Posts Tagged ‘ complementary metal oxide semiconductor’



Infrared Camera System

Written By:
Thursday, September 15th, 2011

If you need security and surveillance coverage in poorly lit or no light areas, you should try using an infrared camera system.  In the following article we’ll talk about how these cameras work and what to look (out) for when purchasing a system.

Under normal daylight conditions a digital video security camera utilizes the light waves that are reflected from the objects in its field of vision.  It does this by using a lens to focus the entire image onto a sensor chip that is usually 1/4 or 1/3 of an inch square.  The sensor chips work by converting the light energy into a small electrical impulse which can be measured and therefore ultimately used to create a digital video image.

Although both chips work a little differently, each produces the same result.  The type of sensor used is usually the choice of the manufacturer.  They are normally referred to by an acronym because the names are relatively long.

One sensor is called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the other is called a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  These sensors have a lot in common even though they function differently.  However one of their common traits is that both the CCD and the CMOS inherently sense infrared waves in the near infrared spectrum.  Because of this, a regular digital video camera can also be used as an infrared camera or collectively as an infrared camera system.

Actually, in some systems, a filter is used during the daytime to prevent infrared radiation from reaching the sensor.  Sometimes extra infrared in addition to visible light exposure may result in a poor daytime image without a filter.

A typical infrared camera system also produces images that are either black and white or monochromatic.  Even though these images may not be “in color” they can still maintain the crisp, clear, high-resolution that is associated with the daytime use of the cameras.

An infrared camera system does not produce color images when working in infrared mode because it senses the near infrared spectrum.  The near infrared spectrum does not include visible light so only a monochromatic image, not a color image, is seen.  Some may consider this a disadvantage of infrared camera systems, but to many the other special features of an infrared camera far out weigh this particular feature.

One advantage of using infrared radiation in darkness is that the human eye can not see the infrared radiation (light)–but the camera can.  This feature can put the camera in a stealth mode making it very difficult to see at night, yet its picture is just as clear and detailed as if it were daylight conditions.

The near infrared light spectrum is at the lower end of the infrared scale so it generally requires artificial near infrared light to do its job.  But where does the infrared camera system get its infrared light?

Basically, of the three types of cameras box, bullet, and dome, the bullet and dome cameras may furnish their own light.  This is done by placing InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs in an array around the camera lens.  Although humans can’t see this special light source, it provides enough light as to make it look like a floodlight was used to capture the video image.

Generally, the more IR LEDs that are used the longer the range of the infrared video image from the camera.  One thing to look (out) for is the IR range.  If you are interested in purchasing an infrared camera system, you need to measure the distance you want the camera to cover under IR mode.  Most cameras state this on their package in their specifications for example, “IR Range 60 feet indoors 50 feet outdoors.”

If the infrared camera system does not achieve the distance you may require, you can either purchase a camera with a longer range or purchase an “Illuminator.”  An illuminator is a series of IR LEDs that at are strong enough to shed infrared “light” up to 300 feet or more.  Illuminators often mount like cameras and use the same power requirements of a typical camera.  Once again, check the specifications of illuminator to make sure the range extension it provides meets your requirements.

If you have any additional questions about an infrared camera system, please contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts by Live Chat or telephone.  We love to help!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

DVR Security System Cameras

Written By:
Friday, May 6th, 2011

Today’s Digital Video Recorder or DVR security camera systems are an amazing bundle of new high quality technology.  The security camera industry can also thank the personal computer industry as a contributor, because a lot of today’s DVR security camera systems use recently invented technology borrowed from the computer industry.

In this article we are going to describe how a typical DVR security camera system works.

Modern digital video security and surveillance systems are basically component systems.  This means that essentially, the parts of the system are like plug n play items used in computers.  All of the components do not have to be made by one manufacturer, they can differ in function and still work on the system, and they can usually be removed and replaced with something else and the system will continue to work.

This provides tremendous versatility in application because the DVR security camera systems are no longer required to use all of the same components.  For example, an 8 channel system may have 6 bullet cameras and 2 Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera made by a totally different manufacturer.

