Posts Tagged ‘ camera system ’

Night Infrared Camera System

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

A night infrared camera system can help you see what others can’t.  Not only can it help you to see, but those being watched cannot detect the “light” that is used to “illuminate” the scene that they are in.  What’s more is that an infrared camera system can give you the high resolution quality of daytime video recording and also the high resolution of nighttime video recording, without requiring much of a greater cost.  To find out more about this type of system, read on.

There are three components to a typical digital video security and surveillance system; the camera(s), the Digital Video Recorder (DVR), and the monitor(s).  It is neither the DVR nor the monitor that makes night infrared camera systems possible, it’s the camera.  So let’s discuss a little about how a typical digital video camera works, including those that are night infrared cameras.

First, the camera works by using reflective light and transferring it into electrical energy that can be used to create an electronic video image.  The light in the camera’s field of vision penetrates the camera’s lenses.   The lenses function is to focus the entire field of vision onto a 1/4 to 1/2 inch size square sensor.

There are two different types of sensors used in night infrared camera systems.  Although they both change the light image into measurable electrical impulses, each goes about doing so in a slightly different manner.  Nonetheless, the end product of the either sensor is an electrical impulse that can be used to “reconstruct” the image.  The sensors that are used for this purpose are either the Charged Coupled Device or CCD or the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

Both the CCD and CMOS send their minute impulses to a couple of on-board Integrated Circuit (IC) chips.  One called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP is constructed specifically for the purpose of managing the camera’s output and making sure that the video image created is of the best quality possible.  The other IC chip is called an analog-to-digital converter which takes the sensor’s electrical information which until now has been in analog form and converts it into a digital or binary format.

One advantageous characteristic of both the CCD and the CMOS sensors is that while these sensors can “detect” visible light and create a small electrical impulse out of it, they can also “detect” invisible light, specifically infrared light in the near infrared spectrum that is invisible to the human eye, and create a small electrical impulse from it as well.  In fact, these sensors can detect near infrared light inherently and really require no other assistance to help detect it.

However, depending on the construction of the sensor and the type of camera, they may need some additional light provided in order to make the infrared signature “bright enough” at a longer distance in order to create a highly detailed video image.  This additional light is near infrared light provided by infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs.  Most night infrared camera system cameras have an array of these LEDs position in a circle right around the lens.  This ensures that the LED light will be directed in the same field of vision that the camera’s lens is.

Each night time infrared camera has a rating of the distance at which it can produce an infrared image.  The distance is usually limited to the number and type of LEDs used, so when purchasing a night infrared camera system, be certain to check the range of the camera to make sure it meets your requirements.

If the camera doesn’t have the range you need you can always try using an Infrared Illuminator.  Infrared Illuminators are basically nothing more than a group of infrared LEDs.  However, most illuminators emit strong invisible infrared “light” up to 300 feet or more, drastically extending the range of your camera.

One last note about night infrared camera systems; since these systems are working in infrared mode their video image will be displayed as monochromatic or black and white.  Only the visible light spectrum can display color and that is why the infrared mode is not in color.

If you have any additional questions about a night infrared camera system, please contact one of our security experts either by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878.


Video Security Camera Systems

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Nothing can provide better protection than video security camera systems.  Today’s systems can be “tailor built” to suit every individual need and with Internet availability you can have absolute control almost anywhere you go.  Security Camera King features several different video security camera systems in our on-line catalog of security equipment.

In the not to distant past, video security camera systems were tools that only a commercial or industrial business or a very wealthy household could afford.  That is no longer true, thanks to incredibly reduced prices, mostly attributed to the “digital revolution.”  As computer and electronic technology advances, components become smaller, more powerful, and less costly.  This holds true for the digital video security system industry as well.

In fact, not only have video security camera systems become smaller, more powerful, and less costly, but the components themselves are becoming like self contained mini-units which makes installation incredibly easy.  For most systems all that is needed is to mount the cameras and power supply, run the cables, and set up the Digital Video Recorder or DVR.  It has become so easy that you can install most complete systems as a do-it-yourself project in one weekend or less.

