Archive for the ‘ Knowledgebase ’ Category

License Plate Capture Camera vs License Plate Recognition Camera

Written By:
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

License Plate Capture Camera vs License Plate Recognition Camera by Ryan Newkirk

When talking to clients about the requirements of their security system, I often run into business owners and homeowner associations who are looking to place a security system at an entrance or exit to view vehicles coming into and leaving from their establishment. One of the biggest things that I have learned to do, is to inquire about what they expect to be able to accomplish with this camera system. The reason why, is that a lot of people assume that license plate capturing and recognition are one in the same. What the general public needs vs. what government agencies need are typically two totally different things. The general public typically only needs to be able to capture an image of a license plate, whereas a government entity and some corporations need to be able to not only capture a plate but also recognize the information on the plate in realtime. There is a difference and you can’t do recognition without capture and I am going to explain the differences.

License Plate Capture

The majority of consumers looking to monitor vehicle traffic at their location, will only need to be able to capture license plates with a camera. To capture means to record an image of the information for future use when needed. In order to properly capture a license plate you should have a traffic calmed area, generally a gate or stop of some sort. This is to give your system a better chance to get a useable image of the license plate. To ideally accomplish a license plate capture, you should only strive to cover one lane of traffic per camera. For the best possible shot the camera should be mounted at a lower level than you would normally mount a camera, approximately 36 inches from the height of the street and as straight on as you can get without being in the lane of travel. This camera will be used only for the capturing of the license plate image and you should use another camera in conjunction for an overview of the vehicle to acquire details, such as color and make. This is only part of the equation, you will want to make sure that you recording unit can do D1 resolution at 30fps for the best chance to capture a usable image. Also, the camera that is being used will need to have features for eliminating interference from lighting sources and a varifocal lens for narrowing the field of view.

An ideal camera for license plate capture will have what is referred to as an on-screen display (osd). In a camera that is suited for license plate capture there are settings in the OSD to help reduce the interference of headlights or taillights. Generally it is called headlight compensation (HLC), what this feature generally will do is give you the ability to select regions in the picture zone that you want to have lighting filtered out to help prevent interference of the plate region. Most cameras have boxes that you are able to move into place. When setting up these regions, you will want to place a vehicle in the lane to place the boxes in the areas where the headlights and taillights will travel through. Make sure to leave an area large enough to accommodate the possible areas that a car will travel through, this is because not all drivers will pass through the lane in exactly the same spot.

There are typically two styles of cameras that work the best for this application, bullet and box cameras. You will want a varifocal camera with enough zoom to tighten the picture up just wider than the lane of travel. The amount of varifocal you will need is dependant on the distance the camera is mounted away from the target location. For application where the camera is within 50 feet of the target a 9mm-22mm lens will be sufficient. You can find really high quality bullet cameras that have this size lens and generally will have infrared (IR) illuminators built in to help with nighttime capture for reasonable prices. Just make sure that whatever bullet you choose has the OSD control with the HLC options, built in. If your target is at the far end of this distance and beyond you will want to look into a box camera solution with a larger varifocal lens. Typically when you are buying a box camera, you will buy the camera, the lens, and the housing all separately. This will allow you to get the correct lens and camera for your situation. If you need more light on the plate area, there are separate IR illuminators which can be used in conjunction with most cameras. You just want to be cautious not to over illuminate the plate causing it to be unreadable caused by IR washout.

Now that you have your system in place and your camera setup, it will take some tweaking of the OSD configurations to get the nighttime and daytime image to meet your needs. For this fact, I like to use a camera that has an RS485 connection on it that I can run back to the DVR and control the OSD functions remotely. This way you can remotely login to the system at various hours of the day and adjust the settings until you get the best quality image you can under all circumstances. Once you have got your system setup exactly the way you want, you are ready to capture the license plates of the vehicles coming into and out of your property. This is called capturing because the information will only be stored in the DVRs recorded footage and not accessed unless it is needed. If you need to register or log the information you will need to have recognition as well.

License Plate RecognitionLicense Plate Capture Camera vs License Plate Recognition Camera

With license plate recognition, you need to be able to capture the license plate information and have a system in place to read the captured information and process it. There are several ways that this can be done. One way is to have a system setup like in the license plate capturing process and have the video stream from the license plate camera going into a computer system. This system will then take the images and analyze the plate information in a process called License Plate Recognition. You can have the system analyze the information against a known database, for use with access control. There are services out there that have access to larger known databases that the information can be checked against.

There are even more sophisticated systems out there that are all self contained in the cameras themselves. These systems have a camera dedicated to do nothing but record all of the plate information for every vehicle passing in its view. They can then just store the information or transmit the collected data to an offsite location for further analysis. This type of system is often used when government entities put up red light traffic camera and toll road cameras. When the system is used for a red light camera application, there is a camera that is always recording the intersection and one that snaps a very high definition picture of the intersection at the moment the sensors dictate. These scenarios have multiple cameras at the corners to capture both directions of travel. The information is generally stored at the location and transferred back to a centralized computer based on the companies schedule. This type of setup is often used with toll roads to help catch toll violators and can be done at much higher rates of speed.