 

Let’s take a closer look at how a DVR security camera system (and its individual components) works.  The first component of the system is the camera.  There are so many different type of cameras available today that we do not have the space for this article to cover them all.  Instead, let look at how they work

DVR security cameras possess one primary function; transfer the reflecting light that is in its field of vision into electrical impulses that can be measured, manipulated, and compiled to create a digital video file.  This information is then sent to the DVR and/or monitor for processing and viewing.

The camera does this by using one of two different electronic sensor chips called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  Although both sensors work a little differently, the both yield the same end product–the electrical data that can be used to create a digital video file.

This is accomplished by the camera’s lens focusing the field of view onto one of these chips, which generally range from only 1/4″ to 1/2″ square.  When the light strikes the sensor chip, small electrical impulses are created by the pixels in the chip.  Each one can be measured and used to create the data that will be used to display the cameras field of view as a digital video.

At this point the signal is still an analog type signal.  The camera sends this analog data through an analog-to-digital processor chip to convert the data into digital or binary format.  The camera also contains a Digital Signal Processor or DSP chip that is used to make fine adjustments to the data.  Once the digital information is ready it is sent via a video transmission cable or other means to the DVR, hence the name DVR security camera systems.

Once the signal reaches the DVR, it applies its own DSP technology along with a CODEC utility.  Codec is an acronym for COmpression/DECompression.  This utility program uses a special algorithm program that reduces the incredibly large file into just a fraction of its original size without sacrificing significant quality.  Once this is accomplished the digital video file is compiled and is saved on the DVR’s hard disk drive and/or displayed on a system monitor.

It should be easy to see now why DVR security camera systems benefit from technological improvement in the computer world.  Many PC based devices are used in security camera systems.  For example, the DVR saves the digital video file to its hard disk drive for storage.  USB Thumb drives can be used to update firmware and copy and transfer video footage.  DSP and memory chips are directly related to the computer industry.

Even the monitors used today are basically the same as computer monitors but they may include a few extra input options.  Monitors have gone from the bulky Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) type to the LCD type just like most computer monitors.

Security Camera King offers a wide selection of DVR security camera systems with everything you need to install it but the tools.  Try one of our systems, the Elite Mini Economy, the Elite Mini HD, the Elite Series, or the Ultimate Series and see for yourself.  The majority of our cameras come with a 1 year full warranty (some models have 2 years) and our DVRS have a 3 year warranty.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

DVR Security Camera systems

Written By:
Friday, May 6th, 2011

Today’s Digital Video Recorder or DVR security camera systems are an amazing bundle of new high quality technology.  The security camera industry can also thank the personal computer industry as a contributor, because a lot of today’s DVR security camera systems use recently invented technology borrowed from the computer industry.

In this article we are going to describe how a typical DVR security camera system works.

Modern digital video security and surveillance systems are basically component systems.  This means that essentially, the parts of the system are like plug n play items used in computers.  All of the components do not have to be made by one manufacturer, they can differ in function and still work on the system, and they can usually be removed and replaced with something else and the system will continue to work.

This provides tremendous versatility in application because the DVR security camera systems are no longer required to use all of the same components.  For example, an 8 channel system may have 6 bullet cameras and 2 Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera made by a totally different manufacturer.

 

Let’s take a closer look at how a DVR security camera system (and its individual components) works.  The first component of the system is the camera.  There are so many different type of cameras available today that we do not have the space for this article to cover them all.  Instead, let look at how they work

DVR security cameras possess one primary function; transfer the reflecting light that is in its field of vision into electrical impulses that can be measured, manipulated, and compiled to create a digital video file.  This information is then sent to the DVR and/or monitor for processing and viewing.

The camera does this by using one of two different electronic sensor chips called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  Although both sensors work a little differently, the both yield the same end product–the electrical data that can be used to create a digital video file.

This is accomplished by the camera’s lens focusing the field of view onto one of these chips, which generally range from only 1/4″ to 1/2″ square.  When the light strikes the sensor chip, small electrical impulses are created by the pixels in the chip.  Each one can be measured and used to create the data that will be used to display the cameras field of view as a digital video.

