Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, General Technology, Guides, Security DVR, Tips n Tricks
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!
Filed under: CCTV Articles, CCTV Camera, Light Reads, Quick Overview, Security Camera
It’s that time ladies and gentlemen, the HD CCTV camera is finally here at ApexCCTV! It’s been a long time in the making, but these products are finally available and ready for your perusal. HDCCTV cameras are the latest technological advancement in our industry and they fill that pesky gap between the industry standard, and cost-effective, analog security systems and high resolution, megapixel IP camera systems. It’s the grey area where basically all of us belong. We want the crystal clear footage from IP, but can’t, or don’t want to, make the investment.
It’s natural. It’s difficult to justify upgrading the system you bought for a cool grand last year to a system that cost two or three times that. Times are tight, but the HD CCTV is here to give you what you want for the money you have in your wallet. By upgrading your security hardware to HD CCTV equivalents, you’ll go from grainy analog video to crystal clear IP video streams in just a handful of hours.
To keep your eyes from rolling into the back of your head with all the technical specs and geek speak, it’s bullet time.
HDCCTV Security System Benefits
- 900+ TVL Cameras deliver IP quality video
- 1080p High Definition Video
- IP Quality Images at Analog Pricing
- Functions on existing analog infrastructure
- You don’t have to run new cable!
To get more information on this amazing technological marvel, call one of our technical security consultants today @ 800-997-8460
Filed under: Access Control, CCTV Articles, GeoVision, Reviews, Software
Geovision’s GV-CR420 is the latest addition to their burgeoning access control line. This innovative keycard reader has a 4 Megapixel fisheye camera built into the card reader and produces a stunning high quality video feed. What was once a difficult multistage install and configuration has now been condensed into an affordable all-in-one package through the clever implementation and functionality of the Geovision hardware.
In addition to functioning as a normal keycard reader that recognizes identification cards and grants access accordingly, Geovision’s software allows you to enable Card and Face mode which requires the camera reader to be able to recognize both the ID card and a face before access is granted. The fisheye camera also benefits from the rest of the diverse options available through Geovision’s software which include privacy masking, motion detection, and alert notifications through the Web interface.
When it comes to access control, the GV-CR420 is a must have. We have employed this fantastic device on our own building and are able to demonstrate the functionality at your request. Call 800-997-8460 to schedule your live demo today!
Filed under: CCTV Articles, General Technology, Light Reads, Quick Overview
Since the beginning of this year, the terms “cloud based solution” and “cloud video management” have been thrown around like mad. If you have anything to do with the industry, there’s not a week that goes by where a new article is published by an industry “standard” that heralds the cloud, yet doesn’t really get to the point of what makes it so damn useful. You end up reading a fluff piece that essentially says, “CLOUD IS GOOD!”, “GET CLOUD NOW!”, or “VIDEO STORAGE IN SPAAAAAAACE!” Awesome, thanks for the help fellas.
The cloud is being paraded around the industry as the future of video surveillance storage and as of this moment, they’re dead wrong. Here’s why. When you use a cloud based storage system, the video footage captured by your cameras is sent via the interwebs to an offsite location and allows you to forego the use of a local DVR system. Whaaaat? No DVR? Sign me up! Cool your horses. Don’t throw all your money at them just yet.
Here’s the ugly truth, you’re going to have to pay a monthly fee. There’s no getting around it. Depending on the service, it can be upwards of $50 per month and there isn’t a ceiling. That’s an additional $600 a year just for someone else to host your video and that’s just for the hosting service itself. That does not include the broadband internet service you will need to get your data to the cloud. Some hosting services charge by the camera while others charge by the storage amount, traffic speed, and available virtual memory. The more features you need, the more you’re going to have to pay on a monthly basis until you no longer need your security system.
- How much data do you want your cloud to archive? More storage, more money.
- How many cameras are in the system? More cameras, more data, more storage, more money.
- How is your data getting there? You’ll need a stable local broadband internet connection. More cameras, more data, the more expensive of an internet connection you get to pay for on a monthly basis. More money.
- How much data are you sending? More data means more traffic, more traffic means more money.
- At what frame rate are the video feeds being saved? Higher frame rate, larger files, more storage, more money.
- What resolution are your video feeds? Higher resolution, larger files, more storage, more money.
Keep in mind that the hosting service fee does not include the broadband internet connection you’re going to need to push the data to the cloud so tack on at least another $100 to the hosting fee and you’ll start to see the actual cost of the cloud.
Offsite storage, maximum accessibility on any supported platform, uptime guarantees, content guarantees, reduced local resources, and greater flexibility on the extent of your storage archive is all great and good on paper, but the cloud wasn’t made for us and I accept what I cannot change. It is far too immature of an intellectual property to begin to make the leap to the highly specialized and meet the rigorous demands of the CCTV industry. I may be completely wrong in a year or two, but right now, you will pay out the nose to house your data off site when you could simply manage it yourself, or have your IT department do it, for a fraction of the cost over the lifetime of the system.
For many industries, the cloud is fantastic since they aren’t storing video footage. We are and for storing cctv video feeds, we need a security DVR system made by the industry for the industry.
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, CCTV Security Camera Lenses, Comparisons, Guides, Security Camera, Tips n Tricks
When building a security system for your property, understanding focal lengths, varifocal vs. manual iris, and what lens is best for a specific area can be a daunting task. To better help our customers understand the lens they will need to suit their application, we have created the Lens Comparison Tool over at the ApexCCTV website.
The outside field of view shows you what to expect from different lens focal lengths on the same license plate 150′ away and the inside field of view shows you the same lenses on a sign that is 25′ away. If you’re interested in employing box security cameras, this tool is invaluable in determining what focal length you will need.
