Posts Tagged ‘ surveillance systems’



CCTV Systems

Written By:
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

The phrase CCTV systems can cover a broad range of different video camera systems.  Generally speaking, when we think of a CCTV system, we are usually referring to a video monitoring, surveillance, and/or security system.  CCTV is an acronym for Closed Circuit TeleVision however, more often then not in today’s age of technology, these systems are often called digital video security and surveillance systems.

CCTV systems got their name because of the way the systems were initially developed.  Closed Circuit Television basically referred to a system by which a video camera transmitted the video images it created through a cable directly to a monitor or Digital Video Recorder or DVR.  This differed from the studio broadcast television that sent their video images through an antenna out to the general public.  Anyone with a television or other type of receiver could view the broadcast audio and/or video image.

Today, CCTV systems are based on the same idea; however, the transmissions are no longer confined to being sent over a dedicated video transmission cable. A CCTV system today may send its video and audio wirelessly on a specific frequency to a specific receiver or they can even utilize the Internet to send their signals just about anywhere in the world (again, to a specific “receiver” or group of individuals).

CCTV systems today share some of the older terminology relating back to the original analog video systems.  For example, older analog CCTV monitors were actually electronic tubes, Cathode Ray Tubes or CRTs to be exact.   These tubes shoot electron beams in horizontal lines on the glass screens to produce a video image.   Thus, the clarity or resolution of these cameras was usually designated by the number of Television Lines or TVLs that it created.  Lower resolution cameras produced around 300 TVL and maximum high definition cameras produce up to 650 TVL.

The cameras and monitors today are digital, and therefore produce their images using pixels, tiny dots of color analogous to the dots seen in newsprint up close.  However, they often still use the TVL designation to define the resolution of the cameras.  One reason for this is that although CRT monitors are seldom marketed anymore, consumers may still have plenty of CRT type monitors they can use for their system.

Today, a complete CCTV system usually consists of one or more digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and one or more optional monitors.  Security Camera King offers several complete CCTV system packages to meet just about every security, surveillance, and monitoring need.   Our featured package systems are based on our three signature DVRS, the Elite-Mini, the Elite Series, and the Ultimate Series.

These package systems are further available based on the system being a 4, 8, 16, or 32 channel (camera) system.  Note:  The 32 channel system is only available with the Elite Series DVR.  Finally, we break each one of these packages down based on cable and power supplies.  We offer each system with either “plug ‘n play” pre-cut and connector fitted cables and space saving power supplies or with bulk cable, connectors, and a power distribution supply box.

Our Elite-mini and Elite Series systems come with the appropriate number of 420TVL Vandal Proof Indoor/Outdoor Dome Day/Night Infrared Vision cameras.  The cameras have an approximate infrared range in total darkness of about 50 to 60 feet.  The cameras have an outdoor rating of IP66 and so are very suitable for outdoor or indoor use (our part number for the camera is Product# OD-LX420IR50 for additional details and specifications).

Our Ultimate Series systems come with the appropriate number of 520 TVL Vandal Proof Indoor/Outdoor Dome Day/Night Infrared Vision cameras.  This cameras are true high definition cameras with a resolution of 100 TVL more than those above.  These cameras also have an approximate infrared range in total darkness of about 50 to 60 feet.  They are also suitable for outdoor or indoor use (our part number for the camera is Product# OD-LX520IR50 f0r additional details and specifications).

Security Camera King has put together this system packages to offer you the highest quality yet simplest to install CCTV systems on the market today.  By offering you these as complete system packages, we can make them available at competitive prices that are hard to beat anywhere else for equipment with the same features.  In addition, we allow you to make upgrades if necessary, so that you may “tailor fit” your system to your specific needs.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Motion Activated Recording

Written By:
Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Conservation is the key term in reference to motion activated recording. In the following article, we’ll take a look at how digital video security and surveillance systems go about doing this and why conservation is a key term associated with this type of monitoring.

Digital video camera security systems can initiate motion activated recording in different ways. One of the most common ways to provide motion activated recording is to use a digital video camera with a built-in motion detector. Digital video security cameras equipped with motion detectors begin recording video when motion is detected and stop when motion is either no longer detected or after a designated (pre-programmed) time period.

The motion detector itself is called a PIR or Passive InfraRed sensor. This sensor constantly monitors the passive infrared signature of the camera’s field of vision. When a significant change in this infrared signature occurs (such as when a person, vehicle, or other object passes by) the PIR interprets this change in the infrared signature as motion.