At this point the signal is still an analog type signal.  The camera sends this analog data through an analog-to-digital processor chip to convert the data into digital or binary format.  The camera also contains a Digital Signal Processor or DSP chip that is used to make fine adjustments to the data.  Once the digital information is ready it is sent via a video transmission cable or other means to the DVR, hence the name DVR security camera systems.

Once the signal reaches the DVR, it applies its own DSP technology along with a CODEC utility.  Codec is an acronym for COmpression/DECompression.  This utility program uses a special algorithm program that reduces the incredibly large file into just a fraction of its original size without sacrificing significant quality.  Once this is accomplished the digital video file is compiled and is saved on the DVR’s hard disk drive and/or displayed on a system monitor.

It should be easy to see now why DVR security camera systems benefit from technological improvement in the computer world.  Many PC based devices are used in security camera systems.  For example, the DVR saves the digital video file to its hard disk drive for storage.  USB Thumb drives can be used to update firmware and copy and transfer video footage.  DSP and memory chips are directly related to the computer industry.

Even the monitors used today are basically the same as computer monitors but they may include a few extra input options.  Monitors have gone from the bulky Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) type to the LCD type just like most computer monitors.

Security Camera King offers a wide selection of DVR security camera systems with everything you need to install it but the tools.  Try one of our systems, the Elite Mini Economy, the Elite Mini HD, the Elite Series, or the Ultimate Series and see for yourself.  The majority of our cameras come with a 1 year full warranty (some models have 2 years) and our DVRS have a 3 year warranty.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

IR Bullet Camera

Written By:
Monday, May 2nd, 2011

When looking for versatility in a digital video security camera nothing may offer you more than an IR bullet camera (InfraRed bullet camera).  Among the most popular types of cameras these days, the IR bullet camera usually comes packed with dozens of extra features, thanks to modern technology.  In the following article, we’ll take a look at digital video security cameras and how they work and especially how an IR bullet camera works.

There are three major types of digital video security cameras based on shape; the box type, the dome type, and the bullet type.  For many years the favorite has always been the box type.  Although box type cameras are somewhat obtrusive, they are versatile because you must purchase the lens separately, which allows you to change the field of view characteristics when ever you want.  Also, box type cameras are intended for indoor use, but can easily be converted to outdoor use by placing the camera in an outdoor rated housing.

Next in line is the dome camera.  Dome cameras are used indoors or outdoors but it seems as though the majority of their applications lean toward indoor installation and mounting.  These camera are fast becoming competitive with box cameras because they are small and unobtrusive, versatile with many features, and are easy to mount to the wall or ceiling.  Dome cameras can be purchased as indoor, outdoor, or indoor/outdoor models.  The can also be sold as vandal proof because once they are properly mounted on the ceiling it would be very difficult for a vandal to change the position of the camera.

Finally, there is the IR bullet camera or just a plain bullet camera.  They are so called because their shape resembles the shape of a bullet.  Bullet cameras may be mounted in several different ways.  Regardless if they are mounted on the wall or ceiling, bullet camera mounts normally have a bit of an extension arm that aids in getting the camera in the exact position you desire.  The down side to this is that the camera can become vulnerable to vandalism because it can be easily repositioned.

Now that we’re familiar with the types of cameras, let’s talk a little bit about how they work.  As a matter of fact, all three types of cameras produce digital video images in the same manner and this is how they do it.

The lens’ job is to gather the reflected light from images in it’s field of view, and focus them onto a very small censor chip (the chip ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 square inch).  The sensor chip is a high specialized electronic chip that can convert light energy into electrical energy.  The electrical energy can be measured and the values used to recreate the actual image as a digital video image on an electronic display monitor.

There are two different sensor chips that may be used and although they may go about producing the video image differently, the both produce the same result; digital video images.  The names of these sensor chips are the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

These sensor chips are incredibly interesting because they possess an unusual trait.  They both are sensitive to near infrared radiation.  This is the type of radiation that is given off by TV remotes, DVD players, etc.  It is harmless to humans but even better for the security camera industry, it is completely invisible.  Therefore, it could be pitch dark and the camera can still produce a video image as if a spot light were shining in its direction.

