Posts Tagged ‘ resolution’



Security Camera Lines Of Resolution

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Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Security Camera Lines of ResolutionOne of the most important specifications to consider when making your decision to purchase a security camera system is the camera resolution. If you don’t have the right camera resolution, you may end up allowing the person who committed the crime to be able to walk away due to the lack of picture quality. On the other hand, if you have exceptional quality in your new security system, you may end up being able to apprehend the criminal and get justice.

The size, fineness, or picture quality and video quality are all determined by the security cameras lines of resolution. Television lines are typically used to reference this figure and provide the type of analog video quality. In terms of digital resolution, they are usually referred to as pixels. If you take a look at both of the aspects, you will see how the lines of resolution are able to be related to picture quality in a security camera.

In order to begin, there are multiple video formats that are used based on the geographical area that you are located. National Television System Committee (NTSC) is used mainly in North America, South America, Taiwan, Japan and many other locations as well. Phase Alternating Line (PAL) can generally be found in Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and almost all of Europe. In Africa and the Russian Federation you will find Sequential Couleur a Memoire (SECAM). The English version of SECAM is Sequential Color with Memory. The main focus of this article is going to revolve around the NTSC format.

There are 480 interlaced horizontal lines that make up the standard National Television System Committee analog video. You have to vertically count the amount of horizontal lines that are displayed, while one is above the other and so forth. The resolution of security cameras are in Television Lines, which specifies the amount of vertical lines that are able to be seen within a given area of a monochrome picture to determine the horizontal resolution. The amount of vertical lines is counted on a horizontal basis, with one being right next to the other. The amount of scan lines is not exactly equal to the Television Lines, but it is affected by the amount of scan lines that are available.

How are Security Camera Videos Displayed?

Security camera videos are generally displayed in a three by four ratio. You can think of this in terms of a rectangle, such as it is three units wide by four units in height. The resolution horizontally is equal to the amount of vertical lines that are measured. You are actually measuring the amount of detail that is visible when you are able to see ¾ of the width of the picture, or 75 percent. The amount of vertical lines that are being used by the Television Lines is three units. For example, if you have a television picture that is three inches wide by four inches high with a Television Lines rating of 480, you are actually going to have 480 vertical lines within that three inch width.

How does the Resolution of Different Security Cameras Vary?

There are a wide range of security cameras that have different specifications based on the various types of manufacturers. It is also based upon the price and the different uses of the security camera. As a general rule, the typical CCTV camera is going to have a resolution of approximately 380 Television Lines for a standard camera. On the other hand, if you have a high-resolution camera then you will find a CCTV with a resolution of around 540 Television Lines.

The actual quality of a security camera can be measured by the Television Lines resolution. This is completely different number than the actual horizontal number of scanning lines for broadcast TV systems.

Analog videos are given different lines of resolution that apply to them. When you look at the different digital video resolutions you will notice the difference. You will find that the digital video is still being displayed in the typical three by four ratios. The total resolution is still measure in pixels, which are small points, dots or squares. Digital cameras are going to have a sensor just like the regular analog cameras. This sensor is called a Charged Coupled Device (CCD), which allows you to capture the picture within a digital format. The resolution for a digital picture is commonly referred to In terms of pixels, such as 352 x 480. Some of the most common resolutions for your digital security camera include: 704 x 480, 352 x 480 and 352 x 240.

You have to remember to keep the resolution of the camera display separate from the amount of pixels within the CCD. There are literally millions of light sensing cells within the CCD sensor. The pixel count is determined by the amount of pixels that are produced by the sensor. As an example, if a camera is capable of producing an image that is 640 x 480, it would contain approximately 307,200 pixels. A lot of people assume that a CCD rating in megapixels is the camera resolution, but this is a false misconception. However, what it does indicate is the amount of potential resolution that the camera has available to produce when combined with other high-quality equipment. Some of the typical types of high-quality equipment are monitors, processors, and others.

