GV-SD220-S IP Speed Dome and Geovision AVP Software Functions

The GV-SD220-S by GeoVision is a 2 megapixel real time HD camera. This camera, while substantially higher on the price scale, provides the user with smooth PTZ control while featuring wide dynamic range which allows you to see in diverse lighting environments. In this post, I will go over some Advanced Video Process functions available in GeoVisions latest version 8.5.6, and how they integrate with this camera and other GV IP cameras.

You can see this camera in action by taking a look at this GeoVision demo :

Geovision GV-SD220-SAs you can see, the SD220-S is an incredibly powerful camera, providing megapixel resolution details up to a mile away by utilizing its 18X optical zoom which is pretty darn impressive for a security camera. You might be thinking “Why would I need such a powerful security camera for my house?” and and truthfully, this camera may be overkill for your application. It is much more at home in long range applications that require high resolution surveillance.

The GeoVision features, which previously required a license dongle, have now been built-in to 8.5.6, which is quite handy as it includes many useful functions. The included features are : Digital Object Tracking, Face Count, Panorama View, Video Defogging, Video Stabilization, Crowd Detection, Advanced Scene Change Detection, Unattended Object Detection and Missing Object Detection. While in the GeoVision 8.5.6 multicam veiw, you may find these new functions by selecting the “Configure” icon and hovering over “Advanced Video Analysis”.

Geovision GV-SD220-S

The SD220 coupled with the Digital Object Tracking Advanced Video Process function provides the user with an excellent monitoring application. For example, in high security areas, after configuring the Digital Object Tracking function, the GV-SD220-S camera is capable of tracking an object or person up until it is out of the cameras field of vision, and with proper configuration, will also zoom and focus the object. Take a look at 8.5.6 Digital Object Tracking with the GV-Fisheye.

Also worth noting, the Face Count Setting AVP function, will capture faces and log them to GV-Web Report. Keep in mind though, that the Face Count feature is not facial recognition unfortunately so GeoVision will not search and categorize faces for you. You will have to review them manually. Automatic facial recognition is a feature many customers are looking forward to and I’m hoping it’ll be common-place in the not-so-distant future.

Overall, both the SD220 and the built-in Advanced Video Process functions offer a great security solution for wide variety of applications. While GeoVision’s functions take some time to configure, they are powerful features and when implemented properly, they have the potential for creating effective surveillance solutions as you may already know. I would personally recommend this camera for those who value their security and want to utilize the latest features with the most current hardware, as this hardware / software pairing is most definitely “top of the line”.

Wireless CCTV…”Can You See Me Now?”

In this day of technology we are searching for the next best thing that will allow us to be more efficient, more prepared and less connected physically to the restraints of a wired world. Our businesses and homes have their wireless networks. We are able to get connected from the local coffee shop or when we are on vacation at the beach. It is so convenient to be connected via this wonderful wireless technology.

Wireless is a wonderful technology in our suburban homes and offices, but it is not the most efficient and cost effective solution for a surveillance solution…especially in rural America.

Before I get too deep into this subject please understand that your basic use of wireless CCTV cameras in your home or office, working on your wireless network does work and is used in many homes. The use of a wireless bridge to connect two buildings together works effectively as long as the equipment is deployed correctly to include proper distances, line-of-site transmission and reception, operating in a wireless frequency (2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz) that is not being interfered with by all the other wireless devices that may work and probably do work in the same frequency as your wireless CCTV solution works.

When planning your wireless CCTV solution there are so many considerations that must be made and a budget must also be prepared. There are limitations placed on this solution…not because it is CCTV, but because this solution must adhere to the technological limitations as your current network.

With that said…so many people want to deploy a wireless solution in a rural setting. This is going to be even more challenging than deploying in your home or office. You see, just because you get good reception on your cell phone out in the middle of your pasture does not automatically mean that a wireless CCTV solution will work as effectively or at all. I’ve had many people wanting to position a CCTV camera out in a field to monitor livestock or catch thieves making off with equipment. Unless they have a distance of less than 1.5 miles (some case up to 4 miles and more money) they are in for a surprise. These wireless bridges most of the time require line-of-site for the transceiver and receiver to be effective. When you deploy your system you probably don’t realize that the trees that are on the fence line will one day grow and obscure the line-of-site. The area you are covering is 20 feet lower than the receiver at the house. Therefore you need to raise the camera in order to get the line-of-site requirement handled. Power is also required to run the camera and the network equipment. There needs to be a self contained unit or small out building to hold the switch (remember the office network) to connect the cameras or video server.

