Frequently Asked Questions
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What is CCTV ?
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) also called as video surveillance is a system where the circuit in which the video is transmitted is closed and all the elements (camera, display monitors, recording devices) are directly connected. This is unlike broadcast television where any receiver that is correctly tuned can pick up and display or store the signal. Security cameras using scrambled radio waves are in fact subject to common carrier tariffs and FCC conditions of service. These signals are transmitted to digital video recorder (DVR) systems that can display video on monitor and back up data automatically.
What is CCTV Used For ?
The most widely known use of CCTV is in security camera systems. They’ve been found for years in areas like large retail shops, banks, and government institutions. Thanks to reduced costs in the manufacture of cameras and video recording equipment, camera systems are becoming more and more commonplace in smaller businesses, and even private homes.
What are the other Uses of CCTV?
CCTV has become ubiquitous in large cities, along major highways, and areas that host large events. On streets and roads it is often used in traffic law enforcement, but is also often used in monitoring traffic patterns, allowing emergency services to react quickly to accidents and for maintenance departments to better plan necessary construction projects. In hotels, stadiums, and convention centers, CCTV is often used in private television networks, broadcasting sporting events or special events throughout their facilities.
Most airports and train stations throughout the world have installed security cameras connected to CCTV systems with the goal of combating terrorism. These video feeds are constantly monitored by local and international law enforcement agencies in an effort to keep travelers safe.
What are different types of CCTV Cameras?
Any camera that broadcasts a signal can be attached to a CCTV system, whether its wired or wireless, but they are most often associated with high-end surveillance cameras. Pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras allow a user to remotely control a camera. The type of lens used will depend on the application and area the camera will be installed.
Fixed aperture lenses cannot be adjusted for distance or lighting considerations. Lower in cost than other lenses, these are usually sufficient for indoor installations where lighting will be consistent.
There are 2 types of adjustable iris lenses. Manual iris lenses can be adjusted for changes in lighting conditions, but it must be done manually. Auto iris camera lenses can sense changes in lighting in the area they observe and will automatically make adjustments so they provide the best picture possible. These are usually the best choice for outdoor installations.
Manual zoom lenses allow you to adjust the focus area on a camera by hand. If you want to be able to change focus remotely, motorized zoom lenses are also available, but more costly. A third type of zoom lens, automatic zoom, can automatically focus on objects moving within their view.
What are Covert Cameras?
Covert cameras or hidden camera or Spy camera can be integrated into any CCTV network. They allow users to record criminal behavior when criminals are on the lookout for standard security cameras. They can be more effective in capturing video evidence, since they are harder to avoid, but sacrifice the deterrent properties of traditional CCTV cameras. On the other end of the spectrum, dummy cams are a low-cost deterrent device, appearing to be CCTV cams, often complete with blinking lights, in use by a lot of small businesses.
What is MP in cctv camera?
MP (megapixel, million pixels Resolution): The maximum number of changes between light and dark on a picture across 3/4 of the width dictates the resolution of a CCTV product, measured in MP. CCTV high resolution is currently considered at 2 MP and above.
What is an IP Network Video Camera (also Known as an IP Camera)?
An internet protocol camera, or IP CCTV camera, is a camera that sends and receives data over a local area network (LAN) and/or the internet. This gives the camera the potential to be viewed from anywhere in the world If a user has internet access. Though many webcams and Wifi cameras are technically IP cameras the term most often refers to security cameras.
How Does a Network Camera work?
Instead of transmitting video over a video cable to a monitor or DVR a network camera transmits digital video over a data connection; ethernet, USB, WiFi, etc. Everything required to transfer images over the network is built into the unit. It is connected directly to the network, just like any other network device, like a printer or scanner. Depending on what type of camera it is, it may save video to an attached memory source, connect to another device on the network for storage, or stream captured video to the internet.
How Does a Network Camera Collect and Compress Images and Transfer Them Over a Network for Remote Viewing?
An IP camera captures images the same way any digital camera does. What makes it different is its ability to compress the files and transmit them over a network. If a building is equipped with a network, the necessary infrastructure is already in place to install network cameras. If adding one or a few cameras, a user may use a decentralized network camera, one that has its own control interface and storage medium built in. When installing multiple network cameras it can be wise to use a centralized IP camera, which requires a network video recorder (NVR).
An NVR is a program that can store video from network cameras and allow for viewing of multiple cameras at once. It is similar to a DVR, but while a traditional DVR is responsible for encoding and processing video from component cameras, and NVR depends on the cameras to encode their video, simply storing it and allowing for centralized remote viewing. NVR software can be installed on a dedicated device with its own operating system or on an existing computer. There are hybrid systems available that can accept both IP and analog inputs. These will often allow analog cameras to be viewed remotely along with any network cameras.
