Posts Tagged ‘Surveillance’

Video Surveillance System Devices

Video Cassette Recording (VCR)

Today, security camera system may consist of many different products and technologies. Many suppliers build pieces of the system, whether it is part of a hybrid analog/digital implementation or an end-to-end networked IP solution. The following sections explain the evolution of the CCTV system, starting with a fully analog system and adding components until it achieves networked capability.

A traditional analog surveillance system consists of analog cameras, time-lapse VCRs and monitors. A coaxial cable runs from each camera to a multiplexing device, which allows multiple cameras recording to one VCR, with a monitor for viewing. The time-lapse VCR allows the operator to adjust when the VCR records so the standard two-hour VHS tapes can he used for much longer. The trade-off results in lower-quality images in return for less frequent tape changes or image overwriting.

Analog CCTV recording systems have been the basis surveillance and monitoring for the past twenty years .This technology is extremely old and outdated and is rapidly being replaced by digital recording technology which now represents over 80% of all new installations.

Digital Video Recording (DVR)

A DVR is a computer with a special video graphics card that connects it to an analog camera via 75-ohm coaxial cable. The card also converts the analog signal to a digital signal and compresses the resulting image so it can be stored on an internal hard drive, viewed or transported across a network. DVRs typically utilize a computer operating system such as Windows or Linux along with video management System (VMS) software. DVRs are controlled and accessed via keyboards, mice and external monitors in order to setup, run surveillance software and replay stored video. DVRs usually have an internal Ethernet connection for LAN or WAN attachments.

Network-Attached Digital Video Recorder (NDVR)

A Network-attached Digital Video Recorder is part PC and part “Network Appliance” A NDVR is very similar to a DVR and is sometimes called a “Network Appliance” because it does not require-attached keyboard, mouse or video monitor. The device is plugged directly into an Ethernet switch and the only way to access the device is through the network. The device still has an operating system but it resides in firmware burned into a chip on the motherboard. Most of these NDVRs rely on Video Management Software (VMS) loaded on a network-attached client PC, however some have it ‘embedded’ in another motherboard chip, where it can be accessed from any PC through an Internet Browser. Most of these products have internal hard drives for local video file storage, but they can be inter-connected with Direct Attached Storage Arrays (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS) equipment or Storage Area Networks (SANs) through the LAN or WAN.

Network Video Recorders (NVR)

The ‘pure’ Network Video Recorder (NVR) is not a “turn-key box” or network appliance, but created with a combination of network devices. An NVR can be a standard network server with internal or attached storage capability along with recording software, video surveillance system or communication software and possibly even intelligent video analysis software. Digitization of the analog video is done by a separate ‘Video Encoder’ or ‘Video Server’ which is also attached to the Ethernet/IP network. Using an NVR configuration, true IP cameras can act as Video Servers and input images directly to the NVR and be managed directly by the NVR video software.

Video Encoders & Decoders

Encoders are used to take video signals in analog or digital form and make them suitable for transmission where bandwidth or storage capacity is an issue. Encoding applies to many video surveillance system applica­tions where digital recording devices are used or viewing across a network is desired. Analog signals must first be converted to a digital format, but then each source must be compressed into a smaller size file or video “stream.” There are several standards for encoding/decoding and compression; each has advantages and disadvantages. Typically the trade-offs are quality for reduced file size.

A decoder is a device that does the reverse of an encoder, undoing the encoding so that the original information can be retrieved. The same method used to encode is usually just reversed in order to decode. These are still relatively simple devices which can be a software program running on a PC, a DVD player or even a cell phone. They may also be hardware devices that take the digital video format and convert it back into an analog signal that can be displayed on a TV monitor. This allows the networked video to become switched across any output device. Usually the decoding and encoding functions reside in the same device and is commonly referred to as a “codec,” an acronym for code/decode.

Migration to a Digital Network Solution

Because there is significant financial investment in analog CCTV, many security managers opt for a phased transition to IP, blending both analog and digital security technologies wherever possible during the migration. Integrating existing analog equipment with products that provide the functionality of a digital system offers several benefits:

Remote accessibility

In the simple illustration below, the analog cameras are connected to an analog video switcher, an analog monitor, a VCR and a video server. This traditional setup provides sequential monitoring and recording of multiple analog cameras. By connecting a video server to convert the analog video into digital data, images can be sent over an Ethernet/IP network (through a router/switch) which provides Ethernet connections for networked IP cameras. With this configuration, authorized security personnel in local or remote locations can view video originating from both analog and digital, networked IPcameras.
In the transition from analog to digital surveillance systems, no system is too small or too tightly tied to analog technology not to benefit from some measure of digital technology.

