Posts Tagged ‘ Digital Signal Processor’



Hidden Camera In TV

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Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Ever need to watch those who are watching? That’s exactly what a hidden camera in TV can do. In fact the possibilities for different types of hidden cameras are nearly endless these days, thanks to 21st century electronic technology.

The current technology that abounds is so compact and efficient, that a hidden camera in TV is rather simple, especially considering the fact that we currently have hidden color cameras that are made to look like the head of a typical Phillips screw. (See Security Camera Kings product# HC-SCREW-WC or go to http://www.securitycameraking.com/wired-color-screw-camera-58967-prd1.html).

Putting a hidden camera in TV is easy because there is usually lots of spare room inside the television set case to allow for the camera and accompanying electronics. Who would suspect that the television is actually watching them?

Perhaps the real question here is not how they put a hidden camera in TV, a screw, a stuffed animal, a clock, or just about any other object but what is it about the technology that makes such a thing possible? In the following article we’ll describe how a miniature hidden camera works and mention some the technological improvements that have occurred over the past few years to make this possible.

There are two types of digital video security and monitoring, overt and covert. Overt monitoring occurs when no attempts to conceal, disguise, or hide the activity to monitor or record images are made. Covert monitoring is just the opposite; the camera and other equipment is hidden, concealed, or disguised so as not to readily reveal its presence. In the world of security and surveillance, both overt and covert monitoring is needed. Thus, the demand has created the need for a device like a hidden camera in TV.

Covert monitoring devices may include just the camera or it may include an entire miniature digital video security camera system. A typical full-size digital video security system not only has cameras, but a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and an optional monitor as well. Hidden miniature digital video security camera systems also include the camera, but in addition, contain a miniature DVR as well. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about the technology that allows this to happen.

First a full-size standalone digital video system uses digital video cameras that send their digital video signals to the DVR unit. The DVR unit also contains a highly specialized computer processor called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP. The processor is like the processor in a personal computer but is designed to operate specifically to deal with digital video data. The DSP gathers the digital video data sent to it by the digital video camera and creates a digital video file that can be viewed live on a monitor and/or stored in a digital file format on a hard disk drive on the DVR.

Miniature systems, like a hidden camera in TV system, also have a camera and a DVR. However, the DVR circuitry is contained on a small Integrated Circuit (IC) chip and is either stored in on-board (another type of IC chip) memory or on an SD card or similar device. As technology improves, memory chips become smaller and smaller while their capacity for storage becomes greater. This is just one of the features that provides for making miniature digital video security systems possible.

As for the cameras, there are several technologies applied here to make the devices incredibly small while still yielding fluid, relatively high-quality video. First, many hidden, miniature digital cameras use a highly refined wide angle lens. This lens provides the camera with a significantly wide field of view even though the lens itself is often only 3.7 mm in diameter.

Next the electronic sensor chips used to convert the focused light reflected from the image through the lens can be incredibly small. Typical sizes for these sensors called Charged Coupled Devices or CCDs or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors or CMOSs is 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 inch square – and that is for full sized cameras.

Finally, as already mentioned IC chip technology continues to get smaller and more sophisticated over time. This allows for an analog-to-digital converter circuit and transmitting circuits to exist in miniature IC chips. So when all of these technological improvements are packaged neatly and tightly together, many covert recording devices are possible, including a hidden camera in TV.

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Hidden Color Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Most covert security and surveillance monitoring systems use a hidden color camera. There are definitely useful times when covert digital video recording is necessary and thanks to 21st century technology, the equipment for this purpose is not only available, but reasonably priced as well.

What makes a hidden color camera possible? The extremely small but highly accurate and efficient parts including, not only the mechanical (lenses for example) but the electronic (sensors, digital-to-analog converter for example) components of the camera as well, have yielded a miniature but powerful product that is easily hidden or disguised.

Hidden color cameras can be a component as part of a larger digital video security and surveillance system or they can be a miniature system all contained in one object. A digital video security system may consist of several different devices, but generally a basic system has three components that include the camera or cameras, a Digital Videos Recorder or DVR unit that also contains the Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and one or more monitors.

The digital video hidden color camera captures video images that it passes on to the DVR unit. The DVR unit’s DSP compiles the digital data sent to it by the camera can creates a digital video file that can be viewed on a monitor or saved on the DVRs hard disk drive for later viewing or archiving.

If the hidden color camera is an all-in-one unit, it usually consists of the camera and some sort of DVR. Thanks to Integrated Circuit (IC) chip technology, the necessary electronic circuitry and be constructed small enough to create a stand-alone hidden color camera that can be placed inside a typical ball-point pen casing.

Standalone all-in-one miniature hidden color camera units do not contain all of the components or sophisticated circuitry of their typical full size standalone cousins. Therefore, there are certain limitations for these smaller units. For example, the DVR used in a ballpoint pen version of a hidden color camera will obviously not have the storage capacity of a full size DVR unit with a hard disk drive.

