Posts Tagged ‘ Security Surveillance ’

Home Video Security Systems

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Versatility, economic pricing, and Innovative technology are making home video security systems the number one choice for residential security and surveillance. Home video systems are no longer just for the extremely wealthy; and, their abundance of features and options makes them suitable for use in almost every environment and for any need.

Today’s home video security systems are basically component systems. There are several benefits to component systems, but the greatest is the ability to customize each component to suit your needs.

Thanks to great advances in the electronics industry, especially with semiconductors and integrated circuits, cameras can perform a variety of functions that 15 years ago would have been extremely expensive or simply unavailable. Processors and DVRs are becoming exponentially more powerful with each new design.

Typical home video security systems usually have from one to several cameras, a processor/Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor. The digital video cameras send their digital video signal to the processor/DVR. The processor converts the cameras’ signals into digital video files that can be viewed on the monitor and/or stored on the DVR for later viewing and/or archiving purposes.

The cameras used for home video security systems are usually digital video cameras. These cameras produce high quality color video under normal lighting conditions. Cameras can be purchased with extremely high resolutions that create extremely high quality video.

Cameras are also available for special lighting conditions. There are cameras that can produce high quality video under conditions of very little visible light or cameras that can produce high quality monochromatic or black and white video under conditions of total darkness. These “low light condition cameras” may be useful for perimeter coverage of the home and yard and other outdoor applications.

Night vision infrared cameras are useful for monitoring areas outside or inside the house that are normally not illuminated at night. They are also great for use as a baby monitor camera, nanny cam, and monitor for rooms that are normally not lit such as closets, storage areas, garages, stairwells, etc. These cameras use infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to illuminate their target area with infrared light. This “light” is invisible to the human eye but can be seen with the camera’s special sensor.

Another useful camera option is a camera with a motion detector. These cameras have small infrared sensors that detect a change in infrared radiation from moving objects. These motion detectors are connected to a relay that can turn the cameras on and off. These can be used to record video only when motion is detected saving DVR storage space. They can also be used to alert you when someone or something is present.

Other available options for cameras include:
• Indoor or Outdoor use
• Wireless transmission technology
• Audio recording in addition to video
• Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ functions that allow the camera’s position or field of view to change
• Hidden or disguised cameras (often used as nanny cams)
• IP or Internet Protocol ready cameras can transmit their images over the internet to anywhere in the world there is internet access

This is the heart and brains of the system. It normally contains the utility that compresses the digital video files to make them smaller. There are many different options for different types of compression utilities. DVRs can also be purchased in a variety of storage capacity options. In addition, other “peripheral” items such as CD, DVD, or Flash card writers can be added to the units.

There are also home video security systems that eliminate the need for a processor/DVR and monitor. These systems utilize your personal computer for these functions instead, making the system all the more affordable.

IP camera home video security systems can be used to monitor the home when you are at work, on travel, or away for extended periods. They are also great for 24/7 monitoring by professional companies. They can eliminate the added expense of a proprietary camera system that would otherwise be required.

If you are interested in protecting your home with a home video security system talk with one our experts today.


Low Light In Wall Surveillance Video Camera

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

A low light in wall surveillance video camera has a multitude of uses. It can be used to monitor your children to ensure their safety and well being; it can be used to monitor an office,; it can be used as a nanny cam to monitor your nanny and child when you are not present; it can be used to monitor individuals that work in your home; or it can simply be used to keep a watchful eye on your important property.

What exactly is a low light in wall surveillance video camera? There are several different cameras that can be classified as in wall cameras. Generally speaking, an in wall surveillance video camera is any digital video camera that is mounted such that it is either flush with the wall (inside the wall) or is mounted on the wall in such a way that its presence is normally disguised. So basically there are two types of in wall video cameras, unconcealed and covert.

Both types of cameras work the same way, the difference lies in how they are mounted on or within the wall. In addition, a low light digital video camera can capture full color high quality video using very little available visible light. Let’s take a look at how these special low light cameras operate first, and then we’ll discuss the different examples of in wall surveillance cameras.

