When shopping for a security system for your home or business, it may be easy to focus on the specific features of the security cameras. However, much attention should be paid to video surveillance storage as well. DVRs (digital video recorders) are an integral part to the overall surveillance system. Here are some of the features and specifications of DVRs that you should pay close attention to.
A frame rate is a unit of measure denoting the number of frames recorded in each second by a DVR in a specific resolution. Calculations should be made based on the real-time frame rate of about 30 frames per second (FPS). For example, in order to record real-time video on a standard 16-channel system, you would need a DVR that has 480 FPS.
Remember that sellers may claim real-time images as the units display live video at about 30 FPS on each channel, but this needs to be assessed based on the recorded video footage (not the live video). A basic unit may record videos at less than 30 FPS while a top-end unit may deliver 30 FPS on each channel.
Resolution is the size of the image displayed or recorded. The most popular resolution is CIF – 360×240, and the highest is specified as D1 – 720×480. This is an important specification to consider as larger recorded images afford you additional details for review. For example, 4CIF images can feature views detailed four times as much as a base CIF image. You can find a variety of DVRs boasting anywhere from CIF to D1 resolutions.
When the video is transferred to the DVR for storage, it is first compressed to save space and to make Internet viewing fluid. Compression standards can vary from basic to nearly no compression protocols (ex. MJPEG or wavelet) to the top-end compression methods (ex. MPEG4). Currently, the highest compression standards are H.264 (which is 40% more efficient than previous versions).
While compression methods may vary in DVRs, hybrid DVRs are available. These are capable of using a combination of compression methods, and can also be used to do compressions separately (Internet streaming vs. recording).
You will need to know how much data your DVR can hold. Presently, baseline DVRs may allow one or two hard drives only, while more advanced models now offer 6, 8, or more internal hard drives based on user requirements.
Popular DVRs also offer redundant storage (RAID) configuration and FTP uploads. The FTP uploads feature allows backup of video for the DVR at an off-premise FTP server. This helps to avoid any possibility of loss in the case of a local system crash or a DVR robbery.
Audio can sometimes be an important addition to video footage. Some DVRs may accommodate synced audio and video, with lower-end versions having one to four channels and higher-end options offering up to 16 channels. Be sure to review the laws and legalities in regards to audio recording.
There can be a wide variety of video output, from BNC to VGA to HDMI. If you have a mix of these, you may need to invest in quality converters to ensure proper connections and performance.
Network IP surveillance systems allow users to access video footage via the Internet from virtually anywhere. Advanced systems even allow viewing more than one DVR at a time. These DVRs can boast specialized features such as camera groupings, e-mapping, different levels of user privileges, and more.
If you need assistance in choosing the right DVR and security cameras for you, please feel free to contact us 888-203-6294 or browse our vast selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
There’s no denying that video surveillance technology has come a long way over the years. From grainy videos in its early stages to the quality software and clarity today, video surveillance continues to make great strides and advancements.
The goal of security cameras and surveillance systems is to capture, detect, and deter any unlawful behavior in and around homes, businesses, and public areas. Before, installing a security camera system was a costly and laborious job, involving lots of wires and cables running throughout the building. As technology progressed, security cameras became more accessible and affordable, allowing more users the opportunity to invest in their security. Now there are numerous DIY solutions that make it easy for homeowners to install and set up on their own security systems.
For businesses, implementing a team of people to actively monitor security cameras at all times was once the only option. Now, much of the monitoring aspect of security and surveillance systems can be automated. Rather than having the mundane task of watching numerous monitors, security cameras now have the ability to detect any suspicious or abnormal behaviors and will alert a security officer as necessary.
While we have seen the security industry flourish over the years, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our technology will continue to advance and amaze us in ways we never thought possible.
Artificial intelligence (AI) in video surveillance enables the “smart” features we now see with security cameras. In general, security cameras enable us to monitor situations in real-time or go back to review previous footage. With the integration of AI technology, not only can we monitor in real-time, but potential issues can be identified before they become real problems.
With the emergence of video analytics, footage can be analyzed immediately to identify any abnormal activity or threats early on. This technology helps the software ‘learn’ what is normal in order to identify unusual behavior and is meant to make up for human error, rather than replace human monitoring all together.
While it was always a goal to integrate AI and video surveillance, the technology, from a hardware standpoint, was not ready. One of the issues that needed to be addressed was decreasing the power demand to a level low enough that would allow the technology to be embedded into the cameras.
As more cameras emerge with new AI technologies and processes, we will begin to see more advanced features including crowd density monitoring, facial recognition, stereoscopic vision, and behavior analysis.
Behavior analysis in particular is what a lot of tech companies are focusing on. By implementing a technology that can identify and recognize precursor patterns associated with crimes and other bad behavior, we may be able to greatly improve public safety and security.
A great example comes from the West Japan Railway, where it was found that 60% of people hit by trains in Japan were intoxicated. They have now installed security cameras that can automatically search for and detect signs of intoxication. Sleeping on benches, stumbling, falling, or standing motionless for long periods of time are behaviors that are recognized by the AI system. Human attendees are then notified and sent to check on the person.
Of course, a conversation about video surveillance always includes concerns about privacy. No one wants to feel like they are constantly being monitored, but developers insist that these systems know when to stop collecting information and monitoring. As these technologies continue to develop, you may soon be able to “teach” your system when to record and in which situations recording should halt.
Although it is still in its early stages, AI technology and video surveillance is heading in a positive and exciting direction. Mass adoption may still be a ways to go, but it’s great to see AI being applied in a new setting.
What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence and the video surveillance industry? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Browse our selection of security cameras and equipment online at SecurityCamExpert.com. To learn more about our installation services or to request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.
Video surveillance can be an invaluable asset for businesses. It helps to improve security, manage risks, and boost efficiency. Most benefits of video surveillance can be seen and measure, however, determining its financial return isn’t as easy.
In order to better understand the fiscal value of IP video surveillance, security leaders consider the impact and effect of a hypothetical security event. This gives them better insight to how effective their surveillance system is. And by understanding how IP video surveillance adds value to your business, you demonstrate your overall dedication to success. Here are some of the ways IP video surveillance can influence and improve your business.
A common reason to employ IP video surveillance is to protect your property, employees, and customers. It can help to minimizes losses when it comes to a security incident, however, it can go further. The application of IP video surveillance can also ensure cyber security, data protection, intellectual property and brand reputation. By protecting these assets, a cohesive approach to risk management can be achieved.
Again, video surveillance goes beyond security and safety. It has become a fundamental aspect when building a business. Aside from monitoring on-site and remote locations, surveillance footage can be analyzed to improve employee productivity and help to measure the success of marketing campaigns. This data can be valuable across different departments, which adds to its value and merit.
There are different ways you can evaluate and determine the total cost of ownership for your system. For example, by investigating liability claims with video footage, you can save money and prevent future slip-and-fall claims. Some cases may be proven false, while others may bring to light new or unnoticed safety risks that can be addressed.
The stronger your system is, the more money you can potentially save. The most effective systems are comprised of enough cameras to cover all areas and detect crimes in progress, with highly trained staff to monitor the different feeds. A system that can do this as well as integrate the technology into all manner of law enforcement activities will demonstrate true ROI to security leaders.
Remote monitoring is an excellent luxury of IP video surveillance. When alarms go off or unfamiliar activity is detected, rather than sending managers or guards to investigate, you are provided with alerts and can respond quickly and appropriately.
Building a system that meets these standards will be a great addition to your business. What other benefits do you enjoy with your video surveillance system? If you don’t have one now, are you considering implementing an IP video surveillance system for your business? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
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.
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 SecurityCamExpert.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!
The holidays are here, which means it’s time for things like holiday shopping and family vacations. Unfortunately, this also means it is the best time for burglars to strike. You want to protect your home and the expensive gifts under your tree, but you can’t be home all the time. Lucky for you, security cameras can be. These security camera features will help you get the most of out of your home surveillance system.
Motion sensing technology is extremely important in identifying suspicious or unusual behavior. Without motion sensors, your surveillance would need to be on 24/7, which can waste precious power and storage space on mundane recordings. Motion sensors allow your system to kick into action as needed. Mobile alerts are usually offered in conjunction with this technology. Aside from motion sensors, audio sensing takes your security system much further by alerting you or recording when sounds are detected around the security camera.
With two-way audio, you can communicate with people who may be in or outside of your home.
Investing in a security camera with speakers enables communication between you and whoever may be near your camera. For example, if someone is knocking at your door and you’re not home, you can instantly communicate with them through your connected device. Or if someone has broken into your home, you can alert them that they are being recorded and that authorities are en route.
Field Of View
The field of view depends on what you value more – detail or wide view. A camera with a narrower field of view will obviously capture less, however, it will offer more detail. A wide field of view makes the camera seem farther away but offers more viewing range without having to reposition or angle the camera (think panoramic view). Knowing where you want to place your security cameras will help you understand which field of view will work best.
Video quality has greatly improved over the years. These days, most security cameras come with 720p resolution as the standard, and go as high as 1080p resolution for recording and streaming. But before you go ahead and splurge on that high definition security camera, you must first be sure that your Internet connection can handle it (1080p feeds can use up lots of bandwidth).
You can go wired or wireless, depending on your personal preference and what your environment allows. Wired solutions simply need an outlet, and possibly extension cords, depending on the location. Other security cameras offer PoE capabilities, and some are battery operated.
Low light security cameras can make the most with a faint hint of light. The technology works to create a brighter image with discernible details, however, without a light source, the camera will not work. Most cameras with this technology will emit their own near-infrared energy while remaining relatively inconspicuous.
Thermal imaging, on the other hand, does not depend on light. Instead, it uses heat to monitor an area. While thermal imaging can work in total darkness, it does lack fine details and color.
Cloud vs. Local Storage
Surveillance storage is an important aspect of security systems. Without archived videos of an incident, you have no evidence to prove that a perpetrator did anything wrong. With local storage, your footage is saved directly to a nearby storage drive. Sometimes this is built into your DVR or NVR, other times you may have an external hard drive. The downfall to this type of storage is that you may run out of space quickly, especially if you do not have a motion detection feature.
Cloud storage is relatively unlimited (in the sense of availability), however, you may be charged fees depending on the Cloud service. Also, cloud storage usually dumps old footage after a specified amount of time, so if you would like to keep your video clips, you will have to offload it from your cloud account to your local drive or another cloud account.
Now that you know what to look for in your home security cameras, feel free to shop our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 1-888-203-6294 to speak with a representative directly. And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest!
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, we would like to take a moment to remind you how thankful we are for you and your continued support. Your safety and security matters to us and we are happy to provide you with top notch products and customer service you deserve. From all of us at SecurityCamExpert.com, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
As a reminder, we will be closed on Thursday, November 26, 2015 and Friday, November 27, 2015 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Our normal business hours will resume on Monday, November 30, 2015. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.
We hope you all enjoy a safe and happy holiday weekend!
A story ran recently about wide-area surveillance and how it was quietly used in Compton, CA, to help solve crimes. This type of surveillance was provided by Persistent Surveillance Systems, a security company started by retired Air Force veteran Ross McNutt. Security cameras attached to the belly of a small aircraft essentially watch a given city or area in real time. While there are pros to this type of surveillance, there are many concerns.
This wide area surveillance system acts as a cost-effective eye in the sky. If a crime occurs, authorities can review the footage in a specific area to follow the suspect’s moves and eventually catch them. The problem then becomes the fact that everyone in the given area is being monitored, both suspects and civilians.
While they may not be watching everyone’s every move, they definitely have the resources to do so. How can residents be sure that the footage isn’t being abused? When does this surveillance go too far? As in the case of the Compton, CA story, residents were unaware they were being monitored. Would it have been more accepted if residents were informed? No one likes to be left in the dark, especially when it comes to being watched and recorded. Residents and authorities should be able to discuss concerns and vote on implementation. If this wide-area surveillance system drops crime rates, and consequently makes the neighborhood safer, residents may be more welcoming to the surveillance system.
It has proved successful in the past, effectively locating bombing suspects in Afghanistan. Aside from that, its cost pales in comparison to its ability to monitor large scale areas. While it can’t zoom in and won’t produce clear, high quality pictures of faces, it can track movement and lend itself to proving that someone is innocent or guilty.
If this type of surveillance was being employed in your neighborhood or city, how would you feel or react? Would knowing about it beforehand change the way you felt about it? Do you agree or disagree with the direction our security measures are headed? We would love to hear your responses and feedback. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.
For traditional security cameras, CCTV system packages, home alarm units and more, visit SecurityCamExpert.com. To speak with us directly, please call 1-888-203-6294.