Posts Tagged ‘ Wireless cameras’



Wired vs. Wireless Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

wireless-camera

One of the most common questions that I get asked is about wireless camera systems. Everyone wants to have wireless cameras.  I guess that Hollywood has done a lot to make people think that a completely wireless camera system is a good viable option.  There are several advantages and disadvantages to both wired and wireless cameras.  When it comes to my personal security, I will always choose the hardwired system over a wireless system any day of the week.

A wireless camera is a camera in which the video is transmitted over the air to a receiver which captures and records the video.  A wired camera is a camera that transmits the video over a hardwired connection to a receiver. The camera generally not only transmits the video over the cable, but with the correct cable can get it’s power source that way as well.

Pros of Wireless Cameras

There are some pros to having a wireless camera system. The biggest pro would be the fact that installation is generally easier.  When you do not have to worry about climbing through attics or fishing wires through ceiling and walls, the job just got easier.  Typically all you need to worry about when installing a wireless surveillance system with regards to the camera is having a power source in a relatively close proximity to the camera.  Once that is done, all you need to do is mount the cameras and set up your recording device.  This sounds great on the surface, but in reality it’s not that easy.

Cons of Wireless Cameras

With wireless cameras there are a multitude of downfalls.  One of the biggest downfalls that I see are picture quality.  With almost every wireless camera that I have seen on the market, the resolution quality is generally less than 702×480.  When it comes to quality surveillance cameras you want a higher resolution to gather as much detail of the image as possible.  I feel that the reason a lower resolution image is used is so that it can transmit the video footage in more frames per second with less latency in the video.  Another downfall with wireless is that they generally are in the 2.4ghz spectrum.  If you look around most places, that spectrum is inundated with use.  Generally speaking there are 14 channels available in this range.  Inside of this range you have everything from wireless B and G networks, some parts of wireless N networks, a new wireless network AD which is in it’s draft phase will still use some of this range, microwave ovens, baby monitors, digital cordless telephones, car alarms, and bluetooth adapters.

This range of frequency is very crowded and the overlapping of channels with their frequency ranges is a recipe for disaster in a security system.  Adding in yet more devices that are on the same bandwidth, you are asking for interference.  With interference you will get lost signal, dropped signals, and lost video.  I don’t know about you, but I want to know that my CCTV system is always going to record when I needed it to.  Lets say you want to put a camera in a spot without a close power outlet, you have one of a few options.  You can either try and find a battery powered camera, good luck finding anything worth it, have an outlet wired closer to the camera location, or move your camera location closer to an outlet.  These all seem to me that they are more trouble than they are worth.  When I am installing a camera, I want to be able to put it where I am going to get the best possible shot, not where power is going to dictate.  If you find good locations with close power, you better hope that there is no major obstructions in the way, like too many concrete walls, or any of the other items that may interfere with the signal.  If you want a wireless Pan Tilt Zoom camera, they are out there, but if the video signal doesn’t come in do you think the control of the camera is going to be any better.

Pros of Wired Cameras

With every type of method, there are pros and cons.  One of the pros of having your cameras hardwired is that you can count on the picture coming into your recorder.  The power and video can be ran on 1 cable, so everything can be centrally located.  No interference from telephones, bluetooth, wireless networks, microwave ovens, baby monitors, or car alarms.  A wider selection of camera styles are available for use.  You can have a Pan Tilt Zoom camera, to allow you to have one camera to look all around.  You can add audio to your security system without major hassles.  No need for the cameras to be mounted close to a power source, the cable will carry it wherever you need, within reason.  If you use a power distribution box up to 16 of your cameras can be powered with one unit, eliminating multiple power supplies.  There are several different types of wire that can be used to wire your cameras.  You can do simple plug and play, separate RG59 or RG6 and 18/2, Siamese, or Cat 5 cable to wire your cameras.  Wired cameras are harder for someone to disrupt the service of the camera system, by not allowing frequency jamming devices to interrupt you video signal.

