCP or static meaning you can assign a static IP or let the primary router assign it an IP. I can tell you for port forwarding to not stop working after power loss you will need to assign the router a static IP address. Since every time a router loses power when in DHCP mode it will get a new IP address between from primary router. This makes old port forwarding rules incorrect, so you will lose remote access.  The LAN settings are very important. You cannot have the same subnets assigned to two routers connected to each other. In LAN you will want to assign an IP address in a different subnet from primary router such as 192.168.2.1. Then you need to enable DHCP server so the router can automatically assign devices a IP address in that subnet. Next you set the range. Typically the range would be 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.254. You can make any variation between the last octets 2-254. If you only want 5 devices connecting to that network you can program router to only be able to hand out 5 addresses, so the range would be 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.7. This will prevent people from randomly connecting devices to your network. You can still statically assign IP address to device you want to connect to this network.

As you go through this router you can see there are a lot more customizable features to use. Always feel free to call in for further options for configuration.

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How to configure and connect an ONVIF IP Security Camera (our TP-Series)

Written By:
Thursday, July 31st, 2014

IP5                           IP4                       IP2                  IPOB-TP2MPIR150L2812-B-main

Onvif Cameras have become very popular these days and many companies are adopting this new open protocol to integrate with other equipment brands.

Today I will introduce our new line of ONVIF cameras (our TP Series) with a new and elegant style, that promise to be an easy and great setup for your CCTV needs.

One of the greatest thing about this new line is the variety of models we are offering from bullet style, varifocal & fix lenses to small ball domes that can be installed in no time.

As I mentioned before, Onvif (Open Network Video Interface Forum), is an Open Industry aimed to facilitate the communication of IP based video products with other devices that are not necessarily from the same manufacturer. Some ONVIF products require to have certain features turned ON before integrating with any equipment that is not from the same brand. In my opinion and as a rule of thumb I always configure each device first to avoid any misconfigurations, then I will end connecting these to the recorder.

For this demonstration I will be using an IPID-TP2MPIR50L2812-W. The settings and access setup is the same throughout the entire TP-Series Cameras. Some settings such as brightness, sharpness, WDR, etc need to be adjusted depending of the environment where the cameras are mounted.

Like any IP based device it will require to know its IP address, or at least have a way to find it. These cameras come with a default IP of 192.168.1.2 or sometimes will be set to DHCP. The best way to approach this is by downloading and using the TP-IP Series Search Utility.

The first step to connect to the camera is to find its IP. Open the finder and click on refresh, the result will show below:

TP Search

Select the resultant IP address and here you can change some settings such as port, IP address, mask, etc. I suggest to only change IP Address related settings and not change the ports.

Internet Explorer Settings

Internet Explorer is the only web browser that will work without any add-ons, and is in fact the only browser supported 100% with our DVRs/NVRs and IP cameras.

To access your camera with Internet Explorer, is important to know what version is currently installed in your computer. To do so, open internet explorer and click on Help>About Internet Explorer. A window will open and you can see the current version running in your computer.

IE Version

This particular version of Internet Explorer has been optimized for better graphics, performance, etc. The steps to connect to the camera are the same exempt now you will need to add the IP address of the DVR/NVR/IP Camera to the compatibility view settings of the software in order to show correctly.
1.- Go to Start button>Control Panel and Internet Options.

IPSettings

2.- Click on the Security Tab, then custom Level…

3.- On the next window we will scroll down to look for an option labeled “Download Unsigned ActiveX Controls”. Select “Prompt” and click OK.

IE Security

At this point you should be all set to access your Camera.

4.- Open Internet Explorer and type the IP address of your camera. If you are performing these task from the same location were the camera is, then type the internal IP address.

If this is the first time you are trying to connect to the IP camera then it will not show correctly. You will encounter this issue if you are using Internet Explorer Version 11, which is the latest version Microsoft is offering on computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Connecting to the camera for the first time

Once you have configured Internet Explorer, the next step is to connect to the camera. Input the default IP address 192.168.1.2, or if you have changed the address then you will need to use that instead.

A log in page will show up after the necessary Activex Files finish installing. The Default username is Admin/Admin.

Click on Configure to access the settings of the camera and begin enabling features like Motion, Schedule, Resolution, etc.

Camstar IPID Login

Configuring Motion & Schedule Detection

This is one of the main features that you should configure to allow the camera to record when there is movement. To do this click on the configuration panel on the left side and locate “Alarm”.

Motion Alarm - Apply to EveryDay

Once there, click on the top check mark to enable motion and proceed to select the Motion detection Area. Click on “Set Motion Detect Area” and drag you mouse across the picture to select the area you want the camera to detect motion, like in the picture above, and show the desire selection. Adjust the “Motion Detect Threshold” to adjust the sensitivity. The higher the number the more sensitive to movement the camera will be. Click on “Set” to save those settings. Move down to schedule and change the timing from “00:00 – 23:59”, this will make the camera enable motion 24/7 for a specific day. Click on ”Apply  to Every Day” then “Set” to save these settings. NOTE: when you move to another menu and decide to come back to the Motion Alarm settings, you will notice that the area you have selected for motion will not show up. Don’t panic, the settings are there, you just need to click on “Set Motion Detect Area” again and the area will reappear.

Configuring Encoding Resolution

Encoding will be one of the most fundamental settings you will need to understand and configure correctly. These settings will allow you to setup how the camera will broadcast the video resolution and quality to the NVR and smartphones.

