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Video Surveillance History

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
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.

HD Analog
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
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
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.

What are your predictions for the future of video surveillance? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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.

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 SecurityCamExpert.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

Secure Your IP Security Cameras

If you haven’t already, it might be time to upgrade from analog security cameras to an IP security camera system. IP security cameras are easier to use and connect to your home network. Your surveillance feed is more readily available and can be accessed remotely, and your storage space can easily be expanded or adjusted based on your individual needs.

While there are many benefits of upgrading, IP cameras can be more vulnerable to hackers. The good news is that these issues can be combated with smart security measures. Here are some things to consider to protect your IP surveillance feed.

Firmware Updates
Keep your firmware up-to-date. Manufacturers are always watching for any system or security vulnerabilities. When one is found, they work hard to address the issue and inform their customers of the necessary firmware update. Pay close attention to these notifications so that your system is secure. Checking your camera manufacturer’s website can also help, in case you don’t receive, or happen to overlook, any notifications.

Keep Cameras Local
Plain and simple – if you don’t want your feed to end up on the Internet, don’t connect your cameras to the Internet. Keep your cameras on a local network with non-routable IP addresses (ex. 192.168.0.5 or something similar). Though, even with this measure, your cameras could still be exposed by software that sets up port forwarding or uses UPNP to expose your cameras to the Internet. Be sure to visit your camera manufacturer’s website to learn how to set them up in local-only mode.

Passwords
Any password can be better than no password at all. Most cameras do not have password protection for video feeds set on default. After you install and set up your cameras, be sure add password protection to secure your feed. Create a username and strong password, and make sure you change it periodically to increase security.

Do your cameras come with default usernames and passwords? Change them immediately after setup and installation. This is the easiest way for hackers, or anyone, to gain access to your feed.

WPA2 Encryption
When it comes to wireless cameras, the only network you should connect it to is a WPA2-encrypted wireless network. Encryption adds protection and will keep hackers away.

Placement
Think about the placement of your cameras. Only place cameras in areas inside your home that you are comfortable with being monitored. No matter how secure your system is, there is a chance a new vulnerability has not been found yet and you could become the victim. Remember, when in doubt, leave the camera out.

Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest to share your own tips with your peers. Or visit us online to browse our outstanding collection of security cameras, CCTV surveillance equipment, and more. Have any questions? Feel free to contact us at 1-888-203-6294.

Tips On Purchasing Security Cameras

There are plenty of security camera options out there today, from formal, elaborate security camera systems to simple, more straightforward DIY options. The latter seems to be a more affordable approach for home owners or pet owners who want a better sense of security. However, before investing in a DIY system, it is wise to understand your needs and the differences between devices.

Webcam vs. Security cam

While webcams can offer some security features and a live video feed, usually accessible from your phone or device, they fall short if your focus is safety and security. Some products do provide customizable alerts for when something happens (ex. motion detection alerts), however, others do not. Therefore, unless your eyes are glued to your live feed, you won’t know if something is happening.

If you’re simply concerned about checking in on a pet while you’re away, webcams are likely better suited for you. The security features of webcams can be great as a supplement, but if you want to secure your home or property, it may be best to invest in professional security cameras.

Video Quality

If you’re considering live streaming or need quality recorded footage, HD may be the way to go. HD resolution can either be 720p or 1080p, however, your WiFi connection can dictate which is better for you. If you have less than stellar WiFi connection, the HD video can consume a hefty amount of bandwidth, resulting in significant lag times.

Alternatives to HD include VGA, standard definition, and 640×480 cameras, which are typically less expensive and require less bandwidth. Unfortunately, video quality isn’t as clear, but if you only need a general video or photo of the area you’re monitoring, they are a smart option.

Location

Most DIY options come with a simple base that can be placed on any level surface. Others also offer magnetic bases for mounting on refrigerators, file cabinets, or other magnetic surfaces.