In conclusion the migration of a Digital Network Solution to your existing Analogy System can be done and still have the capability to add the latest software and hardware.
Some of the latest in security surveillance system software is the Dual Sensor as listed below in more detail.

The latest camera systems would be a combanation of network camera and high end analogy cameras.

The author of this is the managing director of sse installations Sydney Australia. Please visit us at sse installations for more details.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm

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Emerging Trend: Large Lcd Monitors For Surveillance And Security

Increasingly video-based surveillance and security systems are being widely adopted by both corporations and consumers primarily due to increasing need for surveillance in these turbulent times but also due to affordability of security systems, ease with which surveillance systems can be installed and value-add features such remote monitoring that address special surveillance needs. As a result video-based surveillance systems are increasingly appearing in public areas such as airport lounges, shopping centres, retail stores, colleges, universities, manufacturing facilities and corporate offices. These video surveillance systems can be CCTV or IP based. Consider the benefits that a video surveillance system provides and the broad adoption by the market is quite understandable. A surveillance and security system:

Helps deter employee theft and shoplifting theft, Helps monitor & document performance in manufacturing or other facilities resulting in potential reduction in maintenance cost and/or employee productivity improvement, May help reduce insurance cost and fraudulent liability claims, and Can continuously document events so your entire business has greater protection.

Reasons for Large LCD Monitor Adoption: Within these surveillance systems packages, large LCDs monitors (>42”) are becoming the industry norm. The reasons being:

Size: Large screens allow for continuous and simultaneous monitoring of multiple camera video feeds on one screen with clarity. Smaller screens require that the images from the video feeds to rotate creating holes in the monitoring data. 24×7 Operations: Professional LCD monitors are meant for 24×7 “round the clock” operations with long life. CRT televisions or Plasma television each have their issues with round the clock operations such as static or flicker for CRT televisions. Also, the life of a CRT or Plasma TV is much shorter when operated in 24×7 operation mode as compared to an LCD monitor. CRT and Plasma televisions are built to be on for a few hours per day. Picture Quality: Most large LCDs are high definition. High definition LCDs provide better picture resolution, better contrast ratio, high brightness, high colour reproduction and fast response time resulting in better picture clarity which is especially helpful when the camera is being zoomed in or multiple images are viewed simultaneously. High Definition LCD TV allows you to view minute details like number plates of a speeding car, face of a person etc. Further, the non glare feature of LCDs allows for easy viewing in ambient light or where there is background light being reflected on the screen. It is harder to reduce glare in CRT or plasma televisions. Most new LCDs have 176° viewing angle, making it easy for viewing. Check the viewing specifications to make sure meets your quality requirements. Robustness: LCDs generate less heat than a CRT or Plasma television. The fan-less design for most large LCD monitors results in a closed box display with less noise. The fan-less design and the closed box display also results in less dust entering the system and provides for a more robust architecture. Space: LCD monitors are flat panel displays requiring less space than normal CRT TVs. They can be wall mounted. The LCD monitor can be encapsulated in a fire retardant frame to protect the display Better Video and Data Merger: Increasingly programs are being utilized to identify theft or issues in real time and data is being merged onto the video stream in real time. LCDs provide for better merging and viewing of data with video. Remote Monitoring and Operation of Large LCD Screens: Alarms can be set if an LCD screen is switched off. Power and other controls can be monitored remotely. For example, an energy saving feature can be activated so that when there is no signal, a power save mode is activated to reduce the brightness of the LCD backlight. Value-add Features: Value-add features such as touch screen zoom-in /zoom-out and image swap or other functions such as internet access can be easily found or added onto LCD monitors.

Purchase Consideration When Buying a Large LCD Monitor: Besides price there are a few items to consider when purchasing an LCD monitor.

Match LCD Monitor to Camera Capabilities: If you buy a monitor with lower resolution than the cameras installed then the camera capabilities will not come through. Ideally the monitor should be equal or better resolution than the camera. Also, if the cameras are black and white, then a black and white monitor can be used. Input /Output Connectors on the Monitor: With the increasing use of PC and digital video devices, it is important to have both analog VGA and digital DVI input terminals to the monitor. Also, be sure that the monitor has BNC connectors for direct connection from a video feed to the display. BNC connectors support video looping, which provides output (loops back) to a centralized recording facility (DVR) or to other displays in a daisy-chain pattern. When scrolling through different images, this allows for seamless integration between pictures . Picture Quality Features: Consider the resolution, contrast ratio, brightness, colour reproduction and response time to meet your surveillance need. Value-add Features: Consider the value-adds that address your need. Such as, do you need remote monitoring, touch screen capability, or internet access?

Make the knowledgeable decision and your surveillance system can address your needs for many years.

For more information on LCD monitors, check out Sharp’s official LCD monitor site!

