Posts Tagged ‘ surveillance camera’



Bus Surveillance Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Bus Surveillance CamerasIf you are a school bus driver and you have bus surveillance cameras, you know what a blessing they truly are.  Equipment that is visible (whether it’s actually working or off) has an incredibly large deterrence factor.  This doesn’t apply to just school buses but all kinds of buses and public transportation.

What is different on bus surveillance cameras than on regular surveillance cameras?  First, the whole system is a bit different.  Here is why.

A typical digital video surveillance system consists of one or more cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor.  The cameras capture the video images, process them and send them to the DVR where they are processed further and saved on the DVRs Hard Disk Drive (HDD).  The HDD on a typical surveillance system is the same type of disk drive that is found on a personal computer.  It can hold terabytes of information but doesn’t do well when under the forces of vibration.

Bus surveillance camera systems are a little different.  First and foremost is the DVR.  The vibrations for normal travel of the bus are libel to make the hard disk skip and not record the video images properly.  Now there are many different types of bus surveillance systems and accordingly corresponding DVRs.  However the one thing that bus surveillance camera systems have in common is that most of these systems use non-moving parts.

They are able to endure very harsh environments making them well suited for
high risk vehicle applications like school buses, law enforcement, EMS,
transit, taxi, service or delivery vehicles that require rugged solid state
dependability for video evidence.

Creating a system with non moving parts is important because of the vibrations that are created by the bus.  The bus surveillance camera system must be able to work properly in spite of that factor.  SO how do they do it?  Most bust surveillance camera systems use a “no moving parts” SD recorder system.  All of the footage is saved on the SD card and when it’s full you just pull that card and insert another one or re-write over the one that’s already in the DVR.

These SD cards can be removed and inserted into a computer to view or store any of the media that is on the card.  The technology for creating these cards is constantly improving yielding greater and greater storage capacities.  Today, they can easily place a 2 hour trip on one card.

Bus surveillance cameras come in many configurations as well.  Some units are made with the camera, DVR, and monitor all in on piece.  Other units allow for the DVR to be mounted somewhere on the bus while up to four different cameras can be used for more comprehensive coverage.  Some of these multi camera systems are able to record all four cameras at once in D1 resolution.  Furthermore these multi bus surveillance camera systems, because of the larger separate DVRs can have record times of 60 to 200 hours!

Another benefit of bus surveillance cameras is that not only can they record unsafe or dangerous activities of the passengers but they can also record unsafe or reckless driving activities of the bus driver offering dual protection.  The following is a list of just some of the passenger activities that have been documented already on buses (school, public transportation, etc.):

  • Civil or criminal violations of the law
  • Drug use, sale, or distribution
  • Gang related activities
  • Vandalism such as cutting the seats, graffiti on bus surfaces
  • Sexual acts with or without consent
  • Throwing objects out the windows
  • Assaults, abuse or other harassment against the bus driver
  • Alcohol abuse or smoking while inside the bus
  • Standing or walking in the bus while the bus itself is in motion.

As we mentioned earlier, bus surveillance cameras provide dual coverage because they can provide documentation of the activities of the passengers as well as the driver.  Here’s a short list of driver related activities that have been documented:

  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Failure to stop at railroad intersections
  • Bus driver, while driving, is drinking, eating, sending text messages, or using their cell phone for casual conversation
  • In vehicle driver passenger interaction, arguments, or abuse
  • Accident can be documented with the video used in court as evidence

If you are interested in more information concerning bus surveillance cameras, contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts today.

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Infrared Surveillance Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Infrared Surveillance Cameras or Day/Night Cameras are becoming very popular as business and home security cameras. They provide a full color picture in daytime or adequate light situations. Gradually switching to BW at night or low light to maintain picture quality, Infrared cameras, as their name suggests, contain an array of Infrared LED’s that turn on in low light and can provide a B/W picture in complete darkness.

Security Camera King’s infrared cameras are equipped with IR illuminators that can allow the infrared surveillance camera to “see” in complete darkness, and provide superb video performance in the worst lighting conditions. An infrared surveillance camera is perfect for night applications or for applications with poor lighting conditions. Infrared security surveillance cameras use infrared radiation known as “near infrared” light that is invisible to the human eye. Many of our IR cameras feature infrared illumination using photocell activation, which automatically switches on and off the camera’s illuminators as lighting conditions change.

An infrared surveillance camera is any camera that is design with Infrared light built in with illuminators for day and night time video surveillance. All infrared cameras come with a light sensor built in to switch the IR on when light conditions go below 1LUX rating. All infrared color cameras will change to Black and White when IR sensor is on. Infrared security surveillance cameras are very popular and can be used anywhere.

