Posts Tagged ‘ surveillance monitoring ’

Home Security Camera for PC

Monday, December 27th, 2010

A home security camera for PC can provide you with security can or surveillance monitoring at a fraction of the cost of an entire home digital video security system. In this article we’ll take a closer look at using a home security camera for PC and some of the advantages and disadvantages of this method versus a standalone system.

Before we begin lets briefly review a typical home standalone digital video security system. An average system will have two or three components: 1) A camera or multiple cameras; 2) A Digital Video Recorder (DVR); and, 3) An optional monitor (A monitor is needed to set up the system, but is not required for further operation of the system unless real-time (live) viewing is desired. However, a full time system monitor is highly convenient and advisable.)

Each camera will require a power supply wire from a power source and a video transmission cable (unless it is a wireless camera) that is run from the camera to the DVR. The DVR contains a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that is much like a PC processor, except that the DSP is designed specifically for security system video applications. The DVR also contains a hard disk drive which stores the digital video files and may have an optional DVD or CD writer for creating copies of video files (for archiving, providing to police, insurance companies, etc.)

A home security camera for PC uses a Personal Computer (PC) to perform the tasks normally associated with the DVR, DSP, and monitor of a standalone system. This type of camera usually connects to your PC in the same manner that the camera would connect to a standalone DVR. In order to connect and thereby communicate with your computer, the camera needs an intermediary device, something that can provide a connection to the PC and the camera, can conduct the PC to perform video security system functions.

This is normally done by using a PCI card that is plugged into an available PCI slot on the PC. The PCI card can not only connect the camera(s) to the PC, but it may contain other circuitry and devices that processes the digital video file, compresses the size of the digital file, stores the file, and controls optional functions on the camera such as Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ).

Normally, a home security camera for PC uses the PC’s hard drive to store the file in the same manner that the DVR would store the file and the computer’s monitor to view the camera live or to review stored digital video files. The PC’s processor is also used, depending on the system, to process the video data. If the PC’s processor is not used to process the video data and is done by the PCI card, then at a bare minimum, the PC’s processor is used to control and coordinate the functions of the PCI card and other hardware.

The main advantages to using a home security camera for PC versus a standalone digital video security camera system is a much cheaper cost. A home security camera for PC is usually considerably less expensive than a standalone system. The computer and PCI card take the place of a DVR and monitor which can greatly reduce the cost compared to a standalone system.

There can be several disadvantages to using a home security camera for PC depending on your perspective. The following is a list of some of the more substantial disadvantages:
• A PC is required. If you have an existing PC it may be used, otherwise you will need to acquire one. This could result in a higher expense than using a standalone system.
• A PC is required. This is not a typo. There is a “double down-side” that could apply. If you use your existing PC for your home security system, the system may demand many of your computer’s resources. This could result in slower computer performance, lack of hard disk drive capacity because of stored video files, etc.
• Possible compatibility issues. The PCI card must be compatible with your computer and the operating software system you are currently using. Otherwise, major changes to your PC may be required.

Each user application is different, so it is up to you to decide if the disadvantages of using a home security camera for PC outweigh the cost savings of a standalone system. For more information, contact one of Security Camera Kings security experts today.


Outdoor Wireless Security Camera Package

Friday, June 4th, 2010

An outdoor wireless security package is an excellent choice for use in both business and residential applications. Standard outdoor wireless security packages are available that contain all the necessary components to provide digital video security and surveillance monitoring or you can create your own package with components that are suited to your own needs.

A basic outdoor wireless security package contains the following components:

  • • One to several outdoor wireless digital video cameras
  • • A receiver unit or units
  • • A processor or capture board with CODECs
  • • A monitor and,
  • • A Digital Video Recorder or DVR

Outdoor wireless cameras differ from indoor wireless cameras primarily in the way the camera is encased. Most outdoor security cameras are enclosed in a housing that prevents entry of dust particles and water and protection from weather elements like wind, hail, and snow. These cameras may have an International Electrical Code standard Ingress Protection rating or IP rating. Most outdoor wireless cameras are rated as IP66 or IP67 which means they offer complete protection from dust and water (IP66) or dust and being submerged in up to 1 meter of water (IP67).

There are several options available for an outdoor wireless security package in regard to the camera types. Standard outdoor wireless cameras provide high quality color video in normal lighting conditions. Day/night vision cameras contain a sensitive light sensor chip called a Charge Coupled Device or CCD that can produce a video image in very low light conditions, such as a moonlit night.

