Posts Tagged ‘ surveillance cameras’

Battery Powered Surveillance Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There are several advantages to using battery powered surveillance cameras. There are just about as many types of battery powered surveillance cameras too. Thanks to recent discoveries and improvements in electronic circuitry, battery powered surveillance cameras are not only possible, but the run longer and can be ever smaller in size.

Before we talk about battery powered surveillance cameras and their power systems, let’s briefly describe how a digital video security camera works. The digital video security camera is one of three major components in a digital video security system, the other two being a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and a monitor.

A digital video camera works by converting light energy into electrical energy that can be measured. The camera uses to different instruments to do this, a lens configuration and an electronic sensor chip. The lens or lenses focus the reflective light of images in the field of view of the camera. They focus this field of view, with very accurate precision, onto a sensor chip that typically ranges from 1/4 to about 1 inch in size.

There are two different sensor chips in use today. Both accomplish the same objective, but each goes about doing it in a different way. Charged Coupled Devices or CCDs and Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductors or CMOSs, are sensitive to light. When the focused image strikes the CCD or CMOS, they excite electrons in the sensor material which produce a slight electrical impulse that can be measured. These impulses create digital video images.

Initially, these sensors were extremely expensive. However, in recent times their cost has dropped considerably and so has their size. Typical CCDs and CMOSs used in non-specialty digital video security cameras are 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 inches in size. Also, because of how they convert the light into electrical energy, CCDs have typically created a higher quality image than CMOSs but they do so at the cost of using more electricity. However, as time passes innovations in the sensor chip manufacturing and design have created lower power-consuming CCDs and higher quality CMOSs that already use less power.

Most non battery powered surveillance cameras get their power from a low voltage Direct Current (DC) power supply wire. This is usually run from a power distribution center (that powers all the other cameras in the system as well) or from a plug-in outlet transformer. The electrical power provides the circuitry for creating the digital video images as well as any additional functions of the camera (such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) for example.

These cameras require extra effort during installation, because not only does the camera require a coaxial cable run, but the power supply wire will need to be run also. This may entail drilling through walls, ceilings, studs, etc. Sometimes cameras may be needed in places where it is difficult to run any wires. This is when wireless battery powered surveillance cameras come in.

Battery powered surveillance cameras normally operate off of power from a rechargeable battery or even a one-time use battery. Rechargeable batteries may be nickel cadmium (NiCads), nickel metal halide (NiMH), or lithium ion (LiPO) types. NiCads are typically the cheapest of the three will LiPOs have a much greater working efficiency, lasting longer per charge and not exhibiting an annoying side effect of NiCads called battery memory which reduces lifetimes between charges.

In addition, there are extremely small disguised or hidden type battery powered surveillance cameras such as ink pens (see Security Camera Kings product # HC-PEN) and wristwatches (see our product # HC-WATCH) that operate off of very small on-board rechargeable batteries or watch type batteries.

Credit should also be given to the computer memory industry. Their innovations in cramming more and more memory in tinier electronic spaces and using less electricity to do so have made not only battery powered surveillance cameras possible, but entire battery powered surveillance systems as well. These systems (usually consist of a camera and DVR that can download its stored video to a computer for playback and editing) can be built into almost any object. Some examples that Security Camera King offers for sale in addition to the two already mentioned include a portable lighter (product # HC-LIGTR-DVR), a mini desk clock (product # HC-CLOCK-DVR), and sunglasses (product # HC-SUNGL-DVR). We even have a portable car key fob (product # HC-CARKY).

As technology continues to increase, battery powered surveillance cameras will more than likely be the wave of the future.


Live Security Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

If you need real-time monitoring of a person, room, building or object live security cameras could be your solution. Live security cameras are digital video security and surveillance cameras that provide capture of high-quality color or black and white video images that can be viewed instantly on a corresponding monitor.

The use of the phrase “live security cameras” could be a bit misleading as most digital video cameras today provide live coverage options. Basically, the only digital video cameras that do not provide live coverage are highly specialized cameras designed specifically for playback of the captured video at a later time.

For example, the incredibly small ink pen (Security Camera King’s product # HC-PEN) or wristwatch (our product # HC-WATCH) are specifically designed to capture video covertly. In order to maintain their disguise while being imbedded in small objects, these camera systems are specifically designed to store their video using on board memory chips. The memory chips can be accessed later, using a personal computer and a USB connection.

Typically, a live security camera or live security camera system almost always involve the use of at least one monitor in order for the user to experience live video footage. So does that mean that all standard residential and commercial digital video cameras are live security cameras or live security camera systems?

Not necessarily and here’s why. Many customers choose to purchase a digital video security system for their residential or commercial use without the intent of watching their system continuously. These individuals are more apt to only need to view the video images when a special event occurs (such as movement around a house or during a store robbery). These users may opt to not use a monitor or attach a monitor only after the event has occurred to view/edit the video. In these cases, even though the camera may be capturing live video, it is being stored on a Digital Video Recorder or DVR for later viewing. Therefore, these systems aren’t exactly live security cameras.

