Posts Tagged ‘ Hidden Camera Pen ’

Live Security Cameras

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

If you need real-time monitoring of a person, room, building or object live security cameras could be your solution. Live security cameras are digital video security and surveillance cameras that provide capture of high-quality color or black and white video images that can be viewed instantly on a corresponding monitor.

The use of the phrase “live security cameras” could be a bit misleading as most digital video cameras today provide live coverage options. Basically, the only digital video cameras that do not provide live coverage are highly specialized cameras designed specifically for playback of the captured video at a later time.

For example, the incredibly small ink pen (Security Camera King’s product # HC-PEN) or wristwatch (our product # HC-WATCH) are specifically designed to capture video covertly. In order to maintain their disguise while being imbedded in small objects, these camera systems are specifically designed to store their video using on board memory chips. The memory chips can be accessed later, using a personal computer and a USB connection.

Typically, a live security camera or live security camera system almost always involve the use of at least one monitor in order for the user to experience live video footage. So does that mean that all standard residential and commercial digital video cameras are live security cameras or live security camera systems?

Not necessarily and here’s why. Many customers choose to purchase a digital video security system for their residential or commercial use without the intent of watching their system continuously. These individuals are more apt to only need to view the video images when a special event occurs (such as movement around a house or during a store robbery). These users may opt to not use a monitor or attach a monitor only after the event has occurred to view/edit the video. In these cases, even though the camera may be capturing live video, it is being stored on a Digital Video Recorder or DVR for later viewing. Therefore, these systems aren’t exactly live security cameras.

Bear in mind that although most digital video security systems require a monitor to initially set the system up, it is not necessary to maintain the use of a monitor connected to the system full time. Also keep in mind that with today’s technology, Internet Protocol (IP) ready cameras can be networked over the Internet. This means that although the digital video camera may be in one location, a user located on the opposite of the earth can monitor the live security cameras.

There are also a few systems that are designed to be live security camera systems only. These are usually highly specialized systems as well, designed specifically for the purpose of live video monitoring. Therefore, these camera systems usually only consist of a digital video camera and a monitor or in the case of wireless systems a camera/transmitter and a receiver/monitor. A good example of this application is a baby monitor. Typically, it’s not necessary to record baby monitor videos because the whole idea of using a baby monitor is to observe what is happening now (an act on it if required) rather than wait until a later time.

Other live security cameras are used for monitoring non-ambulatory medical patients, industrial processes, and 24/7 professional monitoring services. All of these uses may be recorded using a DVR, but the key is that the video captured is available for viewing as the camera records or as the event occurs.

While these applications for using live security cameras may not necessarily include video recording, security monitoring can always be enhanced by recording the video as well. Consider a live security monitoring system that is used for entrance/exit of a building. Although the main concern in this application is protecting the building from unauthorized or unwanted inhabitants, recording the monitoring can be used at a later time as proof of an individual’s attendance. If the DVR contains time/date stamping (most do) then recording can also document the time and date of the entrance/exit.

Live security cameras definitely have their niche in the digital video security camera industry. If you are interested in purchasing a live security camera system or have an additional questions about one, contact our security experts today by clicking on the “Live Chat” button at the top of the page or by calling us at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6 PM EST.


Spy Camera DVR

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

A spy camera DVR or Digital Video Recorder usually differs from typical digital video security system DVRs because of the necessity for portability. Most spy camera models capture video at a lower size than standard which also requires lest DVR capacity.

Before we talk about a spy camera DVR, let’s discuss what a typical digital video security system is and how it works. Then we’ll discuss how this differs from a spy camera system and finally, what different types of spy camera DVRs are available.

A typical, full sized digital video security system consists of three major components: 1. Digital video camera(s); 2. A DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP; and, 3. One or more monitors. Each digital video camera captures video images by changing light energy into electrical energy that can be used to create digital video files. The DSP uses the data created by the digital video camera and actually creates the digital video file. The DSP stores the file on the DVR for later viewing on a monitor or the file can be viewed live on a monitor.

There are several optional features, deviations, and additions that can be made to the previous description, but that is a basic digital video system in a nutshell. There are two specifics we should mention about the digital video camera that may come into play with the use of a spy camera; how the images are captured and infrared imaging.

Digital video cameras work by focusing light from images onto a fairly small electronic sensor chip. There are two different sensor chips that can be used and although they differ slightly in how they transfer light energy into electrical energy they both produce the same product, data that can be used to create a video image. The sensors that are used are either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

Both the CCD and the CMOS are also inherently sensitive to infrared radiation, specifically wavelengths or radiation called near infrared. This means with the proper lighting and filters a digital video camera can be designed to capture not only normal visible light images, but also infrared light images invisible to the human eye.

There are basically two methods of collecting security and surveillance video. The most popular method is overt recording. When capturing video overtly, there is no attempt to hide the video equipment. Covert recording is an attempt to capture video without the subject’s awareness. Covert recording systems are often called spy cameras or spy camera DVRs.

Most spy cameras achieve their status as “spy cameras” by disguising themselves within or as other objects. For example, Security Camera King has a vast selection of disguised or hidden (spy) cameras that are imbedded in or appear as exit signs, wall clocks, telephones, and many other items.

Some of these devices may also contain infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to illuminate areas in total darkness. As mentioned earlier, these infrared LEDs project a light that is invisible to the human eye but can be detected by an infrared digital video camera. As a result, these cameras can record video in total darkness.

Most of the spy cameras mentioned thus far can be connected to a basic standalone digital video security system that includes a standard DVR. The DVRs used in these systems are the like the hard disk drive in a computer. They contain a spinning plate and a magnetic head that moves about the plate recording the digital video files.

However, when we think of spy camera DVRs it is not the hard disk drive mentioned above. These spy cameras are often very small and compact or are imbedded in very small and compact objects. For example, Security Camera Kings product # HC-PEN Ink pen or HC-WATCH Wristwatch both record color video and audio. Their memory or spy camera DVR is built in solid state memory. Normally a special USB cable is used to transfer the data from this DVR to a personal computer.

Other types of spy camera DVRs may utilize a variety of small, non-mechanical solid state memory devices as their DVR medium of choice. For example, some spy camera DVRs consist of thumb drives, Flash memory cards like SD cards, Mini Compact Flash cards and the like.

Modern technological improvements have created physically smaller yet larger in capacity spy camera DVRs. Check out our full line of spy cameras in our on-line catalogue.