Archive for the ‘ Digital Video Recorders ’ Category

Digital Video Recorder

Written By:
Friday, March 9th, 2012

There Are Numerous Digital Video Recorder Options in the Security Camera World

If one talks about a digital video recorder, then they usually assume that one means a set top box for televisions. However, fans of the Security Digital Video RecorderCamera King know very well that there is much more to it than just that. Security camera devices can easily be connected to a digital video recorder to eliminate the necessary videotape that usually comes with a closed circuit television installation. Many types of setups can easily get crowded. In part, this is because of how much space it takes to store videotapes. That’s where a digital video recorder comes in and saves the day.

However, that doesn’t mean that videotape or DVD was completely replaced by the digital video recorder unit when it got on the scene. Many people still needed some sort of concrete storage to ensure that they were able to hold onto footage after it was shot. Fortunately, things have begun to get easier these days, and security rated digital video recorder boxes usually have an option to transfer recorded video over a LAN or straight to a computer.

Some might come with the ability to transfer data to flash memory, or even to some sort of external hard disk device. In these cases, it might be important to keep an eye on memory usage. After all, a lot of video can easily eat up an entire hard drive if it gets left unchecked. On the other hand, the amount of space that is taken up by a handful of external hard drives is nowhere near that of tapes. Many people probably have memories of the infamous monitoring room with a full collection from the floor to the ceiling. Many businesses probably still have one of these places, or at least have a bunch of DVDs just lying around on the floor. This is not the ideal way to preserve video.

Long-term surveillance video preservation makes sense in some applications, so one might want to invest in a few hard disk storage devices and use these to actually maintain some control over the actual material that they have recorded. For that matter, if one were able to actually store their DVDs in a responsible manner, they would record some of the digital video recorder data straight onto DVD. If one elected to, they could even save it to data DVD. That is to say that they could take advantage of the high storage volume of a DVD without actually burning a DVD meant to be played in a DVD player. Savvy computer users can usually burn digital computer files straight to a DVD file system without any other concerns, though these can then only be accessed again from a computer system with the appropriate video codecs installed. Some people might even want to convert their old VHS recordings to DVD to save them, and then begin to use their shiny new digital video recorder for all of their new video capture needs.

The class of digital video recorder that is normally used for entertainment class television programming normally is attached to a particular device and interfaces with it to record shows and movies. Some of these do have multiple channels, and are able to interface with more than one program at the same time. Certain IPTV packages include this as an actual feature, and try to make it a selling point with verbiage that suggests that a number of different shows can be recorded at once. These can be connected in various manners to the device, and some machines use a sort of Internet connectivity networking adapter. This is probably the most interesting aspect of these devices for those that work with closed circuit television systems.

Many people in the security industry have talked about the fact that some digital video recorder devices can be used to send information to third parties by way of a telephone line, the Internet or other methods of communication. While this is accurate, it does not actually influence the world of CCTV machines. A few people have confused the fact that many of these devices are able to do this with the idea that all digital video recorders do. This is a worthwhile concern, since no one that works in surveillance would want his or her footage to get leaked out. However, people can rest easy since these devices are only used with subscription IPTV, cable or satellite entertainment television services. Even if one went to the length of recycling one for surveillance use, the module probably would not even work the way that one might fear that it would.

While most people would not want to ever even do that anyways, there are some elements of features from the entertainment industry that can be found on regular digital video recorder boxes. These features are safe and everyone should be happy to use them. For example, many devices are capable of recording from multiple channels. What this means is that they are able to interface with more than one camera at a time. When numerous cameras are connected to the same device, they each use an individual channel. For instance, a device that can record from four channels can generally take four different image streams and record them simultaneously.

Moreover, people should recall that the idea of IPTV has been very important in the digital video recorder industry. There are IP digital video recorder boxes on the market that can be configured to work with the Internet. This means that they can accept video feeds from a remote location in the same way that IP cameras can. The two technologies can be interfaced, which means that a single digital video recorder can be used to record multiple channels from around a number of cameras that are connected to a single network. People that work in the monitoring industry might find this very useful, since it means that a monitoring station that is located in one area can be used to capture footage from across a large region. In fact, it can be used to capture images from all over the nation or even the world.

As always, this means that some people might be able to find additional uses for these IP cameras and networked digital video recorder devices. Many people probably already use some sort of IP camera set up to provide web camera services on their websites. A digital video recorder can be used to capture loads of footage of various events that can later be used for video on demand systems. The footage can be stored for a period of time before it is processed and then later cut up for final viewing. For that matter, some security industry users could do this remotely and paste various bits of surveillance footage online. They might also distribute it to a law enforcement or news agency. Naturally, this is very important when one suspects that some sort of tampering has occurred.