Some law enforcement agencies have implemented a newer technology that not only does the recognition, but it does it in real time. This offers the officer the ability to catch offenders of a variety of different crimes in their tracks. These systems are generally mounted in the trunk of the vehicle with cameras that are roof mounted with a 360 degree view. Allowing the officer to patrol as normal with the system doing all of the work notifying the officer of any potential problems.

There is a difference between capture and recognition, I hope that this will better clarify what you may need. There are not too many entities out there that need recognition. Most can settle with license plate capture and if the information is needed it can be retrieved. Normally you will only need the information when a crime has been committed, otherwise you will be able to go on with your normal day to day surveillance.


Security Camera Jargon and Acronyms Deciphered

Written By:
Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Security Camera Jargon and Acronyms DecipheredCCTV (Closed Circuit Television): This term once referred specifically to systems that worked like standard television.  At the time that the term was coined (the 1960s), the cutting edge was technology that was to eventually become cable television.  It used low-frequency waves sent over metal-core and braid cables to connect a video signal with a receiver.  However, instead broadcasting in a way that anyone could receive it (also called Open Circuit Television) it would instead only be connected to a single source (thus “closing” the circuit).  Today the term is still applicable.  All security systems connect from the camera to a recorder.  Even though theoretically anyone can “connect” to the signal over the internet, you are still required to have the username and password…  This effectively allows the system to prevent anyone who does not belong from “joining” or “connecting” to the signals, and therefore “closes” the circuit off again.

DVR (Digital Video Recorder): This is a term used for all recorders that use a digital format to store video.  You can find some that record your cable TV, some that record cameras, and some that record broadcast video information.  In context with security, it refers to all recorders that receive information through an analogue broadcast.

NVR (Network Video Recorder): This term is a little more specific.  It refers to any video recorder that connects to a computer network to receive and store video information.  The video information can come from literally any source including cameras, other recorders, computer storage, and any device enabled to send video in a format the NVR recognizes.

RF (Radio Frequency): This is a term that is used to describe any and all transmissions of information, data, video, audio, etc via an audio or video signal.  It is a signal that can be detected by human style audible perception (like terrestrial FM radio).

BNC (Bayonet Neill–Concelman) Connector: This is a standard connector used in RF (Radio Frequency) transmission of all types.  It’s named after the two successful inventors that first created it to simplify the joining of two RF circuits.

RCA (Radio Corporation of America) Connector: Once of the most venerable connectors used today.  It was introduced by its namesake in the 1940’s to carry audio signal from turntables to amplifiers.  A use that it is still used for today.

RG59 or 6 (Radio Guide): The Radio guide is the US Military’s Guide to cables.  The number refers to the order the cable was added to the guide, not the qualities of the cable.

RJ-232, 45, 6 (Registered Jack): This system was created by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to regulate and standardize the technology being developed in the communications industry.  The number is relevant to the order that the configurations of wires were added to the list.

Cat3,4,5,6,7 (Category): This term refers to a rating of cable that is composed of 4 pairs of wire that have been twisted.  As the “Cat” number increases, so does the speed at which the cable is capable of transferring data.  Several changes factor into the rating/speed increase.  All of these changes are determined in the manufacturing process of the cable.

1.3 Megapixel IP Indoor/Outdoor IR Dome Network Security Camera

IP (Internet Protocol): This refers to anything “network” oriented.  For example; a security camera that connects to a computer network is referred to as a “IP Camera”.  Many devices are joining the ranks of “IP” including Printers, Security Systems, Sprinkler Systems, Coffee Makers, etc.  As demand increases for “Home Automation”, we’ll find almost every device in our lives assigned to an IP address and remote controllable from our smart phones.

CCD (Closed Coupled Device): This is one of the two most popular types of light-sensing chips in cameras today.  It translates light frequencies into a signal usable by a DSP.  It is regarded to be the superior chip for poor lighting conditions.

CMOS (Complimentory Metal-Oxide Semi-Conductor): This is one of the two most popular types of light-sensing chips in cameras today.  It translates light frequencies into a signal usable by a D

SP.  It is regarded to be the superior chip for high resolution requirements.

DSP (Digital Signal Processor): DSPs are the chip “core” of any computerized video process.  Essentially the brains and tools for a camera, this chip receives signal from a CMOS or CCD sensor and translates it into a digital format that can be transmitted, compressed, and stored for retrieval at a later time.

GUI (Graphic User Interface): This refers to any software that allows a user to interact with hardware using a video display and devices like a mouse, keyboard, joystick, trackball, or other device.

NTSC (National Television System Committee): This is the format of “standard” television broadcasting created to allow broadcast stations to be available on many different brands and types of televisions.  It governs the number of lines and frame a picture is composed of and the general resolution of the picture as well. It is used throughout the Americas and parts of Asia.

PAL (Phase Altering Line): Similar to NTSC, this is the format of “standard” television broadcasting that is accepted throughout the rest of the world where NTSC is not used.

 630TVL Weatherproof Day/Night Infrared Bullet Camera IR (Infrared): Often misunderstood, Infrared is actually a color.  All colors are created by changing the frequency of a beam of white light that is bounced off of an object. The frequency of I

R is not detectable by the human eye.  In the application of IR in CCTV, simply think of theatrical lighting.  If the stage lights are fitted with blue filters and then turned on; everything on the stage appears to be blue.  This is exactly how IR works.  The lights fitted on cameras emit IR colored light.  Thus making objects in front of the camera appear to be “IR colored”.  If your camera is able to detect IR light, it will translate the IR color to black and white (colors we can see).  The simple truth is, its simply doing the same thing as stage lights.  We simply can’t see the color.

