Posts Tagged ‘ analog ’

Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) Cameras Explained

Written By:
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Since there are a lot of Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras available, I will explain in this article on how to best choose the correct PTZ for your Security Camera Installation.

I will start by showing the different parts of a PTZ camera.

1. Parts of a PTZ camera

(a) Housing – Usually composed of an aluminum bell shaped cover (image 1) or some models have abs plastic housings (images 2,3)

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

aluminium ptz housing plasticdome,jpg plasticdome2,jpg

(b) Camera module
This is where the image CCD sensor, optical lens, and the motors that control Zoom and Focus are located.

Camera Module

(c) PTZ control board
The PTZ control board processes RS485 data  that converts it into mechanical movements.

PTZ Control Board

Note: On this particular PTZ control board it has dip switches (the red block with white switches). This allows you to change the protocol and ID of the camera. Some of our cameras are configured via the OSD (On Screen Display) menu.

(d) PTZ motors – are the small motors that allow the camera to perform up, down, left and right functions. Marked by the arrows are two step motors; the one to the top controls up and down movements and the one at the bottom controls left and right movements (Image 1).

Note: The motors used on a PTZ camera are known as step motors which use steps (teeth) that allow a more precise movement vs. standard electromagnetic motors that require higher RPM’S and torque. Below are the two animated examples of an electromagnetic motor (image 2) and step motor (image 3).

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

camera motors2 electric motor animation 1 StepperMotor1

(e) PTZ Pigtail – is the cable that comes out of the camera which allows you to connect power, video, network, audio and alarms.

The Standard size IPPTZ cameras have alarm, audio, analog BNC out and an RJ45 jack (image 1). Mini-IPPTZ do not have an analog out option.

Our analog PTZ cameras have rs485, ground, BNC analog out and DC power plug (image 2)

Image 1

Image 2

ipptz-connection ptz-analog

Note: RS485 is a simple protocol used for communication between two or more devices. The nature of RS-485 allows transmission of  PTZ data along side power or in electrically noisy environment without interference. It has been tested to work at 1600 ft. on CAT6e cable.

2. Technologies

Currently our PTZs  come in three different technologies

1. Analog

2. IP


(a) Camera cable run limitations and options to extend if necessary

Analog has a 1000 ft. Video and RS485 Range but can only be powered up to 150 ft. before voltage drop. Two ways you can counter the power limitation is by:

1. Having power at the camera
2. Using a power supply with a higher amperage rating. An example of that would be if your camera is rated at 500 ma and your run is over 150 ft – use a 2-5 amp power supply. Although theoretically it should work we do not recommend exceeding the 150 ft. limit

IP has a 300 ft. limit due to standard networking limitation. Since power, video and RS485 can be run on a single CAT6e cable there is no way to increase the range without additional equipment. In the event you have to exceed the 300 ft limit you can use a POE injector that allows you to extend an additional 300 ft.

HD-CVI has 1600 ft. video and RS485 limit.  You can use CAT6e for both the RS485 and Video; for the video you will need video baluns to allow 1600 ft. range. The power has the same limitation as the analog cameras and will required local power or a higher rated 12v 2-5 amps depending on the camera requirements.

(b) Video quality and Resolutions

Analog – Our analog  cameras come with 700 TVL

IP – Range from  1.3 Mega Pixel, 2 Mega Pixel, and 3 Mega Pixel

HD-CVI – Currently only supports 1 Mega Pixel (720P)

(c) What are  differences between IP, analog + HD-CVI

1. An analog camera has to be physically connected into the DVR to record video and has a limitation of 1000ft.

An IP camera does not have to connect directly to an NVR. Simply by configuring some the network you can access your camera anywhere in the world. Let’s say your camera is in California and your NVR ( Network Video Recorder) is in New York. You can actually record the video from that camera at your New York location. This type of setup is used frequently by government and cities to monitor remote cameras.

2. Both the IP and HD-CVI support HD resolution, 720P and 1080P, whereas the analog only supports D1 resolution at 700 TVL

Note: The higher the resolution of a camera, the larger the images. It allows for wider coverage areas and more details vs the analog resolution. Because the images are larger on higher resolutions its better suited to use the digital zoom to get a closer look at an object.