Shaikh Mohammed Meraj is a technical writer who writes articles about LCD technology, LCD Monitors Review and help to find “what” to buy through aggregating expert reviews, user reviews, buyers’ guides, thoughts and questions and answers from a crowd of trusted people and sites.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 25, 2010 at 8:25 am

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How To Record Hidden Spy Camera Video Surveillance On Your PC

Normally when you buy a hidden camera there is a small board camera is built into an everyday item like a Air Freshener or CO2 Detector, Alarm Clock.

The spy camera can be wired which means it is connected to the DVR or VCR using a cable. The camera can also be wireless, in this case the camera transmits a signal to a receiver that is connected to the DVR or VCR. There are many hidden cameras that come in all kinds of devices.

But many people want to use their PC to view or record hidden camera video surveillance from their hidden cameras. There are two devices that you can use to view and record all hidden surveillance viewed by your spy camera. This article will describe these two devices.

1) The USB Video Adapter for PC also known as the DVD-Maker, allows you to watch and record live video and audio from any of your hidden surveillance spy cameras on your computer. In addition to this you can grab images plus have video conferencing capabilities all from the comfort of your favorite PC without having to even opening your PC!

DVD-Maker is an external device which connects your VCR, camcorder or video camera to your PC or Laptop. Plug the DVD-Maker into the USB port and you are ready to watch hidden camera video surveillance in a resizable window, right on your PC screen!

DVD-Maker digitizes video using high quality 4:2:2 video sampling. And you can work on applications while simultaneously watching video in a resizable window.

Watch, capture or record live video from your VCR, camcorder or video camera! DVD-Maker connects to any S-Video or composite video source and plugs into your PC or laptop USB port. DVD-Maker video digitizer turns your analog video into digital video, and then sends 30 digital images per second over the USB (1.1 or 2.0) bus.

Spice up your multimedia presentations! Create digital movies in the Microsoft AVI file format with the included video Capture application. The included software allows you to edit and author DVDs, VideoCDs and S-VCDs.

Add video clips to your Web Page: Creative Webmasters can incorporate still frame video highlights or motion video clips on their web sites!

Videoconference* over the Internet: DVD-Maker is a video digitizer and can be used with Internet videoconferencing applications such as Microsofts NetMeeting, CU-SeeMe and more! Videoconference* with your friends an family around the world right from your desktop!

Desktop Publishing: With our exclusive WinTV SnapShot application, you can quickly save video images! Capture 24-bit still video still images in TIFF, JPEG, BMP in color or black/white. Also great for web design.

With the Win USB Video Adapter Installation is a snap! The easiest way to get TV into your PC or laptop! WinTV-USB is an external device with a 125 channel cable-ready TV tuner.

2) Install the WinTV-USB in your PC or laptops USB port and you are ready to watch TV of hidden camera surveillance video in a resizable window, right on your PC screen!

WinTV-USB offers features usually only seen on high-end television sets, like previewing 16 channels at once. And it goes further! Record your TV shows to your PC or laptops disk using MPEG encoding with our SoftPVR. Record video movies from your camcorder or off the air. And with WinTV-SnapShot, snap and print video images from whatever you are watching in high resolution up to 1600 times 1200 pixels!

Make MPEG digital hidden camera surveillance video recordings with our new SoftPVR. SoftPVR uses your PCs processor to digitally record videos to disk, from live TV or from an external video source. Schedule your TV recordings with WinTV Scheduler. Then use your PCs CD burner to create VideoCDs, with up to one hour of video.

Bring live hidden camera surveillance video into your PC or laptop from camcorder, VCR or video camera. With Hauppauges WinTV-Capture, you can record video movies in Microsofts AVI file format for use in web pages or to create your own high-impact multimedia presentations.

Videoconference* over the Internet: Your WinTV-USB is a high performance video digitizer, and can be used with Internet videoconferencing applications like Microsofts NetMeeting, Windows Messenger, CU-SeeMe and more! Videoconference with your friends and family right on your PC!

Spice up your multimedia presentations! With SoftPVR or our WinTV-Capture application, create digital movies in the Microsoft AVI file format or as MPEG movies.

Snap video still pictures: with Hauppauges SnapShot feature, you can capture still hidden camera surveillance video images in adjustable high resolution modes. WinTV-USB digitizes video using high quality 4:2:2 video sampling. And you can work on applications while simultaneously watching TV in a resizable window.

Now you know 2 of the best well known methods and devices to take advantage of recording spy videos on your PC. In a future article I will describe in detail a service that is easy to hook up for a low cost that will allow you to use any of your spy hidden cameras to watch covert surveillance video remotely, anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Glenn Freiboth is an author for Surveillance news and lives in Illinois.
Surveillance Equipment products can be found at

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 23, 2009 at 4:22 am

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