Posts Tagged ‘ security camera system’



What is a Good Security Camera System?

Written By:
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

In this article we will attempt to answer the question, “What is a good security camera system?”

The answer to this question, is not always easily answered, as there are many good security camera systems and what may make a good security camera system for one application, may not work well for another. Without using specific brand names, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that any system should have to qualify as “good.”

First, any good security camera system has got to have good technical support. Could you imagine purchasing an automobile without support? What would you do if you had an engine breakdown but no one could repair it? What if a warning light came on in your dash and you had no idea of what it meant? Would you purchase a personal computer without support? Probably not, and you wouldn’t want to purchase a security system without support either. So the first characteristic of a good security camera system is full support from installations to repairs.

Next, a good security camera system is a system that can perform the tasks that you need to accomplish your security and/or surveillance objectives. This may seem obvious, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. All too often security camera system vendors will try to sell a security camera system based on what they have available, and not based on what you specifically need.

For example, a vendor may have an ample supply of a particular indoor camera in stock and offer a package deal that includes eight of these cameras. However, you may need a system that contains 6 indoor cameras and 2 outdoor cameras.

Good security camera systems are component systems. They consist of several different pieces (components) that all work and interact smoothly together to produce the output of a high quality system. Therefore, a good security camera system is a system that is offered by a dealer that allows you the flexibility to create the system with the exact components that you need. In the example above, eight indoor cameras does not satisfy the requirement for 2 outdoor cameras. Therefore, if this system doesn’t provide the flexibility to include 6 indoor and 2 outdoor cameras, it’s not a good security camera system.

Another answer to the question, “What is a good security camera system?” includes the word “quality.” No one wants a camera that shuts down after one week of operation or a Digital Video Recorder or DVR that crashes after three weeks or a monitor that won’t work. While it’s true that there are no specific quality standards of quality for a good security camera system, there are some things that you can look for to help determine the quality of the system. We’ll attempt to list some of these characteristics for the camera and DVR components.

Cameras
• Cameras use electronic sensor chips to create the digital video picture. There are two types of chips, a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. Although the two chips are becoming equal in quality as technology increases over time, generally the CCD produces at least a slightly high quality video picture.
• The size of the sensor chip can be directly proportional to the quality output of the video image. Usually, a 3/4″ CCD produces a larger, higher resolution video than a 1/4″ CCD.
• Outdoor type cameras and equipment should be specifically rated for outdoor use. These cameras and equipment should have an IP rating (Ingress Protection code) of IP65 or better.
• Cameras should have at least a one year warranty

DVRs
• A good quality DVR should have several different video outputs to support more than one monitor and more than one output connection type (HDMI, VGA, or BNC for example).
• The DVR should support the best CODEC technology. A CODEC is a COmpression/DECompression utility. It is used to shrink the size of a the digital video file without sacrificing much quality. This allows you to maximize your DVR’s hard disk storage capacity.
• An easy, intuitive graphic user interface for control of the DVR and cameras.
• At least a 1 year but preferably a 2 or 3 year warranty.

This should give you some basics to help you answer the question “What is a good security camera system.” If you are still uncertain or have any questions contact one our security experts by Live Chat or telephone today.

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What is a Good Security Camera System?

Written By:
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

In this article we will attempt to answer the question, “What is a good security camera system?”

The answer to this question, is not always easily answered, as there are many good security camera systems and what may make a good security camera system for one application, may not work well for another. Without using specific brand names, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that any system should have to qualify as “good.”

First, any good security camera system has got to have good technical support. Could you imagine purchasing an automobile without support? What would you do if you had an engine breakdown but no one could repair it? What if a warning light came on in your dash and you had no idea of what it meant? Would you purchase a personal computer without support? Probably not, and you wouldn’t want to purchase a security system without support either. So the first characteristic of a good security camera system is full support from installations to repairs.

Next, a good security camera system is a system that can perform the tasks that you need to accomplish your security and/or surveillance objectives. This may seem obvious, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. All too often security camera system vendors will try to sell a security camera system based on what they have available, and not based on what you specifically need.

