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CCTV Glossary of Terms

CCTV Glossary of Terms

Here is a Glossary of Common (and not so common) CCTV Terminology. When choosing a surveillance camera, or a security camera system, it is helpful to be able to identify what terminology is relevant to your application. Since CCTV is evolving rapidly, we hope to come back often to update this list and keep you informed of new terminology relative to the CCTV Industry. If you can not find what you are looking for here, just give us a call. We Love to talk to people about Security Cameras!

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Numerical

1080P

1080p (1920×1080 px: also known as Full HD, is a set of HD High Resolution Video modes characterized by 1,920 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically; the p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced. The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a resolution of 2.1 megapixels. It is often marketed as full HD, to contrast 1080p with 720p resolution.

4 Megapixel

4 Megapixel Cameras security cameras that are capable of providing video resolutions up to 2560 x 1440 pixels which is 30% greater than HD1080p.

4K Resolution

This refers to one of two resolutions. 3840 x 2160, or 4096 x 2160. It is 4 times the resolution of 1080p. This will also allow much higher zoom rates on stills taken from any video clips.

5 Megapixel

5 Megapixel CCTV cameras are capable of resolutions up to 2560 x 1920. These cameras do have a different aspect ratio than 4MP, however. So there is a slight trade off.

720P

720p refers to an image resolution of 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall. Originally a standard for HD (high-definition) television, it can refer to the resolution of video content, the recording capability of a video camera.

8 Megapixel

These are cameras that are capable of resolutions up to 3264 x 2448. This resolution is creeping up on the low end of 4K, and about to breech the high end of 2K resolutions.

960H

960H is a resolution which offers 400% higher image quality as compare to CIF resolution. 960H resolution is 960p (horizontal) x 576p (vertical). This is also known as WD1 resolution.

960P

An image resolution of 1280 pixels wide by 960 pixels tall. It can refer to the resolution of video content or the recording capability of a video camera.

 

A

ActiveX

ActiveX is a standard that enables software components to interact with one another in a networked environment, regardless of the language(s) used to create them. Web browsers may come into contact with ActiveX controls, ActiveX documents, and ActiveX scripts. ActiveX controls are often downloaded and installed automatically as required.

AGC

Automatic Gain Control automatically increases the video signal in low light conditions. In modern days AGC is available in most of the cameras.

AHD

Analog high definition closed-circuit television video surveillance standard that uses coax cable to transmit HD video from security cameras to DVRs. AHD supports 720p, 1080p(2MP), 4MP, 5MP and 8MP HD video resolutions.

Auto Iris

Auto Iris lens adjusts shutter automatically to allow the right amount of light to fall on the imaging device. There is a tiny motor and amplifier built in which receives a control signal from the camera to maintain a constant one volt peak to peak (1.0 Vp-p) video level.

Alarm Inputs/Outputs

This can be a physical wired device like PIR Sensor, Door sensor, Glass break sensor, Smoke sensor etc., that recognize any suspicious activity that triggers alarm output such as sending e-Mails and uploading video on FTP server. Alarm inputs on a DVR, XVR or NVR can be used for connecting additional devices.

Analog

In CCTV, analog refers to a Camera Video Format. This refers to systems and components that use the Video standard NTSC/PAL composite video formats. New technology has allowed Analog to attain high resolutions which are reffered to as HD Analog or HDCCTV. Current HD Resolutions are up to 8MP as of 2019.

Angle of View

The angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view, or FOV. Angle of view is generally describe in degrees such as 90°, 75°, etc. and can be determined in width and height of view.

Aperture

Aperture refers to F Stop value of a lens. It is the area of the aperture that determines the amount of light allowed to enter the Image sensor. The lower the F – stop number the more light it is able to absorb, f 1.0 means it can work under low (light) Lux level.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Artificial intelligence for video surveillance utilizes computer software programs that analyze the images from Surveillance Cameras in order to recognize humans, vehicles or objects. Common AI functions include “Face Detection”, “Left Baggage Detection” and “Line Crossing” among others.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of the vertical to the horizontal image size. This is usually 4:3 for analog video. A widescreen monitor typically has a 16:9 video format option.

AVI

An acronym for Audio Video Interleaved. This is a typical video format used in the PC world that can be read by a variety of standard programs. Some DVR manufacturers can export video to AVI files for easy review in a standard PC.

AWB

Auto White Balance feature on color cameras whereby the camera constantly monitors the light and adjusts its color to maintain white areas.

 

B

Backlit

An object illuminated from behind such as a CCTV Sensor. This can be helpful when working in darkened rooms. Also known as BLC or Back Light Compensation in CCTV Cameras.

Back Up

In CCTV DVR context backup refers to saving a selected clip of video to an external device for the purpose of reviewing the clip in a standard PC. This is also called as Export

Balun (Active / Passive)

This is a device that allows video to travel over a twisted pair (Cat 5) wire rather than coax (RG 59) cable. This device matches the impedances of the different signals. Balun stands for balanced-unbalanced. A balun is required at the transmitting device (camera) and receiving device (DVR, monitor, etc.). Passive distance can be up to 990’ (300Mtrs) and active can be up to 9900’ (3 Km). Also referred to as a Video Balun.

Bandwidth

Device bandwidth is the range of signal frequencies that a piece of audio or video equipment can encode or decode (the operating frequency). Video uses a wider/higher frequency range than audio, thus requires a wider bandwidth.

Bandwidth Limiter

This refers to a feature in some DVRs and Remote Software that limits the size of the network traffic provided. This feature restricts DVR/Remote software communication so more bandwidth remains available for other network traffic.

Base Band Video

This is the video signal used in CCTV. It is the NTSC or PAL format minus the broadcast frequency modulation and many other embedded signals used in Broadcast TV. It consists of video, horizontal sync and vertical sync. This is all that is required to view a video signal on a monitor

Bit Rate

Bit rate is measured in bits per second. In IP video it usually refers to the bit rate from an IP camera. Controlling the bit rate controls the bandwidth needed to transfer data from the camera. The camera processor will automatically limit the maximum bit rate sent from the camera to the bit rate setting selected.

Bit

Individual parts of data communication. A bit is the smallest part of the overall data stream. Serial communication is measured in bits per second (RS-232, RS-485, etc.).

BitVision

The mobile app for all current STOiC DVRs. This is available on both iOS and Android. A more stable and easy to use version of FreeIP. It can be found on the App Store as well as the Google Play Store, depending on your mobile OS of choice.

BNC

This is the standard connector type used in CCTV. It provides an easy snap-on connection for a coax cable. What BNC stands for is less clear. Some say it means British Naval Connector. Others attribute it to the type and the inventor; Bayonet Neil Councilman.

 

C

Camera

This is the basic video collection device that has many forms and configurations. Some are: box cameras (require a separate lens), bullet cameras (slim line all in one construction), dome camera (all in one in a dome design), PTZ camera (mounted on a PTZ platform device), PTZ dome (all in one package). An IP or HD camera can be any of these and connect directly to a network.

CAT5

CAT5 is a network cable that supports Ethernet speeds (up to 100 Mbps). As with all other types of twisted pair EIA/TIA cabling, CAT5 cable runs are limited to a maximum recommended run length of 95mtrs (313 feet) & it can be available in 2. Market contains four pairs of copper wire.

CAT5e

Is similar to CAT-5, the ‘e’ standing for enhanced. This cable has more ability for data transmission. Cat-5e also can be used for Gigabit Ethernet and generally has less near-end crosstalk. In new cabling system CAT5e cables are almost always used over CAT5.

CAT6

Is a most sophisticated cables, it is also comprised of four pieces of twisted pair copper wire, it has a longitudinal separator. This allows the cables to be separated from each other and, in turn, allows not only for an increased data transfer speed, but less crosstalk and double the bandwidth. CAT6 cabling is a good choice for IP Camera & NVR, especially those that are evolving and might need more options in the future. CAT-6 is perfect for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and can work at up to 250 MHz.

CCD

Charged Coupled Device is a type of image sensor used in CCTV cameras. The sensor converts optical images in to electrical signals. These are also known in the market as HAD CCD, IT CCD, Super HAD CCD.

CCTV

An acronym for Closed Circuit Television. Originally this was described as a system with cables directly from cameras to viewing devices with no outside world connections. The Internet has changed all that. Now you can access any DVR with browser software through the Internet. CCTV has continued to be used to refer to surveillance Cameras and systems of all types.

CIF

An acronym for Common Intermediate Format, a set of standard video formats, defined by their resolution. CIF resolution is 352 x 288 pixels and is also known as D1 720 x 576, 2CIF, 4CIF, 960H.

CMOS

Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor imaging chip is a type of Active Pixel Sensor made using the CMOS semiconductor process. Extra circuitry next to each photo sensor converts the light energy to a voltage. Additional circuitry on the chip may be included to convert the voltage to digital data. CMOS cameras were originally low in quality but typically less expensive than a CCD sensor. This has been known in the market as HDIS/ HQIS/ DIS/ QIS Sensors, or flicker less camera etc.

CMS

Control Management Software is a software used for managing multiple systems.

CMS Software

This is an acronym for Central Management Software. This is a generic term used to indicate the installable remote software packages provided by any DVR manufacturer. Each manufacturer has a specific name for their CMS product.

Coaxial Cable (COAX)

A type of shielded cable capable of carrying a wide range of frequencies (video or radio) with very low signal loss. Used in CCTV and HD CCTV applications with BNC Connectors

CODEC

This stands for Compressor/De-compressor. Some people call it encoder/decoder. This refers to the software that compresses or decompresses the video.

Compression

Video must be compressed in size in order to make it manageable in the record and remote transmit functions. Typical compression standards include H.264 / M-JPEG & MPEG-4. Some DVR manufacturers use proprietary compression methods that are usually modified versions of the standards.

Contrast

Contrast is the difference in the color and brightness of the object and other objects within the same field of view.

Contrast Ratio

The ratio between white and black. The larger the contrast ratio the greater the ability of a projector to show subtle color details and tolerate extraneous room light. There are two methods used by the projection industry: 1) Full On/Off contrast measures the ratio of the light output of an all white image (full on) and the light output of an all-black (full off) image. 2) ANSI contrast is measured with a pattern of 16 alternating black and white rectangles. The average light output from the white rectangles is divided by the average light output of the black rectangles to determine the ANSI contrast ratio. When comparing the contrast ratio of projectors make sure you are comparing the same type of contrast. Full On/Off contrast will always be a larger number than ANSI contrast for the same projector.

Covert Camera

A covert camera is a camera that is not visible or noticeable. It is intentionally obscured from view and often used for surveillance of employees. Covert Cameras can be hidden in a variety of devices, including PIR Sensors, Smoke Detectors etc. These Cameras are also referred to as Hidden Cameras, Nanny Cameras and Concealed Cameras.

CVBS

CVBS is composite video base band signal for the security camera market. This is what is considered original analog standard definition video cameras. Those Analog security cameras are not high definition and capped off at 960h 700 analog tv lines resolution.

CVI

HD-CVI (High Definition Composite Video Interface). This video format enabled analog CCTV signals to move into the high-definition range. Prior to this, it was limited to 960h.

 

D

DDNS

DDNS stands for dynamic DNS, or more specifically dynamic Domain Name System. It’s a service that maps internet domain names to IP addresses. DDNS is commonly used for NVR’s, DVR’s and IP Cameras when attempting to remotely connect to your system.

Depth of Field

This is the in-focus range of the image produced by the lens. Objects in the focus area are clear. They will become less clear as they get closer to, or further away from the camera. The distance of the area of clear focus is the depth of field.

DHCP

This is an acronym for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. This is a function that allows a network to automatically assign an IP address to a PC when the user logs on to the system. All devices on a network require an IP address. DHCP does this automatically. The alternative is to manually enter a static IP address in each device.

Digital Zoom

This refers to enlarging a portion of an image by adding additional pixels within the image to fill the larger area. It makes the picture area larger at the expense of video quality. The intelligence for this feature can be in a camera or a DVR. The opposite would be Optical Zoom in which a camera physically zooms into an image using all available pixels.

DNS

Domain Name System matches internet computer names to IP numbers.

Domain

A number of computer devices administered as a group. A Domain server is set up and maintained by the network administrator (the person in charge of the network).

Driver

Device Driver is a software program that allows a computer to communicate with a peripheral. You need the appropriate driver to allow your printer to work with your system. Many drivers are available on a PC as part of the operating system. However, don’t depend on this as drivers for devices newer than the operating system will not be installed. You typically get a copy of the driver with the purchased device. The manufacturer’s web site is a common place to get the latest available drivers for a device. Drivers are often referred to as DLLs (dynamic link library). Virtually all drivers used in CCTV devices are proprietary. So once you get away from the standard stuff you have to rely upon the manufacturer’s good will for interface help.

DVR

An acronym for Digital Video Recorder, this is a manufacturer designed hardware platform for recording. It may have many functions like Recorder/ Multiplexer/ Remote surveillance/ Alert notification. It is a proprietary design that is unique to an individual manufacturer. DVR’s are commonly used in HD CCTV and generally will have BNC Inputs. DVR’s range from 4 Channel to 32 Channel. New versions of HD DVR’s which support multiple HD Formats are called XVR’s.

Dynamic IP

This refers to IP addresses that are automatically assigned to a network device when the user logs on to the system. See DHCP.

 

E

Ethernet

Ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the Physical Layer of the OSI networking model as well as a common addressing format and Media Access Control at the Data Link Layer.

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F

Field

Each complete video image in NTSC/PAL (frame) is composed of two fields. One field consists of the odd numbered lines in the frame and the other field consists of the even numbered lines. When viewed together in rapid succession, these lines form the complete frame image. The NTSC and PAL formats called for double scanning fields to reduce the visual flicker that was common on early TV monitors. Monitors got better over time but the “standard” did not change. Each individual field independently forms a picture.

Focal Length

The distance between the secondary principal point in the lens and the plane of the imaging device. The longer the focal length, the narrower is the angle of view.

Frame Rate

Frame rate, also known as frame frequency and frames per second (FPS), is the frequency (rate) at which an imaging device produces unique consecutive images called frames.

FTP

File Transfer Protocol transfer documents between different types of computers.

 

G

Gateway

This is the hardware/software device used to connect LANs with dissimilar operating systems. The gateway often refers to an Internet connection. The gateway is a single device that provides a single IP address to the outside world and routes traffic to the appropriate internal IP addresses.

GUI

An acronym for Graphical User Interface. This is the visual display that the operator uses to use the system. Pronounced “gooey”.

 

H

H.265 (H.265+)

This video compression method is an improvement over earlier formats like JPEG, M-Jpeg, MPEG-4 providing smaller average usable file sizes. Most of our IP Cameras and NVR’s allow for H.264, H.264+, H.265 and H.265+.

HDD

An acronym for Hard Disk Drive.

HDMI

Acronym for High Definition Multimedia Interface. This is a single cable connection used in consumer electronics providing a high level of clarity. This type of connection is now common in CCTV products, and is capable of higher resolutions than VGA or Composite.

 

I

Interlaced Video

Also known as Interlaced Scan, is a technique for doubling the perceived frame rate of a video display without consuming extra bandwidth. The interlaced signal contains two fields of a video frame captured at two different times. This enhances motion perception to the viewer.

IP (IP Address)

An acronym for Internet Protocol. IP is a unique number/ IP address assigned by an internet authority that identifies a computer on the internet. The number consists of four groups of numbers between 0 and 255, separated by periods (dots). For example 192.168.1.254 an IP address.