When you put everything into perspective, you can see the comparison between analog Television Lines and the digital resolution. The picture quality is going to keep increasing along with the number of lines increasing.

Digital Signals

1. 352 x 240 pixels
2. 704 x 240 pixels
3. 704 x 480 pixels

Analog Signals

1. 330 TVL
2. 380 TVL
3. 480 TVL
4. 570 TVL

Determining the Picture Quality of a Security Camera

One of the most important notes to remember is how to determine the final picture quality. Security cameras, whether analog or digital, are going to have varying picture qualities that are going to play a part in the final picture quality of the digital camera. You can say that your final picture quality is only going to be as good as the absolute lowest component that is used in your whole system. For example, if you were to use a 570 Television Lines resolution on a 330 Television Lines monitor, you are only going to be able to view your camera images in 330 Television Lines resolution. Make sure that you are getting the most that you can out of your security system by choosing components that are compatible.

Your whole system is only as strong, or as weak, as we choose to make it. If you have equipment that is various resolutions, you have to remember that the main things you have to be concerned with are the higher and lower screen resolutions. If you have a monitor that has a resolution of 500 lines, a security camera that is 420 lines of resolution and a recorder that has a resolution of 250 lines, you are going to get a picture that will top out at the 250 lines. While you may be able to look into the monitor and see an exceptional picture, you are only going to get as good of a recording as your equipment allows. When you choose to determine what type of resolution you are going to get, make sure that you try to choose equipment that is going to complement each other. You have to take the time to consider everything that you are going to be using in order to make sure that you choose accordingly.

How Important is the Resolution of a Security Camera?

Resolution is extremely important when you are trying to determine what your recording is going to look like. You are not going to have to worry about what your picture quality is going to look like when you take the time to go through every piece of equipment that you are going to buy. If you make sure that everything is going to go along with each other, you will save yourself a lot of hassles and headaches in the long run. You won’t have to worry about the what-ifs if you take the time to debate everything before you make your purchase. It is better to take a little extra time beforehand and decide which resolution is going to be perfect for your wants and needs. This will help you to eliminate any frustration later on when you are trying to figure out what makes the difference in the resolution.

There is a lot more to screen resolution than just a number, and the more that you can understand everything the better it is going to be in the end. Even though it may be confusing for a lot of people, there are experts who can help to guide you in your purchase. They will help make sure that you are not going to have to deal with a bunch of equipment that is not going to work together in the manner that you had once intended. Go through everything as much as you can and decide just how much detail you are going to need for your home or business. Enjoy everything that your security camera lines of resolution can bring to the table for years to come.

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Security DVR Recording Resolutions

Written By:
Friday, March 19th, 2010

You’re in the market for a security surveillance system for your home or your business. What is the one most important component of that system? The Digital Video Recorder, or DVR, is the single most important component. And the most important aspect of choosing a DVR is the recording resolution.

In manufacturing a DVR, the recording resolution is a balancing act between being able to actually see what’s being recorded and having the storage space to store the video. The better the resolution, the better the images look, but the more space it takes to store it, and the beefier the processor it takes to record it. Manufacturers try to offer that ideal balance between being able to actually have usable recorded footage for evidence of an event if needed, being able to process the enormous amounts of data involved while recording it at a usable resolution, and not running out of recording room to store events. How the manufacturers succeed at this is what you need to evaluate when shopping for DVRs. Budget will be a huge consideration here, since the units that juggle these factors in the most optimum way are, of course, the most expensive. Putting together the optimum system which takes into account all your needs, including your budget, and gives you recordings from all DVRs that can actually be used as evidence takes a bit of knowledge and the help of a qualified reputable professional.

When referring to recording resolution the industry usually uses either a variant of CIF, which is 360 x 240 pixel resolution, or D1, which is 720 x 480 pixel resolution. There is a distinction that needs to be addressed here. Each DVR has a recording resolution and a live video resolution. The live video is always going to be clearer, so when you are evaluating DVR units you really need to know how the recorded video will look, since that will be your actionable evidence in the event of a security problem. D1 is currently the highest resolution used for recording, but most standalone DVRs are not able to record in D1 in realtime, which is 30 frames per second (fps) on all the channels at the same time, though some of the new units coming out are starting to improve on that.