A standard video security camera system today consists of digital video cameras and a DVR.  Of course, many users prefer to use a full-time monitor to display the cameras’ images, but it is only truly necessary to set up the system.  After that, the monitor can be removed and the system can continue to operate with the settings you have chosen.

The operation of video security camera systems is pretty straight forward too.  The camera’s main function is to capture video (and audio if so equipped) and send it to the DVR.  The DVR stores the video and makes it available for viewing.  The monitor provides the means of output for the system; it displays the cameras’ captured video.

Are video security systems really that simple?  Well yes and no, but thanks to digital technology, the units can be constructed in such a way that the user doesn’t really need to concern himself or herself with the actual mechanism of function; they just need to make sure everything is placed (mounted) in the proper locations to make the system work.  The following is a closer look at how the video security camera system works.

We’ll begin with the digital video camera.  Inside each digital video camera is a sensor that can change light energy into measurable impulses of electricity.  There are two different sensors that function in two entirely different ways, yet produce the same end result, electronic video data.  The sensors are called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

After the sensor converts the light energy into electrical energy, that energy is sent through a series of on-board Integrated Circuit (IC) chips that interpret the electrical impulses.  These may include Digital Signal Processors or DSPs and analog-to-digital converter processors.  Once the data is prepared and digitized it is ready to leave the camera and travel to the DVR.

The DVR receives the digital video from the camera but it is in “raw” form, meaning it has not received fine tuning adjustments or the proper compilation of the data to create a digital video file.   The DVR has its own DSP and central processor that immediately begin to work on the data sent by the cameras.

The cameras’ data is analyzed and any fine tuning adjustments are made by the DVR.  Next, the DVR employs a COmpression/DECompression (CODEC) utility that has one specific purpose; the CODEC reduces the video image file to a fraction of the original size while maintaining a minimal loss of quality.

There are many different types of CODECs.  As technology improves, a newer CODEC is eventually produced, “out shrinking” digital video files as compared to the previous CODEC.  Security Camera King’s video security camera systems all use the latest and most efficient CODEC called “H.264.”  It provides maximum file reduction while maintaining video quality as much as possible.

After compressing the data the DVR creates a digital video file and saves it on its hard disk drive.  In addition, the DVR makes the file immediately available for viewing on a monitor.

If you are interested in purchasing a video security camera system, check out our on-line catalog or contact us by “Live Chat” or telephone and speak to one of our security experts today.


Security Lights with Camera

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Talk about “getting caught in the act,” that’s exactly what security lights with camera will do. Using a security lights with camera device will not only illuminate the subject with a flood of high wattage bright white light, but it will take still pictures or video images of them too.

It’s a proven fact that the incidence of crime is decreased in areas that are well lit by bright security lights. Obviously, criminals and trespassers are less likely to frequent areas that are strongly lit because of a higher probability of being caught and ultimately being prosecuted. In addition, both the London, England and New York City police departments have also proven that the mere presence of video cameras reduces the incidence of crime. So why not combine these two into one with a security lights with camera system that offers the power and protection of both?

Generally, a security lights with camera system is a self contained unit. However, using motion detectors, digital video camera illuminators, and digital video cameras, it is conceivable that a custom made security lights with camera system can also be constructed. However, for this article we will limit our discussion to the more common self-contained units.

The self contained security lights with camera system is usually one unit that consists of three major components: 1) A high wattage extra bright floodlight; 2) A motion detector relay; and, 3) A digital video camera and mini Digital Video Recorder or DVR. The unit can be mounted just about anywhere that a regular house current AC power line can be connected to it. The specific locations for mounting the unit are virtually endless. Here’s a partial list of suggested uses or places to mount the unit:
• Front and back of residences near possible points of entry;
• Boat slips and docks;
• Entrances to storage facilities;
• Inside storage facilities that are normally not lit at night;
• Back entrances to stores and other business locations;
• Entrances to barns and/or equipment sheds;
• Property that is posted with “No Trespassing” signs; and
• Machinery and other valuables kept outside.

