Posts Tagged ‘ Security Cameras’

Security Camera Lines Of Resolution

Written By:
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.


How to Catch Vandalism

Written By:
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

How to Catch VandalismIs your home a target for vandalism or “harmless” pranks from neighborhood kids and do you feel like you need a “How to Catch Vandalism for Dummies” book? Does your business suffer from the same thing?  Identifying the perpetrator(s) and getting documentation evidence of the actual act of vandalism is easier and much less expensive than you probably think.

One of the best and easiest solutions on how to catch vandalism, including video images of the act itself and the perpetrators that are performing the act, is to use a digital video camera.  Having an outdoor camera to watch your property is like having a full-time security guard on duty. With only a single camera or two, you can tell who’s driving up the driveway or see who’s knocking at the front door. And if you’re away, you’ll be able to know if someone was in your back yard retrieving that soccer ball that was accidentally kicked over the fence, or if someone decided to take a dip in your pool.

Use a “Vandal Resistant” Camera

The most common question we get about cameras is “which one should I use?”  Each situation is different and may require a different camera.  Security Camera King offers 10 different vandal resistant cameras for you to choose to solve your problem of how to catch vandalism.  A common issue when utilizing security surveillance is that the cameras become the target of vandalism themselves. The security cameras are the most visible component of the surveillance system and, if installed correctly, they are in the areas of highest risk. Vandal resistant dome cameras were designed with this in mind. Tough metal housings with remarkably tough Lexan domes will deter all but the most determined criminal.

We suggest either a true day/night camera(s) or an day/night infrared camera(s) so that you can monitor your property 24 hours a day.  In fact Security Camera King’s bundled entire system deals all contain vandal resistant infrared day/night dome cameras.

You will also need to determine if you have any situations that require special features such as a really high Wide Dynamic Range or WDR.  When it comes to how to catch vandalism you will want to take advantage of every aspect that can benefit you.  Take a look at our 10 vandal resistant dome cameras first and see if there isn’t one or more there that would apply to your situation.

Gather your Documentation

Most people are confused when we say gather your documentation because they think we mean written pages.  However, when we say gather your documentation, we mean gather your digital color video files that have recorded the vandals in the act and may even provide identification as to who is committing the crime.

You can use a USB Flash drive or the CD/DVD recorder that comes standard with some of our DVRs to prepare a disk(s) to offer to law enforcement, insurance agencies, and prosecutors.  There’s nothing more convincing than digital video footage to document the destruction.

What Kind of DVR (Digital Video Recorder) do I Need?
Once again, each situation is unique and so the selection of the DVR will also be unique.  You will need to consider how many cameras (channels) will be needed to do the job (in the security video industry, the word “channels” often means cameras).  Whether you want a CD/DVD recorder included to make backups and record footages of the vandalism being committed and want kind of resolution and frame rate you think you will need to record your cameras.

If you’re stumped on this decision or any decision pertaining to setting up a digital video surveillance system, please contact one of our experts for help.  They will be glad to speak to you in order to help you design your system and determine what type of equipment you will need.

All of Security Camera King’s DVRs are the highest quality DVR for that category.  Once you take a close look at what we have to offer we think you’ll be amazed at the quality, performance, and features our DVRs have to offer compared to any other in the industry.

Contact Us!

Whether you need help on how to catch vandalism, or specific help on what type of camera, DVR, or monitor to use, how to design and setup your system, etc. our security experts are there to help you decide.  You can contact them on-line using our “Live Chat” or you can telephone them at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.



Wide Dynamic Range Camera

Written By:
Friday, November 11th, 2011

A wide dynamic range camera is a camera that is used where the field of view contains and extremely wide range of lighting conditions.

For example, let’s say you owned a tourist attraction that was a cavern that lead to the outside world by a tunnel.  Tourists would typically enter the cave via this tunnel.  To prevent vandalism, theft, and for general safety you decide to install a digital video camera surveillance monitoring system.  The entrance camera is outside, directly across from the tunnel entrance.  Standing in front of the tunnel, the sunlight on this bright sunny day is just about directly overhead such that the only outside light that enters the tunnel is diffuse light and the lighting system of the tunnel itself.