An infrared surveillance camera has infrared LED lighting (light from a different region of the electromagnetic spectrum than we normally cannot see) installed around the outside of the lens of the camera. This lighting allows the camera to capture a good image in no light at all. With a little bit of light (called low light) the infrared camera can capture a picture that looks just like daytime. People use infrared security cameras for businesses that have the lights out at night (in case of break-ins). Or for outside, nighttime viewing. Keep in mind that even at nighttime there is a normally some light from the moon, stars, or street lights.

Infrared cameras are often called “Night Vision” cameras because they can ‘see’ at night. However, do not confuse “Night Vision” with “Day / Night Cameras”. Day / Night cameras do not have infrared lights built in.

Infrared surveillance cameras will provide a color picture while the light is good. When it gets dark, the camera will switch to infrared mode and illuminate the field of vision using its built-in infrared LEDs. In infrared mode the image is captured in black and white – this is true of all infrared cameras because infrared light is out of the visible light spectrum.. The level of light required to capture a good picture is referred to as a camera’s lux, the lower the lux the better the camera can see in low light. For example a camera with 0.003 lux is better than a camera with 0.2 lux. Infrared cameras are considered to be 0.0 lux in infrared mode – in other words they can ‘see’ with no light at all.

Infrared cameras are also compared by how far they can see in total darkness. This is generally a result of how many infrared LEDs are built into the camera. Many cameras can see on the average between 50 and 150 feet although some cameras can see as far as 300 feet with no light at all!  This can be extended even further by using illuminators, infrared LED light bars that can extend your range.

If you are going to use an infrared camera outdoors, it’s best to use an outdoor weatherproof bullet style camera. This is because if you use an indoor infrared camera and need to put it in an outdoor housing, sometimes the infrared light reflects off the glass of the housing. Some people get acceptable results if the camera is absolutely flush up to the glass thereby reducing the glare. This works well for example if there are street lights outside or an exterior light that can be left on at night. Keep in mind that cameras without infrared lighting will not capture an image with zero light. The other issue to consider is that infrared cameras require more power (usually more amperage). The power requirements are provided in the specs for each camera.

If you need more information about infrared surveillance cameras, please don’t hesitate to contact one of Security Camera King’s security experts.  We’ll be glad to help!

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Portable Surveillance Camera

Written By:
Friday, October 14th, 2011

Portable Surveillance cameras are becoming more and more popular these days especially with technology advances yielding smaller and smaller cameras. Generally but not always, the smaller the camera device the easier it is to hide or disguise and the smaller it is the easier it is to make it portable.

Portable Surveillance camera systems differ from standard counterparts simply because they are portable. A typical digital surveillance camera is not portable, in fact it is usually securely mounted to some surface with screws.

However, if a system is portable, what does that mean for the “system.” It means that the camera and the DVR must be in the same “unit” in order to be entirely portable. In addition batteries or some sort of portable power pack are also required for a portable surveillance camera.

Portable surveillance cameras have many applications. “Helmet cams” are one such application that enables “hands free” portable video recording because the unit is attached to a helmet that is worn by the user. Some examples of helmet cam use include skydiving, the aerospace industry, medicine, mining, and down-hill skiing.

Another type of portable surveillance camera is often referred to as a “bumper cam.” Although the camera is usually not attached directly to the bumper, an on board high speed digital color video camera system is normally attached on a vehicle with the camera’s target area being somewhere behind or at the rear of the vehicle. This type of camera set up is often used to aid the driver when backing up or for monitoring the “rear view” when abnormally large payloads make this difficult using just mirrors.

Perhaps one of the most frequently used overt applications of a portable surveillance camera is in surveillance and security of mass transit vehicles.  School buses are now being equipped with on board high speed digital color video camera systems to monitor the students’ as well as the drivers’ activities.  The mere presence of a portable surveillance camera unit in school buses has drastically reduced the number of disorderly conduct cases among transporting students.  When incidences do arise, the system can provided a recorded audio/video account providing protection to both students and drivers.

Subways and mass transit buses are employing on board systems not only to provide security/surveillance but to deter and prevent false injury claims. Mass transit vehicles equipped with portable surveillance cameras systems have shown drastically reduced crime rates. In addition, these systems can provide monitoring of passengers in the event of an accident, helping to keep false injury claims at a minimum and insurance rates low.

Yet another popular application of portable surveillance cameras is legal work for police. FBI, DEA, etc.. In addition, police departments across the world are instituting the use of on portable surveillance cameras to provide evidence and monitor activity of potential law breakers. Highway pursuits, disorderly conduct cases during police stops, and an array of other activities are recorded and may be used as evidence if necessary. They also can protect officers from false claims of inappropriate behavior.