Video Parameters 1Major

The settings above are the most common when it comes to configuring the Main Stream of the camera. These settings will be the ones the NVR will record with and it will affect the quality of the recordings if this is set incorrectly. You should set your cameras this way but sometimes it will be necessary to decrease these settings if you lack on bandwidth to stream IP cameras over the Internet.

Lastly the settings for the Sub Stream should be as follows:

Video Parameters 2Major

The Sub Stream is basically how you will see your cameras over a smart phone or tablet. These settings are usually at a lower frame rate and resolution (D1), without compromising quality on the video recording. Make sure you click on “Set” when changing any of these settings so the changes will stick.

NOTE: If you are using an NVR with PoE Switch build in, then you will need to configure the camera’s IP address to match the PoE IP address range. When ready to connect the camera then you need to add the camera manually utilizing Onvif as the Manufacture and the HTTP port number is 8080. Once that is all set, click add and the video will start streaming over the NVR.

There are many features in this camera that will make this article incredibly long but these are some of the essential settings you should have when connecting them to your NVR. For more information visit us a www.securitycameraking.com

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How to integrate an IP camera with a NAS (Network Attached Storage) Device

Written By:
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Many customers have tried to figure out ways to integrate an IP camera with something different than an NVR. Sometimes they use a computer with enough storage to record footage from a camera, but is there another way to do it without the hassle of logging in to the camera interface and pressing the record button?

The answer is YES! Technology nowadays offers many software interface solutions with the ability to stream video from an IP camera and allow it to be recorded to an internal Hard Drive, but is there a cheaper solution utilizing a 3rd Part Device to record footage? Again, the answer is YES!

This device is called a NAS (Network Attached Storage). There are so many of them in the market offering the ability to connect to cameras and utilize downloadable software from their market place. In this article I will be using one of my favorite NAS devices (Sinology).

This little box offers a lot of features beside the ability to use it as an NVR. It also can be used to host other services. Surveillance Station is a software that can be downloaded to most Sinology NAS devices and interconnects your IP cameras to it.

It also allows you to Monitor real time video of all your IP cameras. It is accessible from almost any computer, including Mac and PC. This great device also offers a free app to watch your cameras.

This software supports our EL Series IP cameras and the setup is very simple. You could also use any ONVIF camera but it will be very limited in features.

How to get the software and how to install it?

To get the software simply login to your Sinology NAS and download Surveillance Station from the Package Center. Make sure your NAS have the latest and greatest Software Updates.

After the installation, proceed to open up the software by going to the Main Menu icon and look for click on Surveillance Station

Synology 1

After you fire up the software, it will be necessary to install a plugin in your PC in order to get the interface of the software. Click on the download link and follow the steps to download the file. The interface will look like this:

Synology 3 pluging

The Next step will be adding your IP cameras. In this demonstration I will be using our IPOB-EL1MPIR50 and our IPOB-TP2MPIR50 (Onvif Camera). Notice that our camera will not displayed as a camera option under camera brand. Make sure for our EL Series you use “Dahua” as the manufacturer. After you type the IP address of the camera, the Model should Auto populate in the field.

Synology 5 Adding Cameras

A welcome screen will appear after clicking Add. Choose any mode you will like to proceed and add the cameras. Click Next to Add the camera information.

Welcome Screen

You can see here that the camera has been added successfully after typing the IP address and Brand. Also you should assign an intuitive name so is easy to search for footage later on.

Camera add

The next option will be configuring your video settings and recording schedule. I will recommend to set the format of the cameras as H.264; this is better for streaming and compression of the file. Adjust the resolution, bitrate control and kbps on the camera accordingly.

Synology 6 Recording

Adjust how often your NAS will save Video. Also adjust how many seconds the unit will pre-record and post-record. Lastly setup how the files will be handle when the archive threshold is reached.

Synology 7 Detection recording

Surveillance Station can record based on a continuous manner, Motion and alarm or when motion is activated.

Synology 8 Schedule

You can also utilize any other camera brand including ONVIF. Here is a link https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/camera#camera that will show you all of the compatible cameras that work with this unit.

If you want to use ONVIF cameras it is absolutely the same steps but the Onvif Port differs from a standard camera. For this example I used an IPOB-TP2MPIR50 which is purely Onvif protocol.

Camera add ONVIF

You will noticed that the port is 8080 instead. The last thing after adding the cameras is setting up your camera layout. Surveillance Station offers a variety of layouts up to 64-channel view. Also you can configure camera grouping and camera sequence. For more info you can visit this link https://www.synology.com/en-us/surveillance/index to learn more.

Live View Layouts

After setting up your layout of your cameras you can go to live view to view your newly added cameras.

Life View

There are many options you can play with while viewing the cameras live. If you go to the left bottom corner you can click the gear icon to see more options. You can click on the + to zoom in at close and utilize the scroll in your mouse to zoom in and out.

Lastly, access your recording at any time by going to the Management Tab and all your recording will show up in the list. Pick the camera you want to review footage and a window will open with a time line.

Recording Access

Although this is a great device to be use as a Storage Device for your IP cameras it can be very expensive when it comes to adding more cameras. Each camera requires a license that is not free. Your unit (depending of the model) will come with a license preloaded in the system. If you need to add more cameras then you will need more licenses per cameras. We recommend to use a stand-alone NVR such as our ELT series NVR. They are excellent for a simple installation, supporting up to 1080p resolution for recording and no licenses are required.

NOTE: Sinology is not a Techpro Security product equipment. If you need any support or help configuring the software after the cameras are added, you will need to go to https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/knowledge_base for more information.

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