It does this by the use of InfraRed producing Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs.  Generally, the more LEDs used to produce infrared “light” the longer the range of the camera in total darkness.  This is where the bullet camera comes in.

Due to its shape an IR bullet camera can really pack a large array of IR LEDs around its lens.  Some camera boast as many as 78 or more and a range if 300 feet.

To summarize, the IR bullet camera is a versatile digital video security tool.  It provides the same quality video as box camera but doesn’t require an additional housing.  It provides the capability for IR imagery like a dome camera but it has a much longer range potential due to the size and shape of the camera.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Security Video Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Security video cameras are one of three major components of today’s digital video security systems which also consist of a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and one or more monitors.  The digital video camera is an interesting piece of electronic wonder, and as technology continues to advance so do the features and abilities of the security video camera.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how a security video camera operates.  We’ll also take a look at some of the more common features and options that are available on today’s digital video security cameras.

Security video cameras are electronic based devices that transfer light images into electrical images that can be viewed on a monitor.   One of the key factors in accomplishing this is the electronic sensor that is used inside the camera to do the conversion.  Cameras make use of one of two different technologies with either one yielding the same end result.

 

These sensors are called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  The lenses focus the light image onto this small sensor chip (most range from about 1/4 inch 1/2 inch square).  The chip is sensitive to light energy in such a way that when light strikes the chip and electrical impulse is created that can be measured and used to construct a video image.

Ironically, even in digital security video cameras, the video signal that is created is originally analog in nature.   The signal is passed through a special Integrated Circuit or IC chip known as a analog-to-digital converter as well as a Digital Signal Processor or DSP before it is sent out the camera to the DVR.  In most systems the signal is sent along a cable (RG-59, CAT5, etc) from the camera directly to the DVR or monitor; hence the often used phrase “Closed Circuit TeleVision” or CCTV.

Once the video data reaches the DVR, it must be worked on some more by the DVRs DSP.  The data is gathered or compiled into a file called a digital video file.  Security video cameras create digital video files that can be played back by most personal computers and DVD players.  This digital video file is actually several digital photographs taken in raped succession over a very short time (usually around 30 photographs or frames per second or 30 fps).

The digital video file can quickly become several Gigabytes in size, especially when there are multiple cameras (which is usually the norm) recording at the same time.  There fore to make handling of the file easier for the processor and to get the maximum amount of time-recording per given storage capacity, the file is reduced to a fraction of its original size.

This is done by a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility.  The utility may be hardwired (usually an IC chip) or it may exist in the form of software.  Basically, a CODEC is a mathematical algorithm that finds a way to store repetitive data only once, thereby reducing file size while maintaining video quality.  Security Camera King’s DVRs all use the latest, most efficient CODEC known as H.264.

Security video cameras come in a variety of shapes, sizes, features, and price ranges.  Covering all of these variations is by far, beyond the capacity of this article, however we will attempt to try to cover some of the more popular characteristics.  If you would like additional more specific information on a camera variation, try searching our knowledge base for more information.

 

There are basically four types of security video cameras based on shape.  They are:

  • Box cameras;
  • Bullet cameras;
  • Dome cameras; and,
  • A variety of different hidden or disguised cameras that take the shape of the device they are built into.

These cameras are further made in one of three different styles based on where they are intended to be used.  These are:

  • Indoor cameras;
  • Outdoor cameras; and,
  • Indoor/Outdoor cameras.

In addition, cameras can come with a myriad of features.  Depending on the manufacturer and camera model, some features may be considered standard issue for the camera while others will be considered an option, usually with an additional cost:

  • Infrared night vision;
  • Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ);
  • Motion detection;
  • Very high resolution output;
  • Audio capability;
  • Internet compatible;
  • Explosion proof; and,
  • Wireless.

Generally speaking, if you have a specific security video camera need, there’s one out there that can nicely fit the bill.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail