Posts Tagged ‘ CODEC’



Digital Surveillance Software

Written By:
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The term “digital surveillance software” refers to a broad category of computer based sets of instructions that provides the instructions for either a computer or a computer based device to operate, control, and/or process binary (digital) data used or created for security and surveillance purposes. To narrow this definition down a little for the purpose of this article, digital surveillance software is the collective set of programming used to create digital video images for security and surveillance purposes.

Since the words “digital surveillance software” refer to such a broad definition, it may be easier to explain what it is based on how it is used and what it does. There are basically three broad categories of digital surveillance software. The first applies to standalone digital video security and surveillance systems; the second applies to personal computer based digital video security and surveillance systems; and the third and final category, for the purpose of our discussion, applies to smartphones and similar type devices used with digital video and surveillance software.

Standalone Digital Video Security Systems
A standalone digital video security system is a set of devices that are used for security or surveillance purposes to create digital video files that may or may not be recorded. The term “standalone” indicates that these systems do not require any additional assistance from exterior devices such as a computer. The digital surveillance software used in these systems can include the operating system of the Digital Video Recorder’s or DVR’s and any additional programs used on that system to control the various devices of the standalone system

A standalone digital video security and surveillance system in its basic configuration includes one or more digital video cameras, a DVR unit with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a digital based monitor. In a standalone system, the cameras send their digital video data to the DVR where the DSP compiles the data using a CODEC or COmpression/DECompression utility to create digital video files. The files are then viewed on the digital monitor and or stored for later use on a hard disk drive on the DVR.

The digital surveillance software in this system can include:
1) The operating system of the DVR/DSP unit;
2) The CODEC utility program; and,
3) Any other specialized set of instructions to control the equipment.

For example, Security Camera King offers three major types of DVRs; our Elite mini series, or Elite series, and our Ultimate series. These standalone systems have a highly specialized DSP that creates digital video files and coordinates the functions between the three major devices of the system. This is usually referred to as the “operating system” and all of our units use a Linux based operating system.

The CODEC utility is a specific software program that is used to compile the video data into a digital video file. Digital video is actually several digital photographs taken in succession. Different rates may be used but a general standard is 29.9 frames per second or fps. This means the camera takes 29 digital pictures in one second so in one minute of video, the camera takes approximately 1800 pictures. You can see how the file size can become enormously large in a very short period of time.

The CODEC uses mathematical algorithms so the file size is a fraction of the original total size. This piece of digital surveillance software does this with very little loss of quality. There are many different types of CODECs such as MJPEG, MPG, H.264, etc.

A standalone system may also contain digital surveillance software that operates the equipment, including specialized functions. For example, Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras can move horizontally, vertically, and can enlarge objects. These movements may be controlled by digital surveillance software.

Personal Computer Digital Video Security Systems
There are digital video security systems that utile a personal computer to take the place of the DVR, DSP, and or monitor. Normally these systems contain a PCI card or similar printed circuit board that performs the bulk of the systems needs including storing the digital video files, controlling devices, and displaying the video on the computer’s monitor.

Any of the software associated with these functions, in essence, can be considered digital surveillance software.

Smartphones
Smartphones require small programs in order to adapt or interface with different systems and devises. These programs are called applications or “apps.” An app can also be of a digital surveillance software type.

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Stand Alone DVR For Security Camera

Written By:
Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

When designing your own digital video security camera system, whether it is for residential or commercial use, it is important to make the right choice for the stand alone DVR for security camera. A stand alone DVR or Digital Video Recorder is basically the “brain” of the system that coordinates the functions of the component parts and provides for storage of the digital video files.

A stand alone DVR for security camera is preferable because it is a self-supportive unit that does not rely on any other additional component (such as a personal computer) and does not require an internet connection. A typical stand alone digital video security system contains one or more digital video cameras, the DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a monitor.

The stand alone system works with the stand alone DVR for security camera as the central unit of control. The digital video cameras capture light images, convert them into electronic data, convert the data to binary or digital form and send it to the DVR unit. The DSP in a stand alone DVR is a highly specialized computer processing chip that is made such that it is dedicated mainly toward processing digital data into digital video files. Once the DSP creates the digital video file it may be viewed instantly (live) on a connected monitor and/or saved on the DVR for archiving or later use.

One major advantage of using a stand alone DVR for security cameras is that the unit can be placed just about anywhere that power can be supplied to it. Also, there is no risk of computer virus or hacker interference since the internet is not required for the stand alone unit to operate.