Contemporary digital video cameras work by converting light energy into electrical energy that can be measured to produce a digital video signal. Digital video cameras do this by using one of two different electronic light sensing chips. One chip is called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and the other is called a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

These electronic chips are sensitive to light. The lens of the camera focuses the image on these chips which then convert the light energy into electrical energy and produce a digital video image. These chips can be manufactured to be very sensitive e to light; so sensitive in fact that they can produce high quality video footage in very low light conditions. These types of cameras are often called day/night vision cameras. Their sensitivity to light, that is, the lowest level of light that they can produce a clear image, is normally rated in Lux.

Lux is a unit of measurement of the intensity of light. Some low light or day/night cameras can produce images with as little as .002 Lux of light. That’s about the same amount of light available in the sky on a moonless, clear night.

Other low light in wall surveillance video cameras may actually be night vision infrared cameras. These cameras produce a high quality color video image in visible light conditions and use infrared light in low light or total darkness. These camera’s sensors are also sensitive to infrared light and usually use infrared Light Emitting Diodes to illuminate the target area. Although the camera’s sensor can see the infrared light, human eyes cannot making them excellent choices for covert low light monitoring.

There are several different examples or designs of low light in wall surveillance video cameras. Unconcealed types are normally installed flush with the wall, the majority of the camera and housing occupying the space behind the wall. The camera normally has a protective face plate that is somewhat flush with the wall and that covers the camera lens. There are even corner mount low light in wall surveillance cameras that can be installed in the corners of a room.

Covert low light in wall surveillance video cameras normally disguise the look of the camera or hide it all together. One examples of a covert in wall surveillance camera includes the wall clock camera. This camera looks like a typical office wall clock, and functions like one too. However, hidden within the face of the clock is an opening for the lens of a camera that is mounted inside the clock body.

Other examples of disguised in wall cameras include heating and air conditioning thermostat cameras, electrical face plate cameras, exit sign cameras, and smoke detector cameras. Thanks to modern technology digital video cameras can be manufactured so small they can be concealed in just about anything.

So if you need to keep an eye on some property, a room, an area, or an office that may not always be brightly lit, and you don’t want the camera to be obvious, consider purchasing a low light in wall surveillance video camera.


Monitoring a CCTV Camera Remotely

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Innovative technological improvements have made it easier than ever to make your CCTV camera remotely monitored. There are basically two types of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, analog and digital; and both can be installed for remote monitoring.

But before we describe how to remotely monitor your CCTV cameras, let’s back up a bit and talk about the system itself so that we are familiar with just exactly what is involved.

An older (by just a few years ago) typical CCTV system consisted of one or more analog video cameras. These cameras were like miniature versions of the cameras used to record television programs. Of course the quality was not as good as a full size television camera, and each camera transmitted its analog video signal through a cable that ran from each camera to the monitor and video recorder unit. Hence, instead of the video signal being broadcasted by air waves for general public viewing, the signal was sent through a “closed circuit.” This is how the term Closed Circuit Television or CCTV got its origin.

Each camera could be connected to a monitor, but the monitor would need to be within the vicinity (within cabling distance) of the camera. Unless special and expensive equipment was utilized a CCTV camera remotely monitored was not commonplace.

Contemporary video surveillance cameras are no longer analog. These cameras are digital video cameras that capture video and send it in digital format. Digital video cameras work by using one of two different sensors, each performing the same basic function; changing light focused on the sensor into an electronic image format. The sensor that is used is either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

These systems send their video signals to a processing unit which is analogous to a highly specialized computer. The unit interprets the electronic data sent to it by the camera and creates a digital video file. Digital video files can be viewed on most personal computers and many DVD and other media players. The digital video file may be viewed live on a monitor and/or stored on a Digital Video Recorder or DVR.

Today’s newer systems may be designed with digital video cameras that are IP ready. IP is an acronym for “Internet Protocol.” IP cameras have built-in circuitry that allows the camera to be connected directly to the internet. Once the camera is connected to the internet, the camera can be monitored remotely anywhere in the world where internet access is available.

IP cameras may come with their own software that includes a monitoring program, but they are often designed to work with a standard internet browser (such as Internet Explorer). Users can monitor their cameras using a standard personal computer that has internet access. This is incredibly convenient for individuals that travel frequently and would like to monitor their homes remotely and for sending video surveillance images to security monitoring companies that provide 24/7 monitoring of the cameras.

So it’s relatively easy to have a digital CCTV camera remotely monitored. However, older analog CCTV video cameras can also be remotely monitored. Since the video signal from these cameras is analog, a device must be used to convert the analog video into digital video. This is normally done using a capture board.

A capture board is a hard wired circuit board that is usually part of the processing unit. It converts the analog signal into a digital video signal. Once the video footage has been converted into a digital file, it too can be remotely monitored. Whereas the newer cameras have IP technology and their own built in server, the analog camera at this point still needs to get the signal on a network or the internet.

Analog CCTV cameras that are remotely monitored use digital video servers to transfer the file from the capture board or processing unit to the internet. These servers are IP ready just like the newer cameras. Most servers can handle more than one camera input at a time. Once the server puts the original analog video (now in digital format) on the internet, it too can be remotely monitored from anywhere in the world where the internet is accessible.

So whether you have an analog or digital system, you can have a CCTV camera remotely monitored. Remote monitoring makes a security and surveillance system incredibly versatile and the systems are easy to install and are reasonably priced as well.


Church Security Systems

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Unfortunately, in this day and age even church security systems are becoming a necessity. Many churches only have people inside or on the premises at certain times and/or on certain days. This predictable schedule of appearance can make churches and related buildings excellent targets for vandalism and theft. However, a digital video church security system can reduce the threat of theft and vandalism tremendously and provide documentation of the event should it occur.

Standalone digital video systems are a great investment as a church security system. Not only can they record acts of vandalism and theft, but simply having digital video church security systems deters most potential wrong doers. In addition, these systems are incredibly versatile which means they can be used in just about any situation or application and they are affordably priced so they can accommodate just about any church budget.

Church security systems require very little maintenance or human intervention when operating. That means on the days that there are no church related activities, the system continues to provide monitoring and security services without the need of an individual to be present to operate.

Church security systems can be used anywhere on church property. Cameras can be placed anywhere inside the church from the vestibule to the altar or apse. Their relatively small size does not usually disturb the aesthetics of the interior design of the church. Cameras can be placed in reception rooms, Sunday school classrooms, storage facilities, and on the property’s perimeter to provide comprehensive coverage.

Basic digital video camera church security systems have from one to several digital video cameras, a processor/Digital Video Recorder or DVR and a monitor. The cameras capture the video image and send it via a coaxial cable to the processor/DVR unit. This unit uses the information to create a digital video file which can be stored on the DVR for later viewing or archiving, or can be viewed live.

Digital video files can be incredibly large in size. A digital video is actually several digital photographs taken in rapid succession, usually about 30 per second. A digital photograph file can be rather large in size, so one can imagine the potential size of a digital video file. The processor uses a software or hardware utility to shrink the size of the digital video file without destroying the quality of the file. This makes the file easier to handle and provides for longer storage times on the DVR.

The digital video cameras used for church security systems have a variety of optional features that allows the cameras to be used just about anywhere. For example cameras can be indoor or outdoor models. Outdoor models are just like indoor models except they contain a protective case or covering that protects them from being penetrated by various types of matter. These cameras are often rated according to an International Electrical code standard called an Ingress Protection rating. When purchasing outdoor cameras for a church security system look for cameras rated IP66 or IP67 as these provide protection not only from dust but from water as well.

Church security system cameras can be wireless too. A wireless camera only requires a small wire for its power supply. Normally, a coaxial cable is run from each camera to the processor/DVR unit; however wireless cameras eliminate this cabling.