So you say you are going to use a solar solution instead of running power to the site. That is great, but you need to service it because the birds are going to love it. And the batteries will need to be maintained. For those who think that they can install a wireless NIC card and gain access to the same wireless network your phone uses and have everything go to the cloud…again in a perfect world this would work. But reality says you still need to physically maintain the equipment. You are still going to have loss because of the wireless network. The life expectancy of this type of technology is limited and the updates you will be required to perform will be very cumbersome. Some people say they are going to use their trail camera with its wireless NIC card. I say…BUY BATTERIES because you will be changing them frequently.

For those of you who have barns or sheds that fall well within the distance limitations stated above and who have a power source…I say let’s do it. This is the perfect world I mentioned.

Being able to monitor your livestock or equipment is very important…I know because I live on a farm. But in order to effectively do so you will need to invest in a solution that takes the positioning of the cameras and elements into consideration. You will need the proper infrastructure in place and you must be willing to spend the money to make it work. Off-the-shelf wireless or the cloud is not the answer and neither is a trail cam.

Until the technology addresses the above more efficiently and effectively hard wiring the cameras is still going to be the most effective way to deploy a CCTV surveillance solution…be it in the city or out in a rural setting.

Security Camera System Tips : DVR FPS Settings

With the dip in the economy over the last decade, we’re all looking to get the most out of our money. It’s no secret, there’s no shame in it. Times are tougher, money is tighter, and it’s only natural that we want the most bang out of our buck. Investing in a security system is more affordable than you think and changing the frames per second setting on your security DVR is a quick tweak that can help maximize the effectiveness of your system. Before we get into the settings, we need to first understand what it does so we can adjust it with confidence.

A security video camera essentially takes a series of photographs and when those photographs are strung together into a single file, the illusion of motion is created. They best way I have found to wrap my head around it is like a movie reel you may have seen in the movie theater projectors. Each image, or frame, captures a singular moment of whatever the camera was recording. The more frames captured in a second, the more fluid the “video” will be when it is played back.

We’ve made a video demo that will give you a better idea of what video feeds look like at different fps settings and I highly suggest you watch it before you read the rest of the article.

The human eye perceives the environment around us at 30 fps. Every wave of the hand, speeding car, and person walking down the street is seen at this speed so anything less will appear to be jerky. Naturally, you’ll want to have all of your cameras record at this frame rate since it’s comfortable to view, it captures all the details, and it looks great on your DVR. Here’s the thing though, it eats up storage space on your hard drive like no other and shortens the amount of time able to be recorded.

Remember how I said that video is essentially a string of images stitched together? The higher resolution camera you use, the larger the image captured will be and it’ll take up more space on your hard drive so having that setting on every camera in your system is going to eat through that hard drive just like Kobayashi at a hot dog eating contest. It’s going to be ugly and you’re going to be upset, but don’t worry, I’m here to help.

Visually speaking, there’s not much difference between 15 and 30 fps. If you were to glance at a screen with a 15 and 30 fps video clip placed side by side, you’d barely be able to tell the difference. Don’t believe me? Go back and watch the video again, they’re the bottom two frames. When you break it down to file size, a 15 fps clip takes up half as much space as a 30 fps clip and will free up more room on that hard drive to store more video in your archive. In some circumstances you can even set your cameras to record at a lower frame rate if the areas monitored don’t have much foot traffic or the camera has a wide field of view.

This is just one of many tweaks that you can make to your system to squeeze out more functionality and we’ve got more on the way. Keep checking in for my next article in which we’ll discuss the proper application of motion detection.

If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or give us a shout at 800-997-8460. We’re more than happy to help however we can!

WDR Cameras : What is Wide Dynamic Range?

In order to fully understand wide dynamic range (WDR) cameras, let’s first define dynamic range. Dynamic range is the difference between the camera sensors maximum and minimum allowed light intensities or, more simply stated, the dark and light portions of the captured image. So a camera with Wide Dynamic Range has a sensor with a higher contrast ratio and allows it the ability to accurately capture clearer images in a wide array of lighting environments.

For instance, WDR stabilizes the contrast of light and shadow and enables the camera to deliver a crisp and usable image in more difficult lighting conditions such as extremely bright, dark, or backlit areas.

WDR CCTV Camera Video Feed

It is important to have a good amount of light and the correct exposure if you are to capture clear images with a video surveillance camera. This is important because without it, the images will likely be unusable. Unusable images essentially render your surveillance cameras as useless. This is where WDR camera come in to play.

