Posts Tagged ‘ Closed Circuit Television’



Infrared CCTV Camera

Written By:
Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Infrared CCTV cameras are becoming one of the most popular types of security/surveillance cameras for residences and commercial applications alike.  Before purchasing an infrared CCTV camera it’s important that you are familiar with some of the terminology and functions associated with this specialized aspect of a CCTV security system.

Most Closed Circuit Television or CCTV cameras today are digital cameras.  Basically, they take pictures or video much the same way as a personal digital camera or camcorder.  These cameras operate by allowing light to penetrate through an iris or variable opening, a lens, and then strike a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

The iris is basically like the pupil of an eyeball; when there is too much light the iris makes the opening in the lens very small so as not to “flood” the CCD with light.  When there is very little or no light, such is the case for night vision security cameras, the iris is at its maximum opening to allow as much available light as possible to strike the CCD.

The chief purpose of the lens is to keep an image at a certain distance in focus.  Various lens sizes can be used to achieve focus ranges from just a few feet to several hundred.  If the lens is rated with an “F-Stop” the lower the number for night vision purposes is better because it means it does not absorb much of the light passing through it.

The key to an infrared CCTV camera is the CCD or CMOS.  CCDs and CMOSs work by converting light into electrons.  These electrons have a charge which can be monitored and used to produce a digital image.  Both sensors are inherently sensitive to infrared (IR) radiation.

There are basically two types of security cameras used as night vision security cameras.  It’s important to understand the difference between the two.  One type is also called a day/night camera and the other is an IR camera.

Day/night cameras produce color images when sufficient light is present.  These cameras have very sensitive CCD or CMOS chips that allow the camera to process light into an image at very low light intensity.  Light intensity is normally measured in units called LUX.  In full daylight (but not direct sunlight) an average LUX reading ranges from 10,000 to 25,000 LUX.  By contrast, a full moon on a clear night in non-tropical geographical locations produces about .27 LUX.  Many day/night cameras can produce clear images at less than 1 LUX.  In fact some day/night vision security cameras’ specifications indicate sensitivities as low as .0014 LUX or less.  However, day/night cameras must have at least some available light to produce an image.  They cannot produce an image in total darkness or 0 LUX.

Night vision security cameras that can produce images in 0 LUX or no-light conditions are infrared CCTV cameras.  These cameras can “see” infrared radiation in the 700 – 1400 nanometer wavelength range known as “near infrared.”  The human eye cannot see this wavelength of electromagnetic radiation so any “near infrared” light is virtually invisible to our eyes.

Infrared CCTV cameras using IR technology illuminate their target area with infrared light.  This light is provided by light emitting diodes or LEDs that are placed around the lens of the camera.  The stronger the LEDs and the greater number of LEDs placed around the camera lens determines the effective range and field of vision of IR cameras.  In essence, the LEDs are actually providing a spotlight on the target area but because the light is the near infrared type we (humans) cannot see it.

Infrared CCTV Cameras using IR technology produce a black and white or monochromatic image.  This radiation is outside the visible color spectrum therefore the images are not in color.  However, the clarity and contrast is just as sharp as normal color images.   Also, the range of the infrared night vision security camera is limited by the infrared light produced by the LEDs.  Most premium IR cameras have an effective operating range of up to about 150 feet.  It’s imperative to know the specification for IR range when purchasing an IR camera as a camera with a very short range would be useless for monitoring an area 100 feet from the camera.

Knowing a little about the two types of night vision security camera can help you make the right choice for your needs.

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Closed Circuit Security Camera

Written By:
Thursday, July 7th, 2011

The closed circuit security camera has been used for decades. But when the digital world began to affect the digital video security and surveillance world, it opened up numerous new features never available before that made this type of system versatile, powerful, and simple and easy to use.

In addition, digital cameras became lighter, circuitry came on very small Integrated Circuit Chips (IC chips), and all of these things contributed to driving prices down so that systems were much more affordable for individuals and not just big corporations or the incredibly wealthy.

Closed circuit security camera systems also known as Closed Circuit TeleVision or CCTV have evolved over the years and have come a long way technologically speaking. Older analog system cameras were pretty large and bulky, but today’s cameras are so small they can be hidden in the head of a Phillips screw!

Let take a look at the evolution of closed circuit security cameras and some of the features and options they offer today.

The original closed circuit security cameras were direct spin-offs from the television studio camera.   In the studio, the camera captured a video image, processed it somewhat, and passed it along to the editing room where any necessary changes could be made or added.  The signal was then sent through amplifiers that increased the signal’s power tremendously and sent it through a huge outdoor antenna.

Once the signal made it to the antenna it was “broadcasted” as far as the strength of the signal could go.  Anyone with a receiver, in this case a television, could “pick-up” these video transmissions and watch was being recorded.  Since the signal was just emitted in any direction and to any person wishing to view or hear it, the system was referred to as an open broadcast system (those of us that didn’t care to get too technical just called it “TV”).

CCTV or closed circuit security cameras worked on the same premise.  A video camera would capture a video image and then send it along a video transmission cable.  However, this is where the similarity ends because CCTV typically did not “broadcast” their video using an antenna.

Instead, cabling was used and was where the video image signal remained.   In order to see the video that was being captured an individual or video recorder would have to be connected to that cable.  Since all the components of the system were connected in one way or another, usually via the video transmission cable, this was referred to as a “closed circuit” hence the name “Closed Circuit TeleVision” or “CCTV” or specifically in the security industry, closed circuit security camera.

Granted, there are wireless cameras that have their own transmitter and antenna built right into the camera, but these cameras are on a special frequency and cannot be picked up with an ordinary TV.  So in essence, even though we still may broadcast security camera signals, these signals are only meant for the people that are designated to use the system.  Therefore we can “stretch” the meaning of the phrase “Closed Circuit Security Camera” to include even these cameras, since their transmitters and receivers still maintain a somewhat “closed circuit.”

In addition to wireless technology, here are just a few of the features available today with close circuit security camera:

  • - Night time Infrared technology.  The sensor chip in the camera is inherently sensitive to near infrared radiation as well as visible light.  These cameras can be used in conjunction with InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs.  The human eye cannot see the IR LED light source, but the camera can.
  • - Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras.  These cameras can move horizontally or vertically and also zoom in on objects.
  • - Hidden or disguised cameras.   We sell a product (our product# HC-SCREW-W) as small as a Phillips head screw that contains a camera.
  • - IP ready (Internet Protocol) cameras contain their own web server technology and can be accessed by almost any computer or smartphone connected to the internet.
  • - Cameras with two-way audio.
  • - Object tracking or following.   Some PTZ cameras have the technology built right in to the camera to track or follow objects or people.

These are just a few of the things available with closed circuit security cameras.   For a more detailed look, check out our online catalog at http://www.securitycameraking.com.   You’ll be glad you did, we’ll guarantee it.

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Zoom CCTV

Written By:
Thursday, June 30th, 2011

One of the most popular digital video security system features is the zoom CCTV or Closed Circuit TeleVision.  There are many different types of Zoom CCTV cameras designed for a multitude of uses; be sure when shopping for one that you get the features you need.

What is a “zoom CCTV” anyway?   It’s a digital video security camera used in CCTV that can vary its lenses focal length enough to enlarge objects farther away from the camera and make them appear closer (enlarged) and with more detail.  These lenses are often referred to as varifocal.

Most box cameras that do not have built in lenses so they have the advantage of using Zoom CCTV lenses only.  These can be manual lenses where they are basically positioned through trial and error by hand or they can be remotely controlled as well.

There are also some cameras that do have on-board lenses that zoom only and these are often found among the bullet type and dome type cameras.  When we say “Zoom” only, we are referring to just the zoom function, as compared to a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera which has additional features including the ability to move horizontally or vertically.

Security Camera King has a wide selection of digital video cameras including cameras that can zoom.  Examples of varifocal lens “zoomable” bullet cameras that they offer include:

Security Camera King also has plenty of dome cameras with zoom capability.  General these lenses are “fixed” to the camera and cannot be changed.  This type of lens is often called a “board lens.”  They may also offer digital zoom as well.  Here’s a partial list of their Indoor Dome Cameras:

Security Camera King has plenty of outdoor zoom CCTV cameras also.  Once again, here is a partial list of their “Vandal Resistant” dome cameras that have zoom capability:

We’ll save listing the PTZ cameras when we write about them but of course, if it says it’s a PTZ camera, than it must have a zoom lens.

If you have any additional questions about zoom cameras and whether your situation calls for one or not, please contact one of security experts.   You may contact them via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878.

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Remote CCTV System

Written By:
Friday, May 6th, 2011

There was a time in the not-so-distant pass where a remote CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision) system would be unheard of.  Today, thanks to the leaps and bounds of electronic technology, all of Security Camera King’s featured packaged systems include remote control of the system as a standard feature.

Security Camera King offers several different complete system packages and very competitive prices.  These systems are based on the number of cameras and the type of Digital Video Recorder or DVR.  We offer 4, 8, 16, and 32 channel systems that should appropriately fit just about any application.

In addition, we offer 4 different DVRs.  Each DVR has slightly different features (usually on the plus side) that make them suitable for your specific situation.  We offer the Elite Mini Economy, the Elite Mini HD, the Elite Series, and the Ultimate Series DVR systems.  Each one of these systems can be a remote CCTV system.

Before we go any further, let’s create a definition for remote CCTV systems so we know just exactly what we are talking about.  Each one of the DVR systems previously mentioned above come with an InfraRed or IR remote control that can be used to operate the DVR.  By strict definition of remote, each one of these systems qualify as a remote CCTV system.  However, this is not what we are talking about, in this article at least, when we say remote CCTV system.

Our definition of a remote CCTV system is one that can be easily controlled by an individual who is no where near the system.  Here is a good example:

You’re vacationing in Rome and are standing in line waiting to enter the Sistine Chapel, when you suddenly get the feeling you should check back with home because of the escalated rates of vandalism that have been occurring in your neighborhood lately.

So you get out your iPhone and start the application for your digital video system and while you’re standing in line you view each one of your cameras.  In addition, one is a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera that covers your entire driveway.  You can control this camera right where you are to get a good view of your entire home and drive way after manipulating the PTZ by just using your iPhone.  You find that everything looks ok, and you have a better peace of mind feeling, just before you are ushered into the chapel to view the beautiful art work.

To some, this may sound a little like science fiction but it’s not.  Furthermore, it’s very easy to achieve with this remote CCTV system.  No matter where you are located, as long as you can connect to broadband internet through your 3G or 4G telephone you’ll always have remote control access.

In fact, you don’t have to have a smartphone to operate your CCTV system remotely.  You can even use a personal computer or Mac with a Web browser to access your system remotely and it only takes a couple of minutes to set up the system to do so.

How is this possible?  First, all of our DVRs run on an embedded Linux operating system.  This also includes the technology for an embedded Web server.  Just connect the DVR to a broadband internet perform a little set up work and you’re ready to “Go Remote.”  For those that are techno-savvy, our DVRs also have Dynamic DNS support, another indication of the versatility of these systems.  Since it is not necessary to have a Static DNS this saves you money (normally, Internet Service Providers can provide you with a Static DNS but will do so for an additional monthly fee).

Another function of our DVRs that contribute to the remote CCTV system is email capability.  Instead of checking your system all the time when you are on the road, you can have your system send you an email based on your own criteria.  You can then use your smartphone to access y our system and “see what’s up.”

As you can see, remote CCTV systems are no longer science fiction and are a very dynamic feature for your digital video security and surveillance system.

If you have any additional questions about remote CCTV systems, please feel free to contact one of our security experts.  They can be reached on-line through the “Live Chat” feature or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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CCTV Camera Systems

Written By:
Thursday, March 17th, 2011

These days there are more Closed Circuit TeleVision or CCTV camera systems than applications for their uses.  If you are interested in such a system, it will serve you well to do some research before venturing out to make your fist purchase.  At Security Camera King, we encourage you to shop around, because we know that we offer the highest quality systems and the best possible prices.  After you’ve looked at other offers, we’re sure you’ll come back to us to make your final purchase.

You may be asking what is meant by the term “CCTV Camera System.”  A CCTV camera system is simply a digital video camera system that normally includes a Digital Video Recorder and a display monitor.  Today’s systems are entirely digital and the systems are component systems, meaning that when putting together your system, you can choose different pieces of the system that have different functions to tailor fit the system to your needs.

First a little history.  Closed Circuit Television or CCTV got its name way back in the days of analog transmissions.  A typical video security system was referred to as a Closed Circuit system because the cameras did not broadcast their signals to the open public.  These cameras were basically smaller versions of the cameras used in television studios.  However, television studio broadcasts were amplified and distributed to the open public (i.e. anyone that had a receiver or television).

CCTV on the other hand, consisted of a circuit of one or more cameras, each connected to a video recorder by means of a video transmission cable.  Analog CCTV camera systems recorded their video on magnetic tape, usually VHS or Beta format.   The used tape had to be ejected and a new one put in place every few hours or a “loop” tape was used.  When a loop tape reached the end of the tape, it simply continued over again on the beginning of the tape, re-recording over the original.

Today, CCTV camera systems are digital.  Instead of sending their video transmissions in analog type signals, they are sent in binary or digital form, usually in the form of bits or bytes, the same sort of digital segments used by personal computers.  The camera data is compiled into a digital video file which can either be stored on a hard drive disk or other storage media and/or viewed on a digital monitor.

Since the data is digital, many of the individual electronic components of a modern CCTV camera system are the same things used in personal computing.  For example, the computer Hard Disk Drive or HDD is the major constituent of the DVR storage.  A computer processor, much like the Central Processing Unit or CPU of a personal computer compiles the digital video files, controls and coordinates camera activity as well as playback and other DVR functions.

Since the original video security systems were analog and were called CCTV camera systems, there may be some confusion or crossover that exists today when describing digital video systems.  For example, analog CCTV cameras displayed their video on older CRT (cathode ray tube) type television monitors.  The CRT monitor displays a picture by rapidly projecting horizontal lines across the screen; the more horizontal lines per fixed vertical area, the greater the detail or resolution of the video.

Digital video is not displayed in horizontal lines, but as a series of horizontal and vertical dots called pixels.  These pixels may be circular or square in shape.  Generally speaking, the more pixels in a video for a fixed area, the greater the detail of the video because the dots are much smaller.  This allows for finer detail in the image.

So where’s the confusion?  Today you may still see CCTV camera systems that describe their clarity or detail or resolution of the camera in terms of Televsion Lines or TVL.  Yet other cameras may describe their resolution in terms of pixels.  For more information on determining the equivalencies of resolution for these systems see the articles in our knowledge base.

Since most of our monitors that are manufactured today are no longer CRT type but are more commonly LCD (liquid Crystal Display) or LED (Light Emitting Diode), it would see logical that over time, the TVL descriptor will eventually lose out to the more familiar digital “pixel” resolution (for example 720 X 340 pixels), but for the time being, it is well enough that you are aware that the difference exists.

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