A wireless camera has a built in transmitter and antenna that sends its video information in the form of radio waves to a receiver. The receiver is normally located in the same location as the processor/DVR and/or monitor. The receiver converts the radio signal back into an electronic signal and sends it to the processor/DVR for viewing or recording. Wireless cameras are incredibly quick and easy to install and provide for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance since there is no cable running from the camera to the DVR.

Other optional features may include:
• Ability to record audio
• Day/night vision cameras that require very little light to produce an image
• Night vision infrared cameras that can produce a high quality video image in total darkness
• Pan-Tilt-Zoom functions
• Network cameras that use the internet as the network and can implement a personal computer to carry out the functions of the processor/DVR and monitor

As you can see, church security systems are incredibly flexible in application and can provide a high level of “deterrent factor” for theft and vandalism. In addition, these systems are reasonably priced to fit just about any church budget.


Building Security Camera

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

If you have an apartment, office, or warehouse a building security system can be the solution for all your security needs. In fact, today’s technology has created features and options in security system components that make them adaptable to almost any type of building.

Staffing a security department or hiring a security contractor to provide security monitoring for a building can be an expensive venture. If the building(s) is(are) part of your business, an entire security department may need to be created to cover the area. On the other hand, there are plenty of “manned” security contracting companies that can be hired, but these are usually expensive and the commitment and cost are usually ongoing.

A building security system can provide you with the full time monitoring and recording coverage you need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at a fraction of the cost of other methods. In addition, a building security system is a component system that can be added to as your needs increase. Also, a digital video system is versatile in application so that it can be used in almost any type of building or atmosphere.

The key to the versatility of the building security system is the digital video camera. It incorporates the most modern electronic and mechanical technology available to offer incredible features and options at very economical prices. Cameras can basically be categorized into two types based on where they are used; indoors or outdoors.

Outdoor cameras are the same as indoor cameras, except they provide a case or enclosure that protects the camera from weather and other environmental elements. Outdoor cameras can be mounted in a variety of locations and can provide you with complete three-dimensional perimeter coverage. Building security system cameras can be placed to cover all exterior areas of a building including entrances and exits as well on the rooftop for complete coverage.

Indoor cameras can provide coverage anywhere that it is needed, especially at entrances, exits, elevators, and major thoroughfares like lobbies and stairways. Most digital video cameras are capable of recording audio as well as video. When these are used at major entrances they can replace typical security entrance guards or security key systems and can typically only require one individual to monitor them.

Both types of cameras can come with pan, tilt, and/or zoom functions (PTZ). Panning and tilting allows the camera to change positions increasing its field of view. The zoom feature uses an adjustable telephoto lens to enlarge objects, especially those away from the camera. These cameras when used with motion detection programming can track and follow moving objects. This type of building security system is extremely useful for parking garages.

Other building security system camera features include day/night vision which can produce video images in conditions with very little visible light and night vision infrared cameras that can produce video images in total darkness. Both types of cameras produce high quality color video and the night vision IR camera produces high quality black and white or monochromatic video under infrared conditions.

Night vision infrared cameras are particularly useful because the produce no visible light, making them a little less obvious. Night vision IR cameras normally have IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that accompany the camera and supply IR illumination on the target area. It’s like using a flood light or spotlight to the camera, but the human eye cannot detect it.

Another significant benefit available on building security system cameras is the wireless feature. Cameras use the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz radio band technology to send their signals thereby eliminating the need for cabling and making installation a snap.

If your building has broadband internet available you can use the IP (Internet Protocol) cameras that can be networked using the internet. These cameras can be monitored from wherever there is accessibility to the internet.

The camera’s images are sent to a processor that converts the video images into standard digital video files. Since these files are often incredibly large, a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility is used to reduce the size of the file while maintaining high quality video. Once this is accomplished, the files are stored on the DVR for viewing later or archiving.

If you own a building that needs monitoring, you can’t go wrong with a building security system. This versatile, affordable electronic aid can save you tremendous amounts of money otherwise spent on security and can offer you the peace-of-mind knowing what is there 24/7.