Posts Tagged ‘ Video Surveillance ’

Covert Video Surveillance

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

There are basically two types of video surveillance:  1. Overt video surveillance and 2. Covert video surveillance.  Each has its own requirements and purpose and Security Camera King has the equipment you need for both types.  In this article we’ll take a look at both methods and the equipment involved.

Let’s begin with overt surveillance.  Overt video surveillance is a type of surveillance where there is no attempt to hide the fact that you are video recording something.  Generally, the camera may be exposed to the point that it is very easy to detect.

In fact, this is a secondary advantage of overt video surveillance.   Studies have been conducted that prove that visible video recording components (cameras, for example) are enough to deter acts of crime.  At any rate, overt surveillance basically means that the individual or business doing the recording doesn’t mind letting you know they are doing it.  Generally speaking, most cameras used for overt recording are box, bullet, or dome cameras.

One of the primary benefits of overt as compared to covert video surveillance is that the camera(s) can be mounted in a place that provides the best camera shot without regard to exposure of the equipment.  Covert video surveillance is usually just the opposite; the camera has to be hidden from view but still be able to get the shot you’re looking for.

Covert video surveillance on the other hand requires a bit more planning.  Speaking of which, before we go any further please take note of the following paragraph:

A word of caution.  Each state has different laws governing the use of cameras and especially audio recorders without the subject’s knowledge.  Make sure you confirm your state’s laws before attempting to record anyone covertly.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t record improper or criminal activity but planned, deliberate, covert recording may require special concessions on the part of the person recording.  If you choose to hide your cameras or if they are readily visible some states require signs be posted in plain sight such as, “This area is protected by video and audio recording devices.”

Department stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and many other businesses apply to prefer to use overt methods because of the actual benefits they realize from patrons just knowing the equipment is there.  Although obvious display of digital video recording equipment does act as an excellent deterrent it obviously isn’t 100 percent effective (i.e. people still commit acts of crime knowing full well that they are being recorded).

The premise behind covert video surveillance is of course, just the opposite.  Most covert video surveillance involves hiding the camera and equipment from plain sight or using hidden or disguised cameras.  Since modern cameras are so small, they can be built in to just about any device and they can be small.  For example take a look at Security Camera King’s Product# HC-SCREW-WC; this camera is in the shape of a Phillips head screw or Product# HC-PEN, where the camera and DVR are all within the pen and the pen actually writes too!

It’s not always necessary for the camera’s disguise to be tiny.  Large objects can disguise cameras also making it almost impossible to detect that recording is in use.  For example Security Camera King’s Product# HC-BMBOX-DVR is a fairly large boom box that works as a boom box but also contains a camera and SD card type DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

There are no specific instructions on how to conduct overt video surveillance, but there are a few general items to consider:

  • Remember that if you can’t see the camera from the area you are recording, then the camera can’t see you.  This is why disguised cameras as so useful.   Rather than hiding a fairly large and obvious box camera, you can use a disguised camera in plain sight.
  • Make sure you take environmental conditions into account.  For example, make sure there is plenty of light or make sure you use a camera that doesn’t require much light.
  • Even though the camera may be well disguised, if possible place in somewhere out of the way to increase the chance of not being discovered.

Security Camera King offers a tremendous amount of hidden or disguised cameras for covert video surveillance.  To see them click on “Security Cameras” on the left had side of the web page then check out all three categories:  1. Hidden Security Cameras; 2. Wireless Hidden Cameras; and, 3. Hidden Camera Systems.



Wireless Spy Camera

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

There are times when covert digital video monitoring is needed and nothing can fulfill your security and surveillance needs like wireless spy cameras from Security Camera King. We offer a full line of wireless spy cameras that maintain their concealed identity, transmit their video images without the need for wire hook-ups, and produce high resolution digital video.

Digital video security and surveillance monitoring can be classified into two different types based on whether the monitoring is obvious or purposely intended to be concealed. In the security video industry, these two categories are often referred to as covert (meaning hidden, stealthy, or concealed) and overt (meaning obvious, open, or unconcealed). Covert cameras that broadcast their digital video using radio signals are often referred to as wireless spy cameras.