Bear in mind that although most digital video security systems require a monitor to initially set the system up, it is not necessary to maintain the use of a monitor connected to the system full time. Also keep in mind that with today’s technology, Internet Protocol (IP) ready cameras can be networked over the Internet. This means that although the digital video camera may be in one location, a user located on the opposite of the earth can monitor the live security cameras.

There are also a few systems that are designed to be live security camera systems only. These are usually highly specialized systems as well, designed specifically for the purpose of live video monitoring. Therefore, these camera systems usually only consist of a digital video camera and a monitor or in the case of wireless systems a camera/transmitter and a receiver/monitor. A good example of this application is a baby monitor. Typically, it’s not necessary to record baby monitor videos because the whole idea of using a baby monitor is to observe what is happening now (an act on it if required) rather than wait until a later time.

Other live security cameras are used for monitoring non-ambulatory medical patients, industrial processes, and 24/7 professional monitoring services. All of these uses may be recorded using a DVR, but the key is that the video captured is available for viewing as the camera records or as the event occurs.

While these applications for using live security cameras may not necessarily include video recording, security monitoring can always be enhanced by recording the video as well. Consider a live security monitoring system that is used for entrance/exit of a building. Although the main concern in this application is protecting the building from unauthorized or unwanted inhabitants, recording the monitoring can be used at a later time as proof of an individual’s attendance. If the DVR contains time/date stamping (most do) then recording can also document the time and date of the entrance/exit.

Live security cameras definitely have their niche in the digital video security camera industry. If you are interested in purchasing a live security camera system or have an additional questions about one, contact our security experts today by clicking on the “Live Chat” button at the top of the page or by calling us at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6 PM EST.


Advanced Securities Home Security Systems

Written By:
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Used alone or in tandem with other advanced securities home security systems such as residential alarms, digital video home security systems can provide you with total residential security coverage and peace of mind. Digital video camera technology is probably the most advanced securities home security systems used today.

There are several types of advanced securities home security systems including residential and commercial burglar alarms, fire alarms, chemical alarms, pool alarms, digital video security and surveillance cameras, and many other alerts or alarms that can be detected by almost any sort of sensor. Alerts are designed to notify the user or some other entity of an event. Alarms may notify the user or a professional monitoring service of an event, and may also simultaneously trigger a reaction (such as a siren, pre-recorded verbal message or other type of audio or even visual signal) that is designed to aid in aborting a potential criminal act or violation, breech of trespass or entry, or other unwanted act.

Advanced securities home security systems alerts are usually designed to provide a notice of an event in either a silent, graphic or audible form, For example, a home security alert system may be designed to send an e-mail, a silent form of alert, to the user upon initiation of a trigger. Likewise, an alert may also initiate some sort of warning or picture on a monitor, a graphic form. Finally, an alert may be in audible form such as causing a pager to beep, a cell phone to ring, or some other sound to be initiated.

Alarms are another form of advanced securities home security systems that may provide an alert, and usually, but not always some sort of deterrent of an unwanted act (as defined by the owner of the alarm). Note that one dictionary definition of the term alarm is “An electrical, electronic, or mechanical device that serves to warn of danger by means of a sound or signal,” yet another dictionary definition is “To fill with alarm, frighten.” The major premise behind a loud siren burglar or intruder alarm is not only to serve notice that some unwanted event has occurred, but also alarm or frighten the potential violator enough to abort or deter an further action.

Residential digital video Closed Circuit Television or CCTV) security systems are another type of advanced securities home security system. In fact, a digital video system can not only monitor and record the actual act in progress, but they also can be used as an alert and/or alarm.

Residential CCTV security systems have expanded their capabilities exponentially and their cost has reduced drastically with advances in technology especially over the past 10 years. Legacy CCTV systems consist of analog video cameras that normally recorded their analog video stream to a VHS or even Beta (terms which even now may seem antiquated). Some systems offered the ability to be monitored 24/7 by a professional monitoring company, but at a cost the was normally only affordable to wealthy households.

Contemporary home CCTV systems no longer use analog cameras. These systems now use digital video cameras, video processors, and Digital Video Recorders or DVRs.

Residential security systems’ digital video cameras are much cheaper, lighter in weight, easier to install, and especially lower in cost than their legacy analog counterparts. In addition, the electronic chip used to convert light into electrical impulses is inherently sensitive to near infrared illumination making these cameras an in expensive tool for total darkness video monitoring.

Today’s DVRs are essentially the same as a Personal Computer’s (PC’s) hard disk drive. Since the video files are digital, they can be stored easily on these drives and, as computer hard drive technology and storage capacity increases, the same is true for DVRs. In addition, the DVR may also contain a specialized computer processor called a video processor that realizes the same benefits from advances in computer technology.

Finally, digital video home security systems can easily be connected to personal computers, servers, and the internet providing the user with a myriad of options for notification (alerts), warning mechanisms (alarms), and monitoring methods. The offer a deterrent effect similar to alarms but also add greatly to prevention and documentation of an event.

It’s easy to understand why digital video home security systems are considered as advanced securities home security systems. Used in combination with sensor type alarms, a digital video home security system can offer the ultimate in home security.