Posts Tagged ‘ digital video security cameras’



Camera Monitor Security Software

Written By:
Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

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:

Advantages
• 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.

Disadvantages
• 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.

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Hidden Spy Camera

Written By:
Friday, November 19th, 2010

There are times when it is necessary to monitor and/or record video using a hidden spy camera. Often, these require situation specific digital video cameras and systems. Security Camera King offers a huge selection of hidden spy cameras to meet all of your covert video capturing needs.

Although digital video security camera systems reap an added benefit of deterring criminal activity, there are some applications where it may be necessary to record video with out be obvious. This is usually accomplished by disguising a very small video camera within the body of another object. The other object may or may not always function for the purpose that it appears it was manufactured.

Modern technological developments in lenses, video image sensor chips, and Integrated Circuit (IC) chips have yielded the smallest of cameras. The smaller these digital video cameras are, the easier it is to disguise them as hidden spy cameras. In fact, technology has become so advanced in producing compact cameras that they can be hidden within a wristwatch (check out our product # HC-WATCH Hidden Watch Color Camera with Audio) or even an ink pen (checkout our product # HC-PEN).

Hidden spy cameras may be either wireless or wired. For a vast selection of wireless spy cameras click on “Wireless Hidden Cameras” under the “Security Cameras” heading on the left side of our web page. For a large selection of hidden spy cameras that are wired or a standalone camera unit, click on the “Hidden Security Cameras” heading under the “Security Cameras” heading. However, if you need a camera and built in Digital Video Recorder or DVR, then click on the “Hidden Camera Systems” heading under the “Security Cameras” heading.

Digital video cameras produce electronic data that is used to create a digital video file. Digital video files can be read and understood by Personal Computers (PC) and Macintosh (MACs) alike. Since digital video files are a type of computer file, they can be stored on memory chips designed for computer use. Recent advancements in the construction and development of memory chips have yielded chips with a greater memory capacity and a much smaller design.

Hidden spy cameras take advantage of this technology to produce micro-camera systems with small size memory chips. The final product yields a self contained high-quality digital video camera as well as a DVR. The actual memory chip media for these cameras may be SD cards, Thumb Flash drives, or built-in memory chips that can transfer their data to a computer using a USB cable.

These hidden spy cameras and hidden spy camera systems may or may not contain their own power supply, depending on the camera or system. For example our product # HC-SPRNK-WC Wired Color Sprinkler Hidden Camera requires an external power source. This camera is disguised to look just exactly like an emergency fire sprinkler head. However, like regular digital video cameras, this hidden spy camera requires power from a low-voltage Direct Current (DC) source. This is normally supplied by a power distribution center or a plug-in transformer/adapter. On the other hand, our Hidden Watch Color Camera with Audio previously mentioned, contains its own rechargeable battery and 4 Gigabytes of on board memory as well.

Security Camera King “crowns” our competition with a tremendous offering of hidden security cameras. The following is just a partial list of the hidden spy camera types of we have to offer. These cameras are disguised as:
• Motion detectors;
• Smoke detectors;
• Sprinklers;
• Ink pens;
• Buttons;
• Screws;
• Wrist watches;
• Speakers;
• Exit signs;
• Wall clocks;
• Alarm clocks;
• Cordless house phones;
• Emergency lights;
• HVAC thermostats;
• Vanity mirrors;
• Wind Tunnel fans;
• CD boom boxes;
• Air fresheners; and,
• Utility boxes.

Our supply of hidden spy camera systems most of which can record audio and have built-in DVRs are disguised as:
• Portable wick and lighter fluid type lighters;
• Mini desk clocks;
• Sunglasses;
• Car key remote keychain;
• Spot lights;
• Motion detectors;
• Rearview mirrors;
• Electrical outlets;
• Air fresheners and air purifiers;
• Exit signs;
• Wall clocks;
• CD boom boxes;
• Room fans; and,
• Desktop lamps.

If you have any additional questions or would like to purchase a hidden spy camera, contact one of Security Camera Kings security experts today. You can reach them by clicking on the “Live Chat” button or by calling us at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM.

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Wireless Spy Camera

Written By:
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

There are times when covert digital video monitoring is needed and nothing can fulfill your security and surveillance needs like wireless spy cameras from Security Camera King. We offer a full line of wireless spy cameras that maintain their concealed identity, transmit their video images without the need for wire hook-ups, and produce high resolution digital video.

Digital video security and surveillance monitoring can be classified into two different types based on whether the monitoring is obvious or purposely intended to be concealed. In the security video industry, these two categories are often referred to as covert (meaning hidden, stealthy, or concealed) and overt (meaning obvious, open, or unconcealed). Covert cameras that broadcast their digital video using radio signals are often referred to as wireless spy cameras.

Wireless spy cameras can be classified into two different types as well based on how the camera achieves being overt. Wireless spy cameras do this by either being incredibly small or disguised as some other object other than a security camera (or some cameras may use a combination of both). The incredibly small types of cameras are often referred to as pinhole type cameras and these are often designed to be disguised as very small objects as well. In order to understand how this is possible, let’s take a look at an incredibly small wireless spy camera and see how it works.

Digital video cameras work by focusing light images on a sensor that can transfer the light energy of the image into electrical energy. There are two different sensors that may be used for this purpose; a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

Each sensor performs the same task (transfers light energy into electrical energy that can be measured) but goes about it in a slightly different way. Typically, CCDs have provided a higher quality picture while CMOSs use much less electricity to operate. However, as electronic technology advances both are producing high resolution video images with a minimal amount of power needed to do the job.

These sensor chips, usually in the shape of a square, can be very small, as small as only 1/4″. Today’s electronic technology can produce incredibly small Integrated Circuit or IC chips that house the circuitry for processing video images, converting them to radio signals, and transmitting them to a receiver. Advanced lens physics and manufacture can produce a small wide-angle lens as small as 3.7 mm for example. Combine all three of these technologies and you could produce a wireless spy camera as small as the head of a screw or a button that produce high quality video images. In fact, Security Camera King carries two such cameras, our 2.4 GHz wireless button camera and our 2.4 GHz wireless screw camera.

Wireless spy cameras labeled as “2.4 GHz” refer to the technology that is used to transmit the wireless signal. A 2.4 GHz wireless spy camera uses the same high-quality dependable technology to transmit its radio signals as many land line based wireless telephones. The transmitter and receiver are tuned to a frequency in the 2.4 GHz radio wave spectrum.

The term “wireless spy camera” may impart a connotation of negativity associated with its name. It’s important to note that wireless spy cameras are not necessarily used for this purpose but may be used for the sake of aesthetics in appearance. Our 2.4 GHz Wireless Dog Baby Monitor Camera is a fine example.

Some wireless spy cameras may be used as standalone monitor systems. That is, the camera/transmitter unit comes with its own receiver/monitor. These units are usually designed for monitoring and not recording so although they may come with their own portable, handheld LCD monitor, they often do not record. Our wireless dog baby monitor camera is a good example of this; typically it is not necessary to record baby monitor transmissions.

Other cameras may be designed to use with a standalone video security system that includes a DVR   for storing video. These cameras may or may not come with a receiver, so it’s important that you check on this in the camera’s description or specifications area.

Sometimes the greatest advantage of using digital video security cameras is the ability to monitor and record activities without any indication that video monitoring is occurring and Security Camera Kings wireless spy cameras do just that. Check out our vast selection by clicking on “Security Cameras” then “Wireless Hidden Cameras” on the left side of our web page.

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Battery Powered Security Camera

Written By:
Friday, July 16th, 2010

A battery powered security camera can give you the freedom to install the camera in just about any location, especially if the camera is a wireless type. However, there are a few things you should know about battery powered security cameras before you make a purchase. The following should help to give you insight on how the power supply is normally handled for digital video cameras and the options available for battery powered units.

First, we need to provide a little clarification. When this article refers to battery powered security cameras, it means the latest digital video models of security cameras. These cameras built today require much less electricity to operate than their older counterparts. Generally, modern digital video security cameras require between 9 and 12 volts of Direct Current (DC). Their older counterparts often ran on only 120 volts of Alternating Current (AC).

All digital video security cameras require some sort of electrical power supply. This is usually provided by an AC adapter that plugs into a normal electrical outlet and transforms the 120 volt AC into 9 – 12 Volt DC for the cameras. For systems with multiple cameras, a power distribution unit is used which provides the same function but provides for connections for several cameras at once.

However, battery powered security cameras can eliminate the need for the power supply and wiring. If the camera is a “wireless” type, it means that it does not require a transmission cable that connects it to the processor or Digital Video Recorder (DVR). If that is the case, a battery operated wireless camera has absolutely no wires that are connected to it and only requires mounting for installation.

As mentioned earlier, most modern security cameras only require 9 to 12 volts DC to operate. These power requirements are for standard, stationary cameras. Cameras that have Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functions will require a higher power demand to operate the motors that move the camera parts and generally are not good candidates for battery power.

A battery powered security camera uses battery packs that are designed to operate the camera for about 8 hours before requiring recharging. However, depending on the type of camera and how it is used, this time may be longer or shorter. For example, a wireless security camera model using the same battery pack will operate about 2 ½ hours. There are security camera battery packs designed to operate cameras for up to 24 hours although these are generally much more expensive and require a longer recharge time as well.

A word about battery technology in regard to batter powered security cameras. There are basically three types of rechargeable battery; nickel cadmium or Ni-Cads, nickel metal hydride or NiMHs, and lithium ion or Li-ions or LBs.

The oldest and the cheapest battery type is the Ni-Cad. The Ni-Cad is a good battery but it has been discovered that it exhibits a phenomenon known as battery memory. If a Ni-Cad is not fully discharged before recharging, the Ni-Cad will have a tendency to produce the proper voltage for only the approximate time of the last usage before recharge. This means that an 8 hour battery may be used for 3 hours, recharged and the next usage it may only produce for 3 hours.

In order to get the fullest useful time from a Ni-Cad it should be discharged nearly completely each time before it is recharged. This can be a hassle and if not done properly can even damage the battery. Although the Ni-Cad is still in use today, there are better choices for a battery powered security camera.

Ni-MH batteries are superior to Ni-Cads in a few ways. First, NI-MHs are usually able to sustain a longer charge with more power for the same size of battery. Most importantly however, NI-MH batteries do not have the tendency to possess battery memory. This means that if you use a Ni-MH battery that is designed to last 8 hours for only 4 and recharge it, the next use should still last 8 hours. These batteries are more expensive than Ni-Cads but yield better performance.

Li-ion batteries yield the best performance, longest staying power, and lightest weight. LI-ion batteries do not possess battery memory. However, these batteries are often as much as 10 times expensive as a Ni-Cad.

Consider how your battery powered security camera will be expected to operate and that will help you to determine which type of battery to use, or whether to use battery power at all.

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