Posts Tagged ‘ digital video data’



Video Security Systems

Written By:
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Video security systems are fast becoming the “wave” of the future.  Not only can they document events as they occur, but with Internet technology and other electronic technology advancements, they can even act as burglar alarms and alert you when possible illegal events occur.

A basic digital video security system is a component system that consists of three major components:

1)    One to many cameras;

2)    A DVR or Digital Video Recorder; and,

3)    A monitor or monitors

The system operates in the following manner.  The digital video camera converts light energy into electrical energy which can be measured and is used to create digital video data.  This data is sent to the DVR.  As previously mentioned, the DVR is a digital video recorder, just like the hard disk drive or HDD of a personal computer.  However, in security camera systems, the DVR normally contains a processor, just like the processor in a Personal Computer or PC.

However, the processor in a DVR is a highly specialized piece of electronic circuitry.  Unlike the PC processor, the security camera DVR processor is manufactured to handle specific functions of security camera systems such as digital video file production, camera control, and recording of digital video files.  It uses a specific utility called a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC program to process the digital video file from the digital video data sent to it by the video camera.

Digital video is basically nothing more than a series of rapid digital photographs taken in rapid succession.  Typically, high quality digital video is about 30 digital photographs taken within on second, also referred to as 30 frames per second or 30 fps.  When you think of the file size from just one high quality digital photograph, you can imagine how enormous a digital video file that takes 30 fps for 24 hours could be.

That’s why the DVR’s processor uses a CODEC to create the digital video file.  It uses special programming that shrinks the size of the file without sacrificing the high quality of the image.  CODECS change from time to time as different approaches and technologies make each CODEC better and more efficient.  One of the most popular and recent CODECs is called the H.264 CODEC.

The DVR in a video security system creates, processes, and stores digital video files that can be viewed instantly (live) on monitors or stored for later viewing on monitors or for archiving.  Many DVRs also have additional storage options such as CD/DVD writers or USB Flash drive connectivity to copy portions of video to portable media.  This may be necessary to give insurance companies, police departments, as evidence, etc.

The DVR may also contain other specialized features.  One common feature of many modern DVRs is internet connectivity.  The DVR may contain its own web server technology and programming so that it may be connected to any broadband internet service and instantly become accessible anywhere in the world there is broadband internet accessibility.

Most DVR and security camera systems come in 4, 8, or 16 channels.  This means that the DVR can handle 4, 8, or 16 separate camera inputs at one time.  Security systems requiring more than 16 cameras simply use additional DVRs to expand the number of cameras needed.

Highly specialized security cameras may have highly specialized DVRs.  Portable systems, systems that are used for a small amount of time, systems that have self contained cameras and DVRs all in one unit may utilize different digital storage methods for the DVR.  For example school bus DVR and security camera systems often use a Compact Flash Card or similar portable storage medium instead of a full sized hard disk drive as the DVR.

Is a DVR necessary in a security camera system?  No, not necessarily, but a system with just a monitor and no DVR will not be able to record the video so that it may be reproduced for later use.  A baby monitor is usually a good example of this.  On the other hand, a retail store facility would not realize the full potential of protection without a DVR and security camera system.

Other DVR and video security systems’ functions pertaining to the DVR may include audio recording, various output display resolutions as well as connectors, remote control, e-mail and smartphone notification, and mouse and/or keyboard control.

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PTZ Web Cameras

Written By:
Monday, February 14th, 2011

Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ Web cameras bring two powerful punches to the benefit of the digital video security and surveillance world. Not only can these cameras allow your system to reap the powerful benefit of camera movement (the first punch) but also make use of the Internet as a means for networking (punch number two).

PTZ cameras have been used in the video security and surveillance world for quite some time; even when the systems operated in a totally analog format. However, as technology has increased, cameras have become more powerful in function and lighter in weight as well as more versatile in application. Now, digital video cameras with PTZ functions are much more easily controlled.

Older analog systems usually required a separate, big, bulky controller board that connected to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR unit to manipulate PTZ cameras. This board was proprietary in that it was the only device that could be used to pan, tilt, or zoom PTZ cameras. However, since video security cameras have left the analog genre and become digital, there has been some merging that has occurred with the personal computer world.

There are still separate controller boards available for use with digital PTZ cameras, but these cameras can also be controlled by using software and a personal computer. Many systems are now based on personal computer Graphical User Interfaces or GUIs and the PTZ functions can be controlled by a computer mouse or keyboard strokes.

One PTZ web camera can literally take the place of several non-PTZ cameras. Since these cameras can move in two dimensions and enlarge views as well, they can cover the field of vision that would normally take several non-PTZ cameras to cover. PTZ web cameras have many uses and are great for monitoring large areas such as parking lots, industrial property, and even highways.

Having one or more PTZ cameras is certainly a powerful advantage, but if these cameras are also PTZ Web cameras, their versatility in application and ease of access is incredibly increased. A PTZ Web camera utilizes the Internet as the networking solution for the system thereby broadening the scope of access globally.

PTZ Web cameras are also known as IP ready or Internet Protocol ready cameras. These cameras have built in web server technology so that the camera can connect directly to the Internet. Once the Internet connection has been established these cameras can be used in many ways.

For example, more than one PTZ Web cameras can be networked together using the Internet to carry their signals to a remotely located Digital Video Recorder or DVR unit that can record their digital video data. Another way PTZ Web cameras can be used is as individual cameras that use the Internet to send their digital video data to personal computers which are used to monitor and record their digital video data. This has great implications.

PTZ Web cameras that are connected to the Internet can be accessed anywhere in the world there is broadband Internet access. This instantly converts the accessibility of the camera from a local system to a globally accessible system. In addition to monitoring these cameras anywhere there is Internet access, these cameras can also be controlled remotely from the same point.

This access is not limited to only a personal computer with an Internet browser, but 3G and 4G smartphones can also monitor and control these cameras. This means you could be sunning on the beach in Australia while panning, tilting, zooming and monitoring your PTZ web camera security system in Paris. What more is the only thing needed to use your smartphone to do this is the small software application or app; and Security Camera King makes smartphone apps available for their featured security systems for free.

In addition, PTZ Web cameras can also be programmed to track or follow moving objects. This auto-tracking option is great for keeping a close eye on moving objects in the cameras field of vision, especially if the field of vision is not expected to contain moving objects.

So if you have the need for a digital video security cameras that can “look” left and right, up and down, and enlarge the view of objects, consider purchasing PTZ cameras. However, if you would like a camera that does all this and can be viewed and controlled anywhere in the world there is broadband Internet access, consider purchasing PTZ Web Cameras.

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