IP Cameras

These are IP based video cameras using IP networking as their basis rather than the traditional video signal used in broadcast and closed circuit systems. Migration to IP Cameras increased due to higher resolution capabilities as well as capabilities. However, HD Analog Cameras have bridged the gap on resolution dramatically (Currently up to 8MP).

IP66

This stands for Ingress Protection. It is a measure of the ability of an enclosure to resist dust and water. It is expressed (usually) as two numbers as in IP66. This rating would mean your outdoor dome enclosure is totally resistant to dust and water entry.

IPv4

IPv4 Internet Protocol Address form of IP address is a number address of 32 bits appearing by 4 numbers that is parted by period. Each number can be from to 255 from 0.

IPv6

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet.

IR

Infra-Red light is the wavelength of light produced below the visible part of the spectrum. Humans can’t see this light but cameras can. IR cameras use Infra-Red LEDs to light an area and provide usable (black and white) images in total darkness.

IR Cut Filter

IR light can distort colors in CCD and CMOS cameras. An IR filter is often used in cameras to filter out IR light during bright daylight conditions. An IR cut filter is automatically removed at low light to allow the camera to take advantage of IR light in lower light conditions. The camera usually switches to black and white operation at this time since B/W works better than color in low light. However, new Starlight Cameras have emerged as a way for Cameras to stay in color in extremely low light levels.

 

J

JPEG

A Format for compressing image files.

 

L

LAN

An acronym for Local Area Network. This could be as small as a two computer system, or, it could incorporate hundreds of users in a campus environment. It is local in that there is a direct wire connection between all parts of the network.

LCD

LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. The majority of modern monitors use this to provide their display.

Legacy

A term used to describe hardware that may be obsolete, but still being used and somewhat supported.

LED

A LED is a Light Emitting Diode.

Live Video

Live displays current activity. This can be at the camera location or at a remote site connected to the cameras through the Internet.

LUX

It measures the amount of uniform light that falls on one square meter. Security camera specs use the lux to indicate how much light they require to operate, with lower lux levels indicating a camera as more effective in lower ambient light.

 

M

MJPEG

A Format for compressing image files.

 

N

Network

Allows two or more computers to exchange information quickly and easily. Also, in surveillance, a term used to describe IP Cameras (IP Network Cameras).

Network Bandwidth

This refers to the total amount of network traffic that is allowed on the network. A typical LAN connection is 100Mbps. All devices on that leg of the network share the available bandwidth. WAN traffic is much slower because of the slower connection to the outside world.

Network Switch

A hardware device used to connect multiple devices to a network. These devices usually have from four to 32 inputs. They can be connected together to make any size network.

NTSC

National Television Systems Committee of the Electronics Industries Association (EIA) which prepared the NTSC format specifications approved by the Federal Communications Commission, for US commercial color broadcasting. `NTSC’ also refers to a color television format having 525 scan lines, a field frequency of 60 Hz, a broadcast bandwidth of 4 MHz, line frequency of 15.75 KHz, frame frequency of 1/30 of a second, and a color subcarrier frequency of 3.58 MHz. NTSC is the North American Standard for CCTV.

 

O

ONVIF

Acronym for Open Network Video Interface Forum. This is a growing standard for IP camera interface. Cameras such as Stoic Technologies IP Cameras and Tru View IP Cameras use ONVIF protocol. They are compatible with many major brand like Axis, ACTi, Bosch, CNB, Dahua, Everfocus, Hikvision, Honeywell, Panasonic, Pelco, Samsung, Hanwha, Sony, Uniview, Vivotek and many more.

Operating Humidity

The device can operate is the humidity range.

Operating Temperature

The device can operate is the relative operating temperature range.

Optical Zoom

Used to describe a method of using the lens of the camera to enhance and enlarge the image, rather than digital means. Pixelation does not come into play with this method. This is completely dependent on the camera itself. Optical Zoom allows for complete use of pixels available.

OSD

Acronym for On Screen Display.

 

P

P2P

Peer to Peer is a network where all users can share information equally. You share the information on each computer’s drives with all the other computers in the workgroup. The workstations (each PC) communicate directly with each other.

PAL

Phase Alternation Line; the European standard color television system, except for France. PAL’s image format is 4:3, 625 lines, 50 Hz and 4 MHz video bandwidth with a total 8 MHz of video channel width.

Password or Passcode

Is the act of establishing or confirming something (or someone) as authentic i.e. that claims made by or about the subject are true.

Ping

Ping is a computer network administration utility used to test whether a particular host is reachable across an Internet Protocol (IP) network and to measure the round-trip time for packets sent from the local host to a destination computer, including the local host’s own interfaces.

Pinhole Lens

Lens used for applications where the camera/lens must be hidden. Front of lens has a small opening to allow the lens to view an entire room through a small hole in a wall.

Plug and Play

Plug n Play basically means that the product is pre-configured in such a way it may require 0 configurations by the end user or system integrator.

POE

Acronym for Power over Ethernet. This is a network device that provides power to a device using one of the CAT-5 cable twisted pairs. This is an installation advantage eliminating the need for a locally installed AC outlet.

PPPoE

It means assigning a changeable IP address to a DVR to connect DVRs at remote places.

Privacy Zones

This refers to the ability of a camera to mask parts of its normal viewing area to prevent the operator from viewing the protected areas. This can be in fixed cameras or in PTZ cameras. The intelligence for operating this feature can be included in a dome, a DVR or in a Matrix switch.

Private Networks

The term private network is pretty generic. Generally it means that the network is restricted to specific users. This could range from a separate grouping of computers connected locally, two LANs connected together through a phone connection, to a complex “Intranet” that is accessed through the Internet, yet only available to authorized users. The Intranet version is often referred to as a “Virtual Private Network.” In the case of Digital Video Recorders and their remote software connections, we refer to a private network as a separate grouping of security devices that are not connected directly to the normal company business network. The advantage of this private network is that you have all the bandwidth available for a specific purpose and you will not affect other company business in the case of a failure.

Proprietary

In CCTV context proprietary indicates a non-standard method of accomplishing something. This may be good or bad depending on the results. (usually bad). Some proprietary software solutions were developed by manufacturers before the current standards were implemented. Some are attempts to intentionally circumvent the ability to work with other manufacturer’s equipment. Most were just developed separately with no thought of how anyone else approached the same issue. A downfall of Proprietary equipment is that once the manufacturer stops supporting it, your system is effectively defunct.

Protocol

In CCTV context a protocol is the command set used to control one device from another. An example is that each manufacture develops their own code to send commands to PTZ domes. This is why you see so many options for camera control in DVRs. The protocol is the software element. The hardware element is RS-422, RS-485, etc.

PTZ

Pan Tilt Zoom a device that can be remotely controlled to provide both vertical and horizontal movement for a camera, with zoom. This is a movable mechanical base for a camera. PTZ Cameras are used to actively search a wide area up to 360 degrees and zoom in to a point of interest.

PTZ Dome

A fully contained PTZ mechanism and camera installed in the same dome housing.

 

R

Rack

An industrial standard housing Rack Mount. Available in different sizes such as 19″, etc.

RAID

An acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Drives. There are several different levels of RAID devices. The key is that if one of the drives fails, the information from that device is retained in the remaining drives. The different RAID levels range from storing all information in two separate locations, to using software gymnastics to share information on all drives so that any single drive failure will not allow any loss of data.

RG-59

A video coaxial cable with 75 Ohm characteristic impedance. A type of coaxial cable that is most common in use in small to medium-size CCTV systems. It has an outer diameter of approx. 6 mm and it is a good compromise between maximum distances achievable (up to 266m) and good transmission. See also RG59 Siamese

Router

This is the hardware device that provides a gateway to the Internet.