A typical security lights with camera unit will contain a high-wattage motion activated halogen lamp. Most units use halogen elements rate at about 500 watts. Mounted somewhere on the unit (usually directly below the lamp) is a built-in digital video security camera. Both the lamp and the camera are activated by an on-board motion detector so that when motion is detected, a relay activates the camera and turns on the security light at the same time.

The motion detector used in these units is usually a PIR or Passive InfraRed motion detector. The PIR works by scanning the field of view of the camera and security light. It detects the inherent infrared radiation being emitted in this field of view. When a sudden change in the infrared radiation signature occurs, it interprets this to be an object in motion (such as a human walking past it). The PIR sensor is connected to a relay that is then switched to the “On” position activating both the security light and digital video camera at the same time.

The camera immediately begins taking pictures or digital video footage. Since digital video is actually several digital photographs taken at a high rate of speed in succession, the security lights with camera unit allows you to set it in advance to take either digital still photographs or digital video. The digital photographs or video are saved by the on-board DVR.

The mini on-board DVR usually consists of some sort of built in memory that can be expanded by adding additional memory devices to it (such as a thumb drive, an SD card, etc.) To access the digital photographs or videos, simply remove the portable digital memory media and plug it into your computer.

The entire one piece unit is normally rated as an outdoor device meaning that it can protect the components from weather and other elements (like dust). Installation usually consists of:
1) Mounting the unit and adjusting the aim;
2) Connecting it to a typical residential type AC power line;
3) Inserting the portable memory media; and,
4) Setting the camera and light for duration of the “On” state and the type of digital picture format.

That’s all there is to it. So if you are looking for maximum security at a safe distance with relatively low price, you should consider purchasing a security lights with camera system today.


Wireless PC Compatible Security Camera

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Nothing can offer you the peace of mind in security and the power and flexibility of application and use like a wireless PC compatible security camera. Thanks to modern electronic technology advancements and the growth of internet applications, a wireless PC compatible security camera is also reasonably priced to be affordable for just about any budget.

What exactly is a wireless PC compatible security camera and how does it work? We’ll attempt to answer these questions in the following article in order to give you a better understanding of the device and help you to decide if it is right for your security and monitoring application.

Before we talk about a wireless PC compatible security camera, let’s describe a basic standalone system first. A standard digital video security camera system usually consists of one or more digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor. The digital video cameras are connected to the DVR by a video transmission cable, usually RG-59 coaxial cable. A cable must be run from each camera to the DVR unit.

The camera(s) captures light images and converts them into electronic video images. It also converts the data created for this into digital or binary form using an on-board analog-to-digital processing chip. The digital data is sent to the DVR where a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, a highly specialized computer processor dedicated to making videos, uses the data to create a digital video file. The digital video file can be viewed in real-time (live) and/or saved on the DVR’s hard disk drive for later viewing, copying, etc.

A wireless PC compatible security camera captures the image and creates the digital video image in the same manner. However, it differs by transmitting the initial digital data from the camera wirelessly and by storing the data on a PC’s hard disk drive. Basically it eliminates the use of a standalone DVR and processor unit as well as a separate monitor. This has advantages and disadvantages that we will discuss later.

Most wireless PC compatible security cameras are their own little system. The camera captures the image, transfers it into digital form, creates a type of digital video file and then sends it via an on-board transmitter to a corresponding wireless internet connection such as a wireless router or wireless modem. The camera unit usually has its own IP address that identifies it on the Internet.

Using a common Internet browser, the user can access the secure camera with a username and password, and monitor as well as control some functions remotely from any personal computer, Mac computer, Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and even 3G and 4G smartphones. Some cameras have the ability to move horizontally and/or vertically to increase the range of the camera’s field of vision and may be able to enlarge objects in the field of vision. These cameras called Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras can be controlled remotely from a computer Internet browser as well.

