Outdoor security cameras aid in your first line of defense against criminals. The presence of outdoor security cameras can deter burglars from targeting you, or they can provide key evidence should an incident occur. Thus, the installation and mounting of your outdoor security cameras play an important role in the success of your surveillance system overall.
Whether for home or business use, the height of your camera will determine what you can capture and the quality of the images. In a business setting, the camera should be able to view the surrounding area while still adequately capturing the faces of incoming customers and those around the front door. Thus, a security camera mounted at least 10 feet high should properly capture the faces and body types of individuals. For homes, you should mount a camera at least 3 feet above your front door and another at least 10-20 feet up to capture vehicles that enter and exit your driveway.
If your cameras are not in the right location, they won’t be able to record crucial footage. You want your security cameras to cover all the main entrances to your business or home, as well as any potential weak spots (ex. first floor windows). For businesses, you also want to monitor your parking lot. Surveillance cameras in parking lots should be in a location that allows them a clear view of customers’ vehicles. And as mentioned, you should have a home security camera devoted to monitoring your driveway.
Surveillance camera laws can vary from state-to-state, however, hidden cameras in private places, such as bathrooms, changing rooms, or locker rooms, are forbidden in all states. Since outdoor security cameras are not located in private places, they can be hidden to some extent. But again, the visibility of security cameras alone can play a role in discouraging potential burglars from striking. If you decide on hiding your outdoor cameras, be sure to place a sign on your property informing guests and visitors that they are under surveillance.
Browse our selection of outdoor and indoor security cameras, along with PTZ cameras, network IP cameras, surveillance system packages, and much more at SecurityCamExpert.com.
When security cameras are installed and positioned properly, they can provide effective security and video footage to protect your property. However, simple mistakes when implementing a security system can negate its effectiveness. To maximize your security systems performance and efficiency, be sure to avoid these common security camera mistakes.
Try not to assign too many tasks to a single camera, as these will likely be executed poorly. Choose a single goal, such as capturing a face, a license plate, or general coverage, and optimize the placement and settings for that goal.
While the highest point of your property may seem ideal to capture a wide viewing range, it will not provide detailed images for identification. You want to place cameras high enough to deter tampering and vandalism while still finding a balance between the ultimate goal, the effective range, and number of cameras you are employing. This is why careful planning and calculations are crucial.
Doorways and windows are prone to an imbalance of light distribution, and, therefore require Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Without it, you may not be able to capture a decent image unless the camera is in the proper angle or the person looks directly into the camera. Be sure to choose the right features for the appropriate locations and environment.
Because of their abilities, PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) cameras tend to be more appealing to customers. The problem is that after taking advantage of the features, the camera is hardly ever returned to its “home” location, and thus, is left focusing on less important areas. While they can be helpful tools in various situations, PTZ cameras are better used in conjunction with fixed cameras. That way, fixed cameras will always be focused on the key areas while the PTZ cameras can monitor the surrounding areas or points of interest as necessary.
Protecting your equipment is ever important, but sometimes, users leave the central brains of the systems as an afterthought. Be sure that the placement of your DVR/NVRs is both secure and efficient for your system.
You need to consider lighting, especially if you need to capture video overnight. Aside from night vision, be mindful of the available light in your camera locations. Be sure not to mount cameras too close to bright lights, which can disrupt the view.
It is important to adjust and program each device for a maximum balance of capturing required information and maximizing storage returns. If this is neglected, you may cause your DVR/NVR to shorten, thus limiting video retention.
Choosing a system that does not allow for customization of video retention time will limit your security system’s flexibility. Instead, look for systems which will allow you to modify your storage options based on your individual needs.
Build your ideal video surveillance system with us! Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our stock or call 888-203-6294 to discuss your options. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Security cameras equipped with motion detection can be very helpful for home and business owners. Motion sensor cameras allow users to rest easy knowing the built-in sensors will alert them when activity is detected, eliminating the need for monitoring live feeds around the clock.
While motion detection can be very convenient, it can also prove to be a nuisance. False alarms caused by various reasons, such as pets, natural environmental changes, or even changes in lighting, can be frustrating, confusing, and a waste of time. In order for you to make the most of the motion detection feature, here’s what you need to know.
Types of Detection
While there are many different technologies that detect motion (ex. light pulses, thermal measurements, radio waves), for consumer security cameras, there are two methods that are commonly used.
Passive Infrared (PIR)
This method detects the ambient heat emitted by all living beings and is sometimes referred to as “heat vision.” The sensor is triggered when it detects enough movement of these warm “objects” and/or a significant temperature disparity between the object and the background scene. When triggered, it signals the security camera to start recording, and thus, the user is alerted.