One important thing to note is that there is actually a standards body that lays down a few rules about digital video recorder technology. However, it should also be noted that most of these standards are predictably geared towards those that work with personal home theatre devices. The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) is an international organization that has set numerous standards for computer graphics. Way back before modern digital video recorder boxes came around, NEC Home Electronics got together with a group of eight other video display adapter firms to set up a list of standards. These were mostly geared towards producing a standardized 800 x 600 SVGA resolution display. That was probably of particular importance to those that use VGA to BNC technology to interface with their surveillance cameras. VESA has produced numerous other standards, and in 2010 they entered a cooperative agreement with WiGig for sharing certain types of technology that IP camera users might want to investigate.

Digital video recorder owners are probably the most interested in the VESA compatible digital video recorder market. Any DVR that carries the VESA compatibility mark has to be small and light. In fact, they have to be so small and light that they can mount on the back of an LCD monitor that has a set of VESA mounting holes at 100 x 100 mm. This lets users use a personal monitor to save cost and space. Outside of this idea, there is also a market for integrated TV-set digital video recorders, and some security systems have been designed around them. These are literally digital video recorder devices that were built into LCD or LED monitors. Some of these are able to record a number of input streams in parallel, and might have wireless Bluetooth or Wifi ports to connect to them. Some people might want to use them to record from cellular phones or some sort of IP surveillance camera. A particularly sneaky surveillance master could use one as part of a disguised observation system.

Theoretically, one could take an integrated TV-set digital video recorder and use it as a monitor for a store display. It might show some pictures or video that would be part of some other display that would call for a television. Meanwhile, the true purpose of the device would be to capture image from a CCTV network. Naturally, it might be perceived as wasteful to design a display around such a monitor, so it would be best to replace a monitor already in use. For instance, if one is showing a sales demonstration movie in a commercial space already they could remove the monitor showing it and replace it with an integrated TV-set digital video recorder system. This will also be less suspicious to those shifty types that might actually be sadly scoping out an area for a potential crime.

Home computer entertainment system digital video recorder software like MythTV is probably rather ineffective for many types of security camera uses. However, there are some people that might have purchased a number of cameras from the Security Camera King and want to experiment with some open source software. While most people probably don’t care to spend half their day staring at source code, some budding computer programmers really want to know why everything works the way it does. For those types, there actually are a few options available. These work relatively well for what they are designed to do.

Unfortunately, just like everything in the digital video recorder market, many of the free and open source options are geared towards entertainment more than anything else. Few people that work in surveillance would ever find a use for a flashy ten-foot display, and this is exactly what Linux Media Center Edition. While the term Linux is usually associated with security, LinuxMCE is geared more for those that want to experiment with open source television options. Naturally, there’s nothing at all wrong with that. In fact, LinuxMCE does a great job for what it was designed to do, and anyone that wants to experiment with this sort of thing for home theatre systems should be more than happy to. However, it might not be the most effective system for CCTV networks. Klaus Schmidinger’s Video Disk Recorder software might be a bit more useful, but that piece of software is still very much a personal video recorder solution in its stock configuration.

Those that want a far more conventional approach might want to investigate the software that works with equipment purchased from the Security Camera King. Anyone that has a large amount of time and effort invested into such an installation will surely appreciate the elegance of such an easy to use system. As a security camera dealer, they have never misunderstood the needs of individual CCTV users and have never suggested that all DVR devices need to have entertainment functions. Those that want to work with digital video recorder technology and have a need to interface it with their own personal computer device will certainly want to check this out.



Ptz Security Camera

Written By:
Friday, February 10th, 2012

ptz security cameraSecurity cameras for many homeowners and businesses are merely a part of ownership today. In fact, they are so common many simply take them for granted. However, as common as they might be, any camera system must be chosen wisely. The reality is, that some people may assume that a camera prominently displayed, will solve their security problems. Subsequently, cameras are installed and forgotten about. Practically speaking, any camera, regardless of quality and capabilities, will provide some level of security. When cameras are present, they tend to restrain people, and can prevent certain crimes.

There Is More to a Camera than Meets the Eye

A Ptz security camera or one that pans, tilts and zooms is a high quality camera that literally provides 360 degrees of coverage during the day or night. Camera systems are advanced to the point where they can be controlled remotely, as well. The systems are self-contained and are capable of working independently or on a network. They have digital zoom, and can track movement 360 degrees side to side which is called pan, and up to 270 degrees up and down, which is tilt. Many models are also capable of recording in full color.

