Posts Tagged ‘ cctv videos and security camera how to tutorials ’

Amendment 64: Colorado’s Recreational Marijuana Law and the Security Cameras Required

Written By:
Thursday, November 13th, 2014


Our company,, has been doing a considerable amount of business with Washington State’s I-502 applicants, and it has been a very beneficial relationship for both parties. Once these customers send us a floor plan diagram for the location they are trying to get licensed, we offer a recommended surveillance camera layout and then build them two quotes based on that suggested layout. This way we can make sure that the applicant gets the required video coverage and let them choose which type of system works best for them.

The two quotes that we offer as part of this service are for two different types of security camera systems which will meet the legal requirements in Colorado and Washington State. Each of these systems has its own strengths and a fairly equal number of them have been sold to several participants in this industry who have passed their final inspection and are now licensed.

– The first type of compliant system works with analog cameras. It’s the closed circuit TV technology that has been around for decades. Over the years this technology has been improved to the extent that it has pretty much reached the limit of the quality it can provide. This type of system meets the legal requirement because our analog DVRs are accessible through the internet and you can see the live feeds and recorded footage from each of the cameras. This is the least expensive type of surveillance camera system available today.

– The second type of security camera system which will meet the legal requirements uses IP cameras. This type of system offers megapixel quality video. Depending on the type of camera used with this technology, it can easily provide the highest resolution available in the security camera industry. Although this type of system costs a bit more, the reason is readily apparent when you see the difference in video quality.

We are proud to say that every one of our customers that have implemented our suggested camera layouts have successfully passed their final inspection and qualified for their license to grow, process or sell marijuana. The people involved in this burgeoning industry are spending a substantial amount of money in order to get their business off the ground and we take our part in helping them through this process very seriously.

When Colorado first legalized recreational cannabis our service wasn’t in as high demand because it had an established medical marijuana industry in place previously and the businesses involved already had the required video surveillance. However as this industry continues to grow, new applicants need to address this requirement for getting licensed and that’s where we come in to the picture in an expanded role.

We have been helping our I-502 customers to better understand the portions of the law which pertain to video surveillance, to the extent that we have even been working directly with the Washington State Liquor Control Board in order to help clarify the law. We have also done extensive research on Colorado’s Amendment 64 in order to be certain that we’re also able to help the applicants there qualify for their license and remain compliant in order to keep it.


Many of our customers in this industry come to us with the mindset that they are just getting a security camera system because they are forced to by the law. A smaller portion of these customers understand how a CCTV system can help with the security of their property and product. There is a less obvious potential application for a surveillance system in this type of situation – it can actually be valuable in helping to produce a high quality product consistently.

Once a customer has one of our DVRs or NVRs connected to that same router where they have a computer connected, then they can call our tech support team for help with the networking. The tech will be able to remotely log into the customer’s computer in order to get everything set up. After that process is completed the customer will be shown how they can remotely access their camera system from any computer in the world, iPhone or Android smart phones and/or a tablet based on the Android or Apple operating systems from anywhere in the world. Our tech support team is proficient at helping to get this set up and have done so for any customers that want to make use of this feature, regardless of the customer’s networking knowledge. The obvious application of this feature is to be able check on the security at the installation location. This is one of the features that can also help to grow a better product.


If megapixel cameras are installed at a grow location then the high resolution video will allow you to be able monitor the development of the plants during all of the growth cycles and under different circumstances. You’ll be able to notice changes in the plants which aren’t readily apparent when you have daily contact with them, by reviewing daily segments of recorded video over an extended period of time. In this way you can further monitor and evaluate how the plants react when you try different soils or soil substances, water levels, nutrient systems, PH levels, lighting cycles, growing temperatures, clipping frequency, and clipping style in order to optimize quality and production.

Example of a plant with the pH level is too low or high

Many of the serious problems that marijuana plants can experience will leave visible signs. By remotely viewing your cameras from your preferred device every once in a while you’ll be able to monitor your plants for some of the more severe problems that they can face and be able to potentially correct the issue quickly enough to minimize damage to the crops. With a high resolution camera you’ll be able to monitor your crop for signs of being stressed (possibly triggering a sex change), nutrient deficiency, fungus gnats, spider mites, whiteflies, white powdery mildew, white powdery mold, and/or aphids without even being in the same state or country. Below are some images of the early signs that your crops are about to face some serious problems. These are just a few of the problems that have visible warning signs.

Example of a plant growing male pollen sacs

Example of calcium deficiency

Example of fungus gnat

Example of spider mite infestation

Example of whitefly infestation

Example of white powdery mildew

Example of white powdery mold

Example of an aphid infestation

The ability to detect and avoid these potentially catastrophic problems early can be a key part of making sure that your business stays profitable. If you need to be away from the growing facility for a family emergency or you just need a vacation, being able to remotely monitor the crops means that you can have peace of mind even though you are unable to be hands on with your plants.


CCTV 101

Written By:
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
CCTV 101

As I learn more about CCTV Cameras, DVR’s and NVR’s, I find that understanding the terminology referring to resolutions and how they apply to viewing, recording and streaming is a bit complicated for some people.

For the purpose of this article I will try to keep things fairly simple. Although most of this information applies to CCTV cameras, DVR’s and NVR’s in general, I will be referring to TechPro Security Products capabilities and specifications specifically.

