Using camera monitor security software, you can turn an average webcam into your own digital video security camera. Though digital video security cameras are designed specifically for security and surveillance applications and provide the best option for this purpose, it is possible to use new or existing web cams, digital cameras, and even video cameras for security monitoring.
There are many different camera monitor security software programs available today. In fact, this software is not limited in application to just webcams and similar devices but also applies to the programs that are used on a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for standalone digital video security systems. Let’s talk about the software that applies to webcams and similar devices first, and then we’ll mention some features of the camera monitor security software used on DVRs.
A typical standalone digital video security system is a component system which consists of at least three major components: 1) One or more digital video cameras; 2) A DVR with a Digital Signal Processor (DSP); and, 3) A monitor.
A digital video security camera converts the reflecting light energy in the camera’s field of view into electrical energy. This electrical energy can be measured and digitized (converted from analog to binary or digital form) and passed along to a DSP. The DSP compiles the data sent to it from the camera and creates a digital video file that is stored on the DVR and/or can be viewed in real-time (live) on a monitor.
Camera monitor security software allows one to use a digital video device not typically designed for security and surveillance applications, to be used for this purpose along with a personal computer. Using this software, the user can program the computer to become the DVR and monitor and link the digital video device to them.
This is not the same as a system that is specifically designed to work with a computer by inserting a PCI card and installing special software to use with the PCI card. An example of such a system is a Geovision system, (see our July 2010 Archive in our Knowledge Base or click this link http://www.securitycameraking.com/securityinfo/2010/07/ for information on Geovision systems). Geovision systems are designed to be used with standard digital video cameras, not webcams.
There advantages and disadvantages to using camera monitor security software instead of a standalone digital video security system. The following lists a few of each:
• Allows you to use existing hardware so that only the software needs to be purchased.
• Significantly reduces the cost for a digital video security system.
• Many programs/computers can only utilize one camera, which is seldom enough to provide comprehensive security coverage.
• Webcams are generally designed for “up-close” usage and may not provide an adequate field of view.
• Most personal digital video devices (webcams, digital cameras, etc.) are not weather-proof and cannot be used outdoors.
• Using this software, especially continuously, can tie up valuable personal computer resources such as memory and hard disk drive space which can significantly reduce the efficiency of the computer for other tasks.
The disadvantages of this specific type of camera monitor security software generally outweighs the advantages for use in security and surveillance applications. Nonetheless, it can provide an economic solution for applications where a computer and webcam are already available.
The other type of camera monitor security software mentioned at the beginning of this article is designed for use with standalone DVR systems. This software is usually a proprietary program that is designed by or for the manufacturer of the DVR. Modern DVR units are basically mini-personal computers but are specifically designed for video recording use. This software coordinates the interaction between the digital video security camera, the DVR, and the monitor.
In addition, the software may contain additional features such as:
• Motion detection;
• E-mail or other electronic communication alerts;
• Timing functions;
• Controlling camera functions such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ); and,
• Controlling monitor display functions such as the number of cameras, the frame rate, color or black and white, and other features.
As you can see, in either application, camera monitor security software is the programming link between the various hardware devices including the processor. It can be designed for specific or general applications and can be provided in a variety of different formats. If you need more information or are interested in purchasing camera monitor security software, contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts today.