For example, a vendor may have an ample supply of a particular indoor camera in stock and offer a package deal that includes eight of these cameras. However, you may need a system that contains 6 indoor cameras and 2 outdoor cameras.

Good security camera systems are component systems. They consist of several different pieces (components) that all work and interact smoothly together to produce the output of a high quality system. Therefore, a good security camera system is a system that is offered by a dealer that allows you the flexibility to create the system with the exact components that you need. In the example above, eight indoor cameras does not satisfy the requirement for 2 outdoor cameras. Therefore, if this system doesn’t provide the flexibility to include 6 indoor and 2 outdoor cameras, it’s not a good security camera system.

Another answer to the question, “What is a good security camera system?” includes the word “quality.” No one wants a camera that shuts down after one week of operation or a Digital Video Recorder or DVR that crashes after three weeks or a monitor that won’t work. While it’s true that there are no specific quality standards of quality for a good security camera system, there are some things that you can look for to help determine the quality of the system. We’ll attempt to list some of these characteristics for the camera and DVR components.

Cameras
• Cameras use electronic sensor chips to create the digital video picture. There are two types of chips, a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. Although the two chips are becoming equal in quality as technology increases over time, generally the CCD produces at least a slightly high quality video picture.
• The size of the sensor chip can be directly proportional to the quality output of the video image. Usually, a 3/4″ CCD produces a larger, higher resolution video than a 1/4″ CCD.
• Outdoor type cameras and equipment should be specifically rated for outdoor use. These cameras and equipment should have an IP rating (Ingress Protection code) of IP65 or better.
• Cameras should have at least a one year warranty

DVRs
• A good quality DVR should have several different video outputs to support more than one monitor and more than one output connection type (HDMI, VGA, or BNC for example).
• The DVR should support the best CODEC technology. A CODEC is a COmpression/DECompression utility. It is used to shrink the size of a the digital video file without sacrificing much quality. This allows you to maximize your DVR’s hard disk storage capacity.
• An easy, intuitive graphic user interface for control of the DVR and cameras.
• At least a 1 year but preferably a 2 or 3 year warranty.

This should give you some basics to help you answer the question “What is a good security camera system.” If you are still uncertain or have any questions contact one our security experts by Live Chat or telephone today.

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Security Camera System Wireless

Written By:
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

A digital video camera security system that does not use video transmission cables is normally referred to as security camera system wireless or a wireless security camera system. These systems offer the greatest versatility in camera installation since it is unnecessary to run an RG-59 coaxial cable from each camera to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR.

A security camera system wireless sends it video image data via radio waves that travel through the air, rather than by electrical impulses that travel along a cable. Most security camera system wireless send their data using 2.4 or 5.8 Ghz band technology, the same sort of technology used by land line based wireless telephones. Not all cameras utilize this technology, some use the 900 Hz or other signal frequency technology while wireless IP (Internet Protocol) ready cameras often use 802.11 WiFi technology.

The wireless camera may not be truly wireless, as a small low-voltage Direct Current (DC) power supply line may be needed to power the camera. This normally comes from a power distribution center that can transform household current into the type needed for several cameras and other equipment on the system. Cameras may also utilize individual plug-in adaptors that plug into a normal outlet and transform the electricity for use by a camera or cameras.

A security camera system wireless is truly wireless when the camera not only transmits its video data without the use of wires, but also when it uses rechargeable battery packs instead of a power supply line. The greatest benefit of these wireless cameras is the incredible versatility for use, including covert surveillance by using hidden or disguised cameras. Of course, the downside to using a rechargeable battery pack is that the power supply of the pack is finite and must be removed and recharged when the there is no longer enough voltage to support the camera.

Wireless cameras have their own on board transmitter and antenna. The camera functions like any other “non-wireless” camera however the on-board circuitry changes the video image data so that it may be transmitted via radio waves. The video data is transmitted to a corresponding wireless receiver, which is normally positioned in proximity to the DVR and is connected to the DVR by cable.

