Posts Tagged ‘ Digital Signal Processor’



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.

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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.

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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.

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Surveillance DVR

Written By:
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The backbone behind any good digital video security system is the surveillance DVR or Digital Video Recorder.  It processes the video transmissions sent by the digital video cameras, controls the video cameras, stores the recorded surveillance video footage, and transmits the real-time and recorded video images to the monitor, the internet, or some other output device.  In essence, the surveillance DVR is actually the brain of the security and surveillance digital video system.

The surveillance DVR can be directly wired or cabled to the digital video cameras or the cameras can communicate with the DVR wirelessly.  In many covert (hidden or disguised) digital video surveillance systems the DVR and camera are an all-in-one compact system.

Another method of communication between the DVR and the cameras uses the Internet for the vehicle of the cameras’ transmissions.  This means that cameras can be easily placed in a variety of locations that have Internet connectivity and their signal can be sent all the way around the world via the Internet to a Network Video Recorder or NVR (essentially a surveillance DVR designed to work on the Internet with Internet Protocol or IP ready cameras).

Regardless of the method used to transmit and receive the video transmission signal from camera to surveillance DVR, the DVR’s chief responsibility is to digitally process the information.  It does so by using a unique computer processor Integrated Circuit or IC chip called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP.

Digital video consists of nothing more than digital photographs.  However, these photographs are taken at a high rate of speed and when presented to the human eye at the same rate, trick it into thinking that we are seeing fluid motion video.  Typical high-quality video rate is about 30 photographs, also called frames, per second or 30 fps.

Considering how large a typical digital photograph file can be, you can imagine the amount of digital information in a digital video file.  Hence, the need for the high-speed specialized processor called the DSP.  Consider that a typical high quality photograph may easily contain enough data to make a digital file approximately 1 Megabyte (MB) in size.  For a video file that is 30 minutes long that would be 30 fps x 60 seconds x 30 minutes x 1 MB or a file that is 54,000 MB or 54 Gigabytes in size.  Multiply this times 8 cameras and in one half hour typical 8 channel surveillance DVR has processed over 432,000 MBs or 432 GBs.

Considering the tremendous volume of digital data, one can appreciate very readily why a DSP is superior to an average computer processor since it is designed specifically for the purpose of handling digital video data.

The surveillance DVR’s responsibility doesn’t end here though.  The DVR processes this data into a digital video file. However, the DVR uses a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility to make the file just a fraction of the original size without sacrificing much quality of the digital video.

Security Camera King’s surveillance DVRs currently use the latest, most efficient CODEC called “H.264.”  The DSP creates the file using H.264 then saves the compressed digital video file on a recording medium, such as a hard disk drive or some sort of portable memory medium like a Thumb drive or SD card.  In addition, it may make the file immediately available for viewing in real-time on a monitor connected to the system.

If the surveillance DVR makes the video available for viewing over the Internet, it also has further processing to do.  The DSP now has to either download the digital video file to the requesting computer, or more commonly, convert the digital file once again into a different type of file called a streaming file, suitable for transmission over the Internet.

In addition to all this digital data and file manipulating, the surveillance DVR must also handle the responsibility of coordinating the control of the cameras.  Some cameras have Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ functions and the DVR usually instructs the camera what to do with these movements.  Other cameras may have audio recording as well that the DVR must also process.

In addition to the camera processing, the surveillance DVR is also responsible for the display of the video image, live or recorded.  Considering all of these responsibilities, the importance of a high-quality surveillance DVR in a digital video security system becomes readily apparent.  And that’s why Security Camera King only offers the highest-quality DVRs in its digital video security systems.

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Motion Activated Recording

Written By:
Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Conservation is the key term in reference to motion activated recording. In the following article, we’ll take a look at how digital video security and surveillance systems go about doing this and why conservation is a key term associated with this type of monitoring.

Digital video camera security systems can initiate motion activated recording in different ways. One of the most common ways to provide motion activated recording is to use a digital video camera with a built-in motion detector. Digital video security cameras equipped with motion detectors begin recording video when motion is detected and stop when motion is either no longer detected or after a designated (pre-programmed) time period.

The motion detector itself is called a PIR or Passive InfraRed sensor. This sensor constantly monitors the passive infrared signature of the camera’s field of vision. When a significant change in this infrared signature occurs (such as when a person, vehicle, or other object passes by) the PIR interprets this change in the infrared signature as motion.

The PIR sensor on motion activated recording cameras is electronically connected to a relay switch. When the PIR detects motion, the relay is energized to the “On” position which turns on the camera and begins the process of recording. When the infrared signature in the camera’s field of view becomes constant, the sensor interprets this as non-motion and the relay switch is then open, shutting the circuit to the camera off. (Many cameras have an intermediary circuit that is programmed to shut the camera off after a time delay in addition to or after motion is no longer detected.)

One of the biggest benefits of PIR motion activated recording is conservation of digital video security system resources. For example a typical motion activated recording system may have one or more motion activated digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and an optional monitor. The DVR usually consists of a hard disk drive, like the one in most personal computers and in miniature systems may consist of SD cards, small Integrated Circuit (IC) chips, or other portable non-volatile media.

Even though technology advancements are yielding larger capacity and more efficient storage devices, regardless of the type of storage on the DVR, the capacity is still finite. Furthermore, the digital video files created by the cameras and stored on the DVRs are extremely large files. To keep file sizes as small as possible without losing significant quality, COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utilities are used. These utilities may be in the form of software or a hard-wired IC chip.

CODECs greatly improve the storage capacity of any given drive, conserving on system memory. This is important because whenever storage capacity is reached, the newest digital video files are re-recorded over older digital video files. If the files are archived before hand the data could be lost. There are several ways of improving efficiency in addition to using a CODEC. A larger capacity storage medium can also increase re-recording loop times, handle multiple camera recordings at once, and provide storage space for software programs and other necessary binary information.

Another way to greatly improve the storage capacity and efficiency of the camera-DVR relationship is to only record what is necessary. PIR motion activated recordings or PIR motion detector cameras do exactly that. By recording video only when motion is detected, a tremendous amount of memory on the storage medium is conserved. For some applications, motion detection would only be detected if there is a breach in security (banks and retail stores after hours for example) and this could mean no need to record for days or even months.

Memory is not the only resource that is conserved by motion activated recording cameras. Many users these days prefer the use of totally wireless cameras. These cameras send their digital video data via radio signals to a corresponding receiver that is connected to the DVR or to a DVR with a built in receiver. However, these cameras still require a power source which indicates the use of some sort of power supply carried by a wire to the camera – unless the camera is battery operated.

Battery operated cameras may use standard one-time use batteries or rechargeable batteries. Regardless of the type of battery, motion activated recording drastically conserves battery power as the PIR sensor demands a very small drain on the camera batteries as does digital video recording.

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