RS485

It is used to communicate between DVR and peripheral device such as keyboard or speed dome to control the camera’s movement via RS-485 communication style.This is an advanced format of digital communications compared to RS-232. It is a balanced line transmission system. It is classically a half-duplex 2 wire presentation.

 

S

SATA

Acronym for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. This is the cable that connects a PC motherboard to a disk drive or optical drive. It is a thin round cable providing serial communication. This is a newer technology than traditional parallel connections (ribbon cables). So you must know what type of drive each DVR requires.

SDI

(HD-SDI) Serial Digital Interface. The first HD Analog format introduced to the video security market. HDSDI solutions are capable of transmitting 720p or 1080p resolution video over standard coaxial cable.

Siamese Cable

Refers to a Coaxial Video Cable coupled with a Power Cable. AKA: RG59 Siamese. A common configuration is RG59 Coax with 18/2 Power Cable.

Smart IR

Technology to auto-adjust the intensity of built in infrared LEDs to compensate for objects within close distances to the camera lens.

Signal-to-noise ratio (abbreviated SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. SNR is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels.

Standalone System

A device that runs independently without the need to be connected with other devices.

Starlight / StarVis

Sony created STARVIS a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS image sensors for surveillance camera applications. It featured a sensitivity of 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2 (color product, when imaging with a 706 cd/m2 light source, F5.6 in 1 s accumulation equivalent), and combined high picture quality in the visible-light and near infrared light regions within a frame. This technology is used in many STOiC cameras, and provides color CCTV images in low-light situations. Most of our STOiC Cameras are Starlight Capable.

Static IP Address

This is the name given to a manually entered IP address. In large networks IP addresses are usually automatically assigned by DHCP.

Subnet Mask

This is a 32 bit binary number used as part of IP addressing. Each octet is expressed as a number between zero and 255. The subnet mask numbers define the network number.

 

 

T

TCP/IP

This is an acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This is the most common protocol for communicating through the Internet.

Tour

Refers to PTZ control: You can select a series of cameras, Presets and Patterns into a tour. This will switch from one camera, preset or pattern to another in the order and for the time selected. The result is a tour (the name is derived from a guard tour where the guard physically goes from location to location) of video from a central location.

Transmission Range

Generally refers to the distance a video signal will travel. Transmission ranges vary by technology.

TVI

High Definition Transport Video Interface. It is a digital signal processing and transport technology used to transmit video in HD security cameras and DVRs. HDTV technology was developed by a company named Techpoint. They released the TVI video standard in 2014.

 

U

USB

Acronym for Universal Serial Bus. This is standard PC hardware. It allows external devices to be easily connected to a PC, DVR, etc. Connected devices are typically hard drives, CD/DVDs and flash drives.

UTC

This is an acronym for Up-The-Coax. This refers to sending telemetry information (PTZ control data) to a PTZ device on the same coax cable that provides the video. The data is transferred during the Vertical Blanking Interval (that wide black line you might see on a rolling image) and does not interfere with the video display. This is especially helpful in installation and allows UTC compatible cameras and DVR’s to communicate with each other without having to run an additional cable. Our STOiC XVR’s are all UTC Supported.

UTP

An acronym for Unshielded Twisted Pair, known as network cable CAT 5 UTP or CAT 6 UTP Cable

 

V

Vari-Focal Lens (Variable Focus)

This is a lens with a manually adjusted focal length. The field of view can be adjusted easily after the camera is installed. This simplifies installation with one lens type accommodating multiple locations. See Also: Motorized Zoom

VMS

VMS stands for Video Management System. A VMS allows for managing several IP Cameras, NVR’s and DVR’s over a single platform.

W

WAN

Acronym for Wide Area Network. A WAN is typically a number of individual LANs connected together through telecommunication links (ISDN, T1, DSL, etc.) either directly, or, through the Internet.

WDR

Acronym for Wide Dynamic Range. This refers to cameras. This is a high end feature. A camera viewing an image with very bright and very dark sections will probably not show any detail in the dark areas as the camera is adjusted to tone down the bright areas. With WDR the camera view will be much improved showing detail in both light and dark areas. This feature also provides better image detail in low light conditions.

WiFi

Is a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) technology. It provides short-range wireless high-speed data connections between IP cameras to nearby Wi-Fi access points. Wi-Fi has different types of encryptions standard WPA / WPA2 / WEP for secured access. There are variants of Wi-Fi, 802.11g, is capable of providing speeds of up to 54Mbps and is backwards compatible with 802.11b.

 

X

XVR

An XVR is a DVR that can support multiple formats. HD XVR’s can support AHD, TVI, CVI, CVBS and IP simultaneously. They also have an auto detect feature so cameras from multiple formats can be recognized instantly without having to switch any settings.

 

Thank you for visiting our site! If you see anything that you think needs to be included in our glossary, please let us know!

Ellipse Security Inc.

904-996-0061

[email protected]

 

 

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New Stoic Technologies 5MP Vari-Focal Starlight Bullet Cameras

STH-B5571AFW

Starlight Bullet Cameras from Stoic Technologies!

If you are searching for a better camera for your HD Security Camera System we have some great options for you. The new 5MP Starlight Bullet Cameras from Stoic Technologies, are a welcome addition to our 5MP HD over Coax Line Up. These new starlight cameras have been extremely well received by our Dealers and End Users alike. While many manufacturers have been focusing their efforts on current IP trends, Stoic has been concentrating on image quality, and it shows.

STH-B5571AFW
Starlight Bullet Cameras

We have tested the Stoic Technologies 5MP Cameras against several leading security camera manufacturers and one common theme seems to be evident. Image quality (based on several aspects) is consistently highest in the Stoic Cameras. Especially significant is that the Stoic Starlight Cameras visibly outperform in the dark, including a one to one test with popular EXIR style cameras. We tested this without activating the Starlight Capabilities, and just going IR mode to IR mode.

New 5MP Zoom Models:

The newest 5MP Vari-Focal Starlight Bullet Cameras from Stoic, are available in two models. The STH-B5580W has Manual Zoom and Focus, and the STH-B5571AFW features Motorized Zoom and Auto Focus. Both models deliver images up to 200 Feet in complete darkness and employ a Sony Starlight Back-Lit Image Sensor for acquiring Color Images in extremely Low Light situations.

 

Manual Zoom Model: STH-B5580W

Motorized Zoom Model: STH-B5571AFW

What is Manual Zoom in a Security Camera?

Manual Zoom means that you can manually (or physically) adjust the angle of view, or zoom the camera in and out in order to get the perfect picture for your application. Most cameras sold today are ‘Fixed’ lens cameras which cannot be adjusted to compensate for different applications. The benefit of a Vari-Focal, or Zoom Camera is its flexibility. For example, let’s say you need one of your Security Cameras to Zoom out to the end of your driveway, but another needs to cover a wider area. A vari-focal or zoom camera can handle either application. With a 2.8-12mm Lens, you have significant zoom capabilities (out to 12mm) or wide angle (2.8mm) as well as anything in between.

Field of View Chart

Why Do I Need Motorized Zoom?

If you have ever tried to get the focus just right on a manual zoom camera, you know how difficult it can be. With the STH-B5571AFW, you just zoom in, or out to the picture you want, and the cameras Auto Focus automatically gets the perfect focus for you. The 2.7-13.5mm Lens makes this an extremely versatile camera for many installs. You can also control the camera’s zoom function through UTC (Up The Coax). Security cameras that allow for controlling the Zoom at the DVR side make installation easier and also provide additional functionality since the camera can be zoomed in or out at any time. (Also See our PTZ’s for Motorized Pan, Tilt AND Zoom.) Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras!

These two 5MP Bullet Cameras are IP66 Weatherproof and built to last. The cameras have a metal housing, ‘Through The Bracket’ Cable, and several Mounting Options are Available.

Are they Compatible with My System?