Cons of Wired Cameras

With every wiring job comes some complications.  When you are wiring a camera system it is no different.  You can run into studs, concrete block, and other obstacles that can not be seen with drywall up.  You typically have to climb around in an attic and deal with insulation.  You will have to fish wires down walls and around other objects in your path.  If you lay the cable on a high powered line you will get interference on the picture of that camera.  If you choose to use any cable other than plug and play cables, you will have to terminate the ends for it to work properly.

Conclusion

There are some advantages and disadvantages for both types of camera styles.  I personally feel that if a wireless option is what you are looking for, you should do an IP solution with access points and an omni directional antenna.  With this type of setup you are getting the highest rate of resolution for security cameras and you are dealing with network based protocol with better transmission than standard 2.4ghz wireless receivers and transceivers.  With this type of a setup you will still need a power supply close to the camera location for the access point and the camera.  Another cool thing you can do is if you need a camera at a location that is too far to run a cable, and there is line of sight, there are access point/bridges that can travel for miles.  This is very useful for gates and remote camera locations but you will still need a power source.  This will save you from trenching a cable all the way to the camera location.

There are some downfalls to this type of setup, you are sending high quality images over the air and most units can only handle a portion of the data at once.  Most access points are limited to 150 mbps (Megabytes Per Second) up and down. When you are talking about a high resolution image you may be able to get approximately eight 2MP cameras before running into network issues.  If you want to get around this you may want to use multiple access points/bridges to communicate with each other and then you will have 150 mbps on each set of units instead of being limited to the one omni directional access point.  By doing this type of a setup you will be limited to the switch that they go into.

You can probably tell by now my which way I lean when it comes to wired vs wireless.  I am a firm believer that if you are going to spend the time and money to do something, you should do it right the first time and not have to do it over again.  I do not want to have to worry about not getting the images from my camera to my DVR, take the trouble to have to have electrical reran just to fit a camera location, or settle for subpar equipment just to make my job easier.  Wireless cameras are still in the infancy and I feel are years away if ever from being perfected.

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Wireless Spy Camera

Written By:
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.

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Wireless Outdoor Security Camera System

Written By:
Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

A wireless outdoor security camera system is quick and easy to install and is versatile enough to be used in almost any environment or situation. Technological advances have created optional features for the cameras that makes them even more useful and for a reasonable price.

A wireless outdoor security camera system may utilize one to several outdoor wireless cameras. Each camera has its own built in transmitter and antenna which it uses to send its video signal to a corresponding digital video receiver. Modern wireless outdoor security camera systems take advantage of the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz radio band technology (the same used for land-line based wireless telephones) for sending their signals.

This technology has various strengths or ranges that it can transmit the video signal. The range for this technology is often referred to as Line Of Sight or LOS. This means that the stated maximum range for the camera and receiver is based on a line of sight from one to the other without any obstructions in between that would occlude the line of sight. Of course, wireless outdoor security camera systems still function if an object is blocking the LOS path, but the range is reduced, based on the type of material. Some outdoor wireless cameras boast ranges as great as up to two miles.

The cameras used in wireless outdoor security camera systems are the same as those used in wireless indoor security camera systems with one major exception. Out door cameras are built placed inside a cover or enclosure that protects the camera from weather and other environmental elements. These cameras are normally rated based on an International Electrical code standard know as the Ingress Protection Code or Rating. The code is designated by the letters IP followed by two digits. Each digit represents a degree of protection that the camera is afforded by its enclosure. Generally, most outdoor cameras are rated at IP66 or IP67; look for one of these ratings when shopping for your outdoor wireless cameras.

An IP66 rating means the camera is dust tight (dust cannot reach working parts of the camera) and that it can also withstand powerful jets of water from any direction. IP67 has the same dust rating, but this rating indicates that the device could be submerged in up to one meter of water without causing harm. There are a variety of specialized outdoor cameras designed for protection from damage from humans as well as other factors. There are even wireless outdoor security camera systems that are rated to be able to survive explosions.

