Filed under: CCTV Articles, General Technology, Guides, Security Camera System, Tips n Tricks
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:
- GeoVision GV-iView for iPhone
- GeoVision GV-aView for Android
- MEye for Android
- MPRMS for iPhone
- MPRMS for Android
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.
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Camera, Security Camera Packages, Security Camera System
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.
- 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!
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, IP Cameras, Security Camera System, Tips n Tricks
When you start your search for a security system, the first thing you should do is ignore the sticker price. I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Of course we should! You’re the guy selling the products, we shouldn’t pay attention to the subtotal at all! Thanks guy! Why don’t you come with me to the bank and I’ll close my eyes while you root through my account too!” while you roll your eyes at the computer screen.
I know how it sounds, but it’s the truth. It’s not about what’s good right now. It’s what’s good one, two, and three years from now that makes your security system a sound investment and will allow your system able to be upgraded multiple times for minimal investment. An extra few hundred dollars now can save you thousands next year.
I know that is our first inclination to go the cost effective route no matter what is available on the market and there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have budgets that we need to maintain, but what if you spent the money in the present in order to save the money in the future? Future proofing your surveillance system has caught on in the industry and we’ve compiled a list of the three most important things you can do to keep your security system relevant for years to come.
- PC Based Security DVRs – A PC based DVR provides you the ability to utilize both analog and IP cameras through what is known as a hybrid DVR. These are used in larger projects that require maximum performance and flexibility. They contain DVR cards that allow you to utilize the software to incorporate IP cameras to your system. That $400 standalone DVR does not provide this functionality and with how IP camera popularity has soared in the last 5 years, the vast majority of new security system purchases in 2013 will include IP cameras. The next time you think about using a standalone DVR, ask yourself if you will want to have facial recognition and object detection as a part of your surveillance system. If that is the case, future proof your system with a PC based DVR and use both analog and IP cameras to enjoy the best of both worlds.
- Video Balun Technology- Most video baluns provide a solid solution to extending your cable runs by using Cat5e / Cat6 cable over RG59. The typical video signal degrades beyond 500 ft, but CCTV video baluns paired with Cat5e/6 cable allows your cable runs to go over 1000 ft. The reason why the video signal is so much stronger when using Cat5e is that the cable contains 4 pairs of wires that you can use for video transmission, power, or even PTZ control functionality for cameras using RS422 or RS485 protocol. Also, by using this type of cable you can upgrade your security system in the future by utilizing IP cameras.
- Use Cat5e instead of Coaxial Siamese Cable – Let’s say you still want a standalone DVR rather than a PC based DVR. If you use Cat5e and video baluns, when it does come time to upgrade your system to a PC based DVR and IP cameras, you won’t have to install an entirely new infrastructure network. All you have to do it take out the video baluns and Voila! Instant connection to your shiny new IP cameras! Utilizing this cable does four things for you, 1) it saves you money on installation costs because Cat5e is cheaper to run, 2) installation time is reduced from the less time it takes to install your wired infrastructure, 3) centralizes your power at a PoE network switch so you won’t have to have multiple power distribution units across your property, and 4) Cat5e is about 10-20% cheaper than RG59 siamese wire and can reduce your installation costs by 50% or more.
Here at ApexCCTV, our only goal is to get you the right system for your application at the right price. If you aren’t sure what type of system is right for you or you think you’re quote from another company is too high, call one of our on-hand security experts @ 800-9897-8460 to find out what we can do for you!
Filed under: CCTV Articles, IP Cameras, Security Camera Packages, Security Camera System
Do you want HD quality while trying to stay on within your budget? Take a look at the newly released AV Tech IP solution. This is a great solution for consumers or installers that want a better resolution than analog can provide without breaking the bank. These IP cameras and standalone NVR are the latest addition to ApexCCTV’s already extensive line of IP security products and the razor sharp, high definition security system are affordable on practically any budget.
AVTech offers a 12CH NVR with real-time recording. This NVR starts to record at high definition when an event occurs to give you the clearest picture possible and capture every detail you’ll need for forensic analysis. One really cool thing about this NVR is that it has a HDMI video out to convert that megapixel video feed to an HD TV or HD CCTV monitor for a crystal clear image. Another really cool feature is the easy setup option. Now, this is a unique function which allows the automatic pairing of an IP cameras to a NVR so that even users who are not familiar with IP-based products can easily configure this NVR with minimal help.
AVTech’s IP Cameras are some of the most cost effective models on the market. For the same price as a high end analog camera, you can purchase an even higher quality IP camera that allows you the increased functionality, flexibility, and robust software features that exist only on an NVR security system.
Need a solution for indoor day / night monitoring? The AP-328Z is a 1.3 megapixel indoor IP dome camera that can capture high resolution video regardless of the lighting conditions. With its sleek, white form factor, this was specifically engineered to be a low profile camera and avoid being immediately recognizable as a security camera.
Looking for something for long range outdoor day / night surveillance? The AP-365Z has 56 high powered, precision infrared (IR) LEDs to light up the night and see what’s out there in the darkness. The IP67 rated camera casing makes this IR bullet camera a perfectly suited for indoor or outdoor surveillance.
Want to view your security system while you’re not at home? Download the Eagle Eyes HD app to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android tablet and start streaming live HD video feeds from your security system anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.
AVTech’s new IP camera line at ApexCCTV is probably the closest thing to plug and play that we have seen for an IP camera solution. If you aren’t sure if an AVTech security system is a good fit for your application, call one of our on hand, expert security consultants @ 800-997-8460 to get the system that’s right for you!
Filed under: CCTV Articles, Light Reads, Quick Overview, Security Camera System, Security DVR
Maintenance is a primary key to keep any system running at top performance. Below we will talk about a few points that can greatly increase the life of your surveillance system.
- DVR: Take a look at your DVR, does it accumulate a lot of dust? If so, this could be due to a lack or air being circulated around the unit. More often than not, these units will be placed in a small enclosure that does not allow the fans and blowers to push the dust out. Try placing the unit in a more open environment. Placing your DVR unit in a small space can also cause the system to run at a higher temperature and can put extra stress on the components which will shorten the life span of your DVR.
- Interior Cameras: Just like any other device in your facility, cameras as just as susceptible to dust and other particles build up. This debris will create a film on your security camera lens that will blur your video feed. To counteract this, simply plan a time once a week, or even once a month, to go around and dust the cameras lenses. Regular dusting will help maintain the best quality video feed from your CCTV cameras.
- Exterior Cameras: Most Exterior cameras have seals and gaskets that help keep precipitation on the outside of the camera body. Like seals and gaskets on a vehicle, they can wear out and crack over the camera’s lifetime. These imperfections can allow moisture and condensation to come in through the camera housing and cause the camera to fail. Take a dry towel and remove the seals once or twice a year to wipe them down of any liquid or grease that may form to keep these dry and prolong the life of the housing. It isn’t a bad idea to swap your housing every couple years. Replacing a $40 part every 3-4 years is a much better investment than replacing a $200-$300 camera every couple years.
Follow these security system maintenance tips and you’ll prolong the life of your DVR.
Filed under: CCTV Articles, GeoVision, Quick Overview, Security Camera, Security Camera System
“I’ve tried to see license plates on the system I installed and it does not work!”
We hear this complaint every day. The problem is not the DVR or the camera’s positioning, but the cameras that were chosen to do the job. With a little bit of information, your LPR system will be firing on all cylinders.
Before you pick out cameras to monitor the license plates coming in and out of your property, you need to make sure you have the right DVR or NVR. This is just like a car; if your engine is engineered for towing, you’re not going to win a drag race anytime soon. To get the absolute most out of a License Plate Recognition camera system, you will need the LPR software that attaches the two video feeds of the vehicle to capture and recognize the license plate. To support that software, a standalone DVR or NVR simply will not do. You will need to purchase a PC based DVR / NVR unit that can record and view at 30 fps or more on each channel.
A true LPR camera is designed with special lens filters to eliminate lighting and reflection issues from a vehicle’s headlights. To combat this, it will always record in black and white to help maximize the contrast between the license plate and its surroundings. The GV-LPR-CAM-10A was specifically engineered to give your LPR software a 570 TVL high-contrast video feed to identify license plates at any time of day or night with a 99% accuracy rating under optimum conditions. The camera features 24 High-Efficiency LEDs for an illumination range of 30m (98.43 ft) and comes pre-assembled in an IP66-compliant weather resistant housing.