HAD (Hole Accumulation Diode): A technology created by the Sony corporation designed to reduce the distortion created by the absence of sufficient light coming in contact with the imaging sensor.  It essentially increases low light capabilities.

OSD (On Screen Display): Many cameras have menus to adjust their behavior.  These are often set by making selections from a joystick or external control.  The menus that pop up when actuated are referred to as the “OSD”.

WDR (Wide Dynamic Range): A feature very important to any application where light and dark zones are simultaneously in the field of view of the camera.  The is a digital enhancement that allows the digital iris of a camera to overlap over and underexposed images to provide a single usable picture.  It helps compensate for glare and dim areas in images.

ATR (Automatic Tone Reproduction): Another feature for compensating for glare and underexposure.  However, unlike WDR, its an enhancement in the DSP, not a compensation of the CCD’s digital iris.  Its literally a higher sensitivity to small details of information coming in from the CCD.  This version is typically great outdoors, but WDR is often superior inside.

PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom): These are the three typical ways that a camera can be motorized.  Some cameras may have on 1 or 2 of these adjustable axis, while cameras with all three are becoming increasingly more common.

ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum): Not all IP-Video devices can talk to each other.  Essentially they all operate and are programmed in different way.  The need to “unify and conform” has existed for some time.  Several large companies agreed to begin to work together in a unified format somewhat recently.  The format is named after the group that created it.

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group): The coalition of video experts that develop new formats for video creation, compression, and storage.  The technological advances they are responsible for are named after them.  The most widely used formats worldwide are theirs, including H.264.

H.264 AVC (High Definition Advanced Video Coding #264, part 10): The most widely used format for recording and compressing video.  There are several different “parts” and “versions” that relate to different types of hardware and usage.  Essentially they work with varying amounts of efficiency, but all do the same thing.

RS-485 (Radio Standard #485): This is simply a format for broadcasting data over an analogue communication type.  It is usually connected via a pair of wires and is the most common method for connecting a PTZ camera or remote OSD connection to a DVR for control purposes.

CIF (Common Intermediate Format): The standard size of a single video image for video and teleconference purposes.  This size and format was later adopted by other industries (like security cameras).   It’s actual size is 352 x 240 in NTSC terms.

D1 (Digital Format): One of the earliest formats of Digital Imaging.  It was created by Sony and Bosch and was replaced with CIF as a more efficient standard.  4CIF is sometimes called D1, but they are slightly (almost undetectably) different in size.  D1 is 720 x 480, 4CIF is 704 x 480.

VGA (Video Graphics Array): A display adapter created by IBM designed to be the state of the art in graphics display.  It has a display resolution of 640 x 480 and due to advances in technology, has been mostly replaced by the HDMI format…

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) and DVI (Digital Video Interface): These are the two current display adapters in use today for High Definition Video transfer from a device to a display unit like a monitor or television.  HDMI supports audio and video, where DVI is only for Video Information.

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks): A system of arranging multiple hard drives in a system that simultaneously record.  This is found in CCTV systems when it is imperative that footage is stored.  Essentially, two drives are used redundantly so that if something happens to one of them, the footage is not lost.

FPS (Frames Per Second): This is the number of pictures taken or displayed in a second.  It is said the human eye sees between 24-28 frames (pictures) per second before the perception of pictures is no longer possible.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): One of the original ways of transferring and storing files on the internet.  The idea of “Cloud Storage” is really just a FTP site, except its the next level since programs can be run there as well.

LED (Light Emitting Diode): This is a newer technology light bulb.  Its essentially extremely small and efficient.  They can be made in visible natural light frequencies and non-visible infrared light frequencies.  They’re often placed in clusters on the front of a camera to provide “invisible” illumination when there is no natural light present.

VAC (24) (Voltage Alternating Current): This is a format/type of power delivery for electrical devices.  It’s less common in CCTV solutions, but superior in some ways.  Because it uses Alternating Current instead of Direct Current, it allows longer distances to be traversed without as much loss.

VDC (12) (Voltage Direct Current): This is a format/type of low voltage power delivery for electrical devices.  It’s the most common format in CCTV solutions as its inexpensive to manufacture and provides electric in a format that does not require regulation, as DC devices only draw the amperage they require.  The downfall is the distance DC power can travel is lesser than that of AC.

TVL (Television Lines): This is a measurement of the “sharpness” the camera is capable of.  If you slice the image captured into tiny slivers, this would be the # of horizontal slivers required to create the image.  There will always be more lines vertically than horizontally, but those are not measured due to variances in chip manufactures. It is however always the case that the size of the line is exactly the same as the horizontal size, so the sharpness remains.

AGC (Automatic Gain Control): This is the ability for the camera to adjust on its own to varying intensities and types of light input.  Its a highly desired feature for quality cameras

OPLF (Optic Low Pass Filter): This feature can be digital or physical.  Essentially, its the ability for a camera to remove certain frequencies of light that can be degrading to a sensors ability to produce useful and accurate images.  These frequencies are often the artificial ones created by fluorescent lights, or similar types of light.