Wireless outdoor security camera systems are quick and easy to install. Since there is no video transmission cabling to install, just mount the camera and plug in the power supply and it’s ready for use. After all the cameras are in place, the receiver is setup to receive the cameras on the proper frequencies. The receiver passes the video signal over to the processor and Digital Video Receiver or DVR.

There are several optional features available for wireless outdoor security camera systems. The following is just a partial list of some of the more common options you may need:
• Day/night vision cameras that can capture video in very low light conditions
• Night vision infrared cameras that can capture video in standard lighting conditions as well as conditions of total darkness
• Cameras can record audio and video
• Pan-Tilt- Zoom functions that increase the useful filed of view of the cameras. These cameras when equipped with the proper programming software can use motion detection to track and follow individuals or objects (like cars in parking lots)
• Some outdoor cameras can be purchased that use rechargeable batteries instead of an AC power adapter supply. This eliminates the need for a power supply line to the camera
• IP (Internet Protocol) Ready Cameras that can be networked on the internet

As you can see, technology has made the wireless outdoor security camera system incredibly versatile, quick and easy to install, and economically priced as well. Regardless of where you need to place your camera or what you need your camera for, there is a wireless outdoor security camera system that can do the job.

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Wireless Night Vision Outdoor Security Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

A wireless night vision outdoor security camera is a digital video camera with highly specialized features. Modern technological advancements have made these specialized features available at a very affordable price while offering high quality video images.

Outdoor security cameras differ from their counterparts the indoor security cameras, in that they are enclosed in a case that protects them from weather and environmental elements. Wireless night vision outdoor security cameras are often rated according to the protection that they offer. This protection is often described using an International Electrical Code standard called an Ingress Protection rating, International Protection Rating, or IP code. Most wireless night vision outdoor security cameras have an IP code of IP66 or IP67. IP66 means that the camera is dust tight and that water from powerful jets in any direction will have no harmful effects on the camera. IP67 means that the camera is dust tight and can withstand being submerged in water up to 1 meter in depth.

Digital video security cameras create images by using one of two special electronic sensor chips. Some digital security cameras use a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS chip to create high quality color video images. Most wireless night vision outdoor security cameras use a Charged Coupled Device or CCD to create high quality color video using available visible light and high quality monochromatic or black and white video images using infrared (IR) radiation.

CCDs are highly sensitive to light energy known as photons. The CCD is able to transfer light energy into electrical energy in a somewhat similar process that a solar cell transfers sunlight into electricity. The electrical energy created by the CCD can be measured and digitally manipulated to create a video image. This is how a wireless night vision outdoor security camera creates high quality video in visible light conditions.

A wireless night vision outdoor security camera has a highly sensitive CCD that not only captures visible light but is inherently sensitive to radiation in the near infrared spectrum. This allows the camera to produce high quality video images in conditions of total darkness, with absolutely no visible light. These cameras contain an collection of IR Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs that surround the camera lens. The LEDs emit IR light that is not visible to the human eye, but lights up the cameras target area or field of vision like a flood light or spot light. Usually, the more LEDs that surround the camera lens, the farther the range that the camera can produce IR video in total darkness. Since IR radiation is not in the visible light spectrum, IR video is monochromatic or black and white.

Another specialized feature of a wireless night vision outdoor security camera is that it does not require a coaxial cable to transmit its video signals to the systems processor. “Wired” security cameras must be individually cabled to the processing unit. A wireless camera utilizes the 2.8 or 5.8 MHz radio band to transmit its video data by using an on-board antenna. The information is transmitted to a corresponding receiver that is normally located in the same area as the processor. After the receiver obtains the video signal it transfers it to the processor where a digital video file is created that may be viewed on a monitor or stored for later viewing or archival proposes.

Wireless night vision outdoor security cameras are available in different transmission ranges. The range is known as Line-Of-Sight or LOS. This means that the maximum transmission range stated for the camera is under conditions where there is an unimpeded line of sight between the camera’s antenna and the receiver’s antenna. Objects between them reduce the range, depending on the object’s size and material. Wireless cameras have LOS range capabilities of several hundred feet.