Wireless spy cameras can be classified into two different types as well based on how the camera achieves being overt. Wireless spy cameras do this by either being incredibly small or disguised as some other object other than a security camera (or some cameras may use a combination of both). The incredibly small types of cameras are often referred to as pinhole type cameras and these are often designed to be disguised as very small objects as well. In order to understand how this is possible, let’s take a look at an incredibly small wireless spy camera and see how it works.

Digital video cameras work by focusing light images on a sensor that can transfer the light energy of the image into electrical energy. There are two different sensors that may be used for this purpose; a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

Each sensor performs the same task (transfers light energy into electrical energy that can be measured) but goes about it in a slightly different way. Typically, CCDs have provided a higher quality picture while CMOSs use much less electricity to operate. However, as electronic technology advances both are producing high resolution video images with a minimal amount of power needed to do the job.

These sensor chips, usually in the shape of a square, can be very small, as small as only 1/4″. Today’s electronic technology can produce incredibly small Integrated Circuit or IC chips that house the circuitry for processing video images, converting them to radio signals, and transmitting them to a receiver. Advanced lens physics and manufacture can produce a small wide-angle lens as small as 3.7 mm for example. Combine all three of these technologies and you could produce a wireless spy camera as small as the head of a screw or a button that produce high quality video images. In fact, Security Camera King carries two such cameras, our 2.4 GHz wireless button camera and our 2.4 GHz wireless screw camera.

Wireless spy cameras labeled as “2.4 GHz” refer to the technology that is used to transmit the wireless signal. A 2.4 GHz wireless spy camera uses the same high-quality dependable technology to transmit its radio signals as many land line based wireless telephones. The transmitter and receiver are tuned to a frequency in the 2.4 GHz radio wave spectrum.

The term “wireless spy camera” may impart a connotation of negativity associated with its name. It’s important to note that wireless spy cameras are not necessarily used for this purpose but may be used for the sake of aesthetics in appearance. Our 2.4 GHz Wireless Dog Baby Monitor Camera is a fine example.

Some wireless spy cameras may be used as standalone monitor systems. That is, the camera/transmitter unit comes with its own receiver/monitor. These units are usually designed for monitoring and not recording so although they may come with their own portable, handheld LCD monitor, they often do not record. Our wireless dog baby monitor camera is a good example of this; typically it is not necessary to record baby monitor transmissions.

Other cameras may be designed to use with a standalone video security system that includes a DVR   for storing video. These cameras may or may not come with a receiver, so it’s important that you check on this in the camera’s description or specifications area.

Sometimes the greatest advantage of using digital video security cameras is the ability to monitor and record activities without any indication that video monitoring is occurring and Security Camera Kings wireless spy cameras do just that. Check out our vast selection by clicking on “Security Cameras” then “Wireless Hidden Cameras” on the left side of our web page.


Business Security Monitoring System

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

No business is immune from crime, which is why every firm, large or small, can profit from a business security monitoring system. However, this is definitely a situation in which one size does not fit all. Every business is subject to different risks that require monitoring.

When managers think of security, they usually think of theft protection. Yet, all companies are at risk for fire and water damage. And even though they have insurance, the insurance payoff rarely covers the total damage. There have been incidents where a fire or flood has driven a business into bankruptcy.

But retail and some service operations are especially vulnerable to loss through theft. This is obvious from the signs you see posted in almost every store that “We prosecute shoplifters.” However, the sign alone is not enough to discourage thief. Thieves don’t expect to be caught. They always think they can get by with stealing. And many thieves are drug addicts in withdrawal and desperate for their next ‘fix.’ So they will do anything to get it and are not mentally capable of evaluating the risk. These people are especially dangerous since they may go as far as using a weapon.

Firms that are especially vulnerable to robbery and even armed robbery are service operations that are open twenty-four hours such as gas stations, restaurants and convenience stores. Most of these have signs posted that read something like “Employees do not have access to the safe” or “We keep no cash on hand after 9PM.” But these really aren’t effective as even service stations have a store full of merchandise such as beverages, candy, chips, etc. all of which are tempting to a thief. And because of the possibility of the thief being armed, this type of business definitely needs a business security monitoring system.