First, I think it is important to understand that acronym’s such as CIF, D1, 960H and 2 Megapixel all correlate to a resolution. Below are some examples:

CIF 352px x 240px
4CIF or D1 704px x 480px
960H 928px x 480px
1 Megapixel or 720P 1280px x 720px
2 Megapixel or 1080P 1920px x 1080px
3 Megapixel 2048px x 1536px

Analog vs. Digital Data Transmission
Analog CCTV

Ok now let’s talk about analog CCTV cameras and DVR’s. First understand that in some cases the camera itself can capture a much higher resolution image then is being sent to the DVR. This is mostly due to the limitations on the amount of data that can be sent across long distances of analog cable and the DVR itself, although advancements have been made in regards to our HD SDI cameras and DVR’s that will allow 1 and 2 megapixel resolutions to be used in conjunction with analog cables.

That being said our most popular DVR’s will record and play back stored video at D1-30fps or a resolution of 704 x 480 at 30 frames per second. It is worth mentioning that the lower the frames per second, the choppier or more jumpy the video will look on playback. 30 frames per second will result in a very smooth video but will utilize more hard drive space.

The combination of the recorded resolution and frames per second determine how much hard drive space will be needed. For example, if you recorded 1 camera at D1 30 frames per second, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week you would need approximately 90 gigabytes of disk space. If you drop the frame rate to 7 frames a second you only need about 20 gigabytes of space.

Keep in mind, other factors play a part in how much disc space will be needed, such as number of cameras, video quality, the video compression that is used and so on. You can use our CCTV Hard Drive Calculator and try different combinations to achieve a better video quality and maximize your disc usage.

Ok so you might be asking yourself why would anyone want to record CIF 352px x 240px? Well you probably wouldn’t but our DVR’s have a 2nd video stream that is used for remote viewing, so you can view your security cameras from any remote location where you have an internet connection and a computer, iPhone, Android Phone, iPad or Android tablet. Delivering that video to you in the lower CIF resolution ensures a faster, smoother playback.

Please have a look at the image below to give you an idea of the different sizes of each resolution as compared to a standard 16:9 Monitor.

Analog CCTV resolution examples

Network IP Cameras and NVR’s Digital CCTV

You will notice in the image above that some resolutions are labeled as Analog and some Digital. Remember when I referred to the limitations of video transfer over analog cables? IN most cases the 1MP, 2MP and 3MP resolutions are far too large to transfer over analog cable but with the newer CCTV technology they can be transferred digitally via CAT5 or CAT6 cable.

In that case you would use an NVR (Network Video Recorder) vs. a DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

HOW ironic you can’t use a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) when the video signal is being transferred digitally.

Using our Network IP cameras with one of our NVR’s gives you that ability to record and playback very high quality video. In contrast to a traditional DVR were all of your video cables for each camera plug directly into the back of the DVR and are powered by a separate power cable, Network IP cameras use CAT 5 or CAT6 cables that all run to a switch and that switch is the only thing plugged into the NVR. If you are using a POE Switch (Power Over Ethernet) you can also power the cameras with the same cable.

One thing to keep in mind when going with Network IP cameras and an NVR is that each camera and the NVR itself are all seen as a device on your network and may impact your network and internet speeds.

Hybrid DVR/NVR Systems Let’s say you have an existing analog system but would like to start adding some Network IP Cameras. No problem, that’s where the TechPro Security Products Hybrid DVR/NVR’s come in to play. Our Hybrids give you the best of both worlds. Our 16 Channel Hybrids for example will allow you to connect 16 analog cameras and up to 16 Network IP cameras for a total of 32 channels.

Common CCTV Acronyms

Lastly, here are some of the most common CCTV acronyms and basic meanings.

  • CCTV – Closed Circuit Television
  • DVR – Digital Video Recorder
  • NVR – Network Video Recorder
  • Analog – This refers to the cameras that transmit the video signal across traditional analog cables.
  • Digital – A system that uses CAT5 or CAT6 cable to transmit the video signal digitally. In most cases a much higher resolution than analog.
  • TVL – Basically, CCTV camera image quality is measured in TV Lines (TVL). The higher the TVL the better the image quality.
  • Varifocal – This refers to a camera that has a lens that can be adjusted manually at the camera to a wide field of view to cover a large area or zoomed in to a specific area. If a camera is not varifocal it is referred to as a fixed lens.
  • IR Distance – CCTV cameras use inferred light to assist in viewing in darkness. The IR Distance is the approximate distance the camera IR’s will illuminate in darkness. These distances will vary depending on the surrounding environment.
  • OSD – On Screen Display. Some cameras have built in options can be adjusted to enhance image quality. OSD enables to adjust these settings via an on screen menu
  • PTZ – Pan, Tilt, Zoom – PTZ cameras have the ability to be remotely controlled. You can rotate (PAN) from side to side, look up and down (TILT) or zoom in and out (ZOOM).
  • POE – Power Over Ethernet. This refers to CCTV cameras that can be powered via CAT5 or CAT6 ethernet cables.

Common Types of CCTV Cameras

types of security cameras
  • Indoor Dome – A dome style camera that is used indoors, under controlled conditions where weather is not an issue.
  • Vandal Dome – A dome style camera that is used indoors or outdoors and is resistant to vandalism.
  • Bullet Cameras – A longer cylindrical shaped body attached to an armature that can be easily mounted to accommodate a variety of situations.
  • Box Camera – A larger box shaped camera normally used in harsh weather conditions. Many box cameras have a removable lens that can be changed and optional temperature controlled housings.
  • PTZ – A camera that can be remotely panned, titled, and zoomed. Many PTZ cameras can be set to follow a pattern of movement or detect and follow motion.
  • Network IP Cameras – High resolution cameras that transmit a digital video signal across CAT5 or CAT6 cable.
  • HD SDI Cameras – High resolution cameras that transmit a video signal across traditional analog cables to a HD SDI DVR.
  • License Plate Cameras – A long range, weather proof camera made to zoom in on a specific area and capture images at a high speed.