Posts Tagged ‘ hdd ’

Get The Best Performance and Longest Life Out of Your Security Hard Drives!

Written By:
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Newer and larger security hard drives are always coming to the market, and there are bound to be a few kinks that need to be worked out with performance. This article will explain, in detail, how the security hard drives work and the best configuration when it comes to getting the longest life out of your drive as possible. When you have more than one drive in a DVR/NVR, all of the data will write to just one of the drives. While the one drive is spinning and is being written to the other drive(s) lay dormant. In other words it is not spinning at its full speed or potential as the other drive is. This is causing all of the stress to be dumped on one single drive at a time, and then when the drive is full the DVR/NVR will begin to write to the other drive and the first drive will become inactive. After that it becomes a vicious cycle.

Why is this not good for the hard drives?

Well, if one hard drive alone is under a great deal of stress receiving all this information from 32 cameras for a solid 2 weeks, then it suddenly is no longer being used for the next 2 weeks, and then it is back in use it can cause issues with the hard drives. Keep in mind this is a constant cycle. The drive is full speed for 2 weeks then inactive for the next two weeks, then again full speed. Obviously,  the more cameras you have the more intense this cycle becomes.

What is the solution?

In our DVRs, when you have more than one hard drive, you can group the hard drives. Say you have 32 cameras and 4 hard drives, you can set HDD groups so cameras 1-8 will record to group one which will be hard drive one. Then 9-16 will record to group two which is hard drive two, 17-24 will be group and hard drive three, and lastly 25-32 will be group and hard drive four. (See below for config instructions)

Why is this better for the drive, and how does it prolong its life?

What this does is it divides the stress on all the drives instead of having one drive do all the work for 32 cameras constantly. This ensures smooth constant use of all the drives. They are working together, have less stress, and there is no up and down process so they will all be constantly working together and doing half the work in the long run.

Now that we have covered the grouping, let’s dive into configuring these hard drive groups. For this demonstration I will be using an older model NVR we have here that we no longer carry but the process will be the same with the black interface. I will also be demonstrating the new blue interface at the same time.

Once the DVR is set up, all cameras added, and all hard drives installed the first thing you want to do with the older Interface system is log into the machine and go to the advanced tab and find the HDD Manage Icon. Once in HDD manage find “HDD Setting”. This is where you will configure the groups. For the blue interface (newer Interface),  you need to get in the main menu and look for “storage” in the bottom row. Inside storage you will go to advanced on the left side of the screen, that first tab labeled “HDD” is where you will set up the groups. If there are no hard drives connected it will not let you change the hard drive for that group. These pages should look like the first picture for black interface and the second for the blue interface.

Black Interface

HDD Grouping Art2
Blue Interface

Once you save these configurations the DVR/NVR will require to reboot. Once this is done you need to set each channel to the group/HDD it will be recording too.

For the blue interface you just need to select the “Main Stream” tab just next to the “HDD” tab you were just in. There you will assign a group/HDD to each channel and that is the HDD that camera will continuously record too. This should look like the second picture below. For the black interface you must go into HDD Manage again and choose “HDD Channel”, this is where you will assign the HDD/group for this interface, it should look like the first picture below.

HDD Grouping Art4
Black Interface

HDD Grouping ART3
Blue Interface

As you can see in the black interface I have 3 different hard drives connected HDD 2, HDD 3, and HDD 4. I have cameras 1-12 recording to HDD 2, cameras 13-24 recording to HDD 3, and cameras 25-32 will record to HDD 4. In the blue interface I have 2 HDD’s connected, HDD 1, and HDD 2. Cameras 1-8 are recording to HDD 1, and 9-16 recording to the second drive. Again this will make the hard drives all work together all of the time and divide up the work like a well organized work crew. Keep in mind that you can do the same thing with the sub stream, if you need to record to the sub stream, and the same goes for snapshots from the cameras.

The beauty of this setup is when you need to go find footage, absolutely nothing changes. You will NOT have to specify a certain drive or group to find the footage of a camera. The drives are working as one in a sense so when you search in playback it searches through all the drives and finds the correct file. To me it is a no-brainer and I configure all of my clients DVRs this way when I deem necessary. When I say “Necessary” I mean any situation where there is more than one drive. To me, makes no difference the amount of cameras, I see no reason why the drives should not work together as a whole. All it does is improve performance in your drives and make them last longer for you. Please understand this is in no way a guarantee that your drives will not fail, they are electronics that is inevitable, but I can tell you that it will improve the way the DVR runs and the drives perform. All in all, making your system that much more reliable. Also, let me say that if you need any help please feel free to give me a call at my desk at (561) 948-2614, Ext. 124! You can also post your question to our Online CCTV Forum.