EXView: Simply the brand name of Sony’s most recent CCD sensor.  Also their flagship.

SuperHAD: Another brand name for a higher end Sony CCD sensor.

Dual-Voltage: The technical term for a device that can be connected to more than one voltage type.  In the case of CCTV systems, it often refers to a device that can be powered with 12VDC and 24VAC power.  Sometimes in the case of IP devices it also refers to POE.

Power Supply: This is a device that plugs into a wall outlet and converts the standard 110/120 VAC from the wall into a format usable by an electronic device.

Vari-Focal: This refers to an adjustable lens on a camera.  They can usually vari with zoom distance (mm range) and focal distance (the sweet spot of clarity).

White Balance: A setting in the camera that allows for adjustment of what “natural white” looks like.

Effio: The brand name for Sony’s newest and most powerful camera DSP.

Resolution: The size of an image created by a camera or recorder.

Quality: The clarity and sharpness of the image created by a camera or recorder (often confused with resolution).

Megapixel: The defining term for images over a million pixels in size (big).

Auto-tracking: The ability for a motorized PTZ camera to lock on and follow a moving object.

Channels: the ports in which cameras are plugged into a DVR

Ports: Digital hallways which data travels through a router, switch, or hub in order to reach another device or destination connected.

Hybrid: A recorder that is both a DVR and a NVR

650tvl Auto Zoom True Day/Night Color At Night BulletDay/Night: The ability for a camera to switch from color mode to black and white for lowlight.

C-Mount (cs-mount): The type of screw on lock used by CCTV box cameras for their lenses

Lux: A measurement for an amount of light.  Often more of an opinion, than a true gauge.

Sens-Up: The ability for a camera to enhance small amounts of light to continue to produce usable images digitally.

Pixel: A single dot in an image.  This does not designate the size of a dot… It can be any size.  Its simply just one of them.  The size of the dot is determined by the display device.

Illumination: Lighting.

Motion Detection: A software feature of a camera or recorder that allow it to determine if an object has moved within the field of view of the lens of a camera.

Mirror: the ability to create “flipped” images that appear to be upside down or reversed from the capture point.

Cloud: Offsite storage from the internet for files.

If you have any questions or looking for further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. It is our pleasure to help you.


Simplify Surveillance With A Camera Monitor

Written By:
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Simplify Surveillance With A Camera MonitorHome intrusions are on the rise and don’t seem to choose any particular neighborhood or city. Home security surveillance systems are designed to protect you and your family’s home from unwanted intruders. Whether you want to keep monitor your sleeping baby or protect the entire home, you will find a home surveillance system that meets your needs. The presence of video cameras alone can deter an intruder.

Today’s home security systems are easily monitored with a video camera. You don’t need to install a complicated cabling system in your home in order to use a home surveillance video system. Video monitoring systems can now use either a wired Ethernet or wireless WiFi local area network found by your home’s smartphone, computer or other devices to display images.

A local area network or LAN is used to connect printers, gaming consoles and HDTV’s. Your Internet is connected by a wide area network. Your LAN system shares data with many devices while keeping a closed system. If you connect your Internet service providers modem into the network’s router, you can access the Internet. The router stores network data and also sends data to various locations. These devices allow you to monitor your home security system from anywhere in the world.

Infrared cameras are able to record images during low-light conditions. These cameras are often referred to as IR cameras. They do a great job capturing images even in total darkness. IR surveillance cameras record in color during the daylight hours and automatically switch to black and white at nighttime. The IR cameras are a popular choice for homeowners searching for a new video surveillance system to monitor their home. There are several types available for home surveillance systems.

If you plan to have an outdoor surveillance system, consider how many cameras you need to install to cover all outdoor areas of your home. Most digital video recorders can accommodate up to four to eight cameras. Some camera models can support up to 32 cameras. It just depends on how large of an area you want to cover. You might want to contact a professional security company to inspect your home and offer guidance. A professional security company can help you determine the right amount of security cameras for your home.

To monitor your home security system from any computer, the digital video recorder must be connected to a modem or router. For best results, a professional should be consulted to ensure everything is working properly. When the system is working properly, you should be able to log into any computer and view the digital images. The DVR should be set up with a secure password to avoid hackers being able to gain entrance into your security system. When you consult a professional security company, you will save a lot of time. Home surveillance systems can be difficult to install.

Home security surveillance system should combine other security steps to ensure a higher overall level of security of your home. Keep valuables hidden well or place them in a safe deposit box located away from your home. Be sure to install sensors on your doors and windows. An intruder often uses the front or back door to gain entry into your home. Windows are another vulnerable area, and you can install sensors that will sound an alarm when the glass breaks or the window is opened.

Videotape the contents of your home and store in a safe deposit box. This will provide proof of your home’s contents that will be helpful for law enforcement officers and insurance companies. Be sure the audible alarm is loud enough to alert neighbors of the possibility that your home is being broken into. Get to know your neighbors well enough that they will become suspicious if they hear your alarm system going off. Join neighborhood watch groups and become active in your community. Knowing your neighbors is a great way to have your home watched for suspicious activity.