3. Mini and Standard size cameras

Two of the major differences between our mini and standard sized PTZ cameras is the size of the housing and the optical lens capacities. The mini cameras are more aesthetically appealing in smaller homes and offices. The larger housings are better suited for larger homes and commercial applications.


Standard Size PTZ

4. Camera modules

(a) The camera module houses what is called the CCD or CMOS board (image 1), lens and motors that allow fine adjustments of zoom + focus (image 2).

Image 1 – CCD OR CMOS board

Image 2 – PTZ lens with control motors

ccdboard ptz lens

(b) Image Sensor – captures light and converts it into a digital image that can be stored onto the DVR/NVR. Currently there are two different types of sensors, CCD and CMOS. There isn’t much difference as far as image quality, but the CMOS sensors are known to handle brighter than normal scenarios extremely well. The CCD sensors were designed for IR applications where cut filters and automatic shutters are used. But in the past few years with advancement in technology, cameras now offer WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) and IR cut filters (Infrared Cut filters) which allows digital and mechanical adjustment for your specific setup. So it doesn’t matter if your using a CMOS or CCD as your end results are of high quality.

CCD Sensor

CMOS Sensor

CCD cmos

(c) Optical lens – Allows for adjustment of zoom or focus. When you zoom in, the lens moves closer to the image senor so the image becomes larger. When you zoom out the lens moves away from the image sensor which make the image small and results in a wider view.  When referring to 12x zoom on lets say our PTZ-LX700L12X mini it means it can zoom in 12 times the normal amount. Generally you can find out what the range on the lens is by multiplying the lens size by the times zoom. So in our PTZ-LX-700L12X you can multiply 5×12=60. Five being the lens size multiplied by zoom gives you maximum mm size of 60 mm. In this case this camera has a varifocal range of 5-60mm

Here is an example of our 23x PTZ camera. The approximate distance from the camera to the truck is 380ft.

6. Mounting options

PTZ cameras are designed to rotate a full 360 degree there for an arm mount (image 2), pendulum mount (image 3) or ceiling mount bracket (image 1) is used for mounting the cameras.

Ceiling mounts- A ceiling mounting is great for any application that requires a PTZ camera but with a low profile. The better half of the camera goes into any surface and has a clip mechanism to secure it. Only the dome will be visible for a aesthetically appealing look.

Arm mount- Are designed to mount a vertical plane or post. Generally this camera serves as a deterrence as it protrudes from where its mounted

Pendant mount- are designed to hang  from a horizontal surface such as ceiling, post.

 In ceiling mount   Arm mount  Pendant mount
plasticdome2,jpg 700tvl-12x-indoor-outdoor-pan-tilt-zoom-security-camera-59056big pr59195img4sma

7. Wiring PTZ cameras 

(a) Wiring RS485 for Analog PTZ cameras

There are two ways you can successfully wire PTZ cameras 1. Daisy chain  2. Star or direct connection

 Daisy Chain connection

  Star or Direct connection

multiple ptz connection daisy chain multiple ptz connection

Note: Recommended cable CAT6e but CAT5e works fine as well. Use a single pair ex: solid blue and white/ blue, use the solid blue as the positive and the white/blue as the negative.

The main difference between daisy chaining or direct connection is on a daisy chain the cameras rely on each other. So if one fails the ones that follow the failed camera will not work. On a direct connection the cable is ran directly from each camera to the controller or DVR. I normally splice in a 2-3 ft. cable to make it easier to connect. If a camera fails none of the other cameras are affected and continue to operate as normal.


Security Camera Comparisons

Written By:
Friday, November 7th, 2014

Security cameras are becoming significantly more prevalent in our society every day. This increase is due in part to the technology behind them getting better and better all of the time. As these improvements take place, the cost is also coming down at about the same rate. Because of all of these improvements in security camera technology there are far more types and styles available to the consumer today then every before and this variety can easily confuse even a tech-savvy buyer. In this article we’re going to take a look at the assortment of designs and features that are offered with some of the surveillance cameras on the market today and provide you with some useful information that should help you make the decision of which camera will work best for you. It will serve as a useful guide on security camera comparisons

That first thing that you should consider when you’re buying a security camera is whether it will be mounted outside or indoors. All security cameras are designed to work inside a structure but only a portion of them are designed to work outside, in the elements. Indoor cameras are usually less expensive, weigh less and are made with lighter materials. Surveillance cameras that are designed to be mounted outside are usually made of a stronger material, such as metal or a thick plastic, and sealed in such a way that they will keep moisture and debris out of the delicate internal electronic components to varying degrees. There is a rating system, called the IP code, which will help you determine what level of protection that a camera provides and allow you to choose the camera that will work best in the environment of your installation. This rating system is too complicated to explain in detail here but it’s a good idea to make sure that you use a camera that has an IP66 rating for outside installations. This means that the camera’s housing will protect the more delicate parts of the camera from dust and jets of water.