Connecting to Networks
There are 3 types of networks in common use for security applications.
Wired networks will connect to a broadband modem or router through ethernet cables (RJ45, CAT5, CAT6). These are the fastest and most secure way to connect, removing the chance of signal interception and interference.
Wireless networks use a WiFi router to transmit data to and from a wired modem. They transmit data at a slower rate than a wired network, and are at increased vulnerability to unauthorized access, though this can be mitigated through the use of encryption. The decreased security is balanced by the ease of setup and customization of a wireless network.
Cellular network access tends to be the slowest of the three, but is more secure than WiFi. If the cameras themselves are equipped with cellular transmitters, they don’t even require a LAN to be in place, so there’s virtually no installation required. These types of cameras, however, can be quite expensive, especially when transmitting high quality video.
Compression Techniques and Image Resolution
Digital Image resolution is measured in pixels. The more detailed an image is, the more pixels it is made up of, and therefore the more data it contains. Detailed images require more space on a hard disk and more bandwidth for transmission.
To transmit images over a network, data must be compressed to avoid consuming too much bandwidth. If bandwidth is limited, lowering the frame rate or accepting a lower image quality can radically reduce the size of video files. A number of compression standards exist that deal with the trade off between frame rate and image quality in different ways, but the most common has become h.264/MPEG-4, otherwise known as AVC (Advanced Video Coding). Latest is High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H. 265 and MPEG-H Part 2, is a video compression standard.
Why Use a Network Camera and Where?
Network cameras can perform all of the tasks a traditional analog video system is capable of, from security surveillance to quality assurance, but with the added feature of remote viewing. Even if you don’t need to be able to access your cameras from offsite, there are other benefits to installing IP cameras.
IP cameras can use existing internet access, so they don’t require installation of coaxial cable throughout a building. Since they transmit over the internet, anyone with a PC has no need to purchase and install additional monitoring equipment. There is also no limit to the number of cameras that can be installed for use in monitoring so long as there is sufficient bandwidth to support them.
What Do I Need in Order to Use a Network Camera?
In addition to internet service and a wired or wireless router (depending on your specific camera)a network cam requires a static IP address or a Dynamic Domain Name Server (DDNS). It also requires a personal computer to configure your Camera and an internet-connected video device to act as a remote viewing station. If you plan to record and store footage, you will also need a dedicated NVR or a PC to install NVR software on, as discussed earlier.
What is a Static IP Address and Why Do I Need One?
When you have a device on a network, you can access it by entering the IP (Internet Protocol) address into a web browser. Internet service providers (ISPs) supply a dynamic IP address to most customers. A dynamic IP address is like a phone number that changes every time you hang up your phone, while a static IP address never changes.
Only your ISP can provide you with a static IP address and they will usually charge a monthly fee for that service. In order for you to gain consistent access to your network cameras you will need a static IP address.
If your ISP is unable to provide you with a static IP, there are third party services that can provide a virtual static IP address. Many are free to use, and a simple web search will provide multiple options.
Can I Use a Dial Up Internet Connection to Host My Cameras?
While it is technically possible, using dial up to host video is virtually impossible. The biggest issue is that the bandwidth provided is insufficient for streaming video.
Does My Computer Need to be On All the Time if I Use a Network Camera?
Generally speaking, no, but it depends on the particular camera and how you have it set up. If you are using a PC as a network access point instead of connecting directly to the network from the camera, the PC will need to remain on.
What is the Difference Between a Standard Network Camera and a (PTZ) Network Camera?
PTZ is an acronym for Pan, Tilt and Zoom. A PTZ camera can be viewed and controlled by multiple users just like a standard network camera, but has the added ability to be moved remotely. Unlike a traditional fixed camera, a PTZ allows a user to adjust the camera’s view as necessary.
Do I Have to Purchase Additional Software to Use My Network Camera?
This can vary by camera. Most will come with whatever software is required to configure and view your camera, and usually include recording software. Some may also include more advanced software features, like multiple camera viewing and text/email motion alerts.
If the camera you purchased does not include the features you want, there are many NVR programs available for purchase that can add these and other capabilities.
What is DVR & Why it’s Required ?
Security is a major concern today for all business and homeowners. Just for the security reason DVR is important. As well as, DVR allows you to:-
1. Set-up remote monitoring, Storage and insuring security around the clock. Let someone else worry about office security while you relax in the comfort of your own home.