Computer Vision (CV)
This approach involves camera software that analyzes sequential frames of live video for differences and registers a motion event when a significant change is detected. With that said, CV includes many different methods, which depend on the desired outcome and technical preference of the designers.
Of these methods, one of the easiest involves looking for a significant change in pixels over short periods of time compared to the longer term average. This will produce a simple ‘something happened’ signal. Another method tracks groups of pixels and tries to identify directional patterns in order to recognize moving objects.
What all of these methods have is common is the end goal – to detect motion and, if possible, determine the shape of the object that moved. Once that goal is achieved, more advanced methods can be applied to classify the moving object (ex. person, animal, vehicle, tree) to determine which detection signals are important (ex. person or vehicle) or irrelevant and can be dismissed (ex. animal or tree).
Pros & Cons
Of course, false alarms are one of the most frustrating downsides to motion detection. Luckily, manufacturers are aware of this and offer different ways to reduce these instances.
Motion detection is still a work in progress, and at this point, you likely get what you pay for. The good news is that our technologies are always improving, thus, motion detection has the potential for greatness on the future.
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Security cameras offer great benefits for various settings. From protecting your business or property to keeping an eye on nursing homes or daycare centers, surveillance camera systems can be incredibly helpful.
The extensive surveillance market is like a double-edged sword. While there is likely a security solution for nearly every need, sorting through the options to find the best security solution for you can be seemingly endless. However, with the proper approach and assistance, you can find a suitable surveillance system in a timely manner.
When shopping for security camera systems, it is best to evaluate your needs and research which solutions may better suit you. For example, choosing between wired or wireless security cameras can be determined by weighing their advantages and disadvantages, while understanding how these can play into your specific requirements.
To help you choose which is better for you, here are some basic pros and cons of both wired and wireless security cameras.
Wired Security Cameras
Wireless Security Cameras
Other things to consider include the structure of your property or building and the location of power sources. While some may prefer strictly wired solutions, and others choose wireless, it is possible to create a hybrid system, incorporating both wired and wireless cameras. It is best to consider different options before deciding on a security system.
Let us help you create the best security camera system. Browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to discuss your options. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Sometimes you end up paying more than you should when it comes to home security systems. Whether it is from lack of research or sheer convenience, there are ways to effectively invest in your home security without breaking the bank. Review these common home security mistakes to ensure you are getting the most for your money.
• Mistake: Your first option was your only option.
Don’t just go with the first company you find -do your research. Check out both local and national companies to compare rates and get free quotes when possible. This step will help you discover who truly values your security versus those looking for a big sale.
• Mistake: You didn’t consider lifestyle changes.
Aside from thinking about your current needs, you should also consider your future plans. For example, if you’re planning on growing your family, you may want more surveillance in the nursery. Or, if you’re single, you may relocate a few times before settling in to a spot, so you may want to inquire about cancellation or relocation services.
• Mistake: You’re overlapping cameras.
While the idea of having multiple angles on entryways and high traffic areas sounds safer, it could be unnecessary. Focus more on getting the best angles with the least amount of cameras. This will save you money on equipment and could make it easier to manage your system.
• Mistake: You didn’t talk about discounts.
When it comes to discounts, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You could be missing out on special deals and offers, such as a Veteran or senior citizen discount, or you may even be able to work out a payment plan rather than paying it all up front.
• Mistake: You haven’t updated your insurance.
No matter what kind of equipment you choose, be sure to let your home insurance provider know. These systems may add value to your home, and could possibly save you some cash on your monthly payment. But before committing to system, you should check with your provider.
• Mistake: You have more than you need.
In relation to the overlapping cameras, you may have opted for the most comprehensive system when you really could do with a simple set up. Evaluate your needs, such as how many entry points you wish to monitor, and you can tailor your system accordingly. Remember that when it comes to security cameras, choose quality over quantity.
If you’ve made any of these mistakes, you can still make them right. If you need help, please feel free to call us at 888-203-6294. We can help with surveillance equipment, site surveys, and security camera installation. Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our selection and connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
To better understand the current surveillance industry, you should know a little history. Without going into great detail, here are some important milestones of the video surveillance industry from the past decade.
Ten years ago, SD analog cameras and DVRs reigned supreme. While video management software and IP cameras were available, they had yet to become a mainstream solution.
Also around this time, some megapixel cameras were offered. They only supported MJPEG encoding (which made storage and transmission of these more expensive), but they boasted better quality than analog cameras.
