Posts Tagged ‘ pan tilt zoom’



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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Outdoor Exterior Security Camera Software

Written By:
Thursday, December 30th, 2010

In this article we are going to talk about outdoor exterior security camera software. We’ll talk a little about what it is and how it works and what type of outdoor security camera equipment you can use with it.

So exactly what is outdoor exterior security camera software? There are basically two types of software. The first type is software that is used on a standalone digital video security camera system and the second type is software that is used with outdoor exterior security cameras and your personal computer. Although the name “outdoor exterior security camera software” refers to a computer based program, both types serve different roles in a digital video security camera system.

The first type of outdoor exterior security camera software that we refer to is used with a standalone digital video security camera system. These systems normally consist of one to several cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a monitor. The outdoor exterior cameras capture the video image and send it in digital form to the DVR unit that includes the DSP. The DSP interprets the digital data and uses a special program utility, called a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC to create a digital video file. The digital video file is stored on the DVR and can be viewed on the monitor in real-time (live) or at a later time.

The outdoor exterior security camera software in this case is used on the DVR with the DSP to coordinate each component in the standalone system and provide any additional camera, DVR, or monitor functions. For example, outdoor exterior security camera systems are often used in commercial settings such as providing security in store parking lots. In this example the software coordinates the functions of the cameras with the DVR and DSP, may provide the programming necessary for the CODEC that is used, and directs the DVR to store the digital video file that is created.

In addition, this particular outdoor exterior security camera software may also include special functions that either operate or control the camera, DVR, and monitor. A specific example of this type of software is often used in the store parking lots already mentioned. In this setting, it may be advantageous for the user to follow or “track” a person or vehicle. Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras used with DVRs that have software with this capability can detect motion. Once the motion is detected (by the software programming) the camera is controlled by the software to Pan, Tilt, or Zoom in order to provide the best possible video of the object as it moves in the field of vision of the camera. Usually, this software is provided by the manufacturer of the DVR at the time of purchase of the unit.

The second type of outdoor exterior security camera software that we mentioned earlier is used with cameras and a personal computer. Although this software may be able to perform the same functions as the standalone security system, it has an additional responsibility of coordinating the digital video cameras with the computer. In these systems the personal computer takes the place of the DVR and DSP as well as the monitor.

These systems are advantageous because they enable the use of an existing personal computer with the digital security cameras. The computer is connected to the cameras via a PCI type computer card that serves as the bridge between the two. Ultimately, for just the cost of the digital video cameras and outdoor exterior security camera software and PCI card, an entire digital video security system can be constructed without the need to purchase a DVR and monitor.

Since computer and electronic technology is rapidly advancing, there may be a third type of outdoor exterior security camera software to consider as well. Although this system uses components that are not specifically designed as digital video security equipment, it may make an economical suitable substitution in some instances. This third type of software allows the use of a webcam or other similar device to be used as a security camera.

This should give you with some good introductory working knowledge about outdoor exterior security camera software. There are as many different brands of software as there are manufacturers of equipment; too many in fact to mention in this article. However, if you have any additional questions about outdoor exterior security camera software, contact one of Security Camera King’s security specialists today.

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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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