The strength and capacity of the processor that is running the DVR will determine how high a resolution can be set for recording. The memory in the unit is also a big factor. Most processors can’t yet record at a realtime resolution, though some of the newer units that are beginning to show up in the marketplace are hitting 4CIF recording in real time on all channels, which is a 704 x 480 pixel resolution. The current average for a DVR is a CIF recording resolution, which is 360 x 240 pixels in real time at 30 fps.

When looking at the specifications, the three things you need to consider together are the recording resolution, the frame rate, and the recording speed. Of the three, the recording resolution carries the most weight in a carefully considered purchasing decision. If there is a security event, you want to be able to clearly identify the face of the person involved, and if the resolution doesn’t allow this, it’s useless. A 640 x 480 recording resolution is the minimum recording resolution which will easily allow this. 720 x 480 has the same quality but in a wider screened aspect ratio to allow viewing on the typical widescreen computer or tv monitor. 1600 x 1200 is ideal for viewing from an actionable standpoint, but the speed, storage and processing needed to maintain this recording resolution make the cost prohibitive for all but the most deep pocket organizations.

When putting together a budget system, the best way to approach it is to choose a better resolution for key points of security, ie near the front door and the cash register, while choosing lesser resolutions for areas which would be more likely to be monitored in realtime but where recording resolution is a bit less critical, and would simply be support footage when combined with the higher resolution footage from the other areas, not an ideal approach, but one which would allow security on a smaller budget.

Whatever your security needs, the help of a qualified and reputable security monitoring specialist will shortcut your efforts enormously. Juggling all the factors involved in the purchase, including the recording resolution needed for actionable evidence, is key to the overall success of your security efforts.

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The Difference Between CIF And 4CIF Resolution

Written By:
Thursday, August 13th, 2009

4CIF Resolution Image
When configuring your DVR for optimal recording, there are many options you will be considering. Among them is the resolution you want to record in. While most DVR’s can record in CIF resolution (360×240) at the maximum frame rate provided by the DVR, some can also record at higher resolutions by reducing the frame rate. For example, you may be able to record on any channel at CIF resolution at 30 frames per second, but then you would probably only be able to record at 7.5 fps per second if you changed the resolution to 4CIF (704×480). You will have to decide for each camera (assuming your DVR has independent resolution settings for each channel) which resolution you want to record in. Remember, what you see is not always what you get! Most DVR’s will display live video in 4CIF or D1 (720×480) resolution, but they are often recording in a much lower resolution.

Each application has different needs. If you are using the security camera for a general overview, you may want to use CIF resolution and the maximum frame rate since detail is less important and fluid video is probably more important. On the other hand, if you are using the camera for facial recognition at the front door of your business, then you will surely want to record at 4CIF resolution, even if it means sacrificing some of the frame rate. The 4CIF image is literally 4 times larger than the CIF image and therefore can provide you with 4 times the detail. There are a couple of DVRs out there that can give you the best of both worlds, 4CIF resolution while doing 30fps recording on every channel. At this time, I only know of one unit that can offer that. It is the Ultimate Series DVR.

Here are 2 different images taken from an Elite Series DVR. The smaller image was from a CIF (360×240) recording and the larger image is from a 4CIF (704×480) recording. The difference between the two is the size of the image stored on the hard drive.

CIF Resolution

CIF Resolution Image

4 CIF Resolution

4CIF Resolution Image

As you can see, the 4CIF image is much larger. It will be much easier to capture details from the 4 CIF resolution image, than from the CIF resolution image. Unless you are lucky enough to be working with a DVR that does 4CIF or D1 recording in real time (30fps) on all channels at the same time, you will need to decide for each camera, which resolution is best for that application.

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