And still in the early stages, but a topic of interest, were analytics, which had limited deployment during this time.
Around 2008-2012, IP cameras got a boost from the adoption of H.264 for megapixel cameras. Because IP camera usage was up, VMS software followed suit. The benefits of this upgrade were clear, making it easier for consumers to understand and accept the price increase.
As megapixel and IP cameras grew in popularity, interest in connecting cameras to the cloud was rising. While the dream was to eliminate any on-site recording and maintenance, bandwidth limitations and poor cloud VMS killed the dream.
In 2011, video analytics remained off the radar thanks to performance problems, unhappy customers, and ObjectVideo suing the industry. Even today, analytics are still slowly crawling out of the hole.
In the next few years, edge storage promised the elimination of NVRs and recorder appliances since the storage and software would be housed within the IP camera. Unfortunately, reliability issues deterred early adopters, and the introduction of inexpensive recorder appliances pushed edge storage to the back burner. Rather than becoming a main solution, edge storage was more commonly employed to provide redundancy for higher-end applications.
WDR & Low Light Conditions
Over time, surveillance camera technology has improved to better accommodate low light environments. Before, WDR (wide dynamic range) cameras, which automatically adjusted to harsh lighting conditions, were expensive and limited in availability. Low light performance was generally poor, and even worse in MP cameras (WDR in these were relatively non-existent). Today, the enhancements in quality are evident.
Smart CODECs dynamically adapt compression and I frame interval to scene conditions, which ultimately reduces bandwidth requirements and offsets the need to move to H.265. Within recent years, we have seen a rise in this technology. Moving forward, broad support of Smart CODECs will eventually drive down storage costs and remote network challenges.
For more than a decade, IP was the only practical way to deliver MP/HD, however the introduction of HD Analog has successfully killed off SD analog. HD analog uses coaxial cable for transmissions and has dominated sales for homes and small businesses. Some argue that it is just a temporary fix, while others say it will expand features and options to become a mainstay.
Cybersecurity has only recently become a major topic in video surveillance, however, many still brush it off. Though recent events have spurred concerns (ex. Sony hacking, Hikvision hacks, Axis’ major exploit), most users perceive a low risk of cybersecurity. As our systems become more connected, we can only hope that cybersecurity is better addressed and taken seriously among manufacturers and consumers alike.
Chinese manufacturers have grown as contenders, with their earlier deployments showing poor quality and performance. However, over time, their products have improved and yet still maintain relatively low pricing. These manufacturers were originally OEM suppliers to Western brands, but recent years have shown their branded sales increase in the West.
Drive Down Costs
It seems manufacturers are in a current race to offer the lowest prices (whether to gain share or stay afloat) and consumers seem to be driving this shift. With numerous DIY and simple home solutions, we will see where the video surveillance industry is headed next.
To shop our selection of security camera equipment and packages, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. For questions about our products and installation services, or to schedule a free* site survey, please call 1-888-203-6294.
More and more people are turning to security systems to protect their homes. This is a smart decision, as security cameras will help you feel at ease whether you are in your home or on vacation. Unfortunately, when shopping for a security system, you may find that there are companies that seem genuine, but do not have the customer’s best interest at heart.
If you are thinking of investing in a home security system, here are some helpful tips to make sure you get the best deal on what you are looking for.
Consider your budget and what features are absolutely necessary and which you could live without. Credible businesses will work with you to build a home security system to suit your wants, needs and budget. You can ask for input or recommendations from friends, family, or even your home or renters insurance carrier.
Contact at least three companies before making a decision. This way you can compare prices and service, and ask important questions (ex. proper licensing, background checks for employees). This will also give you time to check reviews or do additional research before committing to a company.
If you have a budget, see what companies can offer for that price. Or you can compare prices from different businesses on a similar system. When getting quotes and prices, be sure ask about any other fees that may apply, for example, monthly monitoring fees or installation charges. It is also wise to consult with your insurance agent since home security systems may qualify you for a discount on homeowner’s premiums.
As with any contract, be sure that you fully understand it before signing. Know how long it will last, what it covers, terminations fees, etc. If your system is going to be monitored, those contracts typically last 2-5 years. Before you sign on to a long term contract, be sure to ask the major, important questions. For example, what happens if you are dissatisfied with the services provided? Is it possible to cancel the contract? As the consumer, what are your rights if the company is acquired by another company?
When shopping around, keep an eye out for these red flags:
Often times, trustworthy companies will give you time to think through the deal and make your decision. But if a seller is trying to pressure you into going with their company, don’t give in until you have done the proper research.