If you move into a new home that has a security system already installed, call the company to be sure the system is up to date. Recent technology has improved security systems and you can learn about the latest technology advances in home security. Protecting your home and your family is a high priority. Learn everything you can about surveillance cameras and security systems. Some community law enforcement agencies offer training classes in home security. Contact your local law enforcement office or search their website for more information about their security programs.

Install the best locks on the market inside your doors that lead into and out of the home. Add dead bolt locks as a secondary precaution. Peep holes are a great way to see who is at the door without opening it. Arm your security system when you are home. A lot of people fail to turn on their security system once they arrive home. A home invasion can happen at anytime of the day or night. The intruder may not be aware that anyone is at home. For additional nighttime security, install motion detecting lights on the outside of your home. These are particularly useful in driveways and entry points of your home. There are also driveway sensors that can be installed to sound an alarm when someone drives or walks in your driveway.

The garage is a favorite place for intruders to enter into your home. If you have a garage door opener, be sure to change the code frequently. Another good idea is to install a deadbolt on your garage door to use when you are away from home for a long period of time. When planning a family vacation, contact to post office to hold your mail delivery until you return. A full mailbox is a good indicator that no one is at home. You can ask your neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you are away. Anything you can do to make your home appear lived-in will help deter intruders. You can also buy timers for your indoor lights to come on during various hours of the day. Hire a lawn service to cut your grass while you’re on vacation.

630TVL Weatherproof Day/Night Infrared Bullet CameraThere are a few common styles of video cameras to choose when shopping for a home surveillance system. The bullet camera is also known as the lipstick camera. This surveillance camera is small and can be used when you want your camera hidden. It comes in a waterproof protective casing. The bullet camera can be used indoors or outside. The dome camera is the camera you see most often at the retail stores, shopping malls and businesses. Dome cameras are equipped with tinted glass to prevent camera angle detection. These cameras offer a wide view of surveillance. Dome cameras are weatherproof and reinforced to prevent being tampered with.

The box camera is found in businesses and other places where the camera is meant to be seen. This camera is a popular choice for homeowners who want to monitor the indoor area of their home. They are not suitable for outdoor use. The resolution of the camera you choose should be as high as possible. The resolution determines how clear the images display. A resolution of 525 to 580 is a popular choice for homeowners who want a clear image. Hi-definition cameras are more expensive but have a much higher resolution. Wireless cameras are gaining in popularity because they are easier to install. Although they are convenient, they are susceptible to interference from cellphones and other electronic devices.

Home security systems have motion detectors that can distinguish between a pet or a person. Sophisticated security equipment has evolved over the past few years. You can install fire detectors that detect heat instead of older models that detect smoke. Technology advances has made the cost of home security equipment lower than ever before. Preventing false alarms will improve the effectiveness of your security system. False alarms cost money and use up valuable resources. To reduce the number of false alarms, educate all family members in the proper use of the alarm system. Be sure you read the owner’s manual on your alarm’s keypad and become familiar with the way it works.

Check the backup batteries are properly charged. Local law enforcement agencies may charge a fee for a false alarm. Learn the false alarm rules in the community where you live. If you have window sensors installed on your windows, check to be sure they are adjusted properly. Some window sensors will go off due to thunder and lightening. Be sure all doors are secure and locked to prevent the wind from opening them. If your home alarm system is monitored by a professional alarm company, let them know if you have contractors entering your home. Don’t give contractors your security code, or if you do, then change the code after the work is finished.

If you have senior residents living inside your home, you can install medical alerts. Medical alerts can be tripped from several areas of the home. There are also portable medical alert devices that seniors can wear. It’s also important to install carbon monoxide poisoning alarms. Carbon monoxide poison can’t be detected through your sense of smell. High levels of carbon monoxide is dangerous for every family member. Install automatic lights that turn on when someone enters the room. This will help seniors see their way and reduce the risk of falling. Go through each room in your home looking for loose cords and other objects that can easily be stumbled upon.

When you install a home security surveillance system in your home, many home insurance companies offer discounts of up to 20 percent. In some cases, the system must be monitored by a professional security company, but check with your insurance agent before you buy a new home security system. The cost for home security surveillance equipment varies and depend upon which security system you choose. Most professional security system companies offer homeowners do-it-yourself home security kits. If you decide to install the system on your own and you run into installation problems, then you can easily call the company that sold you the kit to answer your questions. The initial cost of installation can be zero if you use a home security monitoring company and they are running a special.

Simplify Surveillance With A Camera Monitor

The landscaping surrounding your home can be a perfect hiding place for an intruder. Be sure to keep shrubs, trees and bushes pruned. Walk through the outside of your home and think about the best way an intruder would break in. Secure these areas with sensors and alarms. The surveillance camera should be focused on these areas too. One of the advantages of having surveillance equipment, is the opportunity to record the intruder. This can lead to the arrest of the intruder and the return of your personal property. Go through each area of your home both inside and outside and think like a burglar. Place warning signs on your fence and near the front and back door of your home.

Warning signs let the intruder know that you have a dog, security or surveillance system in place. This will usually deter the intruder and they will likely choose an easier target. Dogs that make a lot of noise are good to use as an additional layer of home security. Decide what kind of security system you need to protect your home and family. Speak with a professional security representative to understand the different types of security equipment.