These cameras are often rated in terms of light intensity sensitivity called Lux. Typical outdoor non-direct sunlight intensity ranges from 10,000 to 30,000 Lux. By contrast, a typical moonless clear night sky has an available light intensity rating of about 0.002 Lux. Some outdoor wireless day/night vision cameras are capable of producing images with only 0.002 Lux of visible light.

Another camera choice for an outdoor wireless security package is a night vision infrared (IR) camera. These cameras can produce clear, high quality monochromatic or black and white video images in total darkness.

CCDs are inherently sensitive to IR light or radiation. IR cameras have several IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that surround the camera lens. These LEDs emit infrared light which is invisible to the human eye. However, to the specialized CCDs in these cameras, the LEDs produce IR light that acts light a flood light or spot light on the target area of the camera.
An outdoor wireless security package can also be purchased with cameras that contain pan, tilt, and/or zoom (PTZ) features. These functions can be controlled manually by remote control or automatically. Programmed automatic PTZ cameras can detect motion and track objects such as cars in parking lots or individuals.

Lastly, an outdoor wireless security package can include cameras that can also record audio.

The wireless cameras in these packages may contain rechargeable batteries but most often contain a power source that supplies power to the camera via a small wire. Although most “wireless” security cameras still require the power wire, the coaxial transmission wire that would normally be run from each camera to the processor is not required. These cameras transmit the video image via on-board antennae instead of by cables.

Most outdoor wireless security package cameras transmit the images utilizing the 2.8 or 5.8 MHz radio band technology. The image is transmitted to a corresponding receiver. Most receivers can receive separate video simultaneously from up to four different cameras. Packages that require more than 4 cameras often include additional receivers with different channels.

The receivers relay the video image data to a processor or capture board that interprets the data and creates a digital video file that can be viewed immediately or stored for later use. Digital video files contain enormous amounts of data anc can be incredibly large for only a few minutes of recording time, so a COmpression/DECompression (CODEC) application is normally used. The CODEC reduces the size of the digital file drastically while maintaining the quality of the image. This allows for increased storage on the DVR and easier handling by the processor.

The DVR is very similar to a hard drive on a personal computer. The digital video files are stored on the DVR until it is full and are then rerecorded.

Thanks to modern technological advancements, an outdoor wireless security package can be custom designed to fit your situation and still be affordably priced.


DVR Camera Security System

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

A DVR camera security system or digital video recorder camera security system is a practical answer for providing recorded digital video monitoring for business and residential applications alike. These systems are economical and versatile and can include a great deal of advanced features for special applications as well.

A DVR camera security system is a component system much like a component stereo or home theater system in that each of the components can vary to fit individual needs. Yet, the components work collectively to provide high quality security and surveillance monitoring and recording.

A basic DVR camera security system consists of one to several digital video cameras, a processor or capture board that also utilizes special programming or circuitry to make the digital video file easier to handle, a monitor for viewing live or recorded video, and a digital video recorder for storing the digital video files for viewing at a later time or for archival purposes.

There are several camera types and features available to complement a DVR camera security system. Here is a partial list of just some of the camera types and features:

  • Indoor cameras
  • Cameras made specifically for outdoor use
  • Wireless cameras
  • Day/night vision cameras
  • Infrared night vision cameras
  • Pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) cameras
  • Cameras capable of recording audio
  • Hidden or disguised cameras
  • Dome shaped cameras
  • Bullet cameras

All of these cameras can produce high quality, high resolution color digital video. Some cameras can be ordered with specially designed programming. For example, a typical PTZ camera when used with specialized motion detection programming can be used to track moving objects such as people or slow moving vehicles.

The digital video cameras of a DVR camera security system usually use one of two different electronic sensors called a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS to create the digital video. The CCD or CMOS works by converting light energy or photons into electrical charges that can be used to create digital video images.

The electrical information created by the electronic sensor is sent to a processor that transforms it into a digital video file. On a typical DVR camera security system, the processor and DVR are contained within the same unit, much like a personal computer. The processor may contain a capture board, a separate integrated circuit board that processes the video images easing the burden on the processor so that it can work on storing, camera control, and other activities.