Some options require power adapters, which means you’ll have to consider outlet locations or employ extension cords depending on where you place your camera. Most new options are battery powered, making it easier to move around from location to location. Some products even boast their abilities to be used indoors and outdoors as well.

Also, it is important to consider that these devices usually operate on WiFi, which means choosing a location with strong WiFi signal is key. An unstable WiFi connection may interfere with your camera’s performance.

Cloud vs. Local Storage

When it comes to storage, you can either choose to store your footage in the cloud, usually for an extra fee, or locally on a micro SD card. While you may pay a bit more for cloud storage, you will also benefit from added features which may include facial recognition or third party integration.

Do you have any insight to share with your peers? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or Pinterest.

For a comprehensive collection of various security cameras, CCTV camera packages, surveillance equipment, and more, visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com or give us a call 1-888-203-6294.

Public Surveillance and Security Cameras

Security cameras can put your worries at ease. You can actively monitor what’s going on at your home or property whether you’re there or not. You can even store your recordings for later review. Thanks to new innovations, some security cameras can use facial recognition and motion sensors to alert you when something suspicious is going on. If these security cameras can make you feel safe at home, why not extend this protection to the public arena?

It is met with some hesitation, but public video surveillance can be a great help when crimes occur, and even in prevention of crimes. Studies have shown that when people know that they are being watched, they tend to modify their behavior to what is acceptable. Because surveillance cameras can produce evidence, criminals will likely be deterred from acting on their impulses. In areas with high crime rates, installation of public surveillance cameras could possibly help crime rates drop.

If a crime has occurred, public security cameras could provide crucial evidence to verify witness accounts and identify the wanted suspects. Some law enforcement have even set up private security camera registries for their local areas. These registries are voluntary and can help keep your neighborhood safe. Your private security camera footage could assist authorities is capturing a potentially dangerous person.

While security cameras are not the answer in eliminating crime or stopping crimes all together, they can play a very vital and important role. The use of public surveillance or even a registry of private security cameras for law enforcement has already proven itself. Countless crimes have been solved, partly in thanks to surveillance footage helping to identify the suspect and providing evidence and important details of the crimes.

Is there a public surveillance system or a private security camera registry in your city? Do you find that these have succeeded in making your city a safer place? Share your thoughts on public surveillance with us! You’ll find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you have any questions or are looking for security cameras and installation, please call us at 1-888-203-6294. You can also visit us online at SecurityCamExpert.com, where you’ll find more information about our products, services, and us. We’re happy to help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

Valentine’s Day Fun Facts

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the stress may be setting in for the procrastinators out there. To lighten the mood, we’ve decided to share ten fun facts about the love-filled holiday.

1.    In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared Feb. 14 the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.

2.    In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”

3.    The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.

4.    The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.

5.    Each year, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day worldwide.

6.    In order of popularity, Valentine’s Day cards are given to teachers, children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.

7.    220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year.

8.    Richard Cadbury created the first Valentine’s Day candy box in the 1800s.

9.    About 8 billion candy hearts will be produced this year; that’s enough candy to stretch from Rome, Italy to Valentine, Arizona 20 times and back again.

10.    Over $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine’s Day in the U.S.

Bonus Fact: Were having a sale! Starting on Monday, February 9, 2015 until Valentine’s Day, when you spend $300 or more at SecurityCamExpert.com, you’ll receive a complimentary box of chocolates. Consider it our way of showing our adoration for you; a little Valentine’s Day gift from us to you.

This offer applies to both phone orders and online orders, however, you must mention the promotion when ordering. For online orders, please use the Order Comments box to note the promotion. This offer applies to website pricing only, and orders of at least $300 or more. This offer may not be combined with other offers; limit one per customer. Offer valid February 9-14, 2015.

Which facts were surprising to you? Do you have any facts to share? You can reach us on our social networks  – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. And be sure to act fast – our special offer ends on Valentine’s Day!

