More and more surveillance camera systems are taking advantage of video analytics, which help to provide a better understanding of the areas being monitored. Whether they are added to your system via additional software or they are built-in to your security cameras, video analytics have advanced over time and deliver more practical and reliable performance.
Not only do video analytics improve overall security, but they can also provide valuable data for business intelligence. Here are some common and helpful video analytics functions and how they can benefit business.
When it comes to casinos, for example, facial recognition can be used to detect cheaters. On the other hand, it can also be used to detect high rollers for VIP attention, or to detect high profile shoppers in a retail setting.
For example, retail stores can use heat mapping to better understand the flow of traffic. Knowing which way customers tend to travel when they enter the store (straight, left, right) can help business owners create a better floor plan. They can identify merchandising areas for optimal product placement which can then lead to increased sales. In addition, the data collected allows management to determine the high volume shopping days and times for more effective staffing and product placements.
For a grand selection of affordable, top quality security cameras and surveillance systems, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com. If you have any questions, would like to request a free quote, or want to schedule a site survey, please call us at 888-203-6294 and will be happy to help.
Choosing the right video surveillance system can be tough. With various technologies to consider, as well as your own personal requirements, there’s a lot to consider. For your convenience, here are some common terms and technologies to help you choose the right video surveillance system for you.
Because of our smart, HD televisions, we are all likely familiar with resolution as well as the units used to measure it (pixels). From its beginnings at 720 pixels to 1080p, we are now up to 4K and 5K resolution, with further advancements on the horizon.
The goal for resolution is to produce the clearest image for usability. This is defined by detection, recognition and identification and generally requires 80p around the face. Previously, pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) technology was employed to get a usable image. Now that camera resolution has greatly improved, less features and cameras are necessary to create high quality video surveillance.
Another term you are likely familiar with is frame rate. The minimum requirement for the HDTV standard is 30 frames per second (fps). A higher frame rate is ideal, as it will produce a smooth, clearer video, however, it may not be practical. A higher frame rate also requires more bandwidth and storage space as these tend to be larger files. In this case, you should evaluate and prioritize your needs to determine the frame rate for you.
Networks & Storage
Security cameras are a small percentage of the overall cost of a surveillance system (the cost for cables and storage quickly accumulates). With that in mind, you should figure out what you intend to do with the footage so you can make the best decision for networks and storage. For example, ask yourself if you would like to store the footage for later review, actively monitor your feed, or would you like to do both.
Once you determine your goals and how long you need to retain footage (if at all), you can figure out how much space is necessary before your data gets overwritten. Depending on your system and needs, you may be able to refine these details per camera/location as necessary.
Since higher frame rates lead to larger files and more required storage, video compression technology works to counter that. As it advances, it promises to reduce bandwidth and storage to provide more affordable and convenient options for consumers. Currently, H.264 and H.265 are the standard, depending on the cameras you choose.
As you may know, extreme light levels can interfere with a security camera’s ability to capture useful images. However, low light technologies have improved and can produce images in little to no light environments. For example, ‘lightfinder’ technology enables cameras to produce color video down to below one lux (one lux is a dark room, zero lux is an absence of light).
There’s also wide dynamic range, which allows cameras to capture usable images in varying lighting conditions. This feature adjusts and filters light to prevent washed out images, and is useful for hallways and doorways that can open into bright lights.
While most systems come equipped with software (which should be updated and patched regularly and as necessary), you can find and install software applications that deliver specialized features and functions that you desire. Just remember that the higher the cost of the system means more features, which can translate into more training required to learn how to use it.
If you have any questions about security cameras or need help choosing surveillance systems and equipment, please feel free to contact us at 888-203-6294. You may also browse our stock online at SecurityCamExpert.com or connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
It may be hard to believe, but the video camera has been around for more than 100 years (Fun fact: Thomas Edison helped develop it). A while after its inception, a handheld version was created, making cameras small enough to be out of sight. This technological advancement then spurred the beginning of video surveillance.
Before there were internet-connected cameras, there was Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). For a long time, CCTV was the security camera. CCTV security cameras were installed and directly connected to monitors. Then, you could either pay someone to monitor your camera feed or review recordings after the fact. Neither of these options was ideal – the former was costly, while the latter was not helpful in preventing incidents.
Luckily, improvements in technology have made it easier and more affordable to employ surveillance systems. We can now access live feeds from our security cameras remotely, which would not be possible without the advent of wireless security cameras and IP cameras. Here are some of the more prominent milestones of security cameras.
Streaming vs. Recording Cameras
As mentioned, most wireless security cameras these days are streaming live footage rather than using CCTV. It was about 20 years ago when IP cameras entered the market and changed the security industry. At this time, the video quality and technology were not yet up to par, but over time that changed. Continuing advancements brought forth IP cameras with high quality video along with the ability to stream online and control cameras remotely.
Video Content Analytics were first introduced about 10 years ago. The integration with security cameras enables multiple functions:
One of the challenges with security cameras was poor footage with dark, unfocused recordings. Fortunately, laser focusing was introduced and provides better picture and recording in limited lighting environments. Security cameras that have laser focusing deliver improved zoom and picture quality as this feature enables nearly immediate focusing via laser. Infrared technology also improves visibility in dark conditions (much like night-vision goggles).
For a great selection of quality security cameras and surveillance systems, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
We have seen smart technology take over many aspects of our lives. From smart phones to smart watches, smart technology continues to improve our day to day living and is spreading to our homes. A smart home incorporates smart technology into your house for added convenience and security among other benefits. Find out how you can start turning your house into a smart home this year.
This is the most common way that people ease into smart home technology. Smart lighting allows you to set a timer for your lights and control them through an app or possibly link them to your own voice assistant. But smart lighting is more than just convenience. Adjusting lighting when you are away from home helps to deter burglars by making it appear as if someone is home.
Security cameras also act as a deterrent, ensuring that your property is monitored and informing potential trespassers that they are being watched and recorded. Should they proceed anyway, you are equipped with video evidence of the burglary.
Smart surveillance cameras, often equipped with high definition technology, can be installed anywhere in or around your home. When motion is detected, these security cameras can automatically begin recording and send you an alert via smart phone or device when this happens. Some smart cameras even employ facial recognition to inform you when certain people have arrived home or an unknown visitor is present.
You also want to protect your home from damage, which is why smart leak detectors are growing in popularity. These alert you when water is detected where it shouldn’t be, preventing costly water damage and enabling you to address broken appliances or burst pipes immediately. Considering the cost of damages that you may be preventing, investing in these leak detectors is a smart choice.
While not necessary, smart fridges offer a range of innovative and convenient features:
Much like a smart camera, a smart doorbell allows you to see who is at your door via your smart phone, with additional security features:
For a wide array of security cameras and CCTV surveillance equipment, please visit us at SecurityCamExpert.com! To learn more about our installation services, or request a free quote, please call 888-203-6294.
The holidays are here and heightened home security may be on your mind. The potential for theft or vandalism is always present, regardless of your “safe” neighborhood. Protect your loved ones and your property with a security camera system tailored to your needs.
Before you start shopping around, it’s best to evaluate your security needs. Will you be using your security cameras indoors, outdoors, or both? Do you need a specific area covered, such as the front door, or would you prefer complete coverage of your property?
You also want to consider how you will use your cameras. IP security cameras enable remote access as the feed is broadcast over the Internet, and are a great option if you need to access your feed throughout the day while you’re away. You may also allow other people to view the feed (ex. roommates, family).
Once you have a good understanding of what you want and need, the next step is finding the security solution that fits. One thing that is a must for all security camera systems is quality night vision. You should be sure that video recordings are high quality enough that you can identify faces or license plates during the day or night.
Battery-powered security cameras can operate as standalone units, making them an ideal choice for those who do not need multiple cameras. Because they can be single-camera systems, they are usually more cost-effective than other surveillance options. They are also easy to install as they do not require running any wires or any physical modification to the location in which they are installed (with the exception of some models that require mounting screws to a base). This allows for convenience and flexibility, making it easy to relocate these cameras with minimal trouble.
These cameras are a smart option for apartments or rental properties, and most of these cameras provide special features such as motion detection alerts, automatic recording or motion, audio recording, or even two-way audio communication.
You should keep in mind that these security cameras will require a change of batteries from time to time. Also, these are often Wi-Fi IP cameras and require a stable internet connection for proper transmission and functioning. Without a stable network connection, video quality and access of your feed remotely via app may be compromised. In addition, you may need to factor a cloud storage fee in to your budget, depending on the camera you choose.
Hybrid security cameras are Wi-Fi cameras that operate via AC power cable, therefore, do not need to have batteries changed, and can be placed anywhere with a rare need to be accessed again.
Because they require AC power, they need to be placed relatively close to an outlet. And if you are looking to install a multi-camera system, this needs to be considered as you should have one available plug per camera and enough cable to reach the unit.