A digital video file is basically the same as a digital photograph file; except a digital video contains several photographs or frames per second (fps). Smooth, fluid video is normally produced at about 30 frames per second. In other words 30 digital photographs are taken per second. The digital file can become incredibly large in a relatively short time period at this frame rate.

Therefore, to make the digital video files of a DVR camera security system smaller and easier to handle while maintaining a high quality image, a CODEC is normally used. A CODEC is an abbreviation for COmpression/DECompression and is either provided by programming software or “hard wired” into the circuitry of the capture board or processor. The CODEC makes it possible for the processor to store much longer time periods of video on the DVR and to display several digital videos on the monitor at one time.

The monitors used on modern DVR camera security systems are usually LCD monitors like the monitors used with contemporary personal computer systems. The monitors normally connect to the DVR/processor and can be used to display the images that are currently being created by the digital video cameras or to display the digital video files that were recorded earlier.

DVRs are digital magnetic storage disks similar to the hard disk drives of personal computers. Storage capacities range from several gigabytes to terabytes.

A DVR camera security system offers the ability to provide high quality digital video for security and monitoring applications while storing the video files. The added benefit of these systems is that they are usually “stand-alone” systems that can be used just about anywhere.


4 Camera IR Security System

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

A 4 camera IR security system is the perfect solution if you need security or surveillance monitoring in total darkness. Electronic technological improvements have not only resulted in high quality equipment designed for this purpose, but have made infrared (IR) cameras very affordable too.

4 camera IR security system normally consists of four cameras, a processor/capture card/CODEC application, a monitor and a digital video recorder or DVR. The cameras send their video in the form of electronic data to a processor or capture card that interprets the data and creates a digital file that can be read and/or saved for future use. The CODEC application reads the digital video file that is created and applies COmpression/DECompression (hence the name CODEC) to make the file much smaller and therefore easier to handle and store while maintaining high quality characteristics of the images or video. The file is then available for live or real-time viewing on a monitor. At the same time the file is normally saved on a DVR for future use. The DVR is much like the hard drive on a personal computer.

There are several types of cameras available; however IR cameras are specially designed for “seeing” in total darkness. Digital video cameras produce images by using a special electronic light sensor called a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) or a Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. CCDs are particularly useful for infrared applications because of the sensitivity of the electronic chip.

Modern technological advances in design of CCDs have yielded a sensor that is extremely sensitive to light. This means that most CCDs can produce high quality video in very low light conditions such as the available light on a moonlit night. However, a 4 camera IR security system needs to go one step further; it needs to be able to produce high quality video in total darkness environments. Fortunately, most CCDs are inherently sensitive to IR light radiation. Therefore the CCD makes an excellent choice as an image sensor for IR cameras.

The cameras in a 4 camera IR security system can produce high quality color video when there is some available visible light. Under infrared conditions, the camera produces a monochromatic or black and white video image. These cameras have IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that surround the camera lens. The LEDs emit IR light that is invisible to the human eye but is visible to the CCD. These LEDs act as invisible spot lights or flood lights for the CCD, illuminating the target area images with IR light. Generally, the more IR LEDs surrounding the lens, the greater the range and field of view for the IR video.

There are many useful applications for a 4 camera IR security system. These systems provide excellent night time security coverage for outdoor building and property perimeters. In addition to perimeter coverage, IR cameras can be placed so that they can monitor areas that are normally not well lit in the evenings. They have both commercial and residential applications for this purpose.

Indoors, 4 camera IR security systems can be used to provide security and surveillance monitoring for rooms that are not illuminated. Stores, offices, and businesses can all make use of IR security systems to provide the utmost security without the expense of leaving several building lights on. Residentially, nurseries or baby’s rooms can be monitored in the evening without disturbing the infant with unnecessary light. Rooms inside homes can be monitored for security purposes without the need for lights. Potential intruders can be monitored without their knowledge since the IR illumination used by the camera is invisible to the human eye.

Recent technology also allows 4 camera IR security systems to be networked using Internet Protocol (IP). This means that the system can be connected to the internet so that monitoring and recording can be accomplished anywhere there is internet access. In addition, this also means that via this network 24/7 monitoring can easily be provided by monitoring service companies.

Innovative technology can now provide you with a 4 camera IR security system that can be used for in nearly any environment for any application at affordable prices. The versatility of these systems not only provides for wide applications but for easy accessibility for monitoring from remote locations. What’s more, 4 camera IR security systems require no additional requirements than standard camera security systems.