If you don’t think you can install the system on your own, then you can turn to the professionals for assistance. Although no home is completely safe from intruders, you will reduce the chance that your home is broken into. You have a lot of options available to you when it comes to home security. The more you learn about the types of equipment, then you will be able to choose the right system for your home.

If you have any questions or looking for further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. It is our pleasure to help you.


What is a Digital Video Recorder

Written By:
Thursday, July 26th, 2012

People who are not experienced in installing, owning and using security systems often have a difficult time understanding the different components that are involved in a security system, but it is not difficult once you get the hang of it. One thing that trips many people up is the inclusion of a digital video recorder in most security systems. Since most people associate their television-watching with a DVR system, they often have a difficult time understanding how a digital video recorder can be used in order to keep their home or business safe. Digital video records, however, are one of the main components of a good surveillance camera system, so it is important to learn as much about them as you can before you purchase and install a system.

Digital Video RecorderWhat is a Digital Video Recorder

A digital video recorder is basically any recorder that records digital video. To help you to understand exactly what a DVR is, take a look at your cable or satellite system. Many households have digital video recorders that are built into their cable or satellite boxes; this recorder is used to record favorite television shows, movies and other media off of the television. Once it is recorded, it is stored on the digital video recorder until it is ready for use, and you can then rewind, fast forward and pause the digital video whenever you like. This allows TV viewers to record their favorite programming when they are not home, and they can fast forward through commercials, rewind in order to rewatch a favorite part or can pause the TV while they run to the kitchen for some popcorn.

In many ways, a digital video recorder is much like the VCRs of yesterday that had the capability of recording video. Just as many people recorded their favorite movies and TV shows on VHS tapes so that they could watch them later, a digital video recorder does the same job, but it does the job better. The digital video that is records is of a much higher quality.

How are Digital Video Recorders Used For Security?

Similar to the digital video recorder that you use to watch your favorite shows over and over again, a digital video recorder that is hooked up to a security system is used to record your surveillance videos. It then stores this surveillance footage until you are ready to watch it, and it allows you to fast forward through uneventful footage, rewind to rewatch something that looks suspicious and pause to get a good look at what is going on on the screen.

Although not all surveillance systems use a digital video recorder, many of them do. Not only does a digital video recorder work as a device that allows you to play back your surveillance tapes and to pause and control them when you need to, but it actually stores the digital video for you until you need to use it. These video recorders are often black in color, and they typically look much like the digital video recorder that you might have for your television or even like a VCR or DVD player.

Who Should Use a Digital Video Recorder?

Although digital video recorders are not required in order for you to have a successful surveillance camera system, they are suggested. Security cameras that are simply hooked up to monitors are practically useless because although they allow you to watch the footage in real time, this footage is not recorded or stored anywhere, so you cannot rewind it, even if you see something happen as you are watching. You also will not have any evidence to take to the police if something does happen, so you are almost as well off not to have a system at all than to have one that doesn’t record.

Other people use their computer as a storage device for their digital video. This can work in some cases, especially if you purchase the right software for your computer. However, using a computer for this purpose can be a bit expensive, and it isn’t as convenient. In order to keep your video footage for the length of time that you should, you will need plenty of hard drive space on your computer, and you will be surprised by how quickly this hard drive space gets taken up by the massive video that your security cameras are streaming. It can also be inconvenient to use your computer as a monitor, particularly if you typically use your computer for work or pleasure.

Most people who want to install a security camera system in their home or business could benefit from purchasing a good digital video recorder. These recorders are not very expensive, and they are worth their weight in gold when something does go wrong.

What Are The Different Types of Digital Video Recorders?

One aspect of purchasing digital video recorders confuses many purchasers. When looking at digital video recorders, you will notice that each one is described as allowing a certain number of channels, such as a “Four Channel DVR” or a “32 Channel DVR.” Many people are unsure of what this means, other than the fact that they notice that the price for a lower-channel DVR is typically much less expensive. The difference between these units, however, are not that difficult when you think about it in a TV-related way.

What manufacturers are referring to when they mark their digital video recorders this way is the number of surveillance cameras that each system can be hooked up to, or how many “channels” your digital video recorder can pick up on, stream, record and store. For instance, a four-channel digital video recorder can only stream video from four security cameras, while a 32-channel digital video recorder can stream the video from up to 32 security cameras. One important decision that you must make before purchasing a system is how many security cameras you will need. This depends on the size of your home or business and the amount of surveillance that you would like to have, but it is usually better to go one size larger than you think you need rather than trying to get enough security out of a system that is too small.

If you do unfortunately purchase a DVR that is too small, you are not stuck forever, however. If you realize that you do not have enough security with your existing system or if your needs grow and change over time, you can hook several digital video recorders up to one another in the future. However, it is usually a bit more expensive and a bit more frustrating in the long run if you do it this way, so it is better to purchase a large enough digital video recorder in the beginning.

What Types of Features Do Digital Video Recorders Have?

As with nearly electronic that you buy, different digital video recorders have different features. Some of these features are practically required in order for your system to be successful, while other features can typically be skipped for regular surveillance needs. You will typically have to pay a bit more for a digital video recorder that has plenty of special features, but you might want to fit a nice digital video recorder into your budget for the best results.

