Posts Tagged ‘ COmpression/DECompression’



Color Security System

Written By:
Friday, February 4th, 2011

Color Security SystemA digital video color security system is a video camera based protection and monitoring component system. Although a bear-bones system may only require two separate devices to operate, it normally consists of three or more. At a minimum a color security system requires at least one camera and a Digital Video Recorder or DVR. However, if you want to be able to watch what your system is recording, you will also want to use the third component, a color monitor.

The “work flow” of a color security system begins with, and is really based on, the digital video color security camera. A color security system may have only one camera, or it can consist of as many as sixteen when the system utilizes one DVR. The camera or cameras send their color video data to the DVR unit which contains an on-board computer processor designed specifically to do work with color video data and coordinate the color security system functions. Once the processor has interpreted the digital data from the camera, it compiles the data into a digital video file which can be viewed live if a monitor accompanies the system and/or saved for later use on the DVR hard disk drive.

The digital video camera in a color security system records digital images by converting light energy into electrical energy. It does this using one of two different sensors that create measurable electronic charges when light strikes their photosites. The sensors are known as Charged Coupled Devices or CCDs or Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductors or CMOSs.

These sensors have tremendously small diodes in an incredibly small amount of area. Most color security system cameras’ sensor chips are less than 1/2 inch square in size. The lens focuses the light image on this small area, which on a typical 1/2 inch CCD can contain 300,000 to 500,000 photosites. The sensors’ photosites are usually designated to detect red, green, or blue light. This configuration is often called a Bayer filter. When the data from all of the red, green, and blue sensing diodes or photosites is compiled it creates a high quality electronic color image.

The color security system further processes the electronic image by passing it through an on-board circuit chip called an analog-to-digital converter. This converts the electronic analog signals into binary or digital data that is then transmitted in a variety of ways, one of the most common being along an RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable. (Signals can also be sent wirelessly via radio waves).

The other end of the cable is connected to the DVR unit. The data from the color security system camera is still unrefined and it is the responsibility of the DVR unit with its accompanying Digital Signal Processor or DSP to add the finishing touches. It does this by using a utility, either in software form or contained in an on-board microchip, that reduces the size of the otherwise incredibly large digital video file without sacrificing a significant amount of quality.

Digital video, like cinematography, actually consists of several photographs (digital-based in this case) that are taken in a very short period of time. The human eye and brain are slow enough to fool into thinking they are seeing fluid, motion video if the photographs pass by quick enough. The number of photographs taken in one second is usually called the “frame rate” and is designated as “frames per second” or fps and is typically around 29 fps.

Consider the file size of a typical high quality digital camera. Now multiply that size times 29 and you have the size of the digital file for one second. Multiply that times 60 seconds, and again times 60 minutes, and the result for one hour of video at that rate is 104,400 times the size of one digital photograph. You can appreciate how large the file size can be.

Every color security system uses a form of the utility mentioned above. One of the most recent and efficient COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utilities is the H.264. Using the CODEC makes the files much easier to handle and increases maximum storage capacity of the DVR.

Security Camera King features several different color security systems including our Elite Mini, Elite, and Ultimate DVRs. We’ve designed our color security systems to give you the freedom to change components to make the system fit your specific needs. Contact one of our security experts today for more information.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

CCTV Digital Recorders

Written By:
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

If you are considering the purchase of a security video system and are unsure as to whether you should purchase a DVR or a CCTV digital recorder, you MUST read this article. In the following text we’ll answer this question and many more about CCTV digital recorders and describe three of Security Camera King’s featured units.

So to answer the original question, DVR or CCTV digital recorder? The answer: They are both the same device; whether it’s called a DVR or CCTV digital recorder, it’s still the same piece of equipment. The terms may be confusing because of the evolution of the video security system.

Originally, video security camera systems were analog systems. The video camera was basically just a small version of a television studio camera that was used to record analog video. The term “CCTV” or Closed Circuit TeleVision was used to indicate the difference between a television studio camera that broadcasted its signal via OPEN radio signals to anyone that wanted to receive it and a video security camera that used a CLOSED circuit to send its signal to a designated device.

Analog systems used video recorders, but they recorded the signals using analog methods on tape, such as VHS or Beta. These analog system recorders were either referred to by the tape type designation or were simply called video recorders.

Current video security systems are digital systems. The recorders that are used in these systems are called Digital Video Recorders or DVRs. Basically the terms DVR, CCTV DVR, Digital Recorders, and CCTV Digital Recorders all refer to the same device, a digital video recorder.

There are several advantages to a digital system as compared to an analog system. CCTV digital recorders can instantly jump or skip to a specific time or date recording. Analog tapes had to played and searched while playing to find a specific segment. Digital recorders also save video in digital or binary format so there is no degradation of the quality of the recorded video over time.

About Security Camera King’s CCTV Digital Recorders
Security Camera King offers high-quality CCTV digital recorders that use the latest digital video technology, offer the most features, and use the latest, most efficient CODEC (more about CODECs in a minute). Our three featured CCTV digital recorders are the Elite Mini DVR, the Elite DVR, and the Ultimate DVR. Each of these units is available in four, eight, and sixteen channel units. (In this case “channel” means input or camera, so this is the number of individual cameras or inputs the DVR can handle.)

