Posts Tagged ‘ DVRs Hard Disk Drive’



PTZ-TOOL Programming Module

Written By:
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The PTZ-TOOL programming module makes programming PTZ cameras a cinch.  Security Camera King offers this for sale for customers because there are many people that have more than 1 PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) camera in their system.  In fact, this tool is only required if you use more than 1 PTZ camera in your system, but it can be used to control a standalone PTZ camera as well.

PTZ cameras make for a powerful addition to a digital video security system.  Often times, these cameras can take the place of two or more stationary cameras making them very cost effective as well.  These cameras usually come with factory pre-settings and it may be useful to “tweak” them a bit; that’s where the PTZ-TOOL programming module comes in.

Before we talk about the PTZ-TOOL programming module itself, let’s take a look at what makes up a digital video system and exactly what a PTZ camera can do in that system.

A basic digital video security and surveillance system normally consists of three components; one or more digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and one or more monitors (a monitor is needed for the initial setup of the system, but once the system is up and running a monitor is actually an optional choice).

The cameras’ primary function is to “capture” video images created by light that reflects off objects in the cameras’ field of view.  The lens focuses this light onto a small sensor that ranges in size from 1/4″ up to about 1/2″ square.  When light strikes its individual units (pixels for example) the sensor produces an electrical impulse that can be measured.  These electrical impulses are used to create a video image that can be displayed on an electronic monitor and/or compiled into a file that can be stored on the DVR’s hard disk drive.

There are many different ways to increase or decrease the field of view for the camera.  One way is to use a varifocal lens.  These lenses however are often only manually operated and can only enlarge or reduce the field of view.  Another way to increase security coverage is to use more than one camera in such a manner that their fields of view overlap just a little.

The third way to increase coverage is to use a PTZ camera. A PTZ camera can normally pan 360 degrees or a full circle and have a vertical movement of at least 180 degrees.  In other words, picture an object that looks like a sphere cut in-half.  Now imagine the camera lens in that half-sphere; generally this is the area that the camera lens can move/rotate through in order to capture video images.

PTZ cameras have become very popular, due to their extreme versatility and advanced electronically controlled features.  However, there are so many different features and functions that it may seem somewhat overwhelming to the do-it-yourselfer.  The PTZ-TOOL Programming Module helps to make the task of changing PTZ settings easy.

 

The PTZ-TOOL Programming Module is designed for use with Security Camera King’s PTZ-LX550L3X Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera and our PT-LX540 Pan/Tilt Camera.  If you use more than one PTZ-LX550L3X or PT-LX540 Pan/Tilt Camera you will need the PTZ-TOOL programming module.  One of the reasons that this tool is required when using more than one PTZ or PT camera is so the address of the camera can be changed from the setting of “1.”

The DVR has virtual “ports” that are assigned to the cameras to keep them separate for the DVR’s sake.  These virtual ports or addresses can range from 0-255.  Programming the camera to a different address allows the DVR or other device to control that camera only.  It’s the equivalent of a first name when talking about someone in a particular family.  If you used the surname only, no one would know who you were talking to; mother, father or siblings.  However, when you use a first name, then the individual knows exactly who you are talking to (addressing).

With the Programming Module for PTZ-LX550L3X and PT-LX540, you can assign different addresses (first names) to the cameras so that the DVR can keep track of them.

If you have any additional questions about the Programming Module for PTZ-LX550L3X and PT-LX540 contact one of our security experts today either by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 1-866-573-8878  Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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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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