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Monthly Archives: March 2016

4K Security Systems

4K video is the latest in surveillance technology, delivering exceptional image quality and resolution. With four times the resolution as 1080p HD, 4K video blows high-definition video and older standard video formats out of the water. But, without careful planning, its effectiveness can go down the drain.

Switching to 4K video, or even HD cameras, is not as easy as simply buying the new cameras. While HD cameras require four times the storage and bandwidth as a legacy 480TVL camera, 4K cameras require four times the storage and bandwidth as an HD camera. Without the proper equipment to support such requirements, your new 4K system may not live up to your expectations.

Here are a few things to consider when you decide to adopt the new 4K technology.

Data Switches
Simply adding 4K cameras to your current system can quickly overwhelm it. On a normal data network, legacy 100Mbps is standard and is designed for computing data, not video streaming. Normal user data is considered “bursty” because user data is sent in bursts and remains low until the next burst. Memory buffers are built in so that if more data is received than can be processed, the data is stored until it can catch up.

Unfortunately, video streaming does not work like that. Video is sent in a steady stream, and if more data comes in than can be handled, the switch does not have a chance to catch up. This overload of data can result in dropped videos, or the switch may even lock up until it is rebooted.

Imagine a system that has 10 20-megapixel cameras sending at 3.5 fps, and requiring about 112Mbps of bandwidth. Hooking these cameras up to a 110Mbps switch will overload it, causing the system to malfunction. In the same vein, if you have two 110Mbps switches that have five 20-megapixel cameras each, they require about 56Mbps each and should work accordingly. However, if these switches connect back to a main switch that cannot handle the workload, you end up with the same problem as the first scenario.

When choosing a switch for your system, there are many things to consider aside from the port speed. Location is important, whether it be a core switch or a field switch. Also, you will want to pay attention to its switching capacity and buffer size, along with different features and support.

When it comes to server-based NVRs, again, if it is not designed to support and record at levels up to par with 4K or even HD cameras, you will come across performance issues. Things like bus speed and read-write speed on hard drives will affect how many devices you will need to support your cameras properly.

Storage Space
When planning for storage, you may want to consult with your IT department or an industry professional for guidance and advice. You must consider the number and type of cameras you need to support and how long you need the video to be retained. Proper storage abilities can make or break a quality surveillance system.

Power & Cooling
While often overlooked, power and cooling systems play a crucial role. Large scale video systems require a lot of equipment which need power for functioning, air conditioning to prevent overheating, and a UPS to safeguard from power outages or surges. Without these things, the best security systems would not be able to function properly.

Before you decide to upgrade to 4K security cameras, it is best to get a grasp on your system as a whole. Are you considering, or have you already, upgraded to a 4K surveillance system? Share your thoughts and advice with your peers and us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you have any questions regarding security cameras, surveillance equipment, or are interested in our installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294 and we will be happy to assist you. You may also browse our inventory by visiting us online at

Retail Analytics Can Help Your Business

Surveillance in retail has a primary role in preventing theft and ensuring safety among staff and customers. However, as retailers make the switch from analog to IP camera systems, a multitude of new features are at their fingertips and can help provide advanced business insight.

While retail analytics are available and being used in some stores already, the potential for improving these technologies promises benefits for both the retail and security industry. Network cameras are being manufactured with intelligent analytics and video management systems can take these analytics further.

Things like hotspot detection and facial recognition give retailers data about the age range and in-store behavior of their customers. This information can help to improve the store layout and target promotions to maximize sales.

The solutions are ready to be applied, but there is hesitation for rollout. Marketing, IT, and security will need to understand how these technologies will benefit them before they decide to invest.

Because the systems are fairly scalable, retail analytics can appeal to various types of businesses. Companies can take a “build your own” approach by investing in the individual components and evaluate its value over time. From there, they can decide to potentially build out their system. For example, simply monitoring foot traffic can produce great benefits. Retailers can tailor events, promotions and new product displays to high traffic periods. This can also help with staffing, allowing more workers on the floor at busier times, and potentially improving customer service.

This can assist small business, as budgets may not allow for large scale retail analytics systems. And larger retailers can build from basic systems, adding any advanced features as they see fit. Things like heat mapping and inventory alerts enable managers to understand which areas attract customers for longer periods of time as well as how often products need to be restocked.

The most important detail is to ensure that all components can work together seamlessly. Manufacturers realize this and are working across industries to ensure compatibility. For example, Canon and NETAVIS have partnered to provide comprehensive and compatible surveillance cameras and video management software.

Since online stores have somewhat of an upper hand when it comes to customer data, retail analytics play an important role in keeping brick and mortar stores alive. In your opinion, how do you think retail analytics will help the customer experience? If you own a business, have you considered employing retail analytics? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.  You can find us on Vine, too!

Equip your business with the best security and surveillance solutions when you shop at Browse our selection online or call 1-888-203-6294 to learn more about our services.

Choosing A Business Security System

Often times, businesses don’t realize the importance of security camera systems until it’s too late. Rather than installing them prior to opening, they tend to invest in them after a burglary or incident occurs. This may happen because businesses believe that they cannot afford it, or they think the task is too overwhelming and complicated. Luckily, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you choose the best security camera system for your business.

Before you shop, it would benefit you to really take some time to evaluate what you want and need when it comes to a security system.

