Posts Tagged ‘ digital video recorder’

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.


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.


CCTV Camera Systems

Written By:
Thursday, March 17th, 2011

These days there are more Closed Circuit TeleVision or CCTV camera systems than applications for their uses.  If you are interested in such a system, it will serve you well to do some research before venturing out to make your fist purchase.  At Security Camera King, we encourage you to shop around, because we know that we offer the highest quality systems and the best possible prices.  After you’ve looked at other offers, we’re sure you’ll come back to us to make your final purchase.

You may be asking what is meant by the term “CCTV Camera System.”  A CCTV camera system is simply a digital video camera system that normally includes a Digital Video Recorder and a display monitor.  Today’s systems are entirely digital and the systems are component systems, meaning that when putting together your system, you can choose different pieces of the system that have different functions to tailor fit the system to your needs.

First a little history.  Closed Circuit Television or CCTV got its name way back in the days of analog transmissions.  A typical video security system was referred to as a Closed Circuit system because the cameras did not broadcast their signals to the open public.  These cameras were basically smaller versions of the cameras used in television studios.  However, television studio broadcasts were amplified and distributed to the open public (i.e. anyone that had a receiver or television).

CCTV on the other hand, consisted of a circuit of one or more cameras, each connected to a video recorder by means of a video transmission cable.  Analog CCTV camera systems recorded their video on magnetic tape, usually VHS or Beta format.   The used tape had to be ejected and a new one put in place every few hours or a “loop” tape was used.  When a loop tape reached the end of the tape, it simply continued over again on the beginning of the tape, re-recording over the original.

Today, CCTV camera systems are digital.  Instead of sending their video transmissions in analog type signals, they are sent in binary or digital form, usually in the form of bits or bytes, the same sort of digital segments used by personal computers.  The camera data is compiled into a digital video file which can either be stored on a hard drive disk or other storage media and/or viewed on a digital monitor.

Since the data is digital, many of the individual electronic components of a modern CCTV camera system are the same things used in personal computing.  For example, the computer Hard Disk Drive or HDD is the major constituent of the DVR storage.  A computer processor, much like the Central Processing Unit or CPU of a personal computer compiles the digital video files, controls and coordinates camera activity as well as playback and other DVR functions.

Since the original video security systems were analog and were called CCTV camera systems, there may be some confusion or crossover that exists today when describing digital video systems.  For example, analog CCTV cameras displayed their video on older CRT (cathode ray tube) type television monitors.  The CRT monitor displays a picture by rapidly projecting horizontal lines across the screen; the more horizontal lines per fixed vertical area, the greater the detail or resolution of the video.

Digital video is not displayed in horizontal lines, but as a series of horizontal and vertical dots called pixels.  These pixels may be circular or square in shape.  Generally speaking, the more pixels in a video for a fixed area, the greater the detail of the video because the dots are much smaller.  This allows for finer detail in the image.

So where’s the confusion?  Today you may still see CCTV camera systems that describe their clarity or detail or resolution of the camera in terms of Televsion Lines or TVL.  Yet other cameras may describe their resolution in terms of pixels.  For more information on determining the equivalencies of resolution for these systems see the articles in our knowledge base.

Since most of our monitors that are manufactured today are no longer CRT type but are more commonly LCD (liquid Crystal Display) or LED (Light Emitting Diode), it would see logical that over time, the TVL descriptor will eventually lose out to the more familiar digital “pixel” resolution (for example 720 X 340 pixels), but for the time being, it is well enough that you are aware that the difference exists.


Home Surveillance Systems

Written By:
Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Home surveillance systems provide security, protection, and monitoring services that can give you peace of mind and keep your family safe.  These systems are based on digital video and digital data; because of this they have the explicit advantage of sharing the benefits of technological improvements in the personal computing industry.  This means exponentially greater performance at less expensive prices.

Typically, most home surveillance systems are component systems made up of three major components or pieces of equipment; the digital video cameras, the Digital Video Recorder or DVR and one or more monitors.  Digital video cameras may be mounted anywhere that’s advantageous to the user; however, standard applications normally provide for exterior perimeter coverage of the home including entrances, exits, and first floor or ground accessible windows.

Inside the home surveillance system can be “zone” type where coverage is based on specific areas of the home and cameras are normally placed in large rooms, hallways, lobbies, and the like or every room may be equipped with its own camera.  This is really a matter of the user’s preference, as are special use cameras.

Special use cameras on the exterior of the home can include a wide variety of cameras and situations.  For example, outdoor cameras (as well as indoor cameras) can be equipped with infrared illumination and the required electronics so as to provide 24 hour coverage, even in total darkness.

More specific uses for the exterior of the home include gate monitoring, driveway monitoring, garage and other detached building monitoring, pet area monitoring, and entrance monitoring.  These cameras can be standard “wired” types or they can also be wireless where the camera transmits a signal to a receiver that is located close to and cabled with the DVR.

Another useful feature for gate and entrance door cameras is two-audio.  Using two-way audio, the gate camera or door camera can act like a security guard that allows you to converse with whomever maybe at the door or gate before permitting them entry.  Each of Security Camera King’s home surveillance systems DVRs supports two way voice technology.