The PIR sensor on motion activated recording cameras is electronically connected to a relay switch. When the PIR detects motion, the relay is energized to the “On” position which turns on the camera and begins the process of recording. When the infrared signature in the camera’s field of view becomes constant, the sensor interprets this as non-motion and the relay switch is then open, shutting the circuit to the camera off. (Many cameras have an intermediary circuit that is programmed to shut the camera off after a time delay in addition to or after motion is no longer detected.)

One of the biggest benefits of PIR motion activated recording is conservation of digital video security system resources. For example a typical motion activated recording system may have one or more motion activated digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and an optional monitor. The DVR usually consists of a hard disk drive, like the one in most personal computers and in miniature systems may consist of SD cards, small Integrated Circuit (IC) chips, or other portable non-volatile media.

Even though technology advancements are yielding larger capacity and more efficient storage devices, regardless of the type of storage on the DVR, the capacity is still finite. Furthermore, the digital video files created by the cameras and stored on the DVRs are extremely large files. To keep file sizes as small as possible without losing significant quality, COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utilities are used. These utilities may be in the form of software or a hard-wired IC chip.

CODECs greatly improve the storage capacity of any given drive, conserving on system memory. This is important because whenever storage capacity is reached, the newest digital video files are re-recorded over older digital video files. If the files are archived before hand the data could be lost. There are several ways of improving efficiency in addition to using a CODEC. A larger capacity storage medium can also increase re-recording loop times, handle multiple camera recordings at once, and provide storage space for software programs and other necessary binary information.

Another way to greatly improve the storage capacity and efficiency of the camera-DVR relationship is to only record what is necessary. PIR motion activated recordings or PIR motion detector cameras do exactly that. By recording video only when motion is detected, a tremendous amount of memory on the storage medium is conserved. For some applications, motion detection would only be detected if there is a breach in security (banks and retail stores after hours for example) and this could mean no need to record for days or even months.

Memory is not the only resource that is conserved by motion activated recording cameras. Many users these days prefer the use of totally wireless cameras. These cameras send their digital video data via radio signals to a corresponding receiver that is connected to the DVR or to a DVR with a built in receiver. However, these cameras still require a power source which indicates the use of some sort of power supply carried by a wire to the camera – unless the camera is battery operated.

Battery operated cameras may use standard one-time use batteries or rechargeable batteries. Regardless of the type of battery, motion activated recording drastically conserves battery power as the PIR sensor demands a very small drain on the camera batteries as does digital video recording.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Digital Surveillance Software

Written By:
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The term “digital surveillance software” refers to a broad category of computer based sets of instructions that provides the instructions for either a computer or a computer based device to operate, control, and/or process binary (digital) data used or created for security and surveillance purposes. To narrow this definition down a little for the purpose of this article, digital surveillance software is the collective set of programming used to create digital video images for security and surveillance purposes.

Since the words “digital surveillance software” refer to such a broad definition, it may be easier to explain what it is based on how it is used and what it does. There are basically three broad categories of digital surveillance software. The first applies to standalone digital video security and surveillance systems; the second applies to personal computer based digital video security and surveillance systems; and the third and final category, for the purpose of our discussion, applies to smartphones and similar type devices used with digital video and surveillance software.

Standalone Digital Video Security Systems
A standalone digital video security system is a set of devices that are used for security or surveillance purposes to create digital video files that may or may not be recorded. The term “standalone” indicates that these systems do not require any additional assistance from exterior devices such as a computer. The digital surveillance software used in these systems can include the operating system of the Digital Video Recorder’s or DVR’s and any additional programs used on that system to control the various devices of the standalone system

A standalone digital video security and surveillance system in its basic configuration includes one or more digital video cameras, a DVR unit with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a digital based monitor. In a standalone system, the cameras send their digital video data to the DVR where the DSP compiles the data using a CODEC or COmpression/DECompression utility to create digital video files. The files are then viewed on the digital monitor and or stored for later use on a hard disk drive on the DVR.

The digital surveillance software in this system can include:
1) The operating system of the DVR/DSP unit;
2) The CODEC utility program; and,
3) Any other specialized set of instructions to control the equipment.

For example, Security Camera King offers three major types of DVRs; our Elite mini series, or Elite series, and our Ultimate series. These standalone systems have a highly specialized DSP that creates digital video files and coordinates the functions between the three major devices of the system. This is usually referred to as the “operating system” and all of our units use a Linux based operating system.

The CODEC utility is a specific software program that is used to compile the video data into a digital video file. Digital video is actually several digital photographs taken in succession. Different rates may be used but a general standard is 29.9 frames per second or fps. This means the camera takes 29 digital pictures in one second so in one minute of video, the camera takes approximately 1800 pictures. You can see how the file size can become enormously large in a very short period of time.

The CODEC uses mathematical algorithms so the file size is a fraction of the original total size. This piece of digital surveillance software does this with very little loss of quality. There are many different types of CODECs such as MJPEG, MPG, H.264, etc.

A standalone system may also contain digital surveillance software that operates the equipment, including specialized functions. For example, Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras can move horizontally, vertically, and can enlarge objects. These movements may be controlled by digital surveillance software.

Personal Computer Digital Video Security Systems
There are digital video security systems that utile a personal computer to take the place of the DVR, DSP, and or monitor. Normally these systems contain a PCI card or similar printed circuit board that performs the bulk of the systems needs including storing the digital video files, controlling devices, and displaying the video on the computer’s monitor.

Any of the software associated with these functions, in essence, can be considered digital surveillance software.

Smartphones
Smartphones require small programs in order to adapt or interface with different systems and devises. These programs are called applications or “apps.” An app can also be of a digital surveillance software type.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Wireless Security Camera with DVR Recorder

Written By:
Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

One of the most popular security devices being used today is the wireless security camera with DVR recorder (Digital Video Recorder).Since the camera is wireless, this means no cables are needed to connect the camera with the recorder, making installation quick and easy. In addition to the wireless feature, a wireless security camera with DVR recorder system has plenty of optional features that make this an incredibly versatile system that can be used for almost any application.

A wireless security camera with DVR recorder is often the choice for do-it-yourself security and surveillance systems because of the ease of installation. Normally, a digital video camera requires to wire hookups. The first is a video transmission cable, usually RG-59 coaxial cable, that must be installed from each individual camera to the DVR. The second wire hookup is a low-voltage DC power supply wire which comes from either a power distribution center box or a plug-in transformer.

If you are planning on installing the system yourself (and many customers do) running the RG-59 coaxial cable can sometimes be an overwhelming task. Installing the cable requires the proper tools and accessories that average homeowners may not own. For example, holes may need to be drilled through walls and average size drill bits aren’t long enough to accomplish this task. However, specialized extended length bits make this task a snap. Wall clamps and mounting hardware may be needed as well.

Although the RG-59 coaxial cable is relatively small, some home and business owners alike may find the appearance of this cable objectionable. It requires some experience and construction know-how to install this cable neatly, safely, and in such a way that it is hidden.

The same situations may also apply to the power supply wire although this wire is much smaller than the RG-59 coaxial cable. The power supply wire may be placed in the same run as the coaxial cable if a power distribution center box is used. If a plug-in transformer is used the run of the wire is often much shorter than that of the coaxial cable as the closest outlet is often used.

Nonetheless, the wireless security camera with DVR recorder is a much easier installation. First, there is no RG-59 coaxial cable that needs to be run from the camera to the DVR. Second, often times these cameras come with rechargeable batteries eliminating the power supply wire. The installation of a wireless camera with rechargeable batteries for a power supply is basically just attaching the camera mount to the surface where the camera will be placed.

A wireless security camera with DVR recorder sends its video data via radio waves instead of a coaxial transmission cable. The camera contains a built-in transmitter and antenna that sends the video data via radio waves to a corresponding receiver. The receiver converts the signals back into electronic data and sends it to the nearby DVR via a connection cable. There are many different types of signal architectures but probably the most common is the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz band technology. This is the same technology used for land-line based wireless telephones.

Wireless receivers are able to handle inputs from more than one camera at a time. In fact there are several variations on the number of camera inputs but the most common are 1, 4, or 8. If the security system requires more cameras than what the receiver can provide, additional receivers can be used provided they have different frequencies available for each additional camera and the DVR is designed for the number of cameras used. (Systems requiring a number of camera inputs greater than the capacity of the DVR simply use additional DVRs.)

Wireless transmission technology is based on Line of Sight or LOS. This means that the specified range of the wireless camera is based on a situation where the camera antenna has a direct Line Of Sight to the receiver’s antenna. In other words, this maximum distance is based on no objects impeding the LOS between the two. If an object does exist between the two it doesn’t necessarily mean that the camera and receiver won’t work. In fact, usually the object just reduces the range. The amount of the reduction is based on the type of object or material that impedes the LOS (such as a window, wall, trees, etc.).

So if you are looking for an easy do-it-yourself installation but versatile in application system, a wireless security camera with DVR recorder is the perfect solution for you.


facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail