HD-SDI Cameras are On the Horizon: The Benefits of HD CCTV

HD-SDI stands for High-Definition Serial Digital Interface and the technology is used to transport uncompressed digital video signal across moderate distances. HD SDI is a broadcast standard for digital video when using a single coaxial cable and BNC connectors within 100m operating range. It’s the best choice in HD signal transmission. 

 

One of the benefits of using HD-SDI is that it is a cost-effective solution to IP and an improvement over analog cameras. The video is uncompressed at the camera so you get full 1080p transmitted video and the stream is typically undistorted and very reliable. The video stream is also not dependent on the network so if the network fails, the system remains unaffected whereas it would be completely useless in an IP solution.

 

The installation is easier since there is no network configuration required as there is with IP cameras. You can use your existing infrastructure from your analog system and only have to upgrade your hardware. There is also a low latency associated and you get the high definition imaging with this technology. This solution is ideal for a customer that is considering a better image quality than regular analog cameras, but is not ready to make the jump to IP technology either because of price and/or networking complications and implementation.

 

Though this technology is in its infancy stages, this solution will be an asset for integrators and customers that are not yet able to make the jump to a full IP system integration or are not able to implement IP solutions. Stay tuned to ApexCCTV’s newsletter for the release date of the HD-SDI line. These amazing products are right around the bend.

 

The Importance of Date and Time stamps for Surveillance

I have often been asked by commercial customers if our DVRs have the feature of time and date stamps on recorded footage and if we program that on our end. The answer is yes, however, the due diligence should not stop there. The reason that this is so important to commercial and residential customers is evidentiary proof.

 

I had a commercial client recently inform me of a recent incident which prompted him to call in and get a new surveillance system. The customer’s store was vandalized and though there was some visual footage that showed the culprit committing the crime, there was no date and time stamp on the recorded footage which rendered the surveillance footage as invalid evidence. It is important to make sure that the time and date function of the DVR is programmed properly and that from time to time, the end user checks that information in playback to ensure that the proper information is being displayed.

 
Video Security DVR

An additional thing to consider is if there are POS, access control, or alarm systems integrated with the onsite surveillance system. It is important that the time and date stamps are synchronized with the surveillance system because many jurisdictions will require time and date evidence from other supplementary equipment within the home or business. It is important that all sources that can produce identical time and date stamps thus validating the evidence.

 

If there is a wall clock or desk clock that is within view of a camera and that footage will need to be used in a court of law for evidence, it is imperative that the clock is displaying the same time (within a minute or so) as to what is displayed on the time stamp of the video footage. There have been numerous instances where a few minutes discrepancy has caused video footage to be ruled invalid and thrown out as evidentiary proof. It is recommended to choose a DVR that has a function where the end user can preset the Daylight savings feature so that when the hour rolls forward or falls back, the system automatically makes that change.

Looking for a Nice Bullet Security Camera?

Since I have become familiar with the CCTV industry and its products, you never know what is a good buy. Also price is always a determining factor before you make a choice. However, recently I ran across a CCTV camera that is highly impressive.

I introduce to you the 138CT bullet security camera.
bullet security camera 138ct
This is a beautiful camera and the size is quite impressive. It can be used indoor/outdoor and has an amazing 500 TV lines. Now of course we can’t forget about the night vision on this one which clears 50ft easily. My installers also rave over the 138CT due to the easy installation and mounting aspect ; mounting bracket included.

So if you are looking for a very nice, but powerful analog bullet camera then look no more. Try out a 138CT and don’t worry about the price because this baby retails for under $80.

Going IP Without the Cost

GeoVision Video ServerAre you an IT Manager?  Do you want IP cameras, but your company doesn’t see the need to invest in them?   Have you been delegated the task to manage your organization’s analog cameras, but have a hard time accessing them on your network?  Then, a video server from Geovision is just for you!  A Geovision video server allows you to assign an IP address to that old analog camera that you’re expected to keep up with and take care of.  It also supports a variety of analog PTZ’s.  You can also plug a USB storage device into the unit and record straight to the device.  It also supports two-way audio, allowing you to receive and broadcast audio.  Alarms can also be integrated with this device as well.  It’s definitely a recording server all unto itself!  Apex CCTV has the two and four channel model.  So, pick yours up today and make managing those analog cameras a whole lot easier!

No Need to Get Burnt Out on Your Power Supply

12vDC Power SupplySo often in the process of setting up a security system we tend to focus on only the major points: DVR Type, Camera Type, Camera Placement, In-door vs. Out-door, Resolution, ext. But one major focal point, in deciding what type of cameras would be best for your application, we over look the type of power that is needed for the Camera to operate properly. This is something that not only can burn out your cameras but burn a hole in that wallet if not fully researched.

Most cameras tend to run on 12V/DC but there is a fair share of cameras that operate on 24V/AC as well. It’s important that if adding to an existing system or in creation of a new system that you research the power supply and the type of voltage that is need for the cameras.  Another important factor is the amount of AMPs your camera runs. A camera with IR (Inferred) will at times run higher amps. It’s important you have enough power going to all cameras to support this as well.

So while Resolution and Lens type are important factors to deciding what type of camera fits best for your application make sure that you are covering all aspects of the system and nothing is more important than know what kind of power is needed and how much power should be distributed.  Summers just about over, no need to keep burning yourself out with the wrong power supply.

Hybrid Camera Systems and the Geovision DVR card

If you have ever used a Geovision DVR card, you are probably aware that all Geovision cards are what as known as hybrid cards.  Basically, the Geovision software that comes with a hybrid card can support both analog and IP cameras.  For instance, if the Geovision DVR card supports 16 analog cameras, then the software will support 16 IP cameras simultaneously.