Another crucial component of the LPR camera system is the overview camera. Now the overview can be any type of camera, but for the best results you’ll want to use a high resolution analog or IP security camera to cover the target zone of the LPR camera. Using these camera in tandem helps save your company money and a few of the ways our company has saved time and money are :
- Tracking trucks as they come and go from the warehouse to monitor deliveries and pick ups
- Have all company employee vehicles registered in the system and when one of these vehicles enters company property during off hours or after the employee has been let go, an alert will be generated and sent to your smart phone
- Monitors employee punctuality and prevents theft / misconduct
- The Shipping Dock can be notified when a delivery truck as arrived before they enter the docks which helps speed up the receiving process and improves overall productivity
If you have any questions about whether an LPR security solution is right for you, call one of our on-hand security experts @ 1-800-997-8460 and we’ll help you get the security system that’s right for you!
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, Security Camera System, Security DVR
Imagine the following scenario: The year is 1992. You are a business owner. In the middle of the night, while you are soundly sleeping, your phone rings. You walk to the kitchen where your wired phone is mounted on the wall, you untwist the phone cord, and you answer it to find that there has been an incident at your factory. You get dressed, get in your car, and drive in the cold, wet rain to your facility, only to find that the incident that was reported to you wasn’t really as bad as it sounded. You think to yourself “This could have waited until the morning”. Upset and tired, you make the drive back home, climb back into bed, and struggle to return to sleep for the rest of the night.
Fast forward twenty years. In the middle of the night, while you are soundly sleeping, your smart phone vibrates from the bedside table, waking you up. There has been an incident at your factory. Without getting out of bed, you open the app on your phone to view the surveillance system in your facility, and you replay the incident, only to find that it can wait until the morning to be addressed. You put your phone down, you roll over, and you fall back into peaceful slumber.
Tomorrow’s technology is here today, and it is nothing short of incredible. To think of the progress that has been made in just a few short years is amazing. The scenario above is just one of the many ways that a surveillance system can benefit you as a business owner. Aside from the ability to view both live and recorded footage of your business from virtually any location, the presence of surveillance cameras can contribute to a healthier bottom line, as well. Increased employee productivity, protection from liability claims and theft prevention are all elements that will result in more dollars inevitably finding their way to you.
I urge you to consider a surveillance system not only for your own peace of mind, but as an investment in your business, as well. The return on this investment can be immeasurable, and who knows? It may lead to a few more restful nights!
Filed under: Beginning CCTV, CCTV Articles, Quick Overview, Security Camera System, Security DVR, Software
As you probably already know, there are many different components to a security camera system. Most people think that the cameras are the most important items in the system, however without the security DVR; you don’t have a system at all. Think of the DVR as the engine to a car, without it, the vehicle is useless except as a shanty lean-to in a storm. In this article I want to demonstrate the importance of a DVR and key must have features that are essential when implementing a system.
- Event Recording – When setting up your DVR to how you’d like it to record, its essential to have options. In this day and age, simple 24/7 around the clock recording just won’t cut it. It’s imperative to have a DVR that will allow recording based on motion (with adjustable sensitivity on the amount of motion), the time of day, or 24/7 if need be.
- Recording abilities – The way your system records is almost as crucial as what it records. Let’s say your DVR only records a week’s footage at a time, how does it record once the memory is full? I’ve heard many stories about people having to go into their system about once a week just to delete the previous footage. What a pain! You must have a recorder that is on a loop, meaning that once the storage is full, the machine will automatically record over the first day’s footage. A self-sufficient system is imperative, and will save you a lot of time and headaches.
- Video Analytics – Video Analytics is an extra feature that the DVR may have that is considered the “Bells and Whistles.” These features will further more help secure your application as well as give you more peace of mind. One feature called facial recognition actually stores a picture of your face when you walk past the camera, and stores it on a virtual board within its memory. At the end of the day you have the ability to pull up this board and see whose come in and out, and at what time these events occurred. There are many other complex analytics that are specific to the DVR, it’s your job to figure out what is most important, and which features will benefit you the most.
Filed under: CCTV Articles, General Technology, Networking, Quick Overview, Security Camera System, Security DVR
It is becoming more and more common as the IP camera technology increases and becomes more affordable to see companies asking questions about a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. This device gives your business the advantage to be able to store data locally at the NVR (Network Video Recorder) as well as at a remote device like the one seen below. A NAS can be set up to work a raid and can store data and information from multiple DVR’s or NVR’s on any network whether it be on the same property and network or on a remote network to manage multiple sites across the country.
When restrictions and regulations like gaming commissions and banks and several other forms of government processes might require you to save and store a date either locally or remotely to have available up to a 6 months period to a year, with the possible need to have to retrieve and view a video clip that would otherwise on a typical system been long since deleted.