Good Luck, Take care!


Home Security Video Camera

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

In the not too distant past, home security video cameras were only for the rich and famous.  Technological advancements and becoming digital has now made home security video cameras so economically priced that there is a system available for just about any budget.

Security Camera King features a great selection of home security video camera systems.  They offer four different Digital Video Recorder (DVR) based systems:

  1. Elite-Mini Economy Series – Don’t let “mini economy” fool you.  This system comes with a full array of features and uses the latest CODEC (COmpression/DECompression utility) H.264.  The unit is accessible from smartphones such as the Iphone, Nokia, Android, Blackberry, etc.  This unit is lacking a PTZ control connection and there is no HDMI video output.
  1. Elite Mini DVR – The home video security cameras used for this system are all run on the H.264 CODEC the latest and most efficient CODEC available today.   The DVR has the ability to house one Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a USB connection for downloading videos.  It has many of the features of our full-sized Elite DVRs but does not support a CD/DVD burner.
  1. Elite DVR – This is a full-feature packed Enterprise level H.264 real-time DVR.   The DVR supports multiple hard disk drives for extended storage times and also has room for a CD/DVD burner.  This system is installed by many high end security companies that seek a quality based security system.
  1. Ultimate DVR – This system is called the “Ultimate” because there is no better word to describe it.  This unit is not just for commercial purposes but makes for a very high end super-quality home security video camera system.  The DVR records in real-time video at 4 times the resolution of any other standalone DVR available anywhere in the industry.  In addition, the DVR can record D1 quality video in real time on all channels!  We feel that Ultimate Series DVR System has the best quality DVR in the industry.

So now that you know there are four different types of DVRs (and basically four different types of systems) available from Security Camera King you should have no problem picking the system that is right for you.  In addition any camera that we sell will work with these systems so if there is a particular home security video camera that you are looking for, chances are we have it and you can include it in your bundle package when purchasing your system.

Security Camera King offers many different types of home security video cameras.  We offer box security cameras, bullet security cameras, indoor dome security cameras, fake security cameras, vandal proof dome security cameras (which come as a standard item when purchased with a system bundle), Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras, Network IP security Cameras, Explosion Proof Security Cameras, and hidden cameras.

Realistically speaking, probably the most common indoor home security video camera is the dome camera.  They are small, unobtrusive, and easy to install and produce great high-quality video images.  Many are made as indoor/outdoor models.  As a matter of fact, all of the bundled systems that Security Camera King offers for sale except the Ultimate bundle, include the 420 TVL Indoor/Outdoor Vandal Resistant Dome Camera Product#OD-LX420IR50 (The Ultimate system offers the same type of camera but with a greater resolution and offers the 550 TVL Indoor/Outdoor Vandal Resistant Dome Home Security Video Camera Product# OD-LX550IR50).

Of the cameras mentioned above, those most likely to be used as home Security Video Cameras are the box cameras, the bullet cameras, and the dome cameras.

Box cameras are indoor cameras unless a separate weatherproof housing is purchased for them.  However, for inside coverage, depending on the size and decor of the rooms, they may be a bit large and stick out too much.

Bullet cameras make excellent outdoor home security video cameras because they already come with a weatherproof housing, and most come with their own InfraRed Light Emitting Diodes to record video in total darkness under infrared conditions.

The dome camera seems to be the most versatile camera as far as home security video cameras are concerned.   They have many additional features and one can purchase cameras with just about any kind of additional function.

So, if your “in the market” for a home security video camera system, contact one of our security experts via “Live Chat” or telephone.  We love to help!



Digital Recording Device

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

A digital (audio) recording device, according to the U. S. Code of Regulations (Title 17, Chapter 10, Subchapter A, paragraph 1001), “is any machine or device of a type commonly distributed to individuals for use by individuals, whether or not included with or as part of some other machine or device, the digital recording function of which is designed or marketed for the primary purpose of, and that is capable of, making a digital audio copied recording for private use…”

Huh?  Let’s try this again.  A digital recording device is any device that records in a digital (binary) format.  There are all kinds of digital recording devices.  Since the technological advancements that have come with the computer age, many other industries have borrowed the same technology but may have modified it slightly to meet their specific needs.