There are variations in the way that security cameras are built, both functional and aesthetic, that are a consideration when deciding what type of camera will work best for you. There are basically four different styles of cameras: box, bullet, dome and PTZ. There are a few differences in these types of cameras in the manner in which they can be mounted and where they can be installed.

A box camera is usually a rectangular camera that needs to have a separate lens attached to it. These lenses are available in a wide variety of zoom levels and are usually larger than those in other types of cameras. These larger lenses allow more light to be processed by the camera, resulting in a higher quality image. If box cameras are installed in an outside environment, they will also need to be mounted inside a housing to help protect them from the elements. These cameras are highly noticeable and because of this, they are effective in the role of a criminal deterrent as well as providing high quality video footage. The lenses for these cameras can be built with a varifocal lens, which means that you can manually adjust the level of zoom to suit your needs.

Box Camera
Box Security Camera With Lens Attached

A bullet security camera is a surveillance camera that has an oblong or cylindrical shaped housing, which is fixed to the mounting surface by some sort of an arm. These cameras allow you to easily mount and adjust them to the desired field of view. Bullet cameras are often designed for indoor and outdoor installations, but it’s still a good idea to check the IP code rating if you’re planning to use them outside. Unlike box cameras, bullet cameras can be designed with infrared (IR) lights around the lens of the camera. This IR lighting is triggered with an internal light sensor, so that the camera will be switched to IR mode once the lighting levels drop below a certain point. Once the camera is in this mode it will be able to show video in complete darkness.

Bullet Security Camera
Bullet Security Camera

A dome camera has a bulbous shape to it and can be mounted on most flat surfaces. This design offers the highest level of vandal resistance, which means that these security cameras make it very hard for anyone to tamper with them after they’ve been mounted. This type of camera is also available with infrared lighting built in to it so that it doesn’t need a visual light source to be able to record video for you. Dome style cameras are available in models that are designed to be mounted indoors exclusively or models that can be mounted indoors or outside.

Dome Security Camera
Dome Security Camera

Another type of surveillance camera that is very popular these days is a called a Pan Tilt Zoom camera or PTZ. This type of camera allows you to get the camera to pan around horizontally, tilt up and down vertically, and zoom in and out. All of these abilities are controlled from the DVR or over the Internet depending on the type of DVR you have and how it’s configured. These cameras are available in indoor and outdoor versions with widely varying magnification levels that can include both mechanical and digital zoom functions. PTZ cameras offer you the ability to have a look around the area where it’s mounted while you’re away from it. Some of them even have an auto tracking feature which will let it follow movement automatically.

Pan Tilt Zoom Camera (PTZ)
Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Security Camera

All of these styles of security cameras are available in two different signal standards that have been around for years – Analog and IP. There is also a third signal standard that has arrived on the scene recently that is called HD-CVI.
Analog cameras have been around the longest of the three types and are still the most common. These cameras have BNC connectors for video, and they can use a few different types of cables to connect them directly to a DVR and some form of power supply. BNC connectors are circular with two small posts that lock the connection in place.

IP cameras have also been around for years now, but they are still newer than analog cameras. They are connected to a network through a standard network cable, either a CAT5 or CAT6 cable. These cameras are capable of megapixel resolution but can put a stain on a network’s resources unless the network is designed to handle significant bandwidth or a separate network is built for multiple cameras of this type.

HD-CVI cameras are the newest type of signal standard. These cameras are capable of delivering megapixel quality video footage and the video signal doesn’t go through a network. The cameras for this type of security camera system use BNC connectors and RG59 to transmit the signal to a DVR specifically designed to work with this type of camera. You can learn more about this amazing technology and the specifics of what HDCVI is here.


Introducing The Tribrid DVR (HD-CVI, IP, and CCTV all in one unit!)