Each camera in a system uses a different frequency or channel so as not to interfere with multiple camera transmissions. Likewise the receivers normally have a selection of frequencies that can be chosen to match the frequency of each camera input (although admittedly confusing, often called channels as well). Receivers may be able to accept one, two, or four different camera signals. Some receivers can actually support 8 different camera signals, although generally multiple receivers with different frequencies selected are used for more than four camera inputs.

Wireless cameras have a range of operation. For most non-WiFi security camera systems wireless, i.e. those that use 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology, the range is stated in the camera’s specifications as LOS or Line Of Sight. This means a camera with a 400 foot LOS range can operate properly with a distance of 400 feet between the camera and the receiver, provided their is a straight line of sight between the two i.e. without any objects blocking the path. When a camera lists a LOS range, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work properly if there is something obstructing the path between the camera and receiver. However, the range is normally reduced. Depending on the material or materials that are blocking the LOS (for example walls, windows, buildings, trees, etc.) the range is normally just reduced. Nonetheless, it is important to keep the LOS range in mind when purchasing a security camera system wireless.

IP ready wireless cameras contain their own transmitter technology, web server technology, and antenna. These cameras work a little differently in that they do not necessarily transmit their signals to a security system receiver, but often transmit their signals (already prepared for distribution over the internet) to a wireless modem or router. In these cases the range of operation is dependent on both the specifications of the camera and the wireless router.

A security camera system wireless offers the versatility of “almost anywhere camera placement” with the ease of camera installation. In addition these systems are reasonably priced. If you are interested in purchasing one of these systems talk to one our security experts for more information.

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Access Remote Security Cameras

Written By:
Friday, August 13th, 2010

If you need to monitor and control your security cameras from another place than where they are located, consider access remote security cameras. These cameras allow you to view and control them remotely, instead of from a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system. They make great tools for monitoring your residence when you are away at work, travel, or extended periods. They are also great for monitoring businesses because the monitoring can be done away from the business, at home or just about anywhere in the world.

Before we talk any further about access remote security cameras, let’s quickly review how a typical, non-access remote security camera system works. Most systems are component systems; each component can be customized for your specific needs. Most of the components today are compatible, that is, they don’t have to be made from the same manufacturer or be purchased as one proprietary system.

A basic security camera system consists of from one to many digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR which normally contains a processor, much like a computer, that interprets the digital video signal and creates a digital video file that can be viewed on a monitor or stored on the DVR for later use.

Each digital video camera is normally connected to the DVR using an RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable. This cable carries the signal from the camera to the DVR/processor. These days, there are many different ways the camera can send the video signal to the DVR or other places. Older analog video security video camera systems were pretty much restricted to this cable method. The older analog cameras were much like smaller versions of television studio cameras, and because they were all connected to a recording unit via a transmission cable, they were given the name Closed Circuit Television or CCTV.

Today’s security cameras are no longer analog and they are no longer restricted to using a coaxial cable to transmit their video signal. Although this is the most common method still used today, there are other options available for transmitting the video signal to the DVR/processor.

For example, security cameras can be of the “wireless” variety. These cameras contain built-in transmitters and an antenna and send their signal to a corresponding receiver using radio technology. Most of these cameras operate using the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology that our wireless home phones use. The receiver is connected to the DVR/processor by a cable which passes the signal on for handling.

This could be one way of making access remote security cameras. In fact, older security systems that were professionally monitored were normally connected to a transmitter that was mounted to the house or business that sent proprietary radio transmissions to the monitoring companies’ receiver. The problem with this type of system though, is that the distance for transmission is limited. Monitoring companies would often need to use expensive repeater units to keep the transmission going from the security system to the monitors. This was cost prohibitive for the average home owner.

Today, the most popular method of obtaining access remote security cameras is by using IP or Internet Protocol ready digital video cameras. IP cameras are a little powerhouse of electronic circuitry. Not only do they contain all the necessary electronic components for the digital video camera and any optional features (video sensor chip, pan-tilt-zoom or PTZ gears and motors, motion detector switches, etc.) but they also contain the circuitry to house their own internet server and programming to make them readily accessible for use on the internet.