The Stoic 5MP CCTV Bullets are 4 in 1 Switchable so they are compatible with most 5MP DVR’s. Currently the most popular and widely used HD Analog Surveillance formats in the USA are HD-TVI, HD-CVI and AHD. The Stoic Cameras will do all of these, and can be set via OSD or Joystick Control on the Camera. They are also capable of CVBS or Standard Analog Resolution for those systems that are a little older. The cameras are also easy to switch from 5MP to 4MP so they can be used on a 4MP DVR as well.

What do you mean by Starlight?

Stoic Technologies Starlight Bullet Cameras see color in extremely low light levels. When other cameras have long since switched to black and white mode, these Starlight Cameras are still providing Color Images! This is accomplished with a Sony STARVIS Back-Lit Sensor that can use a relatively small amount of existing light to produce an image. This is especially beneficial if your business operates in low light situations. If you have ever installed Night Vision Cameras in a Bar or Internet Café, you are probably aware that they are nearly always in Black and White (IR Mode). This is an issue because important details are lost such as the color on somebody’s shirt or the color of a product purchased. With the Stoic Starlight Cameras, color images are still capable down to unbelievably low light levels, preserving important details.

          With Starlight Sensor                                          Standard IR at same Light Level

                 

 

Stoic Technologies Cameras continue to be the #1 choice by our Dealers, Installers and Commercial Clients. All Stoic CCTV Equipment now comes with a 3 Year Manufacturers Warranty and FREE Lifetime Technical Support from Ellipse Security!

Compatible DVR’s in Our Store:

STOiC, Hanwha (Samsung), Tru View, Watchman

Compatible HD DVR’s in our store

Additional Compatible DVR’s: Hanwha, Hikvision, Dahua, Lorex, Honeywell, LTS, More!

We would also like to mention that we have Stoic Starlight Cameras available in a Dome Style Camera as well. (Article Coming Soon).Visit our site to see all of our Stoic Technologies Cameras! Or just call us toll free at 877-880-7728!

We Love to Talk to People about Security Cameras!

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SmartIR and How to Avoid Issues

At least a few times a week we get a call that normally goes like this:

Customer: I love the cameras in daytime, but at night I can’t see anything at all.

Tech Support: Are you able to send a screenshot for me to take a look at?

Customer: Sure. *Sends photo*

Tech Support: It looks like there’s a bit too much of the wall in your frame. I’d recommend moving the camera to the left just a bit to get rid of the reflection from the wall.

Customer calls the next day to tell me that just getting the wall or other reflective surface out of frame cleared up their issue. I should mention that these calls aren’t ever a bother. We completely understand that this isn’t something that the majority of people would even consider to be the cause of an issue.

A majority of newer CCTV cameras use Smart-IR, or some variant. Essentially it’s an adaptive IR that will adjust the focus of the IR to either foreground or overall image. If you have someone walking up to an older camera in IR mode, there was a chance that the image could be blown out from the over-saturation of light. Smart-IR solves this by adapting the intensity depending on what’s in the frame of the camera, and where it is.

In our first example we have a fairly balanced image. There are a few things in the foreground that are a bit more reflective, but it’s not disrupting the image too much.

 

In this next image, I’ve inserted a piece of paper into the frame. You can see that it’s beginning to affect the image, and the way the camera is picking it up.

 

Here I’ve placed the paper even further in frame, and now the entire background is pitch black. Granted, this is really a bit of a silly demonstration. So let’s go to something more practical.

 

Here we have a camera mounted in a pretty normal position. There’s a bit of the wall in the frame, but nothing that’s really causing the image to be affected. Let’s move the camera a bit to the right and see how the image changes. 

 

I do know that this is an extreme example, but this is exactly how reflective surfaces can affect your CCTV cameras in IR mode. Flooding the foreground with light, and basically removing the background.

As stated in a previous entry, it’s always good to plan your system layout before you start drilling and running cables. Consider where you’re mounting your cameras, and make sure that there aren’t going to be any obstacles you need to plan around. Gutters, soffits, light-colored walls, etc… If you have any of those in frame, adjust your camera and you’ll most likely be in good shape. If you’re still having issues, you’re always welcome to give us a call. If you’re in the market for some new security cameras with Smart-IR, we have a wide selection. Just let us know what your needs are.

We Love talking to People about Security Cameras.

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Ingress Protection or IP Ratings for Security Cameras

INGRESS PROTECTION

What are IP or Ingress Protection Ratings for Security Cameras?

IP ratings for security cameras (as well as many other electronics) are used to define levels of Ingress Protection, or the level of effectiveness against intrusion from foreign bodies such as dust, water, moisture, tools and hardware. These ratings are based on IEC standard 60529, also referred to as International Protection Marking (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as ‘Waterproof’ or ‘Weatherproof’. This information is important when choosing a security camera for a specific application.

VTVV6TQConsidering environmental conditions and how they may affect the operation and longevity of a Security Camera can be an important part of planning any Security Camera installation. Although CCTV Cameras come in many form factors such as Bullet or Dome, etc. the protection ratings are meant to provide consistency over many variations. Both a Bullet camera and, for instance, a PTZ Camera can have the same IP Rating.NC312-MB

What do the numbers mean?

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first number indicates the degree of protection of a camera or enclosure from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the camera from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion, etc.). We have included a chart below that explains the significance and variation of each number. Together, the numbers define the Ingress Protection Rating for that camera.

 

As an example, a CCTV Camera that has a rating of IP67 would be Dust Proof (6) and able to be submerged for short periods of time (7). Most outdoor rated Security Cameras will fall under the following three ratings: IP65, IP66 and IP67, respectively. It is important to note here, that although a Security Camera may be rated as weatherproof, the cable connections are generally NOT weatherproof. Several methods are available for making sure your CCTV connections are protected from weather including dielectric grease, junction boxes or gang boxes, or running the cable inside of the wall away from the elements. The best technology is even better when coupled with the best practices.

If you have any questions about your CCTV Project, we are always happy to help. It is our privilege to help you plan your installation, and help you get the most out of your Security Cameras. Just call us toll-free at 877-880-7728!

We Love to Talk to People about Security Cameras!

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Specialty CCTV Cameras and their Applications

Specialty Security Cameras

There’s a gap in your coverage, and you’re not sure how to close it. The building you’re in is just a bit too far to get a clear image of the front of the parking lot from where you sit. You have a couple of choices at this point. You can just put up a normal camera and hope for the best, or you could get a variable focus camera, allowing you to get just that little bit closer and get the image you need. Understanding Specialty CCTV Cameras and Applications, and how to utilize them in your CCTV arsenal is one of the keys to a successful CCTV system. Let’s go over some of the more popular cameras and see what they have to offer.

 

1. The Variable Focus Camera (Vari-Focal)

PROS

  • Dome or Bullet Style Camera Options
  • Most widely available in 2.8 to 12mm focal lengths, so should fit most needs
  • Allows user to focus on what’s important in the image, and set themselves
  • Once the focal length is set, it’s set until the end of time. It’s not going anywhere.

CONS

  • Can be a little finicky when trying to set
  • May need a helper to get things focused properly, since it has to be done at the camera (Except for Motorized Zoom with UTC)

APPLICATIONS

  • Parking Lots
  • Gas Pumps
  • Cash Register Coverage
  • Long Driveways for Home Users
  • Anywhere that a tighter image is needed

STH-B3271W

There’s a reason I mentioned the Variable Focus or Vari-focal first. These are versatile cameras that will allow the end-user to get a nice, close image, without having to purchase an expensive box camera and lens. If you need to see an entry gate that is 70 feet away from the camera, the Vari-Focal Camera allows you to Zoom into that area and therefore use the highest resolution of the camera. With a standard fixed lens, your image may include the entry gate but also a significant area to the right and left of it. The gate will seem farther away and image quality of that area is greatly reduced. The Vari-Focal lens also gives the option to adjust the image if the user wants a wider angle in the future. Available in domes and bullets, they are easy to fit into any system configuration. You can also get a motorized zoom, Vari-focal camera, which cuts down on install time as they will auto focus the image for you. Just zoom in or out to the focal length you want and let it do it’s thing! The Camera will automatically get the perfectly focused image.