  • Choose equipment that is appropriate for your space
    Your environment will likely dictate the type of security system you need. For example, if you are renting your space, you will likely need to avoid equipment that interferes with walls and the structure of the building. Workplaces or offices with more rooms versus open spaces may require more cameras.
  • Understand your goals and your contract
    Aside from your workspace, you will want to know the supposed trajectory of your business. If your plan is to grow or even relocate, be sure that your contract with a security provider allows for add-ons, moves, or even change your plans. If you want to maintain your small business, a smaller, simple security system should suffice. And always remember to read before you sign.
  • How many cameras?
    Next, figure out how many cameras you will really need. You can determine which areas need to be monitored on your own, paying attention to high traffic areas or areas that house important equipment and supplies. Or you can consult with a professional to determine how many cameras you will need for your security system.
  • Camera Types
    Aside from how many you need, you should understand the different types of cameras and features that are available to you. Do you need something discreet or a more flexible camera type? Bullet and dome cameras can be relatively inconspicuous while PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras allow better range for wide, open spaces. Features are important, too, especially if you need around-the-clock surveillance. Choosing a camera with night vision/infrared LED lights will allow you to view overnight footage, while motion sensors can aid in saving power and storage by only recording when triggered.
  • Additional sensors
    You can secure your property further by installing additional sensors such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide sensors and flooding sensors. These are optional, but can help to keep yourself and your staff safe so they are worth considering.
  • Alerts
    Setting up alerts can help enhance your security system by notifying you when unusual activity is detected. For example, you can set up alerts for when activity is detected when your store is closed and empty. These types of alerts may not be necessary if you have a cleaning crew or employees who work after hours. Decide which alerts would best benefit your company, and who will receive these alerts.
  • Mobile features
    These days, the ability to access various things from your mobile phone is a must, and your security system is no exception. If you feel so inclined, choose a system that offers remote monitoring and access to your account.
  • Reputation and quality
    Before committing to a security system and/or professional installer, you should do some research, read reviews, or even ask for references. You want to be sure that you will get the services and quality that you deserve.

For information on our CCTV security and surveillance equipment, site surveys, and installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294 or visit us online at Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

Are You Taking Care Of Your Vision?

Vision tends to be something we take for granted. For those of us who have relatively good vision, we seem to underestimate how much we rely on vision for nearly every task. As our time spent staring at computer screens, televisions, smart phones and devices increases, so does our risk for damaging our eyes.

March is Save Your Vision Month, which emphasizes raising awareness for good eye care. When it comes to eye care, we tend to wait until problems arise despite the obvious benefits of being proactive and getting eye checks regularly.

Eye exams can produce nearly immediate benefits. For example, if you are having trouble with your vision, prescription eye glasses or contact lenses can easily correct it. This is much more effective than waiting and potentially causing more damage to your eyes. And, did you know, diabetes is often diagnosed by an eye exam? Glaucoma can be quickly detected and treated with regular eye tests, too.

If you must stare at a computer screen at work, problems like eye strain or dry eyes may arise. While you may not be able to cut down on screen time, there are ways to combat these problems.

  • Regular eye exams are a great start, and be sure to inform your doctor about how much time you spend on the computer.
  • Stop for a break at regular intervals, even if it is just to walk to a window and take a look outside. This small act can be very soothing on the eyes.
  • While you’re on the computer, remember to blink. When we stare at the screen, we may forget to blink, which can cause dry eyes. Try closing your eyes for a few seconds, or, if the problem persists, you may want to invest in artificial tears or even a humidifier.
  • The way you sit at your computer also plays a role. Be sure that the monitor is at least 20 inches from your face and the top of the monitor should be tilted slightly below your eye level.
  • Keep your monitor clean and free of fingerprints or dust, which will affect clarity and can increase eye strain.
  • A healthy diet and plenty of rest can positively affect the health of your eyes as well. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and get a good night’s rest for the best results.

Do you have any eye care tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest. For your CCTV surveillance equipment and security camera installation needs, choose Call 1-888-203-6294 for more information.

Networked Devices

It used to be common to see security guards monitoring public areas such as parking lots or building entrances, but, these days, the prevalence of security cameras is growing. Our means of surveillance is transitioning from human surveillance to networked devices. While some areas have added security cameras to complement their guards, others rely on comprehensive security systems.

There are numerous reasons why network security cameras are becoming more widespread. Aside from the covert nature of security cameras, technology allows us to do more with fewer risks. Rather than potentially putting a person’s life in danger, you can monitor your surveillance feed remotely and be aware of what is going on in various places. This will enable you to react in a timely manner and as safely as possible.

Some may oppose the implementation of security cameras for fear of an invasion of privacy, but they fail to acknowledge that other platforms that are seen as more acceptable can pose a threat. For example, loyalty programs often track and record your purchasing history and can be linked to your image through facial recognition technology. And think about how ads are becoming more tailored to the viewer’s interests. Common things like mobile phones, social media, credit cards, and more can offer data and insight about a person.

In comparison, surveillance cameras would simply be used to monitor public areas to improve safety. When crimes occur, footage can provide evidence, as well as paint the picture of events leading up to the incident.

Mass CCTV coverage has been achieved in cities like London and Melbourne. In some British cities, traffic light operation has been used to prevent criminals from escaping by car. This shows that networked devices can work together to increase safety and security.

There are obvious risks and benefits when it comes to networked devices and data collection. What are your thoughts on the use of connected devices and the Internet of Things in terms of security and surveillance? Do you think more cities will follow London and Melbourne’s lead and adopt a mass surveillance system? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Vine, and Pinterest.

For a great selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance equipment, and more, please visit To inquire about a site survey or our installation services, please call 1-888-203-6294.

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