However, loss is not only from the outside but also from within. A National Retail Security Survey revealed that employee theft represents close to 50% of all business losses. Employees may steal merchandise for themselves but there is also the practice of “sweet hearting” in which cashiers help customers who are friends by ringing lower prices on the items the friend buys. Many employees have a “What’s yours is mine” attitude. In other words, because they work for the company they are entitled to whatever merchandise they want. And some employees have been known to operate an undercover resale business, selling the merchandise for a lesser price.

Although this is usually not intentional, a retail business can also lose money through vendor delivery shortages. Most delivery drivers work under pressure from various problems such as delays in traffic. They are almost always in a hurry and sometimes don’t offload the complete order. Over a period of time, these shortages add up to significant inventory loss.

So every manager needs to evaluate all of the risks for his particular business and consider the business security monitoring system that will best satisfy the need. And in many small businesses that security system might just save the owner’s life.


Wireless Security Camera to PC

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

A wireless security camera to PC (Personal Computer) may be the solution for you if you are looking for a quick and easy self-installation video security system. Thanks to modern technological advances, the average homeowner can now afford a wireless security camera to PC system; but the are limited to residential use only. A wireless security camera to PC system makes a great video surveillance/security system for offices and businesses as well.

Let’s take a brief look at how a standard non-wireless security camera system works so we can compare it to the installation, components, and operation of a wireless security camera to PC system. For the most part, the biggest advantage of a wireless security camera to PC system is that if you already have an existing PC you may be able to use it for your security system, greatly reducing the total cost of the system. However, let’s take a closer look.

Digital video security camera systems are component systems. This means that there are basic parts or pieces (components) that are needed to make the system work. However, since they are a component system, you can use different components that are made with specific features to meet your needs. In addition, the each component can be made by a different manufacturer as well. For example, instead of purchasing a four camera system where every camera is exactly the same and may not exactly suit your needs, you can purchase four different cameras such as an indoor, an outdoor, an infrared, and a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera that specifically meet the requirements of your security needs.

A typical component system consists of one to several digital video cameras, a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) with a processor, and a monitor. The digital video cameras transfer light images into electronic data that is normally sent to the DVR using an RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable.

The DVR has a hard disk drive just like the one found in a PC. In addition, the DVR normally has a highly specialized processor, much like the PC processor but built specifically to handle the tasks of security video processing. This processing includes applying a COmpression/DECompression or CODEC utility to make the very large digital video files smaller without sacrificing quality. This makes the files easier to handle for the processor, DVR, and monitor, including the ability to store longer time periods of video on the DVR. A CD/DVD recorder, Flash drive connection, or other device may also be used to copy the digital video file to another transportable media (this may be necessary to provide to police, insurance companies, as evidence, etc.).

In a wireless security camera to PC system, the same functions are performed but with a few changes. First, the digital video camera does not send its digital video data via the RG-59 coaxial video transmission cable. Instead, the camera contains an on-board transmitter and antenna which it uses to send the digital video data via radio waves. There are several different types of radio technology that are used to send the signal but probably the most common is the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz band technology, the same used for land-line based wireless phones.

The signal is sent to a corresponding receiver that then sends the signal via a transmission cable to a PC card. Some systems have the receiver built right into the PC card, eliminating the need for a separate receiver. The PC card is usually a PCI type PC card that can be added to one of the computers empty PCI extension slots or bays. The card is designed to capture or process the digital video data and apply the CODEC to create a compact digital video file with high quality.

After the PC card processes the video data and creates a digital video file, it then stores the file using the computer’s hard disk drive and the video can be viewed live or reviewed later as the recorded file on the computer’s monitor. As you can see, using a wireless security camera to PC system eliminates the need for the DVR with processor and the monitor, thereby reducing the cost of the overall system.

There are several variations of wireless security camera to PC systems that are designed to meet different needs. Contact one of our security experts via live chat or telephone if you would like more information.


Home Security System Camera Sound

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.