Unfortunately, not all environments are able to be perfectly lit. Many locations require that cameras be placed in areas with challenging lighting conditions. This could range from a hallway with strong back lighting to a storefront with multiple windows. A camera with wide dynamic range will address these less-than-optimal lighting conditions and help you to find the crisp images that you need to keep your place safe.

Smartphone Surveillance : The Future is Now

iphone security app

MPRMS Security App

We all know that smartphones have become the dominant cell phone over the past few years and with how common CCTV Camera systems have become, it makes sense that the demand for viewing your home or business on your phone would increase as well. It’s the natural progression of the technology and it fits in the palm of your hand. The remote viewing feature is one that gives executives, business owners, and parents peace of mind that allows them to focus on the work in front of them rather than worrying about their employees or what the nanny is doing at their home.

Setting up an app is not always as straight forward as you might expect and all CCTV apps require three things: password, IP address, and port numbers. You do want to confirm with your CCTV supplier what apps are compatible with your DVR as some manufacturers don’t play nicely with their competitors’ apps. However, please do not be intimidated by the ease of use these applications provide. Many new and exciting features hit the market everyday in the way of smartphone viewing, and this promising growth is sure to please home and business users alike.

Some popular smartphone surveillance apps:

Retail Security Systems : Minimizing Theft & Maximizing Productivity One Camera at a Time

January 31, 2013 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: CCTV Articles, CCTV Camera, Security Camera System 

I often get calls from retail customers telling me how much of their product goes unaccounted for on a monthly basis and that they need something to help figure out where it’s all going! When it comes to loss prevention, CCTV surveillance systems stand out at the top of the list for maximum return on investment. Installing a security system helps retailers monitor & investigate on shift employees, fake trip & fall scams by their customers, proper cash & inventory management, minimizing inventory shrinkage, and so forth.

We all want to believe that our employees are trustworthy and looking out for the good of the company, but it’s not always the case. One of the major and most frequent causes of inventory shrinkage is internal theft. I had a customer not more than 6 months ago that could not figure out how his inventory counts kept coming out about $10,000 short of the expected value. When his security system was up and running, he caught two of his employees backing a truck up to a remote exit and putting duffel bags full of his product into the truck bed. He fired the employees the next day and his inventory count was right on the money that following quarter.

  • US Retailers lose roughly $35 million worth of goods on a daily basis which totals up to $13 billion a year
  • There are about 27 million shoplifters in the US, which is 1 out of every 11 person, and in past 5 years, only 10 million were caught by security
  • According to Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, retail businesses will lose approximately 6% of their revenue from employee theft

Many studies have definitively shown that retailers recover their CCTV surveillance system investment, $3000 on average, in the first 6 months by avoiding fake lawsuits, reducing shrinkage, and catching shoplifters before they leave the store. This is mainly because retailers can easily and remotely monitor the areas that their employees can’t always keep their eyes on and react before their product is out the door.

CCTV Surveillance systems can also help retailers make better decisions based on historical data gathered by their system. If your analytic software shows that your store sees 25% more customers on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, you’ll know that you probably need another person on the floor helping customers and ushering them towards your high margin products to maximize your sales on those days.

So, how can you reduce this type of theft? Many leading security experts highly recommend by selecting right type of CCTV Surveillance system can drastically reduce theft and keep your employees working at their highest potential.

CCTV Camera Product Review : AP-IT90-70 Outdoor IR 700 TVL Bullet Security Camera

Since I started working in the security industry, I have come across a lot of top performing security cctv cameras and security products. As we all know, the CCTV industry is moving toward IP cameras due to their increased versatility and megapixel resolution. However, there are still some aspects of the analog world that are beneficial and cost effective. Infrared Bullet Security Camera

The IT90 series in my opinion is one of the best constructed bullet cameras I have sold in my five years of experience. It has a very intimidating bullet body structure with a durable solid, silver metal weatherproof housing that protects it from both vandals and the elements. The versatile camera mount makes installation to walls and poles a breeze, but it is not about how special the outside of this camera is because the internal specs are just as amazing.

Here are some other reasons why should try one of the IT90’s on your CCTV system:

  • Sony Effio Technology : Image processing is one of the most important aspects of CCTV cameras. The IT90 series features a 1/3″ Sony Effio CCD chip which lets its users experience high definition video quality on par with many entry level IP cameras.
  • Auto-Iris, Varifocal Lens : This series features that ability to narrow or widen your field of view through the lens. This is an excellent feature for when you want to get a better picture of the activity you’re monitoring with their system.
  • Extreme Night Vision : Analog cameras have been proven to perform better than IP cameras at night. The IT90’s IR LEDs illuminate 100-160+ feet at night making their infrared night vision capability very powerful.
  • Cable Management : Ask any installer and they will tell you that cable management is key in some installs. This cameras allows you eliminate access cable from being displayed at the mount of the camera making for a cleaner install and preventing your cabling from being cut.
  • Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) : WDR functinoality captures both bright and dark images inside the same frame which balances out the video feed to prevent the dreaded foreground washout of intense background lighting. This feature also provides clear images through the lens when illumination intensifies displaying a crystal clear field of view.