Written By:
Friday, August 29th, 2014

Tribrid DVR - HDCVI IP and CCTV in one unit

This is the supreme standalone upgrade solution. If you’re looking to keep up with new technology then this Tribrid DVR is your answer. If you have installed previous analog systems and you have great cameras and beautiful cables and power supplies in place and you have upgraded all of your hard drives, replaced network routers and switches but you still have your old school analog DVR that is ready to retire. Well guess what? You can keep your good analog cameras, power supplies, hard drives and network hardware. All you need is the new Tribrid DVR using analog, HDCVI, and IP camera technology. You can now show off your new Tribrid to your friends, family and business associates by incorporating new HDCVI technology and IP megapixel cameras. If you’re looking to add more cameras or just want to replace exciting cameras with higher resolution units then the Tribrid will do the job. Setting up the unit is a breeze, I will illustrate some simple setups, new functions and configuration for the new TRIDVR-EL16.

Connecting HDCVI, Analog and IP cameras to the Tribrid

Connecting cameras to the TRIDVR-EL16 can get tricky but has 5 star tech support that will help you the whole way (for free), but if you’re one of those do it yourselfers, then here are some simple to follow set up instructions. First, logging in to the system is the same as all of our DVR, NVR, and Hybrid systems. The default user name is admin and the password is admin. After logging in you will encounter the wizard you can just exit out of. From the main menu go to Camera.

Tribrid DVR Menu1

In the image page you will see the channel selection (Drop down box). You can configure each COMPATIBLE cameras saturation, brightness, contrast and sharpness, just remember to save after every modification.

Next is the Encode page were you configure your Compression, Resolution, Frame Rate, Bit Rate, Audio and sub stream per COMPATIBLE camera.

Tribrid DVR Menu2

Next in line is the Cam Name. Here is where you name your camera channels. It is a brilliant idea adding a name to a channel/camera, you automatically know who, when and where the even occurred. Example front door, back door, bedroom or backyard on February 3 2014 at 7:30pm.

Tribrid DVR Menu 3

Now the very important part, the Channel Type page. Here is where it can get a little tricky. The Tribrid’s BNC inputs are defaulted using HDCVI cameras. The adjustment is simple just switch the channel you have the analog camera connected and enable the analog field.

Tribrid DVR Menu4

Tribrid DVR Menu5

When connecting and configuring an IP camera you have to start from the last channel of the Tribrid. For example if you have a 16 channel Tribrid DVR then you would start adding cameras from channel 16 and down, so the first IP camera you connect and configure will be channel 16. You would copy the same configuration as the HDCVI described previously and still be in the channel type page and then towards the bottom of the page there is an arrow selecting next page. Go to page 2 and select IP on channel 16 for your first IP camera, 15 would be the 2nd IP camera and so on. Remember if you have any question or concerns you can always contact TechPro Security Support Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm Eastern Sunny Florida time.

Tribrid DVR Hardware.

The motherboard is strong and smart and you can install up to eight 7200 RPM SV-35 3TB Hard Drives capturing proper resolution and long length recording with no hassle. On the back of the unit you have HDMI, BNC, VGA, Audio, RJ-45, Alarm, PTZ control, USB and e-sata inputs as well as other outputs.

Tribrid DVR Inside Hardware


DVR Tribrid System Connection

Tribrid DVR Remote view configuration.

Network configuration is the same as all of our Security Camera King recording units. TCP/IP must match your network, the TCP port should be defaulted at 37777 and the HTTP port should be changed to 88 (the TCP and HTTP ports has to be forwarded in the router to have external access).

Tribrid DVR Menu6


Tribrid DVR Menu7

Email alerts can be configured here under the same network sub-menu, utilizing motion or alarm detection to send push emails to your mobile device alerting you who or what has infiltrated your space.

Tribrid DVR Menu8

Tribrid DVR Motion detect recording or 24/7 recording.

The setup is the same as all of our other recording units, go to storage and configure the Schedule, HDD Management, advance and record as you would like normal. If you need more assistant on the setup please feel free to contact a Technician.

Tribrid DVR Menu9

Tribrid DVR Menu10

Tribrid DVR Menu11

Tribrid DVR Menu12

Coming soon – New P2P 2D bar code App scanner

When trying to connect to your security camera system it is difficult and it involves configuring sophisticated network settings so you can view your family and business via your Phone, Tablet or any computer in the world that has Internet access. This new and upcoming feature will make life much easy when configuring remote external access. REMEMBER Coming Soon!

