Posts Tagged ‘ pan tilt zoom’



Security Video Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Security video cameras are one of three major components of today’s digital video security systems which also consist of a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and one or more monitors.  The digital video camera is an interesting piece of electronic wonder, and as technology continues to advance so do the features and abilities of the security video camera.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how a security video camera operates.  We’ll also take a look at some of the more common features and options that are available on today’s digital video security cameras.

Security video cameras are electronic based devices that transfer light images into electrical images that can be viewed on a monitor.   One of the key factors in accomplishing this is the electronic sensor that is used inside the camera to do the conversion.  Cameras make use of one of two different technologies with either one yielding the same end result.

 

These sensors are called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  The lenses focus the light image onto this small sensor chip (most range from about 1/4 inch 1/2 inch square).  The chip is sensitive to light energy in such a way that when light strikes the chip and electrical impulse is created that can be measured and used to construct a video image.

Ironically, even in digital security video cameras, the video signal that is created is originally analog in nature.   The signal is passed through a special Integrated Circuit or IC chip known as a analog-to-digital converter as well as a Digital Signal Processor or DSP before it is sent out the camera to the DVR.  In most systems the signal is sent along a cable (RG-59, CAT5, etc) from the camera directly to the DVR or monitor; hence the often used phrase “Closed Circuit TeleVision” or CCTV.

Once the video data reaches the DVR, it must be worked on some more by the DVRs DSP.  The data is gathered or compiled into a file called a digital video file.  Security video cameras create digital video files that can be played back by most personal computers and DVD players.  This digital video file is actually several digital photographs taken in raped succession over a very short time (usually around 30 photographs or frames per second or 30 fps).

The digital video file can quickly become several Gigabytes in size, especially when there are multiple cameras (which is usually the norm) recording at the same time.  There fore to make handling of the file easier for the processor and to get the maximum amount of time-recording per given storage capacity, the file is reduced to a fraction of its original size.

This is done by a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility.  The utility may be hardwired (usually an IC chip) or it may exist in the form of software.  Basically, a CODEC is a mathematical algorithm that finds a way to store repetitive data only once, thereby reducing file size while maintaining video quality.  Security Camera King’s DVRs all use the latest, most efficient CODEC known as H.264.

Security video cameras come in a variety of shapes, sizes, features, and price ranges.  Covering all of these variations is by far, beyond the capacity of this article, however we will attempt to try to cover some of the more popular characteristics.  If you would like additional more specific information on a camera variation, try searching our knowledge base for more information.

 

There are basically four types of security video cameras based on shape.  They are:

  • Box cameras;
  • Bullet cameras;
  • Dome cameras; and,
  • A variety of different hidden or disguised cameras that take the shape of the device they are built into.

These cameras are further made in one of three different styles based on where they are intended to be used.  These are:

  • Indoor cameras;
  • Outdoor cameras; and,
  • Indoor/Outdoor cameras.

In addition, cameras can come with a myriad of features.  Depending on the manufacturer and camera model, some features may be considered standard issue for the camera while others will be considered an option, usually with an additional cost:

  • Infrared night vision;
  • Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ);
  • Motion detection;
  • Very high resolution output;
  • Audio capability;
  • Internet compatible;
  • Explosion proof; and,
  • Wireless.

Generally speaking, if you have a specific security video camera need, there’s one out there that can nicely fit the bill.

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Web Ready DVR Security System

Written By:
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Security Camera King features several different digital video security systems and each of them is a web ready DVR security system. We take pride in offering the highest-quality most up-to-date security merchandise, and that includes our web ready Elite Mini, Elite Series, and Ultimate Series Digital Video Recorders or DVRs.

These days everyone’s work and personal situation is different so versatility is the key to digital video camera security system that can work for all. Security Camera Kings do-it-yourself security systems are easy to install and a cinch to set-up and operate. What’s more, since each DVR is a web ready DVR security system, once installed you can access your system anywhere in the world where there is broadband internet access, and that includes using your 3G or 4G smartphone.