If you have more questions about lenses, give one of our qualified security professionals a call @ 1-800-997-8460
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, CCTV Training Videos, Comparisons, Guides, Light Reads, Security Camera System, Security DVR
When buying a security DVR system on a strict budget, one of the features you will want to pay special attention to is the amount of storage that comes with your DVR. You’ll want to keep a enough archived history in case you’re out of town or away from your home / business for an extended period of time, but how much storage is enough? Do you want to gamble and keep enough storage for just a handful of days? A week? A month? The longer the time frame, the more storage you’ll need.
Key Factors Affecting the Amount of Storage Space
- # of Days Required
- Quality of Cameras (# of TVL / Megapixels)
- DVR Motion Settings
- DVR Record Rate
Once you’ve figured out your time frame, you’ll have to look at the quality of security cameras in your system. The higher the resolution / TV lines your cameras are capable of, more memory will be consumed compared to a camera of lower quality. For the sake of argument and nice round numbers, we’ll say that a 400 TVL camera takes up 1 MB of memory per minute of recorded footage. By those numbers, a 500GB hard drive would be able to record 512,000 consecutive minutes, or 355.56 days, of completely fictional video footage. Now, let’s say we have a 600 TVL camera that occupies 2.5 MB of memory per minute of recorded footage. That means that the same 500GB hard drive will only be able to record 204,800 consecutive minutes, or 142.22 days, of fake video feeds.
Next, you’ll want to look at the frame rate that your DVR records at or is capable of recording. The video below demonstrates the recorded video feeds when a DVR captures video at 1, 7 , 15, & 30 fps. If you capture video at 1 fps, you will use up significantly less storage space than you would for the same time frame of 30 fps video. Depending on the nature of what you want monitored, you may only need three cameras at 1 or 7 fps and one at 30fps. When monitoring high traffic areas, it is recommended that you record at a minimum of 30 fps to avoid missing critical details that may be necessary in forensic analysis.
Once you’ve taken the quality of your cameras into account, you’ll want to factor in your security system’s motion settings. If your system is configured to only record when there is motion within a camera’s field of vision, which is HIGHLY recommended, the size of your archive will drastically increase. That same fake 500GB hard drive we mentioned above may last twice as long since it isn’t recording fictional footage all night when there is nothing to be documented.
In a nutshell, there are a lot of variables to take into account when deciding how much storage space you’ll need and there isn’t a good rule of thumb. Call one of our quality security professionals via our toll free number (1-800-997-8460) and we’ll crunch the numbers for you.
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, General Technology, Guides, Networking, Quick Overview
Most of the questions we get on a daily basis over here in ApexCCTV’s production floor deal with the dreadful task of networking. If it’s your first time configuring a network or assigning IP address to the cameras in your NVR system, it can seem like one of the twelve labors of Hercules. I’ve been there. I’ve done it. I’ve thrown my hands up in the air screaming,”Why won’t you work?!” so many times the words lost their meaning.
Don’t spend hours pulling out your hair and cursing the heavens. Don’t call up some networking “specialist” and pay exorbitant hourly fees for them to drag their feet and dance around your questions so they can milk your for all you’re worth. Go to our YouTube channel. We’ve compiled a basic networking course that will help you learn what you need to know to get your network off the ground and running.
Watch our videos, get the knowledge, and you’ll be leaps and bounds further than when you started.
Filed under: CCTV Articles, General Technology, GeoVision, IP Cameras, Security Camera
One of Geovision’s latest additions to their IP camera line is the GV-SD200-S. Simply put, this camera is amazing. There are no other words for it. I’ve watched the video numerous times and I am still blown away by it. If you haven’t watched the demo video above, you need to. Go ahead, watch it. I can wait.
This is by far one of the most versatile cameras I have ever had the pleasure of testing. The GV-SD200-S is capable of stunning 1080p real time high definition digital resolution and, as demonstrated in the video, can read a license plate and capture facial features up to 300 feet away. With a patrol rate of 5 to 400° per second, this camera can blaze through the endless 360° rotation and view any area within line of sight, even objects passing directly beneath the camera!
Added to the unparalleled flexibility in manually choosing your viewing area, the camera comes with 256 preset points that can be programmed to target precise locations for activity and rotate through said points to operate automatically. There are very few cameras on the market today that can match or exceed the flexibility of Geovision’s 2 MP Speed Dome and none that are within the same price point.
Visit ApexCCTV today or call one of our certified Account Managers at 1-866-997-8460 for more information!
Filed under: CCTV Articles, GeoVision, IP Cameras, Reviews, Security Camera
IP Camera technology has come a very, very long way in 9 short months and this fact is especially prevalent in the technology employed by Geovision’s IP camera line. What was once a troubled product line bordering on extinction has matured into a full fledged, enterprise quality solution that rivals the biggest names in the industry. The crowning jewel of this line is the GV-FER521.
I had a chance to test this camera today and I am completely floored by the versatility and video quality that this camera possesses. In an area that previously needed five cameras to cover the angles, the eye in the sky sees all. Every inch of our 2500 square foot warehouse is captured in high definition with this 5 MP fisheye camera. All points of entry, every overstock item, and every storage area is covered through the application of this one camera and all of it can be viewed simultaneously through the electronic PTZ feature that comes standard with GeoVision’s software.
The electronic PTZ feature allows this camera to function as a PTZ camera without any mechanical moving parts. This functionality can be used when viewing both live video feeds and recorded playback, but is much more versatile when viewing archived footage. As seen in the image to the right, you can select as many areas as you want to monitor and the software will pull the video from that area into it’s own viewing window. This feature is invaluable in the untimely event that a forensic analysis is necessary.
For more information on this camera or GeoVision’s IP Camera line, contact an ApexCCTV licensed Account Manager today at 1-800-997-8460 or view the products online by clicking here.