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.

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.

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!

CCTV Camera Lenses : A Beginner’s Guide

Security Camera LensesWhen designing a surveillance system for your home or business, one of the main things to consider is what type of security camera lenses you’re going to use with your cameras. This will help you determine how much light will enter the camera, what area your camera covers, and how well it can see that area. Hopefully these tips will help you choose the perfect lens!

The iris of a lens is an important detail to cover and there are manual irises and auto irises. The difference should be obvious but, what they do might not be. An auto iris lens is really quite amazing; it does what your eye basically does. The darker it gets in the area surrounding it, the more the iris opens up to allow in more light into the lens and onto the sensor chip just like your own eye does with your corneas. A manual iris on the other hand is just that, manual. The feature of auto adjusting to the environment does not come with this type of lens. You would use this type of lens where the light levels do not change such as a warehouse or office space. Since the lighting does not change there is no need for the iris to adjust and you’ll save a few bucks.

Points to Remember

  • Auto Iris vs. Manual Iris : Whether or not the lens will or will not adjust to new ambient light levels throughout the day. Pro Tip: Manual for indoor, auto for outdoor.
  • Focal Length : Affects your range, depth, angle, and field of view. Pro Tip : The larger the mm, the further you’re able to see, but the smaller the field of view.
  • Varifocal vs. Fixed Lens : A fixed lens lets you view objects at a specific distance whereas a varifocal lens allows you to set the viewing distance.

The focal length is an equally important aspect of a lens. The focal length is what tells you your range, depth, and angle of view. This will always be measured in millimeters; the larger the mm the narrower your view. However, with a large mm lens you Security Camera Lens Field of View Comparison Chartget an increased view in distance. There are fixed lenses and varifocal lenses. A fixed mm lens would mostly be used for viewing a fixed location for the entire time that camera is there i.e. an office, door, or hallway; whereas a varifocal lens is made to be adjusted. You can use this type of lens for many purposes. I would normally recommend this type of lens to someone that does not know the exact distance they need to be covering. This can come up when trying to watch a parking lot or parking garage. You would use the varifocal lens to adjust the field of view to your specific needs and if your needs change in the future, adjust the lens!

Choosing the right lens can be a very difficult task and the expert security consultants at ApexCCTV are ready to field any questions you may have about the right lens for your application. Give us a shout @ 800-997-8460 and we’ll go our utmost to get you the right fit!

CCTV Equipment Terminology : Learning the Language

As you prepare to do some homework on a new surveillance system, you may find that a few words that are new to you. Several acronyms have Professional Grade Security Camerasvery important meanings that can dictate the quality or purpose of a camera or recording device. Learning this terminology will help you have a better idea of what you’re searching for and help you speak confidently about your security system needs. Below we have listed out some of the most common words and acronyms you’ll come across in your research.

  • DVR (Digital Video Recorder) – This system is available in both PC based systems as well as Linux or standalone models that contain a hard drive to store the video that your camera are set to record. These units only support analog security cameras.
  • NVR (Network Video Recorder) – This is similar to the item above however it can pull cameras attached to your network to record the cameras video. IP Cameras are used with this recording device.
  • FPS (Frames Per Second) – This illustrates the amount of frames your DVR or camera can process per second. Live TV is 30FPS, watching a movie at the theater displays at 25FPS. A good rule of thumb, the higher the number, the smoother the video feed. The lower the number, the more your video will jump or appear to be jerky.
  • IR (Infrared) – this is a ambient light that the camera has built in that allows it to see at night. IR cameras emit infrared light into the cameras viewing area and illuminates said area to allow night vision recording.
  • PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) – This is a camera that has a remote control ability. PTZ cameras allow you to move the camera head along the horizontal and vertical axes as well as zoom in (digitally, optically, or both) on an object / area.
  • H.264 (Compression) – This is the latest Compression feature offered on most DVR units and compresses video files into smaller sizes to maximize the storage space on your DVR.
  • CMS (Central Monitoring Software) – This is a software that allows you to view multiple DVR or NVR units simultaneously from one location.