There are several ways of using the Internet with digital video security system components. These components are usually designated as IP or Internet Protocol ready, such as an IP Digital Video Security Camera. They are also referred to as “Web ready” such as a Web ready DVR security system. In the following article, we’ll take a look at the differences between IP ready cameras and IP or Web ready DVR security systems and look at some of the benefits or features of a Web ready system.

Web ready digital video cameras are different from ordinary digital video cameras in that they do not directly connect to the DVR. In fact, Web ready cameras don’t have to connect to a DVR at all. Web ready or IP cameras use the internet as a vehicle for networking. They can connect to a DVR remotely, thousands of miles away, via the internet. They can also be viewed and controlled via the internet.

Each IP ready camera contains its own web server technology and connects directly to the Internet via a broadband internet connection. The connection is usually via a Cat 5 Ethernet cable or wirelessly to a wireless broadband modem or router. Of course, most are WiFi compatible. The camera’s digital information is streamed over the Internet. It may be downloaded and saved on a personal computer or Internet connected DVR and it can also be viewed live using a personal computer, a Web browser, and an Internet Connection.

Another way of taking advantage of the versatility of the Internet is by using a web ready DVR security system. Like the IP digital video camera, the DVR contains the Web server technology. However, having a web ready DVR security system is far more powerful that just a Web ready camera.

In a typical Web ready DVR security system, each camera connects directly to the DVR first. It may do this using a video data transmission cable such as an RG-59 Siamese cable or it may connect wirelessly using an on-board transmitter and a corresponding receiver that is connected to the DVR. The system can be used like any non-web ready system. The cameras send their video data to the DVR unit which also includes a Digital Signal Processor that runs on an operating system. The unit compiles the camera’s data and creates a digital video file that can be stored on the DVR’s hard disk drive and/or viewed live on a monitor.

However, since the Web ready DVR security system is connected to the Internet, the cameras may also be monitored remotely, anywhere in the world there is broadband internet access (including smartphones). You can even record them remotely, as well as on the parent DVR. But there are some additional benefits as well.

For example, any Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera not only can be monitored remotely but can be controlled remotely via the Web ready DVR Internet connection. Security Camera King’s featured systems support two-way audio over the Internet as well. Further, the DVRs support up to 10 network or Internet users simultaneously.

Also, many web ready DVR security systems require a static IP address that normally will cost extra through your Internet Service Provider or ISP. Our web ready systems use Dynamic DNS support, which means a static IP address is not necessary.

Last but not least, our Web ready DVR security systems also support standard POP email accounts. This means you can program the system to email you anywhere at anytime based on several different triggers that you set.

So when it comes to versatility Security Camera King’s Web ready DVR security systems do it all.

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Digital Surveillance Software

Written By:
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The term “digital surveillance software” refers to a broad category of computer based sets of instructions that provides the instructions for either a computer or a computer based device to operate, control, and/or process binary (digital) data used or created for security and surveillance purposes. To narrow this definition down a little for the purpose of this article, digital surveillance software is the collective set of programming used to create digital video images for security and surveillance purposes.

Since the words “digital surveillance software” refer to such a broad definition, it may be easier to explain what it is based on how it is used and what it does. There are basically three broad categories of digital surveillance software. The first applies to standalone digital video security and surveillance systems; the second applies to personal computer based digital video security and surveillance systems; and the third and final category, for the purpose of our discussion, applies to smartphones and similar type devices used with digital video and surveillance software.

Standalone Digital Video Security Systems
A standalone digital video security system is a set of devices that are used for security or surveillance purposes to create digital video files that may or may not be recorded. The term “standalone” indicates that these systems do not require any additional assistance from exterior devices such as a computer. The digital surveillance software used in these systems can include the operating system of the Digital Video Recorder’s or DVR’s and any additional programs used on that system to control the various devices of the standalone system

A standalone digital video security and surveillance system in its basic configuration includes one or more digital video cameras, a DVR unit with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a digital based monitor. In a standalone system, the cameras send their digital video data to the DVR where the DSP compiles the data using a CODEC or COmpression/DECompression utility to create digital video files. The files are then viewed on the digital monitor and or stored for later use on a hard disk drive on the DVR.