Often, objects as small as a pen have their own limited built in electronic memory chip. Since their normally is a limitation on space, the memory chip is often limited to a relatively small capacity. Another option if the hidden color camera device is large enough is to use various types of portable memory media such as SD cards or other types of flash memory media.

In addition, these all-in-one hidden color cameras usually have a reduced resolution to conserve on file size as well. Their power source may be as small as a watch battery or they may be connected to an external power source via a pair of small wires. Nonetheless, these miniature cameras still capture good quality video and our excellent choices for covert security and surveillance purposes.

Security Camera King offers a wide variety of miniature standalone hidden color cameras for purchase. If you are interested check our “Hidden Camera Systems” and “Hidden Security Cameras” section by clicking the on “Security Cameras” then “Hidden Camera Systems” and also “Hidden Security Cameras” on the our navigation bar on the left. Just some of the systems we offer in addition to the “Hidden Pen Color Camera With Audio” include the “Portable Lighter Hidden Camera With Built-IN DVR & Audio,” the “Sunglasses Hidden Camera with Built-in DVR & Audio,” and the “Portable Car Key Hidden Camera with Built-In DVR & Audio.”

As mentioned earlier, hidden color cameras can also be one of the components of a larger, full-size digital video security and surveillance system. These devices are just cameras; that is, they do not usually include a DVR or any other components of a digital video system. They normally connect to the system either by a video transmission cable or wirelessly.

Wireless hidden color cameras have the extra advantage of being placed just about anywhere. These cameras are also small enough that in addition to being disguised as other objects, they can be mounted alone in areas or positions that keep all but the lens of the camera hidden.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these hidden color cameras, in addition to the two on-line catalog pages mentioned above under the “Security Cameras” heading, also check out our “Wireless Hidden Cameras“.

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IP Camera and DVR

Written By:
Friday, February 4th, 2011

IP Camera and DVRIt’s been said that someday almost every electronic appliance will be tied to the Internet; so enters the IP camera and DVR. Don’t take this the wrong way, this is definitely a good thing for the digital video security and surveillance system industry. Providing digital video systems with a mechanism to connect to the Internet places the power of versatility and omnipresence in the user’s hand. But what exactly does IP mean and how do these devices work? We’ll try to answer these questions in the following article.

Let’s begin by distinguishing between the components of a digital video security camera system. First, the system must have at least one camera and if it is DVR dependent, a maximum of sixteen cameras per DVR. Speaking of which, a DVR or Digital Video Recorder, is the device that contains the hard disk drive to store the digital video files created from the data provided by the cameras. This unit contains a Digital Signal Processor or DSP the compiles the cameras’ video data and created a digital video file from it that can be stored on the DVRs hard disk drive for later use or displayed on the system’s monitor in real-time (live).

In a non-IP system, the digital video camera transmits its video data over a video transmission cable that must be run from each camera to the DVR, or wirelessly by using a built-in transmitter to send the signals via radio waves to a corresponding receiver or a DVR with a built in receiver.

However, an IP camera and DVR work a little differently. First we should define what we mean by “IP.” An IP camera and DVR are digital video component devices that are “Internet Protocol” or IP ready. This means that these devices contain the either the hardwiring or software necessary to make them compatible with and to be connected to, the Internet.

Furthermore, we should also distinguish the difference between an IP camera and DVR. An IP camera can run entirely separately, that is without the need for a DVR or it may also connect to a DVR if that is desired. In addition, an IP DVR is able to connect to the Internet, and the entire digital video security system can be run via its connection.

An IP camera has built in web server technology so that it can connect directly to the Internet. It usually does this in one of three ways either using a Cat 5 Ethernet type cable or wirelessly to a broadband wireless modem or router. Once the IP camera has established its connection to the Internet it can use the Internet as the vehicle for networking. This has one tremendously powerful implication; you can monitor and operate your IP camera from anywhere in the world there is broadband Internet access.

The IP camera can be used as just a simple monitor without recording video. The IP camera can be monitored on any computer or smartphone connected to a broadband Internet connection. Its video images can also be saved on an Internet-connected computer. Further, an IP camera can also send its video images via the Internet to a remotely located DVR that is connected to the Internet.

An IP DVR system is slightly different. In this system the DVR contains the circuitry or software to connect to the Internet. The cameras in this system normally connect directly to the DVR using conventional digital video security system methods. Once the Internet connection is established, any of the cameras connected to the DVR may be monitored or controlled via the Internet connection. Once again, the system can be controlled (including the individual cameras) anywhere in the world there is broad band Internet access.

Speaking of control, an IP camera and DVR can be controlled remotely by computer by just using a common Internet browser such as Internet Explore, Safari, etc. Smartphone devices use mini-software programs called “applications” or simply “apps.” The apps programs are downloaded to the device and installed on the device. Once installed, the device is ready to control/monitor the IP camera and DVR.

Security Camera King offers a variety of different IP cameras and DVRs. Check out our “Network IP Security Cameras” section located under the “Security Camera” bar on the left hand side of our web page. Also, each of Security Camera Kings feature DVR systems, the Elite Mini, Elite, and Ultimate are ready to be connected to the Internet “out of the box.”

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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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