2. Be notified offsite by cell phone, another offsite computer. Find out instantly if an intruder has entered your premises.
What is a Stand-alone DVR?
A Stand Alone DVR is an all in one unit, it consist of a cabinet (like a DVD) and inside all components, boards, power supplies, CPU and all DVR related components are manufactured on one board. On the one main board there are IC Chips which contain the operating and DVR software.
How DVR works?
The application you install on your PC behind your modem is in constant communication with the DDNS servers on the Internet. There is a user specified setting which will send the IP address of the PC it is installed. The DDNS servers will update its database for your entry if necessary. When you try to communicate with your DVR, the request is processed by their servers and redirected to your connection. It’s that simple.
The Capture line of DVRs allows you to directly type your DDNS name in the address space of thew remote client software.
This is the basic functionality, to find out more, open your favorite search engine and type DDNS or Dynamic DNS.
Can I review recorded video and keep recording at the same time so I don’t lose any recording time?
It depends on the feature is called Duplex, you can review reordered video (what happened yesterday) and continue recording the live events. None duplex machines will have to stop recording to go back and view previously recorder video these machines are called simplex. Now the latest DVR series are Duplex and Triplex which means you can keep recording while playing back Pre-recorded video and also keep recording while reviewing or playing back video over the internet.
What kind of phone line do I need to view my cameras over the internet while I am using a DVR?
It is best to have a high speed internet connection (ADSL, DSL, SDSL, ISDN, T1 or Cable modem) with a static IP address. A static IP address is a specific electronic identification number that identifies your specific machine when you sign on the internet you are assigned a new IP address each time (dynamic IP address) this makes it cumbersome to know what your IP address is and you would have to look it up each time you got on the net to connect to your cameras. With a static IP address, you can just program that number in once and that is it. Then just push a button and you’re on the net.
Can I Record Audio on my DVR and How many cameras can I record at the same time with a DVR?
Yes and This depends on the model of DVR on how many channel DVR you have, they come in 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128.
What is wireless security camera or WiFi CCTV IP Camera?
These are CCTV Cameras that transmits video as well as audio signals to a wireless receiver through a radio band.Most of the wireless cameras require at least one cable for power. Some wireless cameras also come with inbuilt battery which need to be charged periodically. These camera can be mounted or installed. Mostly they are called as plug and play CCTV camera.
How many cameras can I record at the same time with a DVR?
All the cameras at the same time with the backup depending on the capacity of your hard disk installed in DVR and this all depends on how many channel DVR you have, they come in 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128.
How difficult is it to get these DVR’s hook up to the internet?
When you buy a network DVR they come with an Ethernet connection on the back. Just run a Cat-5 cable to your DSL modem and set your IP address, you may also need to program your router and firewall if you have them to allow the link to your DVR. These are relatively easy adjustments if you have this type of experience. We have technicians on staff to help and guide you through this process if you need it. Keep in mind your network DVR will be easiest to use if you have a Static IP address. However, even if you only have a standard dynamic IP you may get your DVR on line.
Can I view the video from the DVR with my TV or do I needs a monitor?
Stand-Alone DVR’s have a standard video output. You can use any TV to view the signal. Security or computer monitors typically have a better picture unless you are using a high quality TV or LED TV. You can also wire the video output from HDMI out of DVR by HDMI Cable into your home TV distribution system. Some DVR’s have a jack of the back so you can plug in a computer monitor (VGA Output); these give a really good picture.
How can I save or Archive recorded video I want to keep?
For most Stand-Alone DVRs the easiest way to save video is on external hard disk or pen drive. The external hard drive can be wired through the USB output of the DVR and back up can be taken. You just find the video you want on your DVR with in built hard disk and hit back up button and then record on your external hard drive to archive.
Why are the new DVR or NVR better than the old Time Lapse video recorders?
DVR’s are digital, like Digital cameras, digital camcorders, DVD’s and digital TVs, like LED TVs. Analog devises need more information to reconstruct a good image. They have a tendency to smear be dull and cloudy. A digital image is clear easier to store, is easily compatible to your computer and the internet. DVR’s have the advantage of being able to have a perfect picture if even that is only one picture, just like a digital camera picture. It doesn’t matter if you are recording at 30fps or 1fps they are all digital images When you are recording at 30fps you are just collecting more digital information. This is useful for viewing counting money or other fast events (like how your money going into other people pockets). They are just more reliable their more secure and also allow you to view your cameras over the internet. Some DVR does also give you the ability to just record motion. If you have a network DVR you can even review your video from home on the internet.