Additional features available for wireless night vision outdoor security cameras include the ability to record audio and the pan, tilt, and/or zoom (PTZ) functions. PTZ functions allow the camera to move in several directions and the zoom feature functions like a variable telephoto lens. These features can be controlled automatically or they may be controlled manually by remote control.

A wireless night vision outdoor security camera can be used anywhere that outdoor day/night video security and surveillance monitoring is needed. These cameras are often used for perimeter monitoring for both businesses and residents. In addition that can be used to provide monitoring for parking lots, driveways, and outdoor structures.

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CCTV Security Camera System

Written By:
Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

A CCTV security camera system or a closed circuit television security camera system is becoming one of the most popular tools for providing ultimate security and surveillance monitoring. These systems are assembled with individual components, each of which may be specialized to suit the needs of the individual application and prices are affordable.

A basic CCTV security camera system contains the following components:

  • CCTV security digital video camera(s)
  • A processing unit or capture board
  • Monitor
  • Digital Video Recorder or DVR

A CCTV security camera system may be a stand alone system, meaning it contains all the necessary components so as not to require sharing or use of other equipment, or it can actually be used with a personal computer. If the system is used with a personal computer, the computer often replaces the functions of the processor, DVR, and monitor by sharing its own resources with the security system.

There are several sizes and types of cameras as well as additional feature that are available for a CCTV security camera system. The following is just a partial list:

  • Indoor or Outdoor cameras
  • Dome shaped, Bullet Shaped, and Hidden or Disguised cameras
  • Wireless cameras
  • Day/night vision cameras
  • Infrared (IR) night vision cameras
  • Cameras with Pan, tilt, and zoom functions
  • Cameras that record audio
  • Portable cameras that can be mounted to vehicles

Regardless of the type of camera, they all must send their electronic video image information to a processor that can compile it and turn it into a digital video file which can then be viewed on a monitor or stored on a DVR for later use. If the CCTV security camera system is a stand lone system, the processor and DVR are normally located together in a case that looks like desk top personal computer. Sometimes these units will include an additional capture board which does most of the video processing for the processor, freeing the processors resources to do other things, like display multiple videos at one time or remotely control a camera.

If the CCTV security camera system uses a personal computer, the computer becomes the system’ processor, the computer’s monitor becomes the system’s monitor, and the computer’s hard disk drive becomes the security systems digital video recorder.

Whether the CCTV security camera system is a standalone system or shares the resources of a personal computer, each usually uses some sort of programming or hard circuitry to reduce the size of the digital video files while maintaining a high quality video. This is necessary because digital video is basically nothing more than rapidly taken digital photographs. The digital file size can be come incredibly large in just a few minutes of recording if a CODEC is not used. CODEC stands for COmpression/DECompression utility that reduces the file.

After the file is processed it is made immediately available for viewing on the monitor and at the same time is saved to the DVR for later use. The DVR begins recording video at the “beginning” of the empty disk and when the disk becomes full, it automatically records over the oldest material first. Depending on the system, this can provide hours to days of recorded monitoring before the files are replaced. In addition, most units have the ability to add a USB flash drive or CD/DVD writer to copy specific segments of video, for example one that need to be furnished to police departments or as evidence.

A CCTV security camera system offers tremendous versatility for each of its components’ features. DVRs can be purchased with small digital storage space to extremely large digital storage space. DVRs can come with internal CD/DVD writers for archiving video footage. Processors and capture boards take advantage of the latest compression technologies but many different CODECs can be used such as mpg, mjpeg, and H.264.

As you can see, a CCTV Security Camera system is so versatile that is can be designed for just about any application. Scientific advances have provided for incredibly hi-tech features at a fraction of the cost. It’s no wonder the CCTV security camera system is one of the most popular tools in modern security coverage today.

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