All three models of CCTV digital recorder use the H.264 CODEC. CODEC is an acronym for COmpression/DECompression. Digital video security systems create digital video files which consist of nothing more than several digital photographs taken in succession in a short period of time. High-quality fluid digital video is often taken at a rate of 29.9 pictures per second or frames per second or fps.

Consider the potential size of a file for one digital photograph; now imagine if you took 30 of these per second. In 60 seconds you would have an uncompressed digital file 1800 times the size of one picture. This size ratio is far too big for even the fastest processors to handle, so the CODEC is an algorithm that is used make this files much easier to handle and store by shrinking their size without sacrificing quality. The H.264 is the latest, most efficient digital video CODEC available.

All three of Security Camera King’s CCTV Digital Recorder models feature an embedded Linux operating system and Internet Protocol (IP) ready features that include internet networking, e-mail alert notification, and access via one of several varieties of smartphones. Our CCTV digital recorders are standalone systems; they can operate without the use of a personal computer (which could be vulnerable to viruses, hacking, and other invasions).

In addition, all of our featured CCTV digital recorders have HDMI, VGA, DNC video outputs with a display resolution of 720 P. This means that more than one monitor can be used with the unit at a time. In fact, with the included Matrix output you can pick and choose your monitor display options.

Our CCTV digital recorders are easy to setup and operate. Their software is a mouse-based point-and-click Graphical Users Interface with an On-Screen Display. The operation is so simple that there is even an included infrared remote control.

For additional information about our CCTV digital recorders, please contact one of our security experts.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

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.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

IP Cameras Security Surveillance

Written By:
Friday, January 7th, 2011

One of the ever increasing most popular digital video camera security systems is the IP cameras security surveillance. This camera system is unique in that it utilizes the internet as a medium for sending video images and remotely controlling the camera making accessibility nearly ubiquitous throughout the world.

There are a few variations on the theme on how these cameras and/or camera security systems operate, but the end product is the same. A digital video file that can be viewed virtually anywhere there is broadband internet access and stored on a personal computer’s hard drive for later use or archiving.

Let’s take a quick look at an average standalone digital video security camera system and how it works so we can better understand how IP cameras security surveillance systems work. A standalone system is so named because it can be used by itself without any additional outside equipment (i.e. other than the standard system equipment, no additional PC or other device for example is required).

A typical standalone digital video security system contains one or more digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a monitor. The digital video cameras in these systems capture light images and transform them into electronic video images. The camera normally contains an analog-to-digital processor chip that sends the video image data in binary or digital form to the DVR unit.

The DVR unit consists of three primary types of devices; the Hard Disk Drive (HDD), the DSP previously mentioned, and any additional peripheral type devices such as CD or DVD recorders to make portable copies of video files. The digital signal comes from the camera via an RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable to the DVR unit. Each individual camera must have its own cable run from the camera to the DVR unit.

When the data reached the DVR unit the DSP processes the data, applies a COmpression/DECompression utility (or CODEC) that greatly compacts the information and reduces the final size of the digital video file. The digital video files is then viewed on a monitor (live) and/or saved to the HDD for later use.

IP cameras security surveillance systems differ in that they normally connect to the Internet instead of using a video transmission cable to relay the camera data to the DVR unit. Furthermore, IP (which stands for Internet Protocol ready) cameras do this normally by one of two methods; either the data is sent via a Cat 5 Ethernet cable to a router or modem or wirelessly to a wireless router or wireless modem.

Using the internet, especially the wireless technology, creates a great advantage for this system. Once the signal make it to an Internet connection the cameras can be viewed and/or controlled from anywhere in the world that broadband internet is accessible. This includes working in tandem with devices such as a Personal Computer or Mac Computer, iPhones, iPads and the like, and many 3G and 4G smartphones. Literally, you can see what is going on at home in Miami when you are on business travel in Paris.

Another advantage of the IP cameras security surveillance system is the ability to use wireless internet technology. This eliminates the need to run the RG-59 coaxial cable from each camera to the DVR unit, greatly reducing installation time and making the process a do-it-yourself project that is a snap.

IP cameras used for security surveillance are able to work by processing the video signal on board and sending it via the camera’s on board web server technology. A variation on this theme is the IP DVR. In this instance the standard cameras are used in conjunction with the DVR but the DVR has the IP capability and is connected to a router or modem. The files are stored on the DVR units HDD but are accessible via the internet to the user.

On the receiving end of an IP camera security surveillance system that uses a personal computer the digital video files are stored on the computer’s HDD and viewed on the computer’s monitor. Normally this systems work in tandem with common internet browsers such as Internet Explorer, Safari, etc. Installation setup normally consists of a self installing software CD so for many systems no prior computer networking knowledge is needed.

Security Camera King has a full line of digital video security systems. Contact one of our experts today if you are interested in purchasing an IP cameras security surveillance system.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail