Posts Tagged ‘ security system’



Security System Devices

Written By:
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There are many security system devices. For the sake of this discussion, we’ll categorize security system devices into two separate groups, digital video security camera systems and non-video security camera systems. In the following article we’ll discuss what some of these devices are for both categories.

Our two arbitrary security system devices categories have both benefited by advanced electronic circuit and computer technologies. Improvements in these technologies have directly or indirectly influenced security system devices such that these devices more efficient and cheaper, and in some cases, has made owning a device possible when it wasn’t possible to do so in the past.

Digital Video Security System Devices

Digital video security systems generally consist of three basic components. While it’s true that there may be additional devices based on the user’s choice, nearly every system will contain or use each of these three components: They are 1) digital video cameras; 2) Digital Video Recorders or DVRs; and, 3) Monitors.

Digital video cameras can be further categorized into two types themselves, based on where they are used. Indoor cameras are used in situations where they are not exposed to weather and other outside elements. Outdoor cameras are enclosed in a protective case so they can withstand exposure to weather and the elements.

Both indoor and outdoor cameras have many features that allow them to be used as highly specialized security system devices. How they do this is outside the scope of this article, however we will list some of these devices according to the features that seem to qualify them as different types of security system devices:
• Wireless Cameras;
• Very light sensitive low-Lux day/night vision cameras;
• Night vision infrared cameras;
• Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras;
• Camera that record video and audio;
• Internet Protocol or IP ready cameras that can use the internet as a vehicle for networking; and
• Cameras with motion detector switching.

DVRs contain a Digital Signal Processor or DSP that reads the camera data and uses it to create a digital video file. This file is viewed on the monitor and or stored for later used on the DVR. Typically, the number of video inputs the DVR can handle at one time (also called “channels”) dictates the number of cameras in a one DVR unit system. If we consider different types of DVRs as security system devices, here is a list of some of the more common:
• Four, eight, and sixteen channel DVRs;
• DVR cards that use a personal computer as a DVR unit;
• Wireless DVRs;
• Internet Protocol (IP) ready DVRs; and,
• Miniature DVRs that use miniature storage media such as SD cards or thumb drives.

Monitors are used to view live video or recorded video. Most monitors today are color LCD monitors, just like the ones used for personal computing. Security system monitors may differ from typical computer monitors in the way they connect to the DVR or security camera. These DVRs may have additional connection types that may not be typical of computer monitors (such as BNC connectors).

Non-digital Video Security System Devices

The other category of security system devices is the non-digital video security system devices. For our discussion, this generally means security alarms. Most security alarm systems contain two major components, the sensors and the master control center/dialer.

The sensors are used as type of switch to monitor a particular state of an object such as being open, closed, or in motion. When the sensor has detected the desired trigger, it either closes a circuit with the master control panel or sends a wireless signal to the master control panel to notify it of the change. If we consider different alarm sensors as different security system devices then we can provide the following partial list:
• Door and window sensors;
• Temperature sensors;
• Humidity sensors;
• Poll sensors (detect the presence of someone or something);
• Motion detectors;
• Smoke and fire detectors;
• CO (carbon monoxide) and other chemical sensors;
• Light sensors; and,
• Sound sensors.

Master control panels coordinate the sensors and the alarms, including autodialing telephone numbers and playing a message to the receiving party, if equipped.

This is just a small example of the many security system devices that are available at Security Camera King. Check out our on-line catalogue of items if you are interested in purchasing any security system devices.

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Security Camera Software

Written By:
Friday, November 19th, 2010

Security camera software is the glue that ties together digital video cameras and Personal Computers (PCs) or Macintosh Computers (Macs) as well as Digital Video Recorder (DVR) units for standalone systems. It’s also the heart of remote DVR monitoring applications (Apps) that allows your smartphone to access your video security system. It essence it provides the programming that allows you to control the camera, monitor the camera, and record the digital video files.

There are many types of security camera software. Perhaps the simplest to use is a typical web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox Mozilla, Google Chrome and others. For digital video security cameras and DVRs that are IP (Internet Protocol) ready, a web browser may be all that is needed to control, monitor, and record digital video security images.

Although it may be difficult to describe what security camera software is, we can easily describe what it isn’t. Security Camera Software is not firmware. Firmware is basically the drivers and internal commands that a device needs to communicate with processors and other devices. Firmware is device and manufacturer specific.

Security camera software is not Operating System (OS) software. Operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, and others provide the basis for central communication between devices, processors, and users. OS software is what makes a computer system work.

So where does that leave us with security camera software? As stated earlier it could be considered as a web browser, but typically security camera software is specific programming that is designed to operate a digital video security system. We can list the types of security camera software based on how they are designed to work. Security camera software can be:

• Designed to provide the control, monitoring and recording of security cameras and DVRs;
• Designed to allow PCs and Macs to provide the control, monitoring, and recording of security cameras when used in conjunction with a security video PCI card;
• Designed to provide the control, monitoring and recording of security cameras and DVRs that may be networked using the Internet (IP ready);
• As mentioned earlier, designed as Apps for Smartphones to allow them to monitor IP ready cameras; and
• Designed to integrate a variety of digital video capture devices such as webcams, netcams (or IP ready cams), computer PCI capture cards and computers to create a digital video security system.

The first type on our list is software that is normally provided when you purchase a standalone digital video security system with a DVR. The manufacturer of the DVR or the Cameras (or both) may provide the software that is normally installed on the DVR unit. This software is used to control camera functions such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functions and timers that turn the cameras on and off.

The second type of security camera software on our list works with computers that use a PCI card. There are some digital video security systems that are specifically designed to work with your computer. For example Geovision brand PCI DVR cards provide inputs for multiple security cameras that connect to your computer. This system uses your computer’s hard drive as the DVR. The software that accompanies this card that allows the computer to control the cameras and store the digital video files is a type of security camera software.

Our third type applies specifically to IP ready digital video cameras, DVRs and servers, and systems. The software is normally produced by the manufacturer of the security system and is designed to allow a computer to control, monitor, and record security video using the network. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it may be something as simple as a web browser, but it can also be a proprietary program produced by the security equipment manufacturer that is used to coordinate the video security system’s functions. These may also be in the form of browser plug-ins such as ActiveX subroutines that must be installed in the browser before it is used with the system.

The fourth type of security camera software is Smartphone Apps which we have already described.

The fifth and final type of security camera software allows you to use a variety of video capture devices (such as webcams or capture cards) in conjunction with your computer to create your own digital video system. While this does not create the ideal video security system, it does save money by allowing you to use equipment you have already purchased to create a digital video system.

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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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Home Security System Camera Sound

Written By:
Friday, August 20th, 2010

If you need a residential security monitoring system that records audio, you need to consider a home security system camera sound. These systems are standard digital video recording systems that produce high quality color digital video but in addition, they also record sound.

There are several uses for a home security system camera sound. One of the most widely used applications is as gate cameras at the entrance to properties. A digital video camera with sound is placed at the entry gate location and is normally used with an electronically controlled entry gate. Users can not only see the visitor using video, but can converse with them using the audio function as well.

Another practical application, similar to the gate camera, for a home security system camera with sound is a front door (or any door for that matter) entrance system. The camera is mounted in a location that can capture the image of anyone entering or approaching an entrance. Once again, audio can be recorded and with a simple intercom like system be used to communicate with the visitor.

A third application for a home security system camera sound is when it is used as a baby monitor. Night vision infrared security digital video cameras with audio are normally used for these systems. An infrared digital video camera is sensitive to infrared radiation. These cameras use infrared Light Emitting Diodes ore LEDs to illuminate the baby’s area. Infrared light is invisible to the human eye so it won’t disturb the baby during periods of sleep at night. In addition, audio recording provides constant sound monitoring as well, making this a comprehensive monitoring system.

Another possible application may include using a camera with sound to monitor a non-ambulatory medical patient. Some individuals that are confined to a bed may require 24/7 video monitoring. In addition, if a home security system camera sound is used then the patient can alert the caregiver if they are needed by using their voice or some other sound creating object. Wireless remote monitors make these applications even more versatile by allowing the user freedom to move about the house.

There are several different types of home security systems with cameras that capture sound. In fact, most camera types are available. Some of the sound recording camera types available may include:

• Indoor/outdoor — unless they are specified as being both types, cameras are normally one or the other. Outdoor cameras have enclosures that protect them from the elements.

• Day/night vision — these cameras are very sensitive to light and record video images in very little available visible light.