There are many other uses for exterior home surveillance systems’ cameras that are just too numerous to mention here.  The key point is that with all the basic and optional features that digital video cameras have available to offer; they are so versatile that there is almost no situation where they can’t be used.

In addition, there are probably just as many special uses for cameras inside the home as there are outside.  As mentioned earlier, cameras can come with infrared video capability so that when a room is in total darkness, a clear, crisp highly detailed black and white video can still be created.  These cameras are especially useful as baby monitors.   Placed in the nursery with a full open view of the crib/bed and baby/child, these cameras can monitor the infant all night long without disturbing them.  (The infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that are used to provide the infrared illumination cannot be seen by the human eye.)

Home surveillance systems for inside the home can also include cameras with motion detectors.  These cameras are connected to an on-board PIR or Passive InfraRed detector that turns the camera on for recording only when motion is detected.  The cameras are useful as alarms as well, for the DVR if so equipped, can be programmed to send and email every time the camera is activated.  Furthermore, these cameras save a tremendous about of DVR hard disk space since they only record when motion is detected.

Another highly specialized use indoor home surveillance systems camera is the hidden or disguised camera.  Modern technology has paved the way for these relatively new cameras.  The units are so small that they can easily be hidden inside other normal working objects.  For example, if you need a camera to monitor your home office while you are away, but feel that a mounted camera may appear obtrusive or aesthetically displeasing, you can use a hidden desk clock camera.  The camera is hidden inside the stylish full operating model of a desk clock.

Security Camera King offers all sorts of home surveillance systems and very competitive prices.  We offer 4, 8, 16, and 32 channel systems that come complete with cameras, cable, connectors, power supplies, and a DVR.  We feature three different types of DVRs; the entry level “Elite Mini,” the full enterprise level “Elite,” and our top of the line “Ultimate.”


DVR Security System

Written By:
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Security Camera King features a DVR security system that can fit every need and budget.   We have systems for four, eight, sixteen, and thirty-two channel applications, and we feature three different models of Digital Video Recorders or DVRs, each with its own unique array of standard features.

Most digital video security vendors prefer to sell the components of a DVR security system individually so they can reap the benefit of charging you a higher price.  Security Camera King offers complete packages that include not only the DVR but the cameras, video cable, power supply cable, camera power supplies and all the connectors.

The only item we don’t include in our DVR security system packages is the monitor.  We do carry a full line of high-quality, competitively priced monitors but we don’t include them in our packaged systems because so many people already have a monitor or simply don’t care to use one directly with their system.

Some of our competitors do offer what they call a “DVR security system” but it usually only includes the cameras and DVR.  Further, they offer you a standard system that they put together and you usually have to take it or leave it.  Security Camera King recognizes the fact that everyone’s digital video security design is unique and may not require the same components.  Therefore, we allow you to make changes and upgrades to “tailor fit” your system at a complete system package price (some changes/additions may include an additional charge).

Even though our systems offer professional, complete digital video security, our systems are so easy to install that you can do it yourself.  Should you encounter any difficulties along the way offer a full range of support services including security articles, security videos, and on-line knowledge base.  However, if these services aren’t enough, we also offer full live support of security experts that can help you design, install, set up, and use your DVR security system.  Our security experts can be contacted by telephone or via on-line live chat, whichever you prefer.

We offer six different DVR security systems that feature our entry level DVR, the Elite-Mini.  They include two different systems each for four, eight, or sixteen channels (i.e. cameras).  The two different systems for each channel category differ by the type of power supply and cables offered.  One package offers a space saving power supply with plug and play cables and the other package offers a power distribution box bulk cables and individual connectors.

Just take a look at all the features we offer in our entry level Elite-mini systems:

  • Four channel audio input;
  • Firmware upgrades by either by downloading directly from the Internet or by USB thumb drives;
  • HDMI, VGA, and BNC video outputs each with high definition displays;
  • H.264 the latest most efficient video compression format;
  • Recording CIF resolution on all channels at 30 fps while two channels are also capable of D1 (almost double the resolution of CIF) at 30 fps;
  • On Screen Display  (OSD) for set up and preference changes and includes an infrared remote control;
  • Playback of 4,8, or 16 channels (based on DVR channel capacity) at the DVR and 4 channel playback via the Internet;
  • A built in Web server with up to 10 simultaneous Internet or network users and Dynamic DNS support;
  • If  you connect the DVR to the Internet, the DVR can send you e-mail alerts and you can view and control your system with your Smart phone using our free apps;
  • FTP, HDD, or USB thumb drive backup options;
  • PTZ mouse control using a simple USB mouse;
  • Linux operating system, a high quality Digital Signal Processor or DSP and the DVR is network ready; and,
  • Each camera comes with a full 1-year warranty and each DVR comes with a full 3-year warranty.

Our Elite and Ultimate series DVR security systems include all of the above features and more.  These systems include a CD/DVD writer, support for multiple hard disk drives, video matrix output, and built in loop connectors that can allow you to output a specific camera to its own monitor.  Last and certainly not least, the Ultimate DVR records in real-time at 4 times the resolution of any other comparable standalone DVR in the digital video security system industry.

So if you are considering purchasing a DVR security system, consider Security Camera King we offer great prices and full technical support.