Posts Tagged ‘ security camera system’



Outdoor Motion Activated Security Surveillance System

Written By:
Thursday, November 4th, 2010

An outdoor motion activated security surveillance system is an excellent tool to provide security and surveillance for almost any residential or commercial application. Modern technological advancements have made this surveillance system incredibly versatile and reasonable priced as well.

An outdoor motion activated security surveillance system’s cameras are specifically designed for outdoor use. These cameras (as opposed to indoor cameras for example) are designed to be housed by a protective enclosure. The enclosure protects the camera from weather, dust, and other objects.

An outdoor security camera may be rated according to the protection that is afforded to it by the enclosure or its casing. This rating, an Electrotechnical International Commission (EIC) standard, is call an Ingress Protection rating, IP rating, or IP code.

The rating consists of the letters “IP” followed by two digits, for example IP65. The first digit of the rating describes the extent the camera is protected from solid objects and the second digit indicates the extent the camera is protected from liquids. The example IP65 rating means the camera is dust free and protected from water sprayed from nozzles in any direction.

The first digit of an IP rating for an outdoor motion activated security camera system ranges from 0 – 6 with 0 indicating that there is no protection against contact or ingress of objects. As the number increases from 0 to 6, the rating indicates that the camera is protected from objects continually smaller in size. A first digit IP rating of 6 indicates no dust and complete protection against contact.

The second digit of an IP rating for the camera ranges from 0 to 8 with 0 indicating that there is no protection from water. As this digit increases in value the rating indicates progressive protection from water with 1 meaning protection from dripping water and 8 meaning continuous immersion in water.

An outdoor motion activated security camera system also has a unique characteristic as indicated by its descriptive name. The cameras only record video when motion is detected.

This is accomplished by an on-board Passive InfraRed (PIR) sensor. The PIR sensor can detect the infrared radiation from objects in the camera’s field of view. If the sensor detects a significant change in the infrared radiation in this view, it assumes it is created by a moving object; hence it detects “motion.” The sensor is connected to a relay that turns the camera on in recording mode to capture the video images. The camera shuts off or stops recording when the sensor detects that the motion has stopped or after a pre-programmed period of time.

This feature, though small and simple in design and appearance, can offer tremendous benefits in the functioning of a security camera system. Since the camera will only record video when motion is detected, this can save a tremendous amount of file space use on the system’s Digital Video Recorder or DVR.

Since the DVR records video images in sequence, it will continue recording until the DVR’s storage capacity is full. Once the DVR is full however, the video image files are rewritten over the files that are the oldest, continuing this process until the DVR is full and then repeating the process over and over again. A motion detector activated camera can extend DVR recording times before repeating and rewriting, significantly.

In addition, a motion activated security camera system camera must have a power supply. This may be in the form of a small, low-voltage Direct Current (DC) power line run from a power distribution center to each camera or from a nearby plug-in transformer. Many cameras have the ability to operate on the power supplied by batteries, either one time use types or rechargeable types.

The PIR sensor on a motion activated security camera uses a very small amount of power to stay on. In fact, compared to the power required to capture video, the PIR sensor’s power usage is significantly lower. Motion activated cameras that operate on battery power last significantly longer between charges or battery changing because the motion sensor, in effect, conserves battery power.

There are many additional/optional features that contribute to the versatility of an outdoor motion activated security camera system. Some of these features include:
• Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functions
• Day/Night vision
• Night vision infrared recording
• Wireless cameras
• IP ready cameras and/or DVRs

These features coupled with the motion activated feature make the outdoor motion activated security camera system appropriate for almost any commercial or residential application.

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DVR and Security Camera Systems

Written By:
Monday, September 27th, 2010

What is the relationship between a DVR and security camera systems? Is DVR necessary in a security camera system? What kinds of DVRs are there? Are there substitutes for DVRs? What is a DVR anyway?
Let’s examine a basic digital video security camera system and how it operates. Afterwards, we’ll be able to answer some of the specific questions related to the DVR and security camera systems.

A basic digital video security camera system is a component system that consists of three major components:
1) One to many cameras;
2) A DVR or Digital Video Recorder; and,
3) A monitor or monitors

The system operates in the following manner. The digital video camera converts light energy into electrical energy which can be measured and is used to create digital video data. This data is sent to the DVR. As previously mentioned, the DVR is a digital video recorder, just like the hard disk drive or HDD of a personal computer. However, in security camera systems, the DVR normally contains a processor, just like the processor in a Personal Computer or PC.

However, the processor in a DVR is a highly specialized piece of electronic circuitry. Unlike the PC processor, the security camera DVR processor is manufactured to handle specific functions of security camera systems such as digital video file production, camera control, and recording of digital video files. It uses a specific utility called a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC program to process the digital video file from the digital video data sent to it by the video camera.

Digital video is basically nothing more than a series of rapid digital photographs taken in rapid succession. Typically, high quality digital video is about 30 digital photographs taken within on second, also referred to as 30 frames per second or 30 fps. When you think of the file size from just one high quality digital photograph, you can imagine how enormous a digital video file that takes 30 fps for 24 hours could be.

That’s why the DVR’s processor uses a CODEC to create the digital video file. It uses special programming that shrinks the size of the file without sacrificing the high quality of the image. CODECS change from time to time as different approaches and technologies make each CODEC better and more efficient. One of the most popular and recent CODECs is called the H.264 CODEC.

The DVR and security camera system create, process, and store digital video files that can be viewed instantly (live) on monitors or stored for later viewing on monitors or for archiving. Many DVRs also have additional storage options such as CD/DVD writers or USB Flash drive connectivity to copy portions of video to portable media. This may be necessary to give insurance companies, police departments, as evidence, etc.

The DVR may also contain other specialized features. One common feature of many modern DVRs is internet connectivity. The DVR may contain its own web server technology and programming so that it may be connected to any broadband internet service and instantly become accessible anywhere in the world there is broadband internet accessibility.

Most DVR and security camera systems come in 4, 8, or 16 channels. This means that the DVR can handle 4, 8, or 16 separate camera inputs at one time. Security systems requiring more than 16 cameras simply use additional DVRs to expand the number of cameras needed.

Highly specialized security cameras may have highly specialized DVRs. Portable systems, systems that are used for a small amount of time, systems that have self contained cameras and DVRs all in one unit may utilize different digital storage methods for the DVR. For example school bus DVR and security camera systems often use a Compact Flash Card or similar portable storage medium instead of a full sized hard disk drive as the DVR.

Is a DVR necessary in a security camera system? No, not necessarily, but a system with just a monitor and no DVR will not be able to record the video so that it may be reproduced for later use. A baby monitor is usually a good example of this. On the other hand, a retail store facility would not realize the full potential of protection without a DVR and security camera system.

Other DVR and security camera systems functions pertaining to the DVR may include audio recording, various output display resolutions as well as connectors, remote control, e-mail and smartphone notification, and mouse and/or keyboard control.

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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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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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