As far as the digital video security and surveillance camera industry goes there are basically two digital recording devices that immediately come to mind.  One is the digital phone/room recorder and the other is the Digital Video Recorder or DVR.

Security Camera King offers two different digital phone/room recorders, product# DPR-N88 and product# DPR-N308.  These two recorders are audio digital recording devices.  They work by recording to a storage medium a stream of discrete numbers that represent the changes in air pressure or sound.  In contrast, analog sound is created from a continuous wave that represents the changes in air pressure or sound.

Basically using a simple set of the numbers 1 and 0 (called binary or digital format) just about anything that is recorded as an analog set can be converted to digital.  There are several advantages to digital recording devices.  First and foremost is that digital recording does not degrade in quality over time like analog recordings do.  Another advantage of digital recordings is that, thanks to the ever increasing technology of the computer industry, more data can be stored digitally than can be done by an analog medium.

While digital audio recording record the changes in sound, digital video stores information that represents the changes over time in chroma and luminence for video.  Once again, the older (analog) method of recording video was, like analog audio, the creation of a continuous wave.

The security camera industry reaped the biggest benefit from the “computer age” when they started using digital recording devices called DVRs (which are also the second type of digital recording device referenced above).  In the security camera industry the main digital recording device is the DVR.  There are several types of DVRs which use several different methods for storage as a digital recording device.

The most common digital recording device for full size commercial or residential security camera systems is the Hard Disk Drive or HDD.  The DVRs HDD is a non-volatile (will not lose recorded information when power is disconnected), random access digital recording device.  Security Camera Kings systems’ HDD storage options ranges from 500 Gigabytes (GB) to 8 Terabytes (TB).

The HDD consists of rotating rigid platters (disks) on a motor driven spindle.  Digital data is magnetically written to or read from the platter by read/write magnetic heads.   These heads are extremely close to the platters but they never touch them.  As a result when the heads are directed to read or write the platter spins and the head either searches and reads for magnetic changes on the platter or writes magnetic changes on the platter which is literally a series of 1s and 0s.

There are other types of digital recording devices too.  For example, Security Camera King’s product# HC-SUNGL-DVR are sunglasses with the camera and DVR included and built into the glasses.  Of course, in this case the digital recording device is not an HDD but an electronic circuit designed for digitally recording the video and audio.  These sunglasses not only have 4 GB of storage built-in, but the DVR can also accept Micro SD Expansion memory cards of up to 8 GB.

Well hopefully this article has given you enough knowledge about digital recording devices that you’ll know what to look for and how they work.  If you have any additional questions about digital recording devices and how they may apply to you please contact one of Security Camera Kings security experts today.



Stand Alone DVR For Security Camera

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.


How much storage do I need for my DVR?

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

There are many factors when trying to determin how much storage you will need for your DVR. The first thing you need to decide is how long you will need to keep stored video before it begins to record over itself. Security DVRs use hard drives to store your recorded video. You will need to decide on the amount of hard drive space you need. One you have decided on the amount of time you want recorded video to remain, then you will need to examine the other factors that influence storage space. Among those are:

– What compression does the DVR use for recording? (H.264 is 40% more efficient than MPEG4).

– What resolution will you be recording in? (4CIF or D1 takes up 4 times more storage space than CIF)

– What frame rate will you be recording in? (maximize storage with a lower frame rate or us max storage when recording realtime at 30fps)

– Are you recording motion only or 24/7?

– What quality level are you using?

– How much motion or events do you expect? (a shopping mall will have much more motion than a storage locker)

– Have you properly masked areas like moving trees and flags that you do not want to trigger motion?

– Have you set the sensitivity level to a setting where motion is only triggered by objects you want? (For example, set the sensitivity so that a small animal does not set of motion recording, but a person does.)

Once all of this has been determined, then you can use a calculator like the one found here.

Once you determine the amount of hard drive space you need, then you will need to decide if this will be one hard drive, or multiple drives. Make sure that the DVR you select can accomodate the amount of storage you need.