The DVR itself is basically a very specific type of computer. The DSP receives the data from the digital video cameras and compiles the data into a digital video file (that can be copied and viewed on an ordinary computer as well as the unit’s monitor if attached). The DSP normally uses a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility to make the digital video file smaller without a significant loss in quality. Once the file is created, it is stored on the DVRs Hard Disk Drive or HDD.

The HDD of a DVR is the same type of HDD that is used in personal computers. Therefore, DVRs are able to reap the benefits of improvement of HDDs originally created for computers. When purchasing a stand alone DVR for security cameras, it is important to purchase the right size (storage capacity) HDD. Digital video files can be incredibly large and require vast amounts of storage space. That’s why the DSP employs the use of a CODEC. However, even then the file size can become quite large in a relatively small amount of time, especially if there are several cameras that are being recorded.

The DVR works by storing the digital files in a succession or series. The DVR continues saving the files until the HDD capacity is full. Once the HDD is full, the drive begins re-recording over the original file at the beginning. The larger the drive, the longer the time cycle before re-recording begins. Security Camera King offers HDDs for our DVRs as large as 8 Terabytes in capacity.

A stand alone DVR for security camera also can contain additional hardware devices that aid in storage and manipulation of digital video files. For example, many DVRs come with a USB port for connecting a USB thumb drive. Others may also offer the option of a CD/DVD writer. The thumb drive and CD/DVD writers can be used to copy portions of the digital video file to give to police, insurance companies, courts, etc. In addition, the digital video file stored on the DVRs HDD can be copied to DVDs to create a complete archive of all camera recordings.

In addition to creating and storing digital video files, the DVR can also provide the means for controlling the cameras. Some cameras have the ability to move horizontally or vertically to increase the field of vision or to optically enlarge an object. These functions are known as Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ and the DVR often contains the programming necessary to control these functions.

Check out Security Camera King’s complete line of Elite and Ultimate stand alone DVRs for security cameras. Contact one of our security experts via Live Chat or Telephone if you have any additional questions or would like to make a purchase.

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Outdoor Exterior Security Camera Software

Written By:
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.

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Security Cameras Monitoring Systems

Written By:
Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Some of the most popular items used for protection and surveillance today are security cameras monitoring systems. These systems take advantage of the latest and greatest in both electronic and computer technology making them incredibly powerful and versatile to use. In addition to deterring burglary and/or vandalism, security cameras monitoring systems offer you the peace of mind of knowing that your business, residence, or loved ones are okay.

Most security cameras monitoring systems are component systems; that is, parts of the system may differ in function (i.e. one camera may have Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ and another may not) or may be made by different manufacturers (i.e. the cameras may be produced by one manufacturer while the DVR is produced by another). Regardless of the differences between components, all of the separate parts can work together to create a functional and effective security camera monitoring system.

Security cameras monitoring systems work in the following manner. The digital video camera “captures” a light image and transfers it into an electrical image. This electrical based image is sent in the form of electronic data to the DVR or Digital Video Recorder. The DVR normally contains a special type of computer processor known as a Digital Signal Processor or DSP. The DSP compiles the data from the video camera and creates a digital video file of the data which can e stored on the DVR or viewed in real time (live) on a monitor.

The DSP normally uses a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility to make the digital video file smaller without sacrificing quality. This is necessary because digital video files are comprised of thousands of digital photographs. In fact, they are digital photographs, but they are taken at a high rate of speed, usually around 30 photographs or Frames Per Second or 30 FPS.

This means that for every one second of video, the file will contain the equivalent of data for 30 individual digital photographs. As you can see, the file can get very large in a hurry so a CODEC is a vital and necessary tool.

The security cameras monitoring system may also include a CD/DVD writer, SD card writer, or accommodate a USB thumb drive for archiving files or for providing copies of files on a portable media to police, insurance agencies, etc.

There are a variety of optional features available for digital video security cameras however it may be easier to differentiate between cameras if they are categorized first, based on two of these features. The first criteria to use for categorizing the cameras can be the shape of the camera itself. There are three basic shapes or types:
• Box shaped cameras;
• Bullet shaped cameras; and,
• Dome cameras.

Box shaped cameras look just like the name implies; they are rectangular shaped to resemble a small box. These cameras may be mounted on walls, ceilings, and other structures. Bullet shaped cameras are elongated and rounded in shape on the ends to resemble a bullet-type structure. They may also be mounted on walls, ceilings and other structures. Finally, dome shaped cameras are usually flush mounted on ceilings with a rounded dome protrusion just big enough to allow for the camera lens.