So if you are in the market of getting an IP bullet camera or thinking about upgrading your current analog cameras, I urge you to look into the IT90 series from ApexCCTV. These cameras are very powerful, cost effective, and very durable for any environment.

If you have more questions or are unsure if an analog camera is right for you, contact one of our on hand security consultants @ 800-997-8460!

Wireless Security Systems | No wires? No Problem!

In a recent project, I was presented with the issue of getting a 2 megapixel Speed Dome on a pole that only had a power output.Weather Rated Outdoor Wireless Node

We had to figure out not only how to get the video back to the main building 200ft away as well as providing POE power to both the PTZ and the Antenna, but to also have a network switch located on the pole. The problem is they don’t make affordable POE switches that are pole mountable and weather rated. We needed a low cost solution to provide shelter for the devices and regulate the temperature to ensure it does not overheat or get too cold.

We decided to get a weather rated enclosure that would except 110V from the pole and convert it over to work with the switch and POE injector. It has an internal heater and blower system and ventilation slats to help regulate the temperature and ensure reliability.

The setup with this wireless transmitter enclosure has since been used on many different installs and has proven to be very cost effective and incredibly versatile across many applications.

Not sure if a wireless security system is right for your application? Contact one of our on hand security experts @ 800-997-8460 today!

Remote Security System Viewing

December 31, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, Security DVR, Software 

You work a lot and since you’re away from home the majority of the time, you bought a security system to keep an eye on the place. Maybe you travel quite a bit, but still want to see what’s happening at the office so you have a security system in place to make sure everything runs smoothly while you’re away. Luckily for us, we live in a mobile society and we get to have everything at our fingertips.

We get asked on almost every call if you can view your system remotes and the answer is a resounding YES! ApexCCTV offers a wide range of iPhone enabled security DVRs and NVRs that be viewed anywhere in the world!

  • Can i view live and recorded video remotely? Yes, most of our security DVR sytems are internet enabled. You can view live and recorded video from anywhere through the internet
  • What kind of broadband do i need? How much bandwidth? Basic DSL or cable will suffice in most cases
  • If I have multiple locations, can i view them all at the same time? Yes, but you will need to configure the Central Monitoring Software to aggregrate the systems to on one monitoring hub
  • Can several users view one site at once? Most internet-enabled security DVR systems allow multiple users to view the same site simultaneously. However, the more people that look at the same camera at the same time will reduce the quality of the feed as the bandwidth is shared

Being able to remotely access your cameras is a fantastic feature that keeps you in touch with your home or business no matter where you are and allows you to view your security system from nearly any platform.

Here at ApexCCTV, our only goal is to get you the right system for your application. If you aren’t sure what type of system is right for you, call one of our on-hand security experts @ 800-997-8460 to find out what we can do for you!

Home Security Camera System : Plug and Play, Not Plug and Pray

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with a client that was looking for a residential system that was, “Plug and Play not Plug and Pray”. His inquiry produced a laugh as I had never before heard that question!  It was a legitimate question and caused me to think about what a perspective video surveillance owner looks for when choosing a particular system.

Here are a few questions to ask when in the planning stages of such a project: Residential Security Camera Kit

  • Do I want video coverage indoors / outdoors or a combination of the two?
  • What are my lighting conditions?
  • How many days/weeks of recording do I want?
  • Do I want remote access (ie – Is it important to be able to view my cameras while at work, travelling, or anywhere other than onsite).
  • What is my budget for this project?  Skimping on your equipment to save a buck generally results in a poor image quality, unrecognizable video, and only clear frustration.

Take the time to plan. My dad always told me to measure twice and cut once and this is especially true as you begin your video surveillance project.  You don’t have to have all of the answers, but knowing what you want your system to do will give you a head start as you embark on your journey towards a more secure premises, as well as give you the flexibility and results you are after when it comes to your video surveillance needs. Having clear expectations of what you want for your application is more than half the battle!

Planning a security system is not easy so if you have any questions, get in touch with one of our expert security consultants so we can get you the system that’s right for you. Call us today @ 800-997-8460!

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