These cameras normally use MPEG4 or MJPEG video compression to reduce the size of the digital video file to make it easier to send via the internet. Generally, you need not be an IT professional to install and operate these cameras. All you need to do for most wireless PC compatible security cameras is mount the camera and install some software from a CD onto your computer or download an application (app) to your smart phone and your ready to go.

These systems use the PC to replace the standalone DVR unit and monitor. If the user wants to record the video files for archiving or later viewing they can normally save them on their computer’s hard drive. If they choose to view them live, they can watch them on the computer’s monitor using most common internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.

As mentioned earlier, there are advantages and disadvantages to using wireless PC compatible security camera systems instead of standalone systems. Probably the greatest single advantage is lower cost due to the fact that a standalone DVR or monitor is not required as an existing personal computer can be used instead. Also, since the Internet is the medium for distributing the final video file, the cameras can be remotely accessed from anywhere in the world there is broadband internet access.

There are disadvantages. The system could be prone to computer viruses, Internet bog downs, and using so much of your personal computer’s resources that it effects the computer’s performance for doing other tasks.


Outdoor Exterior Security Camera Software

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

In this article we are going to talk about outdoor exterior security camera software. We’ll talk a little about what it is and how it works and what type of outdoor security camera equipment you can use with it.

So exactly what is outdoor exterior security camera software? There are basically two types of software. The first type is software that is used on a standalone digital video security camera system and the second type is software that is used with outdoor exterior security cameras and your personal computer. Although the name “outdoor exterior security camera software” refers to a computer based program, both types serve different roles in a digital video security camera system.

The first type of outdoor exterior security camera software that we refer to is used with a standalone digital video security camera system. These systems normally consist of one to several cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a monitor. The outdoor exterior cameras capture the video image and send it in digital form to the DVR unit that includes the DSP. The DSP interprets the digital data and uses a special program utility, called a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC to create a digital video file. The digital video file is stored on the DVR and can be viewed on the monitor in real-time (live) or at a later time.

The outdoor exterior security camera software in this case is used on the DVR with the DSP to coordinate each component in the standalone system and provide any additional camera, DVR, or monitor functions. For example, outdoor exterior security camera systems are often used in commercial settings such as providing security in store parking lots. In this example the software coordinates the functions of the cameras with the DVR and DSP, may provide the programming necessary for the CODEC that is used, and directs the DVR to store the digital video file that is created.

In addition, this particular outdoor exterior security camera software may also include special functions that either operate or control the camera, DVR, and monitor. A specific example of this type of software is often used in the store parking lots already mentioned. In this setting, it may be advantageous for the user to follow or “track” a person or vehicle. Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras used with DVRs that have software with this capability can detect motion. Once the motion is detected (by the software programming) the camera is controlled by the software to Pan, Tilt, or Zoom in order to provide the best possible video of the object as it moves in the field of vision of the camera. Usually, this software is provided by the manufacturer of the DVR at the time of purchase of the unit.

The second type of outdoor exterior security camera software that we mentioned earlier is used with cameras and a personal computer. Although this software may be able to perform the same functions as the standalone security system, it has an additional responsibility of coordinating the digital video cameras with the computer. In these systems the personal computer takes the place of the DVR and DSP as well as the monitor.

These systems are advantageous because they enable the use of an existing personal computer with the digital security cameras. The computer is connected to the cameras via a PCI type computer card that serves as the bridge between the two. Ultimately, for just the cost of the digital video cameras and outdoor exterior security camera software and PCI card, an entire digital video security system can be constructed without the need to purchase a DVR and monitor.

Since computer and electronic technology is rapidly advancing, there may be a third type of outdoor exterior security camera software to consider as well. Although this system uses components that are not specifically designed as digital video security equipment, it may make an economical suitable substitution in some instances. This third type of software allows the use of a webcam or other similar device to be used as a security camera.

This should give you with some good introductory working knowledge about outdoor exterior security camera software. There are as many different brands of software as there are manufacturers of equipment; too many in fact to mention in this article. However, if you have any additional questions about outdoor exterior security camera software, contact one of Security Camera King’s security specialists today.