Much like the battery-powered units, these IP cameras transmit the video feed over the Wi-Fi network so they require a strong connection. The difference, however, is that some hybrid models use a local hard drive to store footage, allowing you to bypass cloud storage and fees.
In addition, these cameras may offer motion detection push notifications and recording, as well as audio recording and real-time two-way communication.
Wired Surveillance Cameras
Hard-wired cameras offer the greatest stability since both their power and video feed are transmitted via wires instead of battery or Wi-Fi. Because of this, these surveillance cameras are ideal for areas with high signal interference or unstable connectivity.
Some models provide Power over Ethernet (PoE), which means power and video are both transmitted through the same, single wire. This is helpful for those looking to install multi-camera systems for the entire home as it cuts down on numerous long distance cable runs. But in comparison to the battery-powered and hybrid solutions, these cameras require a more involved installation process thanks to the cables and wiring.
On the upside, wire transmission enables the file size and quality to be significantly higher (up to 4K). Because these are typically multi-camera surveillance systems, they are best suited for outdoor application or whole home or business solutions.
As far as storage, these systems require hard drives to compile and store the footage from various feeds. Storage requirements will depend on your individual needs. You must consider file size as well as how long you want to store your footage before it is overwritten.
If you need help determining how much storage you will need, or simply need help choosing the right surveillance system for you, please contact us 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com. You may browse our selection of top quality security cameras and surveillance equipment, or inquire about our installation services, site surveys, or request a free quote! You may also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
You may think you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep your home safe, but you may be unaware that you are making some simple mistakes. Here are some common missteps that may be putting your home at risk.
For an affordable, quality home security system, visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294! We are happy to provide you with a free quote, schedule a site survey, or assist you with any questions you may have.
When you purchase a wired security camera system, it will likely come with a DVR box, security cameras, and sometimes the necessary cables. However, the monitor, mouse, and keyboard (all of which are required for a wired security system) will need to be purchased separately.
Unless you have these items sitting around your home, it’s important to factor the cost of these additional items when you are shopping for a system. The only way you may be able to get around this is if you were to connect your cameras to a NAS that is already managed from your computer.
Your security cameras need to be directly connected to the DVR box, therefore, you will need to be creative with how and where you will run cables across your home. Where you mount your cameras and the location of your DVR box will determine the cable routes. If you are doing this yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Before beginning, make a plan and know the exact layout of your house. Also, find out if anything is in between your walls such as insulation or fire blocks that could potentially hinder cable runs. Map out your cable route before beginning the process, and invest in the proper tools to help you accomplish this task.
The Dirty Work
Again, if you will be installing your wired security camera yourself, be prepared to get your hands dirty. If you’re lucky, you may be able to simply run cables down through the floor, across the basement, and up through the floor on the other side of the house. However, you may be required to crawl through attics and crawlspaces. With that said, wear the appropriate attire and invest in good knee pads to protect yourself.
The benefit of having a wired security camera system is that you don’t need to connect it to the internet for it to work. The downside is that you cannot access it remotely when you’re away from home. While keeping your cameras off of the internet can be a safer bet, if you want to view your feeds remotely, you may want to consider connecting your cameras to your network.
If you need help choosing a wired security camera system and installing it, feel free to call 888-203-6294 or visit SecurityCamExpert.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
It’s likely that you have heard about the cloud and may already use its services in various aspects of your life. But did you know it can improve your surveillance system and storage?
Cloud storage allows you to save your video footage remotely and access it online. You may use cloud storage in lieu of, or in addition to, saving your files locally, whether on an NVR or computer hard drive.
By utilizing cloud storage, you gain access to numerous benefits. Here are some of the biggest and best benefits of cloud storage.
You get more storage space by using the cloud. This means prolonged retention of videos which can be helpful for evidence purposes. If you use cloud storage in addition to your NVR or computer hard drive, you allot yourself even more potential storage space.
There are NVRs that are specifically designed to work with cloud storage, which contain a small hard drive that stores videos locally before uploading them to the cloud. Just remember that the uploading process can slow down your network. If possible, NVRs with a cloud service that allows you to upload videos on a schedule is ideal. This will enable you to schedule uploading during off-peak hours, such as nights, early mornings, or weekends, to offset the impact on your network.
Added bonus – since your data files are not stored locally, in the event that your equipment is damaged or stolen, your video footage remains safe.
Because your cloud storage solution is managed offsite, you won’t have to rely on on-site technicians and appointments to resolve issues. Troubleshooting and maintenance may be performed as needed, minimizing any downtime and allowing for better customer service and support overall.