High quality cameras will be self-contained, which means they have an internal memory, can record in low light and will operate in any type of weather. For extreme temperatures, the camera has on board heaters and fans. These cameras are ideal for monitoring people or vehicles in outdoor settings year around. Locations would include tollbooths, entrances to factories and even sports stadiums. They can be remotely viewed using several different platforms, as well. Many times, it is necessary to scan faces of people at large events. The cameras can transmit in real time, using Wi-Fi to a single computer or a network of computers. The images can be recorded using the computer’s hard drive or a dedicated digital video recorder or DVR.

Why Do You Need Pan Tilt and Zoom

It is quite easy for anyone to avoid a camera in a fixed position. People can easily move out of the viewing angle. Fixed cameras are however, ideal for hallways, elevators and small rooms where individuals cannot move out of range. Having a Ptz security camera ensures that regardless of the location, all angles are covered. Intruders cannot sneak up on one, so to speak. Once the camera notes movement, the camera’s view cannot be avoided by moving in one direction or the other. Additionally, individuals cannot crouch below view either. Having zoom capability brings a person’s face, or any object they may be holding, into view.

Cameras that pan tilt and zoom provide more security at entrance points. Homeowners want to know who is at the front door before opening it. Having the right camera installed ensures they have a clear view of anyone standing there. People cannot move in under the view or sidestep the lens. By using the remote zoom capabilities owners can focus on the visitor’s face, and hands. Focusing on the hands determines if they are carrying anything that would cause concern.

Cameras with Ptz capabilities are essential in banks, retail and convenience stores. Their job is twofold, to monitor customers and employees. It is important to be able to track cash transactions. In many cases, a dedicated camera with a digital zoom is used for each register. The camera’s only job, in some cases, is to monitor the cash drawer. Large businesses many times have cash counting rooms where zoom capabilities are critical, as well. The rooms will also have cameras that continually pan and tilt.

Ptz Security Cameras Are used Worldwide for A variety Of Reasons

Law enforcement routinely employs these types of cameras at airports, and other public arenas. They in most cases will focus on facial images and compare those images to a database. The use of facial recognition software is quite common in law enforcement today. This practice is much more prevalent in Europe, which claims to use the cameras and software to track terrorists.

To put it in perspective according to the market research firm, IMS over 30 million surveillance cameras have been sold in the United States in the past ten years. According to Popular Mechanics online, this amounts to approximately four billion hours of video footage each week. Cameras of all shapes and sizes exist in public and private. Predominantly they are used to catch people in a criminal act, track employees at work, check on babysitters and provide personal protection to homeowners.

Where to Begin When determining A Camera’s Location

You may own a small business with a front and back entrance. Should the camera be placed inside covering the door or outside scanning the sidewalk? To capture the image of anyone breaking in the front door, a camera must be located over the entrance outside. The dome style with motion-activated pan, tilt and zoom with night vision is ideal. The camera will also provide coverage if the business wishes to display products and goods on the sidewalk during the day. The back entrance should of course have the same dome camera mounted outside over the back entrance. A Ptz security camera should be located to cover the cash register, with its angle adjusted to view any employee or customer standing at it. Additional tilt, pan and zoom cameras should be positioned to cover the sales floor. You must decide whether additional cameras are needed for the stockroom or storage areas.

As the owner, you may not be there during business hours every day. You can remotely view and operate a wireless system. Using the camera’s Wi-Fi capability, you can view it through your home computer. The cameras can be set to transmit to a computer, which you can access from any other computer or smart phone. This allows you to view in real time what is happening at the business. You can by remote control, zoom, tilt and pan any camera from your computer.

Larger businesses, such as warehouses and retailers have enhanced their security through the proper use of cameras, as well. Strategically placed pan, tilt and zoom cameras have reduced thefts by employees and customers alike. Essentially, no business is immune to theft by their employees. Having the right surveillance equipment in the right places can reduce costs.

Inventory shrinkage through thefts and mishandling of the product will be reduced. In some cases, recorded images can be used to defend against liability or workers compensation claims. Shoplifting is a common occurrence and without video evidence, a shoplifter could walk free. This of course, would increase the overall cost of doing business. The pan, tilt and zoom capabilities play an important role in verifying the identity of individuals.