One of the first and most important features that you should look into before purchasing a digital video recorder is the amount of space that it can hold. It is important that you purchase a digital video recorder than can store at least several months worth of surveillance video because you never know when you might need to look at old footage. It is usually best to spend a bit of extra money purchasing a digital video recorder that offers ample storage whether than trying to get by on a system that doesn’t provide enough space. You should also find out if the DVR allows you to hook up an external drive. It can be convenient to have the option to hook up a USB drive or an external hard drive in order to acquire additional space when you need it. In fact, some digital video recorders allow you to hook your device up to several external drives at once, which can be an added convenience.

What is a Digital Video RecorderA lot of people like to purchase digital video recorders that allow them to burn CDs and DVDs. This additional feature typically does not cost much, but it could be very useful in certain circumstances. If something ever happens and you need video evidence as proof, it can be very handy to be able to burn a simple DVD to take to court or to the authorities.

Some digital video recorders allow you to record sound as well as video. Although these features are not always common, they can be handy if needed. One handy feature, however, is the ability to watch the surveillance footage from your PC or smartphone when you are away from your digital video recorder. By using the right software, you can often monitor what is going on at your home or business, even if you are away.

It is also important to take a look at the quality of video that the digital video recorder offers. High-quality video is typically worth the extra money because it allows you to see things clearly that you might not otherwise be able to see at all. Similar to taking a look at the picture quality of a digital camera, camcorder and even a television, the difference in picture quality can be huge between units, so take your time to select the best one that you can afford.

How Do I Know Which Digital Video Recorder Is Right For Me?

Every individual, home and business is different, so purchasing a digital video recorder and its accompanying security cameras is a personal matter. You can come to the conclusion of what you will need by measuring your property and determining how many surveillance cameras you will need in order to keep your property under constant surveillance; this will be the first step in choosing your new digital video recorder.

Next, you should sit down and decide what features are important to you. Different people have different preferences and needs when it comes to features, so only you can answer the question of what you need. However, it is best to remember just how important the safety of yourself, your family, your employees and your property is not something to play around with, so you shouldn’t skimp on important features just to save a little bit of money. However, everyone’s budget is different, and there is surely a good digital video recorder out there that will be perfect for your needs without breaking your budget. Comparing different units is a good way to make sure that you are getting the most features for your money, and it can help you to make the smartest decision when purchasing a digital video recorder for your security needs.

When in doubt, you can always ask for help when shopping for a digital video recorder. Someone from the company who is experienced in the different types of digital video recorders and other security system components will be more than happy to point you in the right direction, and they can probably answer any questions that you may have about the different digital video recorders that are available.

Purchasing a digital video recorder for your surveillance needs is not a small decision, but it is a smart one. Make sure that you choose the digital video recorder that your security needs require to ensure that you are satisfied with your purchase and to ensure that you feel comfortable with the level of security at your home or business.

if you have any questions or need further information, contact us, its a pleasure for us to help you.


iPhone Security Camera System

Written By:
Friday, July 20th, 2012

iPhone Security Camera SystemOver the last few years home security systems have become more and more popular. These systems are able to provide homeowners with recording capabilities that allow them to see exactly what is going on around their home and help protect them from theft or vandalism. That is just a couple of the basic camera features. When you are selecting a security camera, you need to look and see what all of the advanced features are for the system. Make sure you select a system that will provide you with the peace of mind you need, as well as the security level you are searching for.

Some of the computer based security systems and digital video recorders allow you to record directly from your camera, as well as from a remote Internet location. These systems will connect into a DSL or cable Internet connection to help provide you with the ability to view everything that your cameras are seeing through an Internet connection. Depending on what type of surveillance system you purchase, you may need a browser to view everything or it may be just a matter or installing the specified software to allow viewing from a remote location. Being able to view all of your footage from a remote location, means that you will always be in the loop for anything taking place around your home. You will have the peace of mind you need to make sure everything is in place around your home. One of the more common features of security systems is the ability to view cameras from a computer based location.

If you have an advanced system, you will have the ability to record through your computer on an Internet connection. Given all of these features, you can even record your computer video to a computer. This way if someone were to steal your digital video recorder or computer right from your home you would still maintain a copy of everything in a remote location that is away from the original site.

Beyond just the remote recording capabilities, there are some of the security systems that allow you to view all of your recorded footage through an iPhone. On the iPhone there are two different types of viewing options that you can choose from. First, the most basic form of viewing technology is the web based application. This form of viewing allows you to have a basic overview of your home via a web browser. It will load up a JPG image from the camera, which then allows you to refresh the page and update the image at a rate of one per second. You will be able to view four cameras at a time with this remote viewing feature, which makes it almost as popular as the digital video recorders.

Secondly, the more advanced form of technology is the one that has been designed to work alongside your computer based digital video recorder. With this type of system you will have a lot more features than ever before, as well as live video streaming. You can also control the pan/tilt/zoom cameras, control all of the digital outputs and inputs, playback all of the video you have recorded and even send pictures of your property directly to your iPhone. These computer based systems give you a variety of functions and features for iPhone users everywhere. Beyond just the iPhone, there are applications that work along with other types of technology as well.