A non wide dynamic range camera will more than likely show the sunlit objects in its field of vision very well.  However, the entrance to the cavern will more than likely be depicted as a nice black spot with the inability to see hardly anywhere inside the tunnel.  This is when you need a good quality wide dynamic range camera.  This camera has special circuitry to provide a clear image of parts of the field of view that are well lit by the sun as well as the entrance to the cave.  No black spots here!

Remember there are basically two type of cameras when talking about wide dynamic range.  Most cameras regardless of their other features have a wide dynamic range setting that you can use to adjust the camera.  Depending on the circumstance these cameras may work fine for your application.

On the other hand, there are also cameras that specialize as wide dynamic range cameras.  These cameras are designed to specifically resolve the light range problems.  Therefore, in our example above, the tunnel entrance to the cavern would not appear as a large black spot but rather as a typical image as if the sun had moved and was now shining directly in the entrance.

How is this possible?  Let’s take a quick look at how these cameras operate, then we’ll describe exactly how their wide dynamic range feature works.

A digital camera has something called a field of view.  This is the area that is “seen and captured” by the camera.  The lens on the camera focuses this entire field of view onto a sensor chip.  These sensor chips are commonly 1/4 or 1/3 inches square but in some cameras they may be as large as an inch.

There are two different sensors, each going about converting the light image into an electronic image in a different manner yet both yielding exactly the same results, an electronic video image.  You’ve probably heard or seen mention of these sensors.  One is the Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the other is the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  When light strikes these chips they emit a very small electrical impulse that can be detected and measured and by combining all of them together, yield an electronic video image.

The electrical impulses pass through several different Integrated Circuit (IC) chips that enhance the picture that is seen.  Ironically enough, everything that is done pertaining to the video image is analog until the data passes through the final IC chip which is called an analog-to-digital processor.

Just before this circuit and directly after gathering the data from the sensor chips is the Digital Signal Processor or DSP.  The quality of the DSP most certainly affects the quality of the video image produced.

The DSP is also where the wide dynamic range camera performs any necessary enhancements (for example our cavern example above) that makes black or white outs appear as a normal image.  Here’s how the wide dynamic range problem is solved.

A wide dynamic range camera will take two images of a scene for every frame of video.  The first image is taken to optimize the camera’s ability to see dimly lit areas and the second image is adjusted to accommodate the brighter lit areas.  Both of these images are sent directly to the DSP where they are combined together by the DSP to produce and image that can be seen and recorded clearly.

Since some lighting conditions cannot be changed, the wide dynamic range camera can compensate for the situation and provide you with excellent quality images without lighting disturbances.  If you have any additional question about wide dynamic range, contact one of our security experts.  We love to help!


High Quality Wireless Security Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Are you looking for a high quality wireless security camera?  Look no further because Security Camera King has a great selection of only the highest quality wireless cameras in the security camera industry.

You may not be familiar a high quality wireless security camera and you may be asking yourself, what exactly is this?  Cameras that send their video image data via radio waves are referred to as “wireless” cameras.   However, this may be a misnomer because they may not be entirely wireless.

Wireless cameras need power and that may be provided by means of a wired power supply.  If that is the case then the camera isn’t totally wireless, even though the industry uses that term.  A truly wireless camera will usually obtain its power from on board one-time use or rechargeable batteries.

There are several different types of wireless technologies that may be used such as the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz or the 900 MHz technologies which are basically the same technologies that are used for land-line based wireless telephones.  These technologies usually present a clear transmission that is relatively strong and is definitively strong enough to support high quality wireless security cameras.

There is one “down side” to these wireless technologies.  They work on the principle of Line Of Sight or LOS.  LOS means that the maximum range stated by the manufacturer is valid if there are no objects between the transmitter (or camera) and the receiver.  However, this doesn’t mean that the wireless feature won’t work if there is (are) an object(s) between the two.  Instead, depending on the physical make-up of the object, the range is just reduced.  Many things can affect the maximum range of a wireless camera such as windows, walls, buildings, trees, fences and such.  So it’s a good idea to survey your camera placement before purchasing your camera(s).

There is also another type of wireless camera that doesn’t transmit its video data to a receiver which is then cable connected to a DVR.   This other type is an IP (Internet Protocol) wireless camera.  IP wireless cameras use WiFi to connect to a router or modem which then connects them to the Internet.  Once connected to the Internet, these cameras are usually viewable from anywhere in the world there is broad band Internet availability.  In addition, these cameras can also be monitored on 3G and 4G smartphones.