• Night vision infrared — these cameras (such as the baby monitor type mentioned above) can record video images in total darkness using infrared illumination.

• Wireless — digital video security cameras require a transmission cable be run from each camera to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR. Wireless cameras eliminate the need for this cable by sending the signal via radio waves.

• Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) — these cameras and move horizontally and vertically to increase the field of view for the camera. In addition, they can “zoom” in using telephoto lens technology to enlarge objects.

• Internet Protocol or IP ready — these cameras contain their own server technology and c an be networked using the internet. Their video and sound can be monitored and recorded using a personal computer connected to the internet and a standard web browser like Internet Explorer.

• Motion Detection On — these cameras contain a motion detector that switches the camera on to record video and audio saving DVR or hard drive recording space. In addition, if your camera is battery operated this will greatly extend the life of the battery.

These are just some of the examples of the various cameras that can also be used to record sound. If capturing sound is important as well as video, you should consider purchasing a home security system camera sound. These systems require very little if any extra installation preparation, are easy to install and use, and are versatile enough to be used for many different kinds of applications.

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Camera Security System Features

Written By:
Monday, August 9th, 2010

If you are looking for a digital video security and surveillance system, you should be aware of the more common camera security system features. Recent advances in digital video camera technology, digital video processing technology, and digital video storage capacities have provided an abundance of useful features and options.

Today’s camera security system features allow the user to have a complete standalone system, a system that can work using a personal computer to replace some of the components of the system (usually resulting in a less expensive system), or a system that can be remotely viewed and controlled via the internet. In addition, most contemporary security camera systems are component systems; that is, the individual parts of the system can be mixed and matched without regard to type or manufacturer with relative ease so the user can create a custom designed system to suit their needs.

Today a typical digital video camera security system features one to several cameras, a processor/Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor. Let’s examine the camera security system features by looking at the two main components; digital video cameras and processor/DVRs.

Digital Video Cameras
These cameras have a variety of options or features including:

  • • Specifically made for indoor or outdoor use
  • • Wireless technology, eliminating the need for a video transmission cable
  • • Powered by rechargeable batteries (this feature combined with wireless transmission technology makes these cameras truly wireless)
  • • Light Sensitive Day/Night vision that can produce high quality video images in very low light conditions
  • • Night vision infrared that can produce high quality black and white video images in total darkness
  • • Audio recording
  • • Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functions-combined with software or circuit programming these cameras can “track” or “follow” objects
  • • Motion activated-these cameras do not begin capturing images until a motion detector senses movement
  • • IP (Internet Protocol) Ready-these cameras have their own built in server and can be networked using the internet
  • • Hidden or Disguised Covert Cameras-these cameras are so small they can be easily hidden in other objects or the cameras are built already embedded or disguised within other objects

Processors/DVRs
The processor/DVR handles several tasks and is the “brain” of the system. The processor handles the digital video signals sent by the cameras and uses a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility to make the digital video files easier to handle. It may also handle other functions like motion detection or PTZ controls. Finally, the DVR is equivalent to a personal computer’s hard disk drive. It stores the digital video files for archiving or later use.

One of the main features of this unit is the number of channels or cameras it can handle at once. Most units offer 4, 8, or 16 channel capability.

Camera security system features for the processors used today offer a variety of different CODEC utilities. There are many other choices for CODEC utilities including H.264, MPG1 to MPG4, MOV, and DIV to name a few.

The DVR’s main feature is its storage capacity. Currently DVRs can be purchased that have storage capacities ranging from Gigabytes to Terabytes. As computer hard drive technology increases, storage capacity seems to increase and price usually decreases.

The processor/DVR unit is much like the case of a desktop computer. In addition to the features already mentioned these units may have additional bays or slots to add additional PCI cards or hardware. Common optional features of this type include CD/DVD writers or Flash Card writers that can copy the digital video files from the DVR to more portable media. This is useful for providing the video to police, insurance agencies, etc. or simply for archiving.

Another camera security system feature for the processor/DVR is a computer PCI card that works as a processor/DVR or utilizes a typical personal computer as the processor/DVR. This feature is great for residences because it normally reduces the cost of the system considerably.

As you can see, there are many different camera security system features existing today. This should give you a good working knowledge of the most common features that are available for your use and that will allow you to design your own custom component system.

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