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Multi-Sensor Cameras: The PTZ Camera Killer

Multi-Sensor Cameras: The PTZ Camera Killer

When it comes to maximizing the coverage of your surveillance system, Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras were once ideal. They reduced the number of cameras required by allowing you to adjust the field of view as needed to cover your home, business or event space. However, this design has limitations. The most critical issue facing PTZ cameras is that while you can move the camera, you still have massive blind spots until the camera is moved. Not to mention compensating for movement while the camera pans or tilts. Even with advanced detection features, multiple angles of coverage and video processing improvements, there’s still the chance you might miss an important incident or event. Multi-sensor cameras change all of this. By incorporating four separate sensors in a single housing, you have all of the benefits of a PTZ camera with none of the response time issues or need for adjustment. Simply set each of the four sensors to suit your exact needs, angles and coverage zones. A camera is only as valuable as the video it captures. With multi-sensor cameras, you’re essentially getting to value of four cameras in a single device! There’s no worries about missing an event as all four sensors are in continuous use. Many will also interface with popular video software as single panoramic or composite shot—meaning less licensing fees and easier monitoring. Instead of scouring multiple shots for events, you’re presented with a single field of view. Need to zoom in to see finer detail? The sensor for the field of view you need will take over allowing all of the clarity and ease-of-use of a PTZ... read more
H.265: Unparalleled Quality with Less Bandwidth

H.265: Unparalleled Quality with Less Bandwidth

Today’s video surveillance and security systems require more and more detail to provide convictable evidence and maximum return on investment. As camera and display technologies continue to evolve, how video is encoded and stored stayed relatively stagnant. While H.264 revolutionized video encoding—offering previously impossible compression rates without sacrificing clarity—it simply isn’t ideal for today’s ultra-high-definition cameras and NVRs. Even if you only need 1080p video captures, this new technology offers undeniable benefits. View our recent security camera installations in Bristol Consider this example: If you have 50 cameras across your business, each recording at 4Mbps using H.264—roughly 1080p on many popular camera models—you are capturing approximately 62TB of video per month. Current market prices for reputable 4TB surveillance-grade hard disk drives start around $140. If you need to retain this video for later reference, you’re looking at more than $2,000 per month in storage expansion costs alone. Not to mention there’s the hassle of storing the drives, clearing data when it’s time to recommission them and keeping track of what data is stored where! Systems capable of utilizing the new H.265 codec capture the same level of detail with half the data requirements. In this example, that means you’d only need 31TB of storage per month—saving nearly $1,000 per month without sacrificing video quality or features. In fact, many new H.265 camera models offer exceptional low-light performance and better overall detail than H.264 models from the same manufacturer. All of this also means that IP cameras using H.265 can stream video with less bandwidth. This makes it easier to deploy remote cameras on limited bandwidth or even increase quality... read more
The Do’s and Don’t’s of Using Fisheye Cameras for Surveillance

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Using Fisheye Cameras for Surveillance

When placed and used properly, fisheye cameras will increase the situational awareness provided by your surveillance system and ensure comprehensive coverage of your home, office or place of business. However, when not placed properly and configured for optimal use within the environment, fisheye cameras offer less than stellar results. In fact, you might even find you were better off with your previous camera arrangement! In our previous guides, we’ve covered the differences between fisheye cameras and multi-sensor cameras and what to look for in a fisheye camera. In the last part of this guide, we’re going to provide best practices for getting the most out of your camera and point out common pitfalls to avoid. Let’s get started! Improving Situational Awareness with Fisheye Cameras One of the most common misconceptions about these cameras is that they’ll allow you to replace multiple other cameras across your surveillance network. While this might be true, we don’t recommend relying on fisheye cameras as your sole camera type. While fisheye cameras provide a wide field of view, they aren’t ideal for depth of field. With the warped images created by cameras, they can also prove tricky for constant monitoring or picking out fine details. In most cases, we recommend using fisheye cameras to provide an overview of your area while using megapixel cameras to capture fine details or further distances. Using fisheye cameras to detect a potential event and megapixel cameras to identify, you are eliminating the weaknesses of both camera types and creating a powerful synergy. Maximizing Capture Potential with Proper Fisheye Camera Placement Due to their shallow depth of field and... read more
What to Look for in a Fisheye Camera