Tribrid DVR Menu13

Tribrid DVR System Settings

The general page is where you need to configure your Device ID and number, language, Video Standard, HDD Full option, Pack duration, Real Time Play, Auto logout and mouse speed. You want to make sure you adjust your date and time to your timezone because if you need time and date stamp file for evidence it needs to be correct.

Tribrid DVR Menu14

The PTZ page is very important when installing an analog, CVI or IP PTZ, the configuration just needs to match the PTZ camera.

Tribrid DVR Menu15

The account page is where you give privileges to users. Assigning accounts are easy with the new interface, make sure not to delete your technician’s administrative password because when you need support, the fastest way in to fix the issue is logging in as an administrator (so don’t forget the admin password).

Tribrid DVR Menu15

In conclusion in my experience, this unit blows away any other upgrade. WHY? Because you get the best of three worlds. You can upgrade your whole system and have indoor/outdoor HDCVI cameras and Smart Auto Tracker IP cameras in your warehouse or retail store while still keeping your existing analog cameras you don’t want to discard. One small step for analog, a giant leap for HDCVI and IP technology.

Here is a short unboxing video of the Tribrid DVR (TRIDVR-EL16)


Digital Security Cameras

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Almost all the security cameras these days are digital security cameras.  Compared to their old analog equivalents, they are lighter, more efficient, use less electricity, and just about anyone can install them.

Digital security cameras are a small-package of technological wonders from the lens to the video transmission type it uses.  In addition, digital security cameras get to “piggy back” on the personal computer industry; that is many times a device is advanced technologically for a computer; the digital security camera industry can reap the benefit of the advance as well.

In the following article, we’ll give you a brief overview of how a digital security camera actually works.  This should give you a better working knowledge so if you are considering a purchase you can make a wise one.

The digital security camera starts with a highly refined lens.   The lens has the responsibility of gathering the light reflected off objects in its field of vision and transferring the light images (with great detail), and small enough to be focused on a 1/4 inch square sensor chip.  The sensor chip is sensitive to light and emits tiny electrical impulse when exposed to light.

One of two different kinds of sensor chip is used in digital security cameras.  The Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.   Although they go about it in different ways, the both produce the same end result; that is, electrical impulses that can be used to create a digital video image.

The digital security camera is actually nothing more than a very fast photographic camera.  It takes pictures at the rate of up to 30 pictures (called “frames) per second or denoted as 30 fps.  Playing back these pictures at the same speed they were taken gives the human brain the illusion that they are watching animation.  Actually, depending on many factors, rates as low as 15 fps can produce fluid animated video.

After each “picture” is taken that data is hurried along to an Integrated Circuit (IC) chip that is designed to correct for imbalances in many features of electronic video such as brightness, hue, color saturation, etc.  These specialized IC chips are called Digital Signal Processors or DSPs.  In addition up to this point the signals have actually been analog signals and it is here that they are converted into binary or digital form.

Once the cameras signals have been processed and digitized, they must be sent to the DVR for further action.  This is usually done via a video transmission cable, RG59 for example.

The DVR has many responsibilities including receiving the video transmission, saving it on a Hard Disk Drive or other non-volatile storage medium, and broad casting the signal to the Internet (if so desired) or a local monitor for live monitoring.

Don’t underestimate the power of the DVR and digital security cameras.  The DVR has a lot of simultaneous work that must be done.  Consider this; the digital security camera takes 30 pictures a second.  Let’s say for medium to high quality each picture taken ends up being about 1 MB in size.  Multiply that megabyte by 30 (the number taken in one second) now multiply that number by 60 (the number of seconds in a minute), and finally by 60, the number of minutes in one hour.   That means that an hour of security video imagery would be approximately 108,000 megabytes or 108 gigabytes!

To maintain quality but reduce the size of the video file, the DVR uses a CODEC utility which shrinks the size of the file but maintains as much quality as possible while doing this.   All of Security Camera King’s DVRs utilize the latest most efficient CODEC called H.264

So, as you can see there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes when using digital security cameras.  But even so, the versatility, price, application, functionality, and overall quality of the digital security camera is still much farther ahead that it’s older counterpart, the analog security camera.