It may seem like a good idea to have a hybrid system.  But, it is only feasible when you are integrating maybe one to two IP cameras with an analog system.  If you integrate the same number of IP cameras as the same amount of analog cameras that your DVR card will support, you will definitely run into issues.

The main concern is storage space.  IP cameras use a whole lot more storage space than analog cameras.  If you are going to integrate IP cameras with your analog system, you want to make sure that your PC will support the amount of hard drive space that is desired.  Also, you want to make sure that your PC meets the proper hardware specifications for a hybrid system.

Your PC may run fine with just analog cameras, but you may have issues if you integrate IP cameras along with analog cameras.  You do not want to overtax your machine and slow it down drastically.  The best solution is to have a dedicated PC just for IP cameras.  It may cost a little more than a hybrid system, but it will be more efficient and easier to use.  Also, it may indeed be more cost effective since having dedicated PC’s for both an IP and analog system will ensure a longer lifetime out of each machine.  Either way, it is best to have a dedicated PC for IP cameras if at all possible.

Are Wireless Cameras Really That Convenient?

Most people are under the impression that wireless cameras are a quick easy fix.  Most people’s thoughts are “They’re wireless, they have to be easy and quick, right?.”  But, looks can be deceiving.  The installation of wireless cameras is far from quick and easy.  Mainly, people who request wireless cameras want them for the outside of their homes.

wireless security cameras for saleWireless cameras for residential applications can be very complicated.  First of all, you have to have a wireless signal that is in range of the cameras.  Most of the time, there is not a signal in range because their access point is located indoors.

Second, you have to know a little something about networking in order to properly install the cameras.  Connecting a wireless IP based camera and have it record to a PC over a wireless signal is not that easy.

And third, unless you have a battery powered camera, you will still need a power source for the camera.  Most wireless cameras are not battery operated.  Therefore, a power source needs to be near the camera.  Most of the time, the desired location for a wireless camera is nowhere near a power source.  That is one of the main reasons why wireless cameras are desired in the first place.  The only other option for power is a solar panel option, which could be very expensive.

In conclusion, wireless cameras appear to be easy to install and somewhat cost effective.  But in reality, they are more complicated and expensive in the long run.

Security camera monitoring service already included

One of the big questions that come to mind when purchasing a surveillance system is, “How Am I Going to Monitor the Cameras?”.  Monitoring services are still offered by most surveillance companies and many people still use them.  But, they are a thing of the past.

Security Cameras for sale from ApexCCTV

Security Cameras for Sale from ApexCCTV

With all of the latest and greatest technology that’s integrated with surveillance nowadays, there’s no need for someone else to monitor your cameras for you.  Both standalone and PC-based recording devices can both be monitored via the internet.  Therefore, you can view live recording and archived video from your cameras on your PC, smartphone or iPad.

Remote viewing technology via the internet allows you to instantly see what’s going on, or what’s already happened.  You can also have alerts emailed to you or sent to your portable device whenever an event has occurred in front of the cameras.  Notifications from monitoring services are not instant.  It can take anywhere from five to ten minutes for someone to contact you concerning an incident.  In the case of an emergency, there is no time to spare.  Therefore, human monitoring services are not the best solution.

Do yourself a favor by purchasing a system that allows you to monitor your cameras from wherever, whenever and at your own discretion at no cost to you.

Home Automation is Coming

Are you one of those people that like to control things with one single push of a button in or away from your home? Well watch out security industry because looks like we have a new neighbor in town.

 

Home automation is creating a new market for residential security. Technology keeps changing on a day to day basis and with change comes new products and services. Home automation is now going to allow for people to centrally and remotely control such features as energy use for their homes, lighting and door access, and view their cameras from anywhere in the world. Most of your DVRs already come with remote access to view your cameras even from your I phone or android phone.  However, home automation is taking things to a whole other level. More and more people are getting security systems for their home and  wanting the ability to control every aspect of technology within that home.

 

Some in the industry are staying away from home automation because they say there is a lack of demand. However, others argue that technology will prevail in the end. That might as well be true, because who would have thought that you could access your complete surveillance system through your cell phone. However, just think about if you could turn down your ac before you get home, control your lighting in certain areas of your home say around your garage, *access your cameras all before you pull into your driveway! Wow!

 

Home automation is and will transform the security industry, especially in the residential sector.

Is it worth it?

How many of us have hired someone to provide a service and they turned out to be less than professional. Or, they had a very professional demeanor and they were very nice but their knowledge was less than satisfactory. At what point do you decide to hire a professional.

security cameras for saleIf done right, security cameras are not exactly cheap. The equipment cost for a nice 4 Channel IP Security Camera Package could cost around $3,500. Do you want the kid across the street to install this for you, or Johnny One Truck to pull up in his 1980’s van with the tacky curtains over the windows to do the installation?

The industry average is $1,400 per camera installed. So, a four camera system will cost around $5,600. So staying with the nice IP Camera Package we spoke about earlier, it is $2,100 to install that bad boy. Do you need a college degree to install cameras? No. Do you need to know what you are doing? Absolutely! Sometimes these cameras can be very temperamental, or if you hook them up wrong, even the first time, they could be ruined.

Please keep in mind when ordering security cameras and you get the installation price, would you call an electrician to fix the toilet? Would you call a dentist to prescribe you eye glasses? Would you call a carpenter to neuter your dog?  Probably not. Security camera technician have been trained to be just that, be security camera technicians.

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