The digital surveillance software in this system can include:
1) The operating system of the DVR/DSP unit;
2) The CODEC utility program; and,
3) Any other specialized set of instructions to control the equipment.

For example, Security Camera King offers three major types of DVRs; our Elite mini series, or Elite series, and our Ultimate series. These standalone systems have a highly specialized DSP that creates digital video files and coordinates the functions between the three major devices of the system. This is usually referred to as the “operating system” and all of our units use a Linux based operating system.

The CODEC utility is a specific software program that is used to compile the video data into a digital video file. Digital video is actually several digital photographs taken in succession. Different rates may be used but a general standard is 29.9 frames per second or fps. This means the camera takes 29 digital pictures in one second so in one minute of video, the camera takes approximately 1800 pictures. You can see how the file size can become enormously large in a very short period of time.

The CODEC uses mathematical algorithms so the file size is a fraction of the original total size. This piece of digital surveillance software does this with very little loss of quality. There are many different types of CODECs such as MJPEG, MPG, H.264, etc.

A standalone system may also contain digital surveillance software that operates the equipment, including specialized functions. For example, Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras can move horizontally, vertically, and can enlarge objects. These movements may be controlled by digital surveillance software.

Personal Computer Digital Video Security Systems
There are digital video security systems that utile a personal computer to take the place of the DVR, DSP, and or monitor. Normally these systems contain a PCI card or similar printed circuit board that performs the bulk of the systems needs including storing the digital video files, controlling devices, and displaying the video on the computer’s monitor.

Any of the software associated with these functions, in essence, can be considered digital surveillance software.

Smartphones
Smartphones require small programs in order to adapt or interface with different systems and devises. These programs are called applications or “apps.” An app can also be of a digital surveillance software type.

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Wireless IP Security Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

One of the more recent digital video security camera system components is the wireless IP security camera. These cameras use the Internet as a network medium for the purpose of transmitting their digital video images and for allowing the user to control the camera remotely. This places the maximum power of remote accessibility as well as easy installation in the hands of the user.

It seems as if all of our electronic devices today utilize or have some sort of affiliation with, the Internet. So why shouldn’t the digital video security industry take advantage of its seemingly ubiquitous presence and cost-efficient use as well? That’s exactly what a wireless IP (Internet Protocol ready) security camera does.

By using a wireless IP security camera you can monitor your business in Ft. Lauderdale while on vacation in Tokyo. If you have a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ wireless IP security camera you can even control the camera from Tokyo moving the camera horizontally, vertically, or even zooming in on an object. You can do all this anywhere there is a broadband Internet connection and an available desktop or laptop computer and even using a 3G or 4G smartphone.

How is this possible? In the following article we’ll discuss what’s inside a wireless IP security camera and how it works, especially with the internet.

A wireless IP security camera differs from a typical digital video camera in several ways. First, a standard digital video security camera is connected to a processing and storage unit called a Digital Video Recorder or DVR. The camera is normally connected to the unit by running an RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable from each camera to the DVR. The camera transmits its video data over the cable to the DVR where it is compiled into a digital video file that is stored on a hard disk drive and may be viewed live on a digital camera security monitor at the same time.

On the other hand, a wireless IP security camera doesn’t use an RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable or any other video transmission cable. This camera has a built-in transmitter that sends its signal using IEEE802.11 or WiFi radio technology. The camera may or may not, depending on the type, also process the video data into a digital video file before being transmitted from the camera. In addition, when the signal leaves a wireless IP security camera it may be sent to an IP ready DVR over the internet, or it can be sent to any other receiving device (such as a computer or smartphone).

A wireless IP security camera also has its own built in web server technology. This allows one camera to capture video, create digital video files, and send them (using streaming technology) over the Internet to a variety of devices already mentioned. Accessing the camera is as easy as opening a standard web browser on your computer and entering the camera’s Internet address and a password. Even smartphones and similar devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Symbian, and Windows mobile phones can remotely view and control the camera as well.