Keep these different words and acronyms in mind when you search for you next camera or recorder, some can make a big difference in quality. If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with one of our expert security consultants @ 800-997-8460.

Wireless Security Cameras : Things You Should Know Before Going Wireless

In this new age of CCTV surveillance, people are trying to find the next best thing and capitalize on the new functionality.  Wireless security cameras & wireless network technology have progressed dramatically over the past 5 years and it is now a dominant force in the industry. End users are amazed at the concept that this means absolutely no wires in their system. This is not the case, but we’ll get into that later. There are some advantages of going wireless and there are some things that you should know before making the financial leap of faith into this type of security system. Geovision 2 MP WDR IP Camera

Advantages to Wireless Security Systems

  1. Increased Mobility : If you need to move a camera three feet down the hall two months after it’s been installed, you don’t have to run any more cable to the new position.
  2. Smaller Cable Infrastructure : You don’t have to deal with long cable runs, extended installation time, or the possibility of your cable being cut.
  3. Resolution : Wireless technology is now capable of producing and transmitting high definition, megapixel resolution.

Wireless Challenges

  1. Line of Sight : The wireless transmitter must be in line of sight of the receiver to maintain the highest signal strength possible. Trees, buildings, or traffic will degrade your signal clarity and, as a result, your video quality.
  2. Interference : Other wireless devices in the vicinity may operate on the same frequency as your wireless system. We combat this by using 5.8 GHz transmitters as our standard unit due to fewer devices operating on that frequency.
  3. Adverse Weather : Poor weather such as rain, snow, or heavy winds may impact your system’s performance just as it would a satellite dish for your TV

Keep these points in mind before you go wireless. Sticking with an old-fashioned RG59 siamese infrastructure is not a bad thing if your application isn’t a good fit for a wireless system. It is better to go with a reliable solution that to force one that will degrade your performance.

If you aren’t sure if a wireless 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!

CCTV Camera Tips : Security Camera Positioning

There are many factors that go into creating a effective CCTV solution. In addition to quality equipment and installation we must always to be aware of the camera positioning. When you position your outdoor security cameras correctly, you can eliminate the need of additional cameras to cover your target area and maximize the efficiency of your security system. On the flip side, if you position cameras incorrectly, it can lead to blind spots or the need to unnecessarily purchase more cameras. Keep these points in mind to get the most out of your system without breaking the bank.

  1. Mount cameras at an elevated position – Mounting your cameras at a high altitude can do a Security Camerascouple of things for your surveillance solution. It can keep your cameras out of range of vandals and would be burglars, which can save you from having to replace broken security cameras. It also allows your camera to have a high vantage point increasing its viewing area. Pro Tip : The low mounting of a camera can create the need for two cameras to gain full coverage. Move the mounting point up a few feet and you’ll eliminate the need for that second camera and you’ll save yourself a couple hundred bucks.
  2. Try to keep them hidden – This is important because you want to capture people on camera, but you don’t want them to know they are on camera! People act differently when they know they are on camera. However, sometimes it is important to let people know they are on camera. Banks or stores generally let people know they are on camera to prevent crime rather than “allow” it to happen and catch the criminal later. Depending on your application, you may want to purchase low profile cameras or you may want to mount them in the open. Keep in mind what you are trying to achieve with your system.
  3. Cover your target area – When placing cameras, make sure that you provide ample coverage, but not in excess. For example, if you are trying to cover a backyard gate don’t zoom in to only have the gate in frame. Position the camera to cover part of your backyard or driveway as well so you cover as much area as possible without sacrificing video quality. The more information you capture on your security DVR, the better your chances are to either catch a criminal or prevent one! Pro Tip : Do not overlap your camera feeds unless it is an area of utmost importance. The only reason to record the same area with multiple cameras is if you’re worried that one camera may fail.

If you have any questions about maximizing the effectiveness of your security system, call one of our expert security consultants at 800-997-8460 to get the answers you need!

HDCCTV Cameras : The Latest Technological Evolution in CCTV

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 HDCCTV Security Camerasystems. 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

LPR Surveillance Systems : How Do They Work?!

“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.
Geovision LPR Camera Demo
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!

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