Besides being convenient for security camera systems, high quality wireless security cameras are also found as hidden, covert cameras.  Security Camera King carries a full line of these cameras to fit just about any situation.  The following is a partial list of some of the high quality wireless security cameras that we offer for purchase:

  • Black and white or color button camera
  • Black and white or color Phillip’s head screw camera
  • Wireless dog baby monitor camera
  • Black and white or color wireless motion detector
  • Black and white or color wireless wall clock
  • Black and White or color wireless “EXIT” sign
  • Black and white or color wireless desktop speakers
  • Black and white or color vanity mirror with touch activation
  • Black and white or color carbon monoxide detector
  • Black and white or color wind tunnel camera
  • Black and white or color Alarm clock camera
  • Black and white or color cordless house phone camera
  • Black and white or color CD/Boom box camera
  • Black and white or color wireless suspended animation clock camera
  • Black and white or color utility box camera
  • Black and white or color Air Wick air freshener camera
  • Black and white or color tissue box camera
  • Black and white or color down view smoke detector
  • Black and white or color emergency camera

Most all of these hidden wireless cameras contain high quality 3.7mm wide angle lenses, a 1/4 or 1/3 inch CCD or CMOS sensor, and of course a transmitter and antenna.  Most also run on battery power or they are wired into the electrical appliance that they are in.

So if you are looking for a high quality wireless security camera, talk to one of our security experts to help you find the one that is right for you.  You can contact our security experts by on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.


Surveillance Camera Microphones

Written By:
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Capturing video footage with your digital video camera system is great, but there may be times when audio is also needed.  In this case you will more than likely want to have some good surveillance camera microphones.

Many of Security Camera King’s digital video security cameras come with an on-board surveillance camera microphone to record audio.  Some of the more frequent applications of audio are using the camera at entrances and exits as a door guard, gate keeper, or other special applications.

Two-way audio using the Internet or a network allows you to hear what is being said or done and react by being able to talk back where the subjects can hear you through the camera’s on-board speaker.

Not all units have surveillance camera microphones for this purpose.  However, Security Camera King does sell powered microphones specifically for this purpose.  Our product# MIC is rugged yet produces studio quality sound and the microphone can be mounted almost anywhere. It has both the power plug receptacle and the BNC plug-in for the audio cable.  The microphone is sturdy and small so as not to be obtrusive when it is installed along with a digital video camera.

WARNING:  There are state laws concerning the recording of conversations without all those participating in the conversation being aware of the recording.  Check with your own state laws to make sure you are complying with state, federal, and/or local laws if you are covertly recording conversations and video images as well.  Oddly enough, there doesn’t seem to be too many restrictions on video capture, but there are plenty that deal with audio recording.

For many states where a surveillance camera microphone (with audio) is used, a simple notice or sign posted in the area of the camera is sufficient enough. (For example, “These premises are protected by digital video cameras with audio.  Both video and audio is being recorded.)   Other states may have more elaborate requirements to be compliant.

Quite often you may wish to have a security camera audio hookup on one particular camera in your system:  A baby monitor.  Having audio for a baby monitor increases the ability to keep a safe watch on a child.  It can alert you immediately if anything is wrong.

External microphones like product# MIC above are normally connected to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR by two wires with a BNC connector on the end.   The standard power plug accepts from 6 to 12 VDC.  Again, check the specifications of your camera as the camera may already have an on-board microphone/speaker.

Sometimes it’s more advantageous to have a separate surveillance camera microphone even if one comes on-board with the camera.   Chances are that if you are covertly recording video, you won’t want the camera mounted somewhere that will make it easily seen.  The same situation for the microphone applies, however the camera may be mounted in such a remote or unusual place that you will want a separate surveillance camera microphone mounted closer to the origination of the sound.  This could mean that the camera could be in one wall of the room and the microphone is installed somewhere quite distant from the camera such as the opposing wall or on the ceiling.

If you are installing a new system or replacing an older DVR with a newer DVR and it is one of Security Camera King’s featured DVRs the DVR will be able to accept audio input and audio output.  Even our entry level 4 Channel Elite-Mini Economy DVR has to Audio In ports and one Audio Out.  However, other DVRS may not include the ability to support audio so it is best to check the specifications sheet for that DVR before purchasing.

If you have any additional questions concerning surveillance camera microphone or security cameras or DVRs with audio, please contact any one of our security experts either via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6 PM EST.