It’s important to note that a wireless IP security camera and an IP DVR system are different. The IP security camera makes a direct connection to the Internet via a wireless broadband modem or router. An IP DVR system on the other hand uses various wireless technologies to connect the cameras to the DVR FIRST. The DVR is than connected to the Internet via a variety of broadband Internet connections.

Note: For IP DVRs smartphones will require an application (app). For the iPhone and similar devices the application is available for free from the iPhone App Store on your phone. For all other types, Security Camera King offers the app for free when you download it from their website. As an additional note, please remember that the app only works with Security Camera Kings Elite Mini, Elite, and Ultimate DVRs with HDMI output. It will not work with any other type of DVR or any of Security Camera Kings DVRs.

Ultimately then, a wireless IP security camera can use the Internet to send digital video images to a variety of computers and smartphones or it can utilize the Internet as a network medium to connect several cameras to an IP ready DVR.

If you have any additional questions about a wireless IP security camera contact one of our security experts via “Live Chat” or telephone today.

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Home Security Gate Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

A home security gate camera can alert to you to approaching visitors long before they reach your door, prevent unwanted and unnecessary solicitors and assist in providing gate access control.

Home owners often start their residential digital video camera security system with a single home security gate camera. However, after using this camera for a while and realizing the potential security and monitoring power of a digital video camera, they usually return to purchase an entire digital video security system for the house and residential property. This is easy to do as there are systems that easily support up to four, eight, or even sixteen individual cameras.

A home security gate camera used in tandem with a remote electronic gate lock and opener can provide you with security guard “like” control of your property’s entrance. This can be accomplished by using a digital video security camera with audio capturing technology (or an intercom) and either a wired or wireless electric gate lock and opener.

When a visitor arrives at the gate entrance, the user can look at the security system monitor to see the individual’s face and/or the vehicle they are driving. Once the home owner has identified the visitor, they can press the remote gate lock and opener button to allow the individual to enter the property.

For individuals with large homes on abundant land and long driveways, this feature is particularly useful for controlling access to the residence. Some may want to modify the system a bit and use a two-way intercom so that a conversation can take place between the user and a visitor if need be.

There are some features available that you may want to consider before purchasing your home security gate camera. First and foremost, the camera must be an outdoor type camera. These cameras are specifically made with an enclosure or case that provides protection from the weather and elements. These cameras often utilize the International Electrotechnical Commission’s Ingress Protection or International Protection (IP) code.

The IP code consists of two digits, with the first digit representing protection from solids and the second digit representing protection from liquids; the higher the number of each digit the better the protection. The ranges of digits are 0-6 for the first digit and 0-8 for the second digit. An outdoor camera with a rating of IP55 or greater should work fine.

If you want a camera that can capture images ’round the clock (24/7), you may want to consider providing flood lighting at the gate for night time monitoring. However, a cheaper and much easier alternative is to use a home security gate camera that has infrared night vision.

Night vision infrared cameras work both in daylight and in darkness. The camera is sensitive to near infrared spectrum radiation “light.” The infrared light is provided by on-board infrared producing Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs. These LEDs are normally arranged in an array around the camera lens so that they provide a floodlight of infrared illumination in the camera’s field of view. This light is invisible to the human eye, but visible to the camera.

If you are interested in monitoring more area than just the gate or visitor, you may also want to consider a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera. These cameras can be remotely controlled by the homeowner to move horizontally or vertically to increase the camera’s field of view. Images can be enlarged by using the zoom function. Many DVRs (Digital Video Recorders) have programming that can automatically control PTZ cameras to track or follow objects.

Whether you have the security system installed by a professional or are installing it yourself, you may also want to consider a wireless, battery operated camera. Digital video cameras require that an RG-59 type coaxial video transmission cable be run from each camera to the DVR unit (or monitor if no DVR is used). In addition, each camera needs a low-voltage DC wire run to it for a power supply. A wireless, battery operated camera eliminates the need for any cabling and makes installation a snap.

There are a lot of choices for someone looking to purchase a home security gate camera. Today’s technological advancements have yielded a large variety of optional features that have made home security gate cameras even more powerful, providing the protection you need.

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