IP ready access remote security cameras can be connected to the internet using a standard Cat-5 Ethernet cable (the kind that is used to connect your personal computer to the modem or router). Once the camera is powered up and connected to the internet, the camera can be remotely monitored and controlled from just about anywhere in the world there is internet access. Depending on the manufacturer this can be done using any internet browser such as Internet Explorer or by using the manufacturers’ provided proprietary software.

Access remote security cameras not only connect to the internet, but they are often used in tandem with DVRs that are internet ready as well. That has even greater implications of versatility. The cameras, DVR, and monitor can all be located in just about any different place as long as there is broadband internet accessibility. If this security camera option seems appropriate for you, talk to one of our experts today.


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Outdoor Motion Activated Security Camera System

Written By:
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

An outdoor motion activated security camera system is an ideal choice for perimeter coverage of a home or business. In addition, motion activation is a conservative, economical choice that produces excellent video surveillance and security results.

What exactly is an outdoor motion activated security camera system? The description sounds fairly complicated but in reality the system is relatively simple. Anytime motion is detected, the digital video cameras switch on and begin recording video images. So if no motion is detected, the cameras shut off. This conserves digital video file storage space on a Digital Video Recorder or DVR since the system only records when motion is detected.

Let’s take a closer look at an outdoor motion activated security camera system. These systems are similar to any other digital video security system in that they consist of one to several cameras, a processor/DVR unit, and a monitor. The camera produces an electronic image and sends it along to the processor/DVR. The processor reads the camera data and uses it to create a digital video file. The digital video file may then be viewed on a monitor and/or stored on the DVR for later use.

Most digital video security systems will record constantly, that is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, an outdoor motion activated security camera system only records when motion has been detected. There are several advantages to this type of system.

Many digital video cameras today are wireless; that is they do not have a coaxial cable that transmits the video signal to the DVR. Instead, these cameras have a built in transmitter and antenna that they use to send the signal via radio waves to a corresponding receiver. The receiver then passes the signal electronically to the processor/DVR. However, these wireless cameras still need a wire for a power supply.

To avoid the necessity of a power supply line and transformer, digital video cameras have been manufactured that can utilize rechargeable batteries. A digital video camera with wireless video transmission and rechargeable batteries is truly wireless. This type of camera is incredibly versatile in that it can be mounted almost anywhere without the concern for any type of cabling or wire attachment. However, continuous video capturing can run down the batteries after several hours making replacement with freshly charged batteries necessary. An outdoor motion activated security camera system can greatly extend the run time of rechargeable batteries, because the camera only captures video when motion is detected. Although a very small amount of energy is needed for the motion detector, the largest amount of drain on the battery is during video capture.

Another advantage of an outdoor motion activated security camera system benefits the DVR. A DVR is basically the same thing as the hard disk drive on a personal computer. DVRs come in a wide variety of storage capacities ranging from gigabytes to terabytes in size. Still, digital video files can take up tremendous amounts of storage space, even when COmpression/DECompression utilities are used to make the files smaller in size filling up the storage disk in a short period of time. A motion activated camera only records when motion is detected, which means the DVR is not required to store video files for a continuous 24 hours, unless motion is present for all of that time. Recording video only when activated by motion can greatly reduce the amount of storage capacity needed on the DVR.

How do outdoor motion activated security camera systems detect motion? These cameras are connected to a special sensor called a Passive InfraRed or PIR sensor. When an object passes in front of the sensor, the sensor can detect the change in infrared radiation. A relay connected to the circuit board of the sensor then switches the camera on. Most cameras turn off either after the motion is no longer detected or for a specified time period after the motion is no longer detected.

Some examples of uses for outdoor motion activated security cameras include parking lot monitoring, building entrance and exits, pet monitoring, and perimeter monitoring of homes, yards, buildings, and industrial areas.

An outdoor motion activated security camera system can save time and money. It can enhance the use of wireless, rechargeable battery operated cameras and it can conserve DVR storage space for use when it is most needed.

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