Watching Your Security Footage Via an iPhone

As the home surveillance systems become more and more prevalent across the United States, more customers are looking for ways to ensure their home is covered on a monthly basis. There are numerous systems out there to choose from all with varying ranges of quality, easy installation and the option of viewing your information via the Internet. One of the most popular features for customers is the ability to view all of your footage through the Internet. A lot of systems have remote viewing potential using the Internet, but there are different levels and features that make up the remote viewing capabilities to help you choose a system.

Sometimes you may have to pay a monthly fee for access to remote viewing on your computer and iPhone. However, you should not be required to spend anything extra out of pocket just to view your information on the Internet. Why is that you ask? Simple, any system that has the ability to connect to the Internet will use your existing connection. Hence, all you should need is your software that came with your camera system for connecting to the Internet and streaming video from your digital video recorder. Most of the reputable systems are not going to charge you a monthly fee to use your system on a regular basis.

iPhone Security Camera SystemViewing your security system from a remote location offers you a lot of different security systems with different levels of remote capabilities from your iPhone or other smartphone. The standalone digital video recorder helps to deliver a basic remote viewing capability of all your security footage directly to your phone. A standalone unit is a recording device that records footage directly from your security camera and connects them directly to the Internet for viewing. These units have a basic viewing option that allows you to view all of your security camera footage onto your PDA device, providing it supports digital video recording. Each one of the digital video recorders will have similar features and different devices that are supported. The software designed for one digital video recorder is not going to be the same software that will work with all of the other digital video recorders. In general, most of the digital video recorders will only provide live viewing capabilities from the supported phone.

Another type of security system is the computer based digital video recorder. This system is complete with a digital video recorder card and all of the software needed for installing the equipment onto your computer. It allows you to record information from your security system directly to the hard drive of your computer. These systems are able to offer a far more enhanced level of processing than the typical standalone units. Due to the enhanced processing levels, there are a lot more features and functions for being able to view your information through your iPhone. The digital video recording systems will offer you an increased video quality and frame rate for remote viewing. Since the computer has enough power to process information and recompile the video, you will receive the best transfer through the Internet and your iPhone, regardless of how slow your Internet connection is. All of the systems will come complete with a built-in capability for playing your video back from a remote location, such as your iPhone. You can also control all of the digital outputs and inputs, which provide you with a connection into your alarm system, garage door, lighting system and much more. In order for the systems to work, you will need to have a Windows based computer directly on site for all of your recording capabilities. Delivering a higher level of options for remote viewing from your iPhone through the Internet has never been easier.

When it comes to choosing which type of security system you need, you need to go through and check out all of the features and functionality of your system that you are looking into. Make sure you determine which level of viewing your need in your home security digital video recorder to employ the proper features. If you choose a digital video recorder that does not have all the features you are going to require down the road, your digital video recorder will only be able to operate using the software that has been designed for your digital video recorder. Choose a system that provides you with the playback features you desire to help save on the cost of having to replace your digital video recorder down the road.

Setting Up Your Home Security System

You need to choose where you want to place your security cameras. It might be that you only need one out front to be able to see what’s going on or who might be at your door. In the end, you might decide that you need to have more than one security camera to cover all of the entry points into your home.

Once you have decided how many cameras you need and where you are going to put them you need to determine whether or not you want a wired camera or a wireless one. Previously wireless cameras were not as stable as their counterparts, but will all of the changes in technology over the years you will be able to rely on them just as much as you can any other camera. Consider how simple they are to install. If it is easy to run a simple wire from your camera into your computer, you can help economize by making that decision. Another way to look at it is that you will not have to drill any holes and have a bunch of wires hanging around your property. Wireless can provide you with a lot of options that were not there before.

iPhone Security Camera SystemAfter you have determined the location and type of cameras you plan on using, you will want to decide how you are going to monitor your cameras. You may choose to implore a live video stream that can be accessed over a computer with Internet capabilities, as well as your iPhone. Another thing you need to consider is whether or not you are going to want to record the video surveillance. If you are planning to record the footage, you are going to need to purchase some type of storage unit. Depending on what type of software comes along with the camera, you will have to make sure it is compatible.

You can now start searching for different types of web cameras now that you have an idea what you are looking for. As soon as you have made this decision, you will go ahead and proceed with the purchase.

Once you have your product in hand, you will need to begin preparations for setting your camera. Open everything up to get an overview of what you are working with. Read through all of the instructions. Do not avoid this critical step or else something could end up being installed improperly. You are more than likely going to have to attach your camera into your home network for configuration, regardless of whether or not it is wireless. There are a few devices on the market that allow you to set everything up instantly. If it is not an automated system, the corporation will have to implore someone who is familiar with technology to make sure everything is installed properly.

Now comes the time where you are going to want to install the cameras throughout your location. Make sure you are following the directions during this step. Ensure you have all of the proper tools and safety gear to install everything around your home.

Once you have everything installed, you will want to go through and ensure everything is working properly. Have someone stand in front of the camera and make sure you can see them. If it is not functioning right, you will want to go in and do some adjustments to make sure the view is perfect.

After everything is where you think it needs to be, you will want to run a few tests. If you have gotten the system that provides viewing from the Internet, you will want to have someone who is outside of your home pull the camera footage up on their device to make sure they are able to see it. The last thing you want is to assume you are done and then find out that something was not working properly.

For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.