The second criteria for categorizing digital video security cameras is whether they are designed for indoor use, outdoor use, or both. Indoor use only cameras cannot be used outdoors because they may be damaged by exposure to dust, water, and other debris. Outdoor security cameras monitoring systems or indoor/outdoor cameras are enclosed in a protective case that allows the camera to function properly but prevents entry (ingress) of dust, water and other matter.

Many outdoor cameras will be certified according to the protection the enclosure provides using a International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard called an Ingress Protection code or IP rating. This code consists of two digits; the first digit represents protection from dust and the second digit represents protection from liquids. The first digit of the rating ranges from 0 to 6 and the second digit ranges from 0 to 8, the higher number indicating a greater rate of protection. An IP65 rating for example, means the enclosure is dust tight and provides protection from water projected by a nozzle against the enclosure from any direction.

There are many other option features available on the components of security cameras monitoring systems. If you are interested in additional information, check our knowledge base or security articles or contact one of our security experts today.

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8 Camera Outdoor DVR System and DVD Burner

Written By:
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Nothing provides perimeter coverage in business or residential applications better than an 8 camera outdoor DVR system with DVD burner. In fact, these systems are great for use in just about any outdoor application and with a DVD burner, you can save copies of your video files for archiving or to give to police or insurance companies.

Security Camera King offers a full line of security camera equipment, including four different 8 camera outdoor DVR systems packages. We recognize the fact that everyone’s situation is different, possibly requiring a different camera at each point or some other additional feature. Therefore, we have put together these systems on our web site in such a way as to allow you to make different selections even for the system packages. Some changes can be made at no additional cost, while others may be made at a nominal cost compared to individually buying each component.

Each of these packages includes a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with an on-board DVD writer and a USB thumb drive. The DVRs utilize H.264, the latest CODEC (COmpression/DECompression) utility, used to reduce the size of digital video files so that longer video recording times can be realized without sacrificing image quality. In addition, our DVRs feature a Linux Operating System (OS), a built in Web server, and two-way audio available over the Internet. This allows the system to be monitored over the Internet, Smartphones, or even have email alerts programmed to automatically notify you on different events (triggers).

Not only can these 8 camera outdoor DVR systems with DVD burner packages be monitored over the Internet, but nearly every function of the DVR can be controlled over the internet as well. This even includes multiple user functionality via the Internet. Or if you choose to use a local monitor, these units support HDMI, VGA, and BNC video outputs, and use of several monitors simultaneously.

Our line of DVRs featured in our 8 camera outdoor DVR systems with DVD burner packages can be operated easily with a standard USB mouse. In addition, the DVRs feature easy operation and control of Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras whether you use the supplied GUI software or operate your system via Internet Explorer over the internet.

To complete the functionality of our 8 camera outdoor DVR system with DVD burner packages, the DVR also has an on-board DVD-RW (DVD-RWs can record and erase and record again if desired on one DVD-RW disk.) Using the DV-RW, you can copy any of your recorded video (and/or audio) from your DVR’s hard drive to a DVD. The digital video file that you copy to the DVD can be displayed on just about any personal computer and many of today’s DVD players. Contact one of our security experts today for more information or to make a purchase.

Last, but certainly not least, each one of the 8 camera outdoor DVR system with DVD burner packages offered by Security Camera King comes with a full 3 year warranty on the DVR and a full 1 year warranty of the cameras and accessories.

In addition, these systems are easy to install and operate. However, if should you have any difficulty at all with installation or operation, our trained professional technical support staff will provide as much remote assistance as possible including any training that you need to use your new security system.

Security Camera King offers four different complete 8 channel DVR security camera packages two of which are built around the Elite DVR and two built around the Ultimate DVR. The complete 8 channel Elite DVR security camera package includes the following:
• An 8 channel Elite series DVR with a 250 MB hard drive and H.264 CODEC;
• 8 Outdoor (may also be used as indoor) weatherproof high resolution infrared vandal-proof dome security cameras;
• Two 4-channel plug-in transformer power supplies; and,
• 8 plug and play cables.

Our complete 8 channel Elite DVR security camera package with bulk cable and BNCs offers the same cameras and DVR, but includes an 8 channel professional power distribution box instead of plug-in transformers, and 2 boxes of bulk RG-59-18/2 Siamese video transmission cable.

We offer two complete 8 channel Ultimate security camera packages that feature the Ultimate series DVR. The Ultimate series DVR is capable of recording 704 x 480 resolution at 30 FPS on all 8 channels simultaneously. There are two Ultimate series packages as with the Elite series, that differ depending on power supply preference and bulk wire.

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