Homeowners place a high priority on security. With busy work schedules, it can be nerve wracking trying to stay connected with everyone. However, having security cameras installed can ease the burden somewhat. You as a parent can check in anytime of the day or night to view real time images of your home and family. Location and types of cameras are a crucial part of home security.

After the decision has been made to install a Ptz security camera, the next step is location. The front entrance is an obvious choice. A camera that can pan, tilt and zoom and record in low light is important for this critical area. Owners can inspect any visitors before opening the door. They can zoom in on their face, hands and look for any other individuals lurking nearby. With 360 pan capabilities, no one is out of the camera’s view.

If you have a large estate, you can place one at the gate entrance. Leave the gate shut until you have visually inspected the vehicle and occupants using the security camera. Cameras with a zoom feature can also be used to capture a vehicles license plate. Having the plate number is generally only beneficial to law enforcement. However, many gated communities use plate numbers to identify occupants of the community. Having a camera that can capture a plate number may prove to be beneficial at some point.

Larger areas can be monitored more easily with less equipment. Cameras that have a full range of motions will reduce the number of cameras needed. However, the overall range of the camera must be taken into account. Larger areas can be covered by staggering cameras at overlapping intervals.

Place a camera so that the back and side yards are being monitored. Criminals of course many times will attempt break-ins from the back of the house. It is important that their image be clearly recorded for investigative purposes. Obviously, it is every homeowners hope that the camera will scare them off, but at times, this is not the case. That is why having the right camera in the right place is important.

Inside the home can be as important as the outside. Having a baby sitter or nanny inside your home to watch your children is a very common practice. You as a parent must use whatever means necessary to ensure your children are protected however. This means cameras must be placed so you can view how they are being cared for in real time, at any time.

Cameras are simply becoming a part of everyone’s life. They provide security to families and property, and reduce operating costs for many businesses. Choose carefully when purchasing a Ptz security camera. Buying the right one today will prevent you from having to upgrade in a few months. Consult experts on the finer points of security, and do your research.



Bus Surveillance Cameras

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Bus Surveillance CamerasIf you are a school bus driver and you have bus surveillance cameras, you know what a blessing they truly are.  Equipment that is visible (whether it’s actually working or off) has an incredibly large deterrence factor.  This doesn’t apply to just school buses but all kinds of buses and public transportation.

What is different on bus surveillance cameras than on regular surveillance cameras?  First, the whole system is a bit different.  Here is why.

A typical digital video surveillance system consists of one or more cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor.  The cameras capture the video images, process them and send them to the DVR where they are processed further and saved on the DVRs Hard Disk Drive (HDD).  The HDD on a typical surveillance system is the same type of disk drive that is found on a personal computer.  It can hold terabytes of information but doesn’t do well when under the forces of vibration.

Bus surveillance camera systems are a little different.  First and foremost is the DVR.  The vibrations for normal travel of the bus are libel to make the hard disk skip and not record the video images properly.  Now there are many different types of bus surveillance systems and accordingly corresponding DVRs.  However the one thing that bus surveillance camera systems have in common is that most of these systems use non-moving parts.

They are able to endure very harsh environments making them well suited for
high risk vehicle applications like school buses, law enforcement, EMS,
transit, taxi, service or delivery vehicles that require rugged solid state
dependability for video evidence.

Creating a system with non moving parts is important because of the vibrations that are created by the bus.  The bus surveillance camera system must be able to work properly in spite of that factor.  SO how do they do it?  Most bust surveillance camera systems use a “no moving parts” SD recorder system.  All of the footage is saved on the SD card and when it’s full you just pull that card and insert another one or re-write over the one that’s already in the DVR.

These SD cards can be removed and inserted into a computer to view or store any of the media that is on the card.  The technology for creating these cards is constantly improving yielding greater and greater storage capacities.  Today, they can easily place a 2 hour trip on one card.

Bus surveillance cameras come in many configurations as well.  Some units are made with the camera, DVR, and monitor all in on piece.  Other units allow for the DVR to be mounted somewhere on the bus while up to four different cameras can be used for more comprehensive coverage.  Some of these multi camera systems are able to record all four cameras at once in D1 resolution.  Furthermore these multi bus surveillance camera systems, because of the larger separate DVRs can have record times of 60 to 200 hours!

Another benefit of bus surveillance cameras is that not only can they record unsafe or dangerous activities of the passengers but they can also record unsafe or reckless driving activities of the bus driver offering dual protection.  The following is a list of just some of the passenger activities that have been documented already on buses (school, public transportation, etc.):

  • Civil or criminal violations of the law
  • Drug use, sale, or distribution
  • Gang related activities
  • Vandalism such as cutting the seats, graffiti on bus surfaces
  • Sexual acts with or without consent
  • Throwing objects out the windows
  • Assaults, abuse or other harassment against the bus driver
  • Alcohol abuse or smoking while inside the bus
  • Standing or walking in the bus while the bus itself is in motion.