Mounting these cameras above or near a cash register is a really great way to keep track of employee movement when it comes to your business. With the current resolutions, you can even tell what denomination the bills are most of the time. Pictured is the STOIC, STH-B3271W Vari-Focal Bullet with 240 Feet of Night Vision. See it HERE!

Manual Vari-Focal Zoom Cameras

Motorized Zoom, Auto Focus Security Cameras

2. The Panoramic or Fisheye Camera

PROS

  • Large field of view
  • Available in indoor and outdoor versions
  • Monitor a whole room with a single camera
  • Great for large or small spaces
  • Many have software that allows for de-warping of the image
  • Some have two-way audio

CONS

  • If you’re looking for detail, this may fall short. Panoramic Security Cameras are really meant for a good overview rather than being a pin-point solution. That’s really the only con for these, though.

APPLICATIONS

  • Warehouses
  • Small or large stores
  • Parking lots
  • Storerooms

The Panoramic camera is relatively new in the CCTV industry. Being able to cover a large area with a single camera is great for people with a smaller budget but can be great in supplementing any existing system. In the case of a large warehouse, three of these cameras can cover the vast majority of the interior. Adding fixed cameras to that, you can have a 7 or 8 camera solution that will cover an entire warehouse efficiently and can save money in the process. These Cameras are also great for covering a four-way hallway. Mount the camera on the ceiling, in the center, and you can see in all four directions.

Image below was taken with the STH-D1390WP

See the New Version, STH-D1396WP here!

Panoramic CCTV

Covering a parking lot is similar. Mounted horizontally, the camera’s view is 180 degrees. This can easily cover 18 parking spots at a distance of only 30 feet, with just one camera. A single camera for overview supplemented with pin-point cameras would make for easy parking lot coverage. Not to mention inexpensive.

 

3. Starvis Low-Light Cameras

PROS

  • Ultra Low-Light images in color
  • Available in domes and bullets
  • Amazing for ambient lighting, like restaurants and bars.
  • Stays in color… it bears repeating

CONS

  • None, to be honest. Maybe I can come up with some nit-picky thing… Nope.

APPLICATIONS

  • Anywhere that needs a color picture with a low-light environment
  • Perfect for bars, cafes, restaurants, pool halls, etc…

We’ve done a previous post on the Starvis Back-Illuminated sensor and a few of the cameras that use them. It’s one of the few camera sensors that we always show off in our live demos. The difference in light sensitivity is pretty dramatic, which is why it’s always on our list. The applications for this one are pretty endless.

(Image on the left is without Starvis, on the right with Starvis. Two similar cameras side by side, same lighting conditions)

Starvis Cameras

It’s a great sensor to begin with, but adding the low-light ability just puts it on another level. Let’s say you run a bar or have a client with a dimly lit restaurant and you or your client would prefer not to have to look at a black and white image all the time. When there’s very little light and IR sensors come on, the image tends to get a bit blown out. It’s dark enough for the IR to kick on, but still too bright for the IR to really be effective. With a Starvis equipped security camera, you’ll get a great image without having it get blown out, and still be able to accurately describe an individual should the need arise.

View STARVIS Cameras HERE!

 

4. PTZ Cameras (Pan, Tilt, Zoom Cameras)

PROS

  • Be everywhere all the time. Okay, not really… but you do have complete control of the camera. Pan, tilt, and zoom from the DVR.
  • Programmable sentry mode means that you can set your own waypoints for the PTZ to track.
  • Available with motion tracking
  • Usually a minimum of 18x optical zoom available, some are up to 36x

CONS

  • These cameras can get relatively expensive. Some even like cheap, used car expensive. Most aren’t, however, and will pay for themselves in the right application.
  • They’re a bit large, so make sure that you’re okay with people being able to see them. (Generally not a problem with commercial applications).
  • Can be a huge “Hit Me First” sign for vandals. Not a great idea to mount a PTZ at ground level.

APPLICATIONS

  • Large areas that need wide, pin-point coverage.
  • Any application that demands on-the-fly control of a camera
  • Great for warehouses, malls, shopping centers, etc…
  • Usually for larger scale surveillance, but can be used for a home setting
  • Active surveillance such as panning and zooming in to a license plate, or face.

Best PTZ Cameras

Simply put, the PTZ camera is a wonderful option for any setting which needs a wide range of options, and needs it to be variable at a moment’s notice. Not only that, but playing around with these cameras is just cool. It’s amazing to just pan around and zoom in on things. Sounds kind of dorky, but it’s true. That aside, they’re wonderful for large-scale surveillance. Shopping centers, warehouses, large properties, even home applications. Keep in mind that while these cameras are coming down in price, the feature-heavy models are still quite expensive. The higher end models are up into the 4k (resolution, not price) range. They’re also starting to develop features like crowd recognition, facial recognition, abandoned bag detection, etc… these are features that are available now, but aren’t really quite there enough for the mass market. A good, entry level PTZ will start a just a few hundred dollars and go up from there.

View PTZ Cameras HERE!

 

There are other specialty security camera types that are not on this list, but these are the most common and useful that we’ve found. If you have any questions about these cameras, or have a question about your specific security application, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

We love talking to people about security cameras!

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Using the Vari-Focal Zoom Function (Manual Zoom) on CCTV Security Cameras

How does the Manual Zoom Work on CCTV Cameras? It’s pretty straight forward but requires a bit of practice to get it just right! As you probably know, most Security Cameras are Fixed Lens cameras with no zoom features. It can help immensely in a CCTV Installation to have at least some cameras with a Vari-Focal Zoom or (Variable Focus) lens. There are both Manual Zoom, and Motorized Zoom Security cameras available but the Manual type will be covered here. Manual Zoom Security Cameras are cameras that have to be zoomed in and out, as well as focused manually, when installed. They are not designed to be used like a PTZ or Motorized Zoom camera. These cameras feature the option of what FOV or Field of View you will need for each camera. The picture then stays in that setting once installed. That way, you are not stuck with a fixed wide angle when you may need one of your cameras to zoom in to your entry gate, etc. We have included below, some best practices, suggestions and instructions for using Manual Zoom, Vari-Focal, CCTV Cameras.

Best Practice: If no hand held test monitor is available, try hooking up the Manual Zoom CCTV Camera to your Recording Device and/or CCTV Monitor BEFORE running the cable. You can also use a test cable if you have a spare or if you have already run the cable. This will allow you to play with the Zoom and Focus options on the camera and even get the camera pre-set for the angle and view you want (FOV) before mounting. Once the Security Camera is mounted and in place, it is much more difficult to get the fine adjustments, unless you have a Hand Held Test Monitor like the ones found here:

CCTV Installation Tools

* Warning: Do not force the zoom or focus screws as they can break and you will not be able to adjust them at all. If they are hard to turn, they are probably at the end of their respective turning ranges.

Vari-Focal Zoom

Instructions:

  1. Find the zoom and focus screws located on the bottom side of the camera. While watching the monitor, use your allen wrench to slowly turn the zoom adjustment. You will notice that the picture begins to zoom in or out (depending on which way you turn the screw). As it zooms, it will blur as the focus needs to be adjusted to the new zoom level.
  2. Now take the ‘Focus’ screw and turn it slowly one way or the other until the picture is in focus again. This can be repeated until you get the image you desire.
  3. The Zoom and Focus adjustments on CCTV Cameras are frequently slightly off from each other. In other words, if you zoom all the way back (as wide angle as possible) you may not be able to focus the camera. In this case, back off the angle a bit until you can fine focus. Your FOV (Field of View) will still be at the widest angle of the camera. This may also hold true for the narrowest FOV as well.
  4. The Focus adjustment is extremely sensitive and only needs very slight adjustment when fine focusing. If you turn it too much you may miss the mark. It’s OK though, just turn back slightly.
  5. It is always better to start with a focused camera, them zoom a little (in or out) focus, then zoom in or out a little more, fine focus, etc. Doing this incrementally will make it easier to find the focus.
  6. There are a variety of Manual Zoom and Focus controls on CCTV Cameras but the general rules listed above, apply in almost all cases.

Field of View CCTV

 

 

We hope this was helpful and informative. Please feel free to comment or contact us with additional questions. We are always ready to assist! Toll-Free 877-880-7728

We Love to Talk to People About Security Cameras!!

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IR (Night Vision) Application Issues and Concerns in CCTV Dome Style Security Cameras

SCV-6083R

Dome style Security Cameras are a large segment of the CCTV, Surveillance Camera Market. Due to their flexibility and popularity,Vandal Proof Domes are a commonly used form factor. Although they are popular for good reason, there are also some issues and/or drawbacks that could affect performance, Image Quality and Night Vision Images. We will attempt to address some of the more common ones below.

 

Dome Camera too close to reflecting surface

Mounting an IR dome camera underneath an eave or overhang, without enough vertical clearance between the dome and the eave, may cause the IR LEDs to reflect off of the bottom of the eave and bounce back into the lens, ruining the shot. This same effect can be duplicated in a variety of mounting scenarios. Keep the angle of projection of the IR’s in mind when mounting your security camera. Bounce back from objects too close to the IR is extremely common.

Scratches on Dome Camera Outer Cover May be hard to detect

We performed many test’s with Vandal IR Dome Cameras to see how anything from minor scratches to more significantly visible ones impacted images during day and night. A variety of CCTV dome cameras were tested with light and heavy fingerprints, dust and dirt as well. To the eye, some of these issues were not very noticeable unless carefully inspecting the camera and could easily go overlooked in the field. Even slight smudges, dust, or scratches had significant negative impact on image quality at night with IR on, reducing details and blurring portions of the FOV (Field of View), even if these issues were not present during the day, or visible on the dome camera cover itself. Very little force was required to scratch the polycarbonate dome. Never let the dome cover dangle against the wall during installation. It may sound obvious, but is a problem that we run into too often.

Fingerprints on the inside or outside of Dome Cameras Cover

Again, these may be very difficult to actually detect but will cause significant issues. Fingerprints can get on the inside of the dome camera cover during installation just as easily as the outside. Make sure the inside of the dome cover is clean before re installing. After placement, angle of view and focus is set, a final cleaning should be done before closing the cover.

Placement of Black O-Ring around lens is not correctly seated or off center

When reinstalling the dome camera cover, make sure the O-Ring that surrounds the actual lens is placed so that it keeps any IR from bleeding through. This will cause a glaring effect on the image. The ring should be snug against the dome cover all the way around. This is the inner ring that surrounds the lens.

Dust or Dirt, etc, on Dome Camera Cover

Sounds like we are beating a dead horse but, dirt builds up on the dome cover but is barely visible to the naked eye. This may happen a little bit at a time. The image will still be great in the daytime but as soon as the IR’s kick on you will see a plethora of issues. Be careful cleaning the cover as well. Use a scratch free cloth or you will do more damage than good.

Shooting IR Camera through glass is not optimal

Rather than ‘Not Optimal’ we should probably say ‘Inoperable’. IR LED’s will bounce back when going through glass. IR Cameras that are observing an external (outside) area should be installed outside. Installing the camera indoors and shooting through a window will not work. Alternatively, we have seen people put IR Night Vision Security Cameras into housings with glass covers. Same principle applies. Do not do this.

Use a Scratch Free cloth to clean your CCTV Dome Camera

Cleaning your dome with a rough or dirty rag may do more harm than good. The poly dome cover will scratch easily and should be cleaned gently with the appropriate material. I think we may have already mentioned this but it is worth repeating.

Wrong Camera Selection

In many areas, a problem can be solved by switching to a Bullet style Security Camera. ‘Turret’ Style Dome Cameras are another option. Some areas are not optimal to the profile of a Dome style Security Camera. Check with your Dealer or Distributor for options. IR Dome Security Cameras are extremely popular due to ease of installation and rugged form but may not be the best choice for all CCTV Camera applications.

Whatever your questions or concerns, we are happy to help! Give us a call anytime! Toll Free 877-880-7728

We Love to Talk to People about Security Cameras!       

 

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Getting the Most out of Your DIY CCTV System

 

Many of us have had that feeling. Getting a new CCTV system home, getting everything unpacked, going over the setup instructions, running cable… you get the idea. You get everything installed, get your security cameras set just right, and then you go to look at what you’ve accomplished. It looks stunning. And why wouldn’t it? You’ve worked so hard. You’ve taken every aspect into consideration. Fabulous.

But you’ve now asked your significant other to go walk around outside, so you can see some movement on your system. That’s half the fun, right? They go off on their walk and… you can’t see them for several minutes. What? Oh, there they are. Now they’re gone again…. No matter, though. Right? At least you’ve got all the entrances covered. Other than the side door they’ve just come in through. No matter. It’s okay.

That night, you take what seems like the 50th look at your gorgeous CCTV system, but this time… something’s wrong. These cameras are supposed to be great at night! WHAT GIVES?! You paid a lot of money for this security system, and it took just about all weekend (with help, by the way) to get the thing installed. Now you have four out of ten security cameras that look horrible at night. Why on earth are they so blown out and gross looking?

How frustrating.

Here’s the thing. Many people who are doing they installs on their own don’t have a good plan going into it. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind if you decide to forgo having someone install your system for you.

  1. Have a layout plan before you start running cables. Even before you start looking at CCTV systems, you should have a good plan as far as your surveillance layout. You need to know which areas of your property you want to cover, which are key areas, and also have a good idea of how to accomplish your goal. Why plan this before you look for systems? Well, maybe you have a need for more than just a box system. One instance that we’ve seen first-hand here at Ellipse Security is a client needed to keep a close eye on a dock that was about 100 yards from their house. A fixed camera wasn’t going to do this for them, so they needed a variable focus camera for this task. The same client had a need for longer range IR than normal kit cameras could provide. A STOiC variable focus camera, and a few long-range IR cameras came to the rescue. Added to their kit cameras, they made this system something that was perfect for their needs.
  2. Honestly assess your needs. I really don’t know anyone who doesn’t want a fleet of PTZ cameras. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re one of those guys who gets to play around with the surveillance system for the city of London? This author can sincerely tell you that he would love to. That being said, not only would this be overkill for the majority of smaller systems, but having that many PTZ cameras is pretty cost prohibitive for most of us. There’s also the flip side of that coin. Everyone wants a deal. Again, we’re all in good company here. But the rock-bottom kit system may not be what your situation needs. We’re not saying that you need to spend thousands on a system for it to work for you. We literally work with just about any budget, and can tailor a system for your needs, but it needs to be seen as an investment, as well. Give us a call for a free consultation. It’s not just a slogan; we really do love talking to people about security cameras.
  3. Now you have a good idea of the equipment you’ll need to cover the areas you need covered, you’ve picked the perfect system, gotten the layout perfect… but that camera just looks horrible at night. What?! Despite our best planning, we can’t escape physics. What do I mean by that? Well, during the day, cameras don’t have to deal with IR (infrared). It’s what makes seeing at night possible for CCTV cameras. It’s great, but also comes with a small drawback that needs to be planned for. That infrared light is going to reflect off of certain surfaces. Leaves, concrete, light colored walls, etc… Before you blame the camera, check to see if there’s any IR reflecting back into the camera off of any of the surfaces in your camera’s field of view. Debris, scratches or smudges on a Dome Style Security Camera are also a common culprit! Could be any of the above examples, so you may need to inspect and adjust your camera, or even trim some trees to eliminate this as an issue. Seems like kind of a pain, but we can assure you that the picture quality will drastically improve, so it’s well worth it. Try to include this in your planning and it will save you some trouble later in your install.
  4. One last thing to consider is whether you’d like to be able to monitor your CCTV system when you’re away from home or the office. If so, we’d be happy to help with this. Pretty much all CCTV systems these days have an app for viewing remotely. This can really be a great asset for home or business owners. Setting up alerts for movement, motion detection, etc… One thing, however, is that you need to plan a good, secure password for your system. Yeah, “Password1” is really easy to remember, but it’s… not good. At all. Pretty much every default password from every major manufacturer is available online. Leaving the default password on your DVR or NVR is like leaving your door wide open, with your collection of Rolex watches just inside, and a sign out front saying “Come on in!”. Anyone can log into your CCTV system and see your cameras. Live. Or worse. Check out our previous post called “Security for your Security” for more information on passwords and why you need a good one.