Portable surveillance cameras consist of a small, compact color digital camera, a self contained power supply if necessary, and a high speed video processor and recorder. Most systems also include a small liquid crystal display or LCD monitor.  Many on board systems record video to compact flash cards or other types of “flash” memory so that vibration that could interfere with hard drive use has no effect on recording.

There are several additional features available today for portable surveillance cameras. Systems can be purchased that include an optional Global Positioning System or GPS module. These systems can record the coordinates as well as the speed of a vehicle and display it on-screen superimposed over the video captured by the system’s camera.

Timer kits are also available. They are useful for racing applications where lap times, equipment changes, and over all race timing are required. This can be an invaluable tool for any race team.

As you can see there are a wide variety of applications for on board high speed digital color video camera systems and there is also a wide variety of accessories and features that are available to enhance their productivity. Speak with one of our digital security experts to determine which system and features are right for your application by contacting them via on-line Live Chat or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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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.

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Surveillance Camera CCTV

Written By:
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Today’s surveillance camera CCTV systems have made “leaps and bounds” in technological improvements compared to the systems from just 10 to 15 years ago.  Not only that, but the camera’s prices have steadily decreased with the increase in technology.  All of this has lead to video surveillance cameras becoming a “household word” for family protection and safety as well as business protection and workplace documentation.

Original surveillance camera CCTVs were based on analog signals.  These systems and components of the systems were often referred to as CCTV or Closed Circuit TeleVision.  CCTV was so named because although it closely resembled a typical television studio system, there was one major important difference.

Studio television cameras’ video signals were boosted by the broadcast station and sent via radio frequency via a large antenna.  Once the signal left the broadcast antenna, anyone with a receiver could pick up the signal.  Video surveillance cameras however, sent their signal along a cable, directly to a specific monitor and recording device.  In this respect, the system was a “Closed Circuit TeleVision” system.  In fact, any system used for monitoring, surveillance, or security in this manner was referred to as a CCTV system.

Today, video surveillance cameras still operate on a CCTV based system, but to be accurate, we must redefine CCTV to make it somewhat looser in application.  Although modern digital video surveillance cameras also transmit their video signals via a cable to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and one or more monitors, they also employ additional methods for transmitting their signals that must be taken into consideration of the definition of CCTV as well.

These cameras may also transmit their video data wirelessly via an on-board camera transmitter and antenna.  These cameras use modern day wireless technology often used in land-line based telephones such as 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology or 900Mhz technology for broadcasting their signal.  These systems are designed to transmit their signal to a nearby receiver, which is usually plugged in by cable, to a DVR and/or monitor.

Another method that is employed today is the use of the Internet as a vehicle for networking and transmitting.  Video surveillance camera CCTV and their DVRs have the capability for connecting to the Internet.  When they do possess this feature they are often referred to as Internet Protocol or IP ready, because they deliver their transmission using IP format technology.

Although it is true that individuals other than who the video images are intended for can gain access surreptitiously, the intent of these wireless broadcasts and Internet transmissions are directed to a limited number of very specific viewers.  Thus, although our definition for CCTV as now become a bit broader in scope, it is easy to see why even today, these units are often called surveillance camera CCTV systems.

While we are on the subject of CCTV versus new video surveillance cameras, it would be prudent to mention that there is some carry over from the “analog days” of CCTV to the current “digital era” which can make the comparison of components or the selection of a system somewhat confusing.  This primarily involves the use of reference to the detail or resolution of the video image created by the camera and displayed by the monitor.

Electronic video images may show a varying degree of detail.  That is evidenced by the contrast between standard television broadcasts and those called High Definition (HD).  Television was originally displayed on a Cathode Ray Tube or CRT (also called the “picture tube”).  The CRT reproduced the image on its screen by shooting an electron beam horizontally at the rate of about 60 times per second.  To a large degree, the number of horizontal lines determined how detailed the video appeared.  In this situation, the more lines, the smaller the lines, the greater the detail of the picture.

Today, however, most televisions are like computer monitors; they are Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), plasma, or Light Emitting Diode (LED) displays.  These monitors display tiny dots called pixels instead of horizontal lines; therefore, they can display a much higher detail picture.  Yet, many video surveillance cameras still specify their picture quality in terms of the older, horizontal line method.  It’s important to know that the lower end of resolution or detail is from about 300 up to 650 TVL (TeleVision Lines).  Video surveillance cameras CCTV with 650 TVL displays can produce very high definition video images.

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