As we mentioned earlier, bus surveillance cameras provide dual coverage because they can provide documentation of the activities of the passengers as well as the driver.  Here’s a short list of driver related activities that have been documented:

  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Failure to stop at railroad intersections
  • Bus driver, while driving, is drinking, eating, sending text messages, or using their cell phone for casual conversation
  • In vehicle driver passenger interaction, arguments, or abuse
  • Accident can be documented with the video used in court as evidence

If you are interested in more information concerning bus surveillance cameras, contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts today.


16 Channel Digital Video Recorder

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Like any other Digital Video Reorder (DVR), a 16 channel digital video recorder uses a computer hard drive to compress and store video images using various compression techniques. (Incidentally, “16 channel” means the DVR can work with up to 16 cameras simultaneously.)


The compression techniques include JPEG, MPEG, Wavelet and a host of proprietary methods. Images can be stored at a rate of just a few frames per second (fps) to as many as 400fps depending on the software features offered by the manufacturer. This is the latest in CCTV DVR Video Surveillance technology, eliminating the use of tape recorders.


Security Camera King’s DVRs enable easy viewing of stored video and images. Data can be saved on a recordable disk (CD-R, DVD-R) or USB Flash Media Drives to be given to law enforcement, insurance companies, etc.. We carry the most popular high-quality and affordable 16 channel digital video recorders in our online store.


Our 16 Channel Ultimate Series DVR is a powerful standalone DVR with all the features you can imagine, packed in a compact, easy to use device. Its H.264 compression promises high quality recordings with minimum storage space. 16 audio channels allow you to record whatever is going on in the recorded areas. Its stable Linux operating system will keep working without any faults or down time. Also supported are USB 2.0 ports for optical mice and video backup as well as firmware upgrades.


Longer record times – As mentioned earlier, H.264 provides superb compression, in most cases more than doubling record times over previously popular compression methods. Here is a quick chart comparing H.264 and other compression technologies, using a 160GB hard drive, recording video at 30 frames per second, at a resolution setting of 720 x 480.


H.264                                     Records 77 Hours

MPEG4                                  Records 44 Hours

JPEG2000                             Records 13 hours


As you can see, the advantages of H.264 are impressive! The ability to record longer periods of time on the same sized hard drive will save you money, and greatly increase the amount of video evidence you can archive.


Quality and speed does not suffer – Previous compression methods have always allowed you to record excellent picture quality at real-time frame rates – but you were eating up valuable hard drive space. Similar to MPEG4, H.264 uses predictive technology to drastically reduce the amount of redundant video recorded. In simple terms, instead of constantly recording say a room with no motion, H.264 will use previously recorded images. However, if someone walks into the room, H.264 will record that person and continue to use the previously recorded background. H.264 will sample up to 32 frames of video to ensure complete accuracy and quality – whereas other compression methods would use only 1 or 2 frames as a reference.


Improved remote monitoring – Saving hard drive space is not the only benefit of our 16 channel digital video recorder. The ability to bring together high quality video with low memory sizes allows for seamless presentations of video when transmitted. Coupled with low frame rate recordings, previous compressions made watching video from remote video security DVR units a trying experience – especially when activities in question happened fast. Video would be jumpy, and audio (if used) wasn’t likely to be synchronized with the video. Watching real-time H.264 is a completely different experience, and the reason so many broadcast companies around the globe have rapidly adopted it.


A word of caution – Although H.264 compression is without question a giant leap in video technology for all industries, just having that feature in a DVR does not mean that it’s a good DVR. To make all the magic happen, it takes more processing horsepower. So be sure to use a manufacturer with a proven track record, who stands behind their products, and one who will be there for you should you need a hand.


And that brings us back once again to Security Camera King’s Ultimate and Elite Series 16 channel digital video recorders.  For example, the Ultimate series DVR can record real-time video and audio at either CIF (360 x 240) or 4CIF (704 x 480) resolution on every channel simultaneously.


Our 16 channel digital video recorder is also IP (Internet Protocol) ready.  Basically all you have to do is plug in an Ethernet cable from your broadband Internet source and you can monitor any of the channels from anywhere i the world there is broadband Internet access (that includes 3G and 4G phones).