Let me end by saying that this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are going to be issues that may crop up. You may have a camera in your line-up that just doesn’t work for you. You may not have thought about bullet vs dome cameras. Maybe you need more storage space for your recording device. These are all things that we can assist with. With just a few minutes of consultation, we can maximize every dollar you invest, and make sure you get what you need out of your CCTV System! Give us a chance to show you why we love talking to people about security cameras. As stated above, it’s not just a catchy slogan (especially for a tech nerd like myself).

Call Us Toll Free at 877-880-7728

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Why your Business deserves better than a Big Box Store Security Camera System

We’ve all seen the numerous ‘Systems in a Box’ in all of the Big Box Stores like Sam’s Club and Home Depot, as well as the Large Consumer Electronics Shops such as Best Buy. While they seem like a great deal, there are several factors that any Business Owner should be aware of before purchasing one of these systems to protect their assets. For less than you would think, you could get a fully customized, better security camera system by calling Ellipse Security Distributors.

Every business operation is very different. When you factor in the number of employees, lighting conditions, management structure (on site, etc.) you have an incredibly diverse set of applications. By calling Ellipse Security before you decide on which system is best, you can insure that you know what options are available to help you run your business and still stay within the budget. We will customize a scalable security camera system that can grow with your business and still be in budget!

Here are the issues that will leave you feeling short changed with a Big Box Store System (BBS):

    Limited Hard Drive (Storage) Space

With most security cameras offering higher and higher resolutions and megapixel images, recording space can be used up very quickly, leaving you with an inadequate amount of recording time. Most BBS systems come with 1TB or 2TB Hard Drives which is not sufficient especially when you are using 10-16 cameras, or your business is open for more than 10 hours a day.

      One Size Fits All, Won’t Fit All

BBS Systems generally come with cameras that are all the same or very similar. The camera that you use over your cash register and the camera you use to cover your parking lot would normally be very different, right? Some business applications require longer night vision or audio surveillance. The Camera cable lengths are all generally 60 foot with BBS Systems. This can obviously be a drawback. Most Security Camera Systems for business require longer or custom length CCTV Cables.

     No Support or Limited Support

Many of the systems sold in these Big Box Stores are lacking in technical support if they have any at all. Try calling the store? Nope, they know absolutely nothing about your system. Many of the tech support numbers have astronomically long hold times, that make you wait forever just for the privilege of speaking to someone who still does not understand your question.

    Cheap Hardware

Most of the BBS Systems focus on price point rather than quality. The failure rate of cameras on some of these systems can be down-right frustrating AND expensive if you are paying someone to install them. The Warranty may cover the camera, but certainly will not pay for having to take down the bad camera initially and then re-installing the replacement later on. That money you thought you saved? Poof! Gone.

    Firmware Upgrades are Rare

The majority of these systems are not supported beyond the initial sale. There are no firmware upgrades or bug fixes, etc. With technology changing rapidly, you may get a system that was rushed to market and has a glitch. Sadly, there is almost never a fix for that with BBS Systems.

    Proprietary Equipment

Possibly the most insidious issue on the list. A business owner who has made the mistake of buying a BBS system that has proprietary cameras will find out later there are no replacement cameras or cables available for their system, or, if available, they are extremely expensive. We have had many people call us searching for the non-existent replacement camera for a proprietary system that is no longer supported. Look for a Security Camera System that is NOT proprietary.

      Not Customizable

If there are (8) Dome Cameras and (8) 60 Foot cables in the box, that is what you will pay for. Even if you need (6) Domes (2) Bullets and (4) 150 foot cables. They are a Big Box Store, its about moving SKU’s., not about service. If you purchase from a company like Ellipse Security, you can get exactly what you need. Mix and match, switch out cables, we’re on it!

At Ellipse Security, we can customize a reliable, scalable system that works for you. By investing just a bit more, we can save you money and headaches in the future, as well as providing a system that works for YOUR Business. You can also talk to us about applications that many people don’t think of such as: Employee Training, Vendor Theft, Customer Service and more! For more information about what CCTV Cameras can do for your business, see our article: Why CCTV Cameras?

Call us today! 877-880-7728

We Love to talk to People about Security Cameras!

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IS IT COMPATIBLE?

With advances in CCTV technology, there come some challenges. If you purchased a home or business system more than a couple of years ago, you may have to consider compatibility when thinking about an upgrade. This may seem daunting, but in fact, might be a little easier than you think. Many of the security DVRs that we offer are actually backwards compatible, for the most part. This may not be the case if you’re using an older CAT5 system (don’t worry, there’s a solution for this as well!), but if your aging system uses BNC cable, we’ve got you covered! STOiC, TruView, Watchman, and Samsung are compatible with your existing cameras. So, what does this mean for the consumer? In a word, choice. In a few more words, choice, and an affordable way to upgrade your system in stages. You’re able to upgrade your DVR now, keeping your existing cameras, and over time upgrade cameras to get the full potential out of your CCTV system.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you’re using a system that is utilizing BNC cables, you won’t have to run new cable. This can keep costs way down, and turn it from a job needing a contrator, to something that can be done by many people on their own.

So, what about those who aren’t ready to upgrade their whole system? Yep, there’s a solution there, too! We offer one of the few security cameras on the market that is specifically designed to be a replacement for older SD Analog systems. Not only that, with its 4-in-1 capability, it’ll upgrade with you when you’re ready. The STH-B7300W is a wonderfully rounded camera. Capable of 720p in AHD, TVI, and CVI, as well as CVBS (SD Analog), this can replace everything from Samsung’s SDC-5340 and SDC-7340, to Night Owl, LOREX, and even Samsung’s SDC-8440. What’s better than that? Well… STOiC’s two-year warranty is pretty great, too.

Well… given my long-winded introduction, let’s get to the whole point of this entry. Below I’ve compiled a small compatibility chart. This will be updated from time to time, so check back periodically. One more bit of information for you to think about: the STOiC cameras that we offer are compatible with most systems. Not just the STH-B7300W, but all of our STOiC cameras. When you order, just let us know which system you have (or, using the handy chart below, just let us know which video type your DVR uses). We’ll take care of the rest for you!

 

 

 

DVR COMPATIBILITY CHART

STOiC –  AHD+

TruView – TVI (5MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 1080p; 2MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 720p)

Watchman – AHD

Samsung – AHD

LOREX – CVI

Swan – TVI (Proprietary)

Q-See – TVI

Annke – AHD

Nightowl – AHD

Bolide – AHD

Speco – TVI

Super Circuits – TVI

 

Now, let me finish by saying that if you have any CCTV needs that need to be addressed, just let us know. We offer free consultations on system building, free technical support for any product purchased through us, AND you’re able to talk to a real person. If you’re an integrator or installer, we’d LOVE to hear from you. Give us an opportunity to show you why we love talking to people about security cameras!