While some companies offer competitive prices, others may offer unbelievable deals that seem too good to be true. Most of the time, they are. In this case, “you get what you pay for” rings true. Whether it is defective equipment or a poor installation job, this is something to keep in mind when making your final decision.
If you cannot get a positive identification for your salesperson or the company, you may want to question using their services. Also, beware of sellers with no ties to their community. This could mean they might pull a disappearing act after mediocre services have been rendered and payments have been made.
It is always wise to check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints or reviews about the company. If there have been complaints, you can see how the company handled the situation, giving you a better idea of the customer service you can expect.
Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse great deals on our quality stock of security cameras, CCTV surveillance packages, and more. Call 1-888-203-6294 to learn more about our equipment and services.
It’s true – surveillance footage can provide beneficial evidence when trying to prosecute and charge criminals. However, a better way to utilize security camera resources is to actively monitor the live feeds, which, in turn, can lead to improved response times and increased safety.
That is precisely what a new security operations control center (SOCC) in Washington is aiming to do. Opened in November of last year, the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) is using this new center to solve and prevent crime within the public transportation system.
Within the SOCC, surveillance footage is displayed from a large projector onto the front wall. Suspects’ photos are displayed on flat-screen televisions around the room and there is a police bubble that overlooks the floor. In the police bubble are dispatchers and call takers who log emergency complaints and text tips and relay the information to officers in the system.
The same operations were previously offered, however, not housed in the same room. Now that all teams are gathered together into one area, communications are faster and more efficient than before. And with a price tag of $3.6 million, this fruitful investment is proving its worth.
With a comprehensive security camera system, authorities are able to effectively monitor all areas public areas. When crimes occur, witness statements can be corroborated with surveillance video, providing a solid case against criminals.
For our great selection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance, security systems, and more, visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com. Call 1-888-203-6294 for more information or to inquire about our installation services.
Security cameras can be very helpful in protecting your home and capturing important footage. However, most of the footage captured is uneventful and mundane, wasting precious storage space, energy and time. With the new Camio app, problems like this can easily be solved.
The Camio app, created by ex-Google employee Carter Maslan, works with images captured from a smartphone camera and uses special algorithms. These specialized algorithms help to detect humans and identify ordinary events from extraordinary events. For example, the changing of lighting would be deemed ordinary, versus a window breaking, which would be extraordinary. From there, Camio dictates which footage gets stored in the cloud or discarded. What is stored can then be searched with common keywords.
By utilizing selective storage, reviewing footage becomes much easier, as you need not sift through useless footage. Instead, you have a record of “extraordinary” events. Since less data is being uploaded for storage, the Camio app consumes a considerably smaller amount of bandwidth. Also, surveillance recordings are protected with encryption as well as a password for accessing stored videos.
Most customers employ the Camio app for monitoring pets, nannies, or even babies and kids. However, Maslan believes small to medium-sized businesses could benefit from this service, thanks to its ease of use and substantial affordability.
For full security camera systems, equipment, installation, repairs, and other services, please visit us online or give us a call 1-888-203-6294. Your safety and security is important to us.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and as many of us know, texting and driving is extremely dangerous and against the law. Still, if you look around at other drivers, it’s likely you’ll find at least one person fumbling with their phone. Tickets have been issued, preventable accidents have occurred, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.
It is well known that security cameras and surveillance systems can help to keep your property safe, whether it is your business, home, or even public areas. But it seems surveillance is now being used to keep drivers and the roads safe, too.
We’ve all heard of car insurance companies offering “good driver” discounts. Definitions vary from company to company, but generally mean that your driving record stays relatively clean with no accidents. Now, thanks to advanced technology, car insurance companies are taking it a step further by employing voluntary driver-monitoring programs, also known as telematics or usage-based insurance surveillance. For example, Progressive is rolling out their Snapshot Program.
With this Snapshot program, customers voluntarily install a small box onto their steering wheel that collects data, which is then sent back to the company. This device tracks things like how many miles you drive, how often you drive during different times of the day, your braking patterns, and so on.
With their Snapshot telematics, they will analyze your driving habits and your rates will be determined as they see fit. But it seems this program isn’t only targeted toward “good drivers”. Those they deem “good drivers” will still be offered a discount, however, those who they deem as “bad” or aggressive drivers will be issued a surcharge, which is estimated to be no more than 10% of their current rate. Will this monetary punishment encourage drivers to be more cautious?
For security cameras, CCTV camera systems, and equipment, visit us online at www.SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294. We’re always happy to help.