You may check in on your surveillance system from anywhere, anytime. While other systems may allow remote access, you may have to deal with speed and buffering issues. With cloud video surveillance, built-in buffers and systems keep video playback and streaming quick and clear.
Cloud solutions allow for regular updates as needed – you don’t have to do a thing! This ensures that your system safe from potential vulnerabilities and operating at its best.
Scalability & Convenience
As your on-premise equipment requirement is greatly diminished, upgrading and scaling your system is made easier. You can forgo the extensive installation process and expand your system as necessary as your business grows. Also, because most of the equipment is off-site, you can save precious office space.
By now you should know that cloud solutions are great at self-monitoring and resolving issues with minimal user intervention. With that said, these systems are constantly monitored for stability and have redundant systems that ensure security cameras are always active and recording. And in the case of natural disasters, which may destroy your on-site equipment, your data will be fine.
Save money by choosing cloud solutions, which usually offer a low monthly fee for their services. In the long run, this is much more cost-effective than purchasing on-premise equipment, which requires installation and routine maintenance at additional costs.
For a great selection of CCTV security cameras, systems, and surveillance equipment, please visit SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 today!
In case you hadn’t heard, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act was recently signed into law. The whole process began in May of this year, when the US house passed the bill, and then on August 1st the Senate passed the bill. Several days later, the President made it official by signing it into law on August 13, 2018. The 2019 NDAA has a particular impact on the security industry as it bans both the purchase and use of Dahua and Hikvision and their OEMs in the US government and US government-funded contracts.
Although the Dahua and Hikvision ban will begin on August 13, 2019, the effects of this act are already being felt by Dahua and Hikvision. Stocks for both companies have dropped noticeably since the passing of the NDAA and we can expect further decline. Despite the delayed enforcement, there is no sense in purchasing and using equipment now that will soon be phased out.
Extending the ban to OEMs will eventually trickle down and impact wholesale distributors. Buyers will be concerned with potential security risks, possible issues with prospective integration with public or government systems, and future legislation at the state or local level. In addition, this will impact consumers outside of the US, as negative media coverage may make them feel wary of the security and dependability of Dahua and Hikvision products.
Visit SecurityCamExpert.com to browse our extensive selection of quality security cameras, CCTV surveillance packages and security equipment for your home or business. If you have any questions or would like a free quote, please feel free to contact us 888-203-6294.
After you purchase and install a home security camera system, it is important to maintain it in order to preserve its quality and performance. From the surveillance cameras to the cables to video storage, all parts must be working properly to ensure optimal surveillance and security. Here are some helpful maintenance and troubleshooting tips for your surveillance system.
Check your hard drive regularly by simply playing back recent video. To make sure your cameras are properly recording, check the field of view and filter through different dates and times. Make sure you are getting the proper recording duration. A surefire sign that something is wrong is if the duration of footage stored has significantly decreased. For example, you used to get weeks or months of footage, but now it seems you are only getting a few days worth.
Cooling fans assist in preventing your DVR from overheating. Unfortunately, when they suck in the cool air, dust begins to build up as well. The accumulation of dust can damage the fan, resulting in overheating. Cleaning your cooling fan regularly can prevent this and is relatively easy. Computer dust sprays are available at many computer stores and you simply aim at the vent areas and spray.
The IR (Infrared) lights on your security cameras tend to attract spiders and bugs. Because of this, spiders tend to build their webs around the cameras in order to catch the bugs attracted to the light. Consequently, these spider webs interfere with your videos. Check your playback or live feed to see which cameras are affected. If you cannot kick the problem, it may be better to use cameras without IR and install a separate light source to illuminate the area.
Every so often, you should use a soft cloth or wipe to remove any dust or debris and clean the camera lens. A dust mop with a long handle can help you reach higher mounted cameras that are typically out of reach.
Camera sensors and other parts can wear out over time and will eventually need to be replaced. In addition, camera connections may need maintenance as environmental factors such as heat, cold, and moisture can affect them. If you see any signs of connections issues, such as lines in the image, flickering or other image issues, you should address these immediately to prevent further damage or total image loss.
Issue: Security cameras are out but the DVR is working.
Issue: DVR or NVR is not reachable by Internet (no phone or computer access).
Issue: DVR is not playing back video.
If you need help choosing the right security cameras for your property as well as installation services, feel free to contact us! You may browse our selection online at SecurityCamExpert.com or call 888-203-6294 to schedule a site survey or get a free quote. You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.