Security Camera Systems On Sale!

With the holidays around the corner, the prime time for thefts and burglaries is approaching. Now is a smart time to invest in your security and safety. You’re in luck – we’ve got a special new camera bundle for you this October.

We’re offering our SCE 4 channel camera system bundle with 4 1000TVL IR/night vision for the low price of $519.99! This amazing bundle includes 4 IR security cameras, DVR with a 250GB hard drive, and proper power supply and cabling. All the essentials for a security camera system offered together for one great price!

SCE 30J1000 1000TVL 720P IR Bullet Camera with Varifocal Lens

With this bundle, you get 4 of our 1000TVL 720P IR bullet cameras in black. These bullet security cameras pack a lot of great features into a sleek and petite design. With 1000TVL resolution, IR distance of up to 131ft, and a varifocal lens, these cameras will provide you with crisp footage day and night.

SCE HDMI2804 4CH HDMI DVR & SCE 250GB Hard Drive

Also included in our special bundle is our 4 channel HDMI DVR with a 250GB hard drive. These enable excellent recording and viewing of your surveillance footage. Our 4 channel DVR allows for different recording modes (Time Recording, Motion Alarm Recording, Manual Recording) and supports mobile viewing (Mobile Application Name: Streamview). With access to you security camera system from anywhere, you can rest at ease whenever you’re away.

SCE 120FT Premade Siamese Cable & SCE 5AMP Power with Split

Four sets of 120ft premade Siamese cable and a 5AMP power supply with split allows your new security camera system to span a larger area for more comprehensive monitoring.

Depending on scheduling and locations, we also offer installation services for our products. We happily provide you with everything you need to get your security camera system started.

For great security cameras and more, let SecurityCamExpert.com help you find what you need. Visit us online or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.

Security Cameras in Hospitals

Hospitals are often associated with recovery from illnesses. Patients are vulnerable because they are usually in a weakened state. It seems almost absurd that these facilities for healing would ever be targeted, but sadly they are. Every so often you may hear a story of an attempted kidnapping of newborns, stolen laptops containing sensitive information about patients or even shootings within the premises. The fact of the matter is these hospitals need comprehensive security to keep the patients as well as the workers safe.

There are many facets when discussing safety. Visitors must check in to prevent possible trespassers. This, of course, is to keep both staff and patients safe and protect the privacy of health information. We must also keep the patients safe from possible abuse from staff. In the same strain, the staff must be kept safe from aggressive patients who may attack.

Patients can benefit from security cameras because it is not fiscally feasible to have a 1:1 ratio for staff and patients. The security cameras act as an extra pair of eyes. Monitoring the feeds may help find a distressed patient before it’s too late. The cameras may also catch suspicious activity or unwelcome visitors who have somehow bypassed check-in.

The security cameras can improve productivity because employees are aware they are being monitored, and can aid in resolving disputes between coworkers. It can also save employees from false claims, providing clear video evidence of the occurrence.

While they have numerous benefits, security cameras can run the risk of over reliance. Workers may depend on the cameras rather than actively checking on the patients, making them susceptible to a negligence claim. Because the security cameras are obviously being implemented, they may be open to tampering or manipulation. As with any type of monitoring, privacy issues arise. So long as the cameras comply with legal standards, they can be utilized ethically and efficiently.

Placement of security cameras in the hospital setting can make or break the security system’s effectiveness. Security cameras should be installed both inside and outside of the building. Both public and restricted access entrances/exits should also be under supervision. Because of the possible dangers, stairwells and elevators should also be monitored.  Security cameras in the hallways will prove helpful as most traffic occurs there. Lastly, installing cameras in parking lots and loading areas will help catch any suspicious activity outside.

The benefits of security cameras in hospitals can outweigh the disadvantages if utilized properly. Feel free to browse our selection of security cameras at SecurityCamExpert or give us a call at 1-888-203-6294.

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