What to Look for in a Fisheye Camera

In the first part of this series, we covered the differences between fisheye cameras and multi-sensor cameras. In this guide, we’ll go over choosing a fisheye camera to suit your needs. From ensuring great image quality to what to look for to ensure a high-quality camera design, you’ll know everything you need to know about using these innovative imaging solutions to protect your home or property. The Megapixel Debate One of the first things to consider will be video quality. When looking for a fisheye lens, it’s important to remember that the megapixel rating on the camera will likely be higher than the megapixels of the video captured. This is because the shape of fisheye lenses creates a round video while camera sensors are square or rectangular. Pixel loss can reach as high as 50%. After dewarping the image, select regions of the field of view might limit megapixels further still. For this reason, we highly recommend going to at least 5 megapixels. If you’re using it as primary camera source instead of an overview in support of additional cameras, higher megapixels will help to ensure that you can pull identifying information and convictable evidence from all corners of the feed without issues. View some of our cctv camera installations in West Hartford HERE On-camera vs Client-based Dewarping One of the most important features for any fisheye camera is a good way of dewarping images. This helps to correct perspective and make video from your fisheye camera easier to scan. It will also help to pick out details should you need to create copies of footage after an incident.... read more
Fisheye Cameras Vs Multi-Sensor Cameras: What’s Best for Your Needs?

Fisheye Cameras Vs Multi-Sensor Cameras: What’s Best for Your Needs?

It wasn’t long ago that if you wanted to ensure comprehensive coverage of an area, you had no choice but to design a complex camera network. Between blind spots, lighting concerns and poor image quality over longer distances, this was the only way to ensure that you would always have convictable evidence should an incident occur. These days, with 4K IP cameras, image processing and other advanced tools, creating a powerful surveillance system is much easier—not to mention more affordable! Two popular options for maximizing coverage with as few cameras as possible are fisheye cameras and multi-sensor cameras. While both might seem similar at first glance, they’re quite different. So how do you know which one to choose? We’ll break down the major pros and cons for each in this post. Let’s get started! Fisheye Cameras and Multi-Sensor Cameras: What’s the Difference? While both offer expanded fields of view, similarities between these camera types stop here. A fisheye camera uses a single sensor and specialized lens to take 180- or 360-degree panoramas of the surrounding area. Due to the characteristics of the lens, the video captured is often round or oval shaped with significant distortion near the edges—also known as the “barrel effect”. In most cases, this is easily accounted for through dewarping—a process that enhanced the image either directly within the camera or at your Video Management Software (VMS) or Network Video Recorder (NVR). Multi-sensor cameras take a different approach. Using multiple sensors and lenses, the camera captures streams in each direction and then stitches them together to create a panoramic view of the covered area. As with... read more
Camera Losing Focus Over Time? The Fix is Simple!

Camera Losing Focus Over Time? The Fix is Simple!

Modern megapixel surveillance cameras offer increased image quality and greater flexibility in where and how you can mount your cameras. However, sometimes these features cause problems instead of fix them. If you have video that changes focus throughout the day, changing one setting might be all you need to do to fix the issue! Here’s the common scenario: You get a brand-new camera installed and check the quality of the footage. Things look great! You go about your day and want to check the feeds before heading home for the night. After all, with all those new features, your low-light footage should be stellar. When you pull up your feeds, everything is blurry! Frustrated, you head home and plan to tackle it in the morning. When you come back in the next day, things look good. But once again, by the end of the day, images are soft and blurry. What’s going on?! Turns out, one of the common features on many surveillance cameras is probably causing a problem while trying to improve image quality. The most likely culprit for this problem is a camera set to auto iris. When you focus the image in bright lighting, the iris is smaller. This prevents light from washing out your camera image. However, as the day goes on—and the sun goes down—the iris opens to let in more light and capture more detail. When this happens, the depth of view shrinks. What once was a crisp image is now blurry! Fortunately, the fix is simple. If your camera includes an auto back focus (ABF) feature: Place a neutral density filter on... read more
Can You Trust Wireless Cameras With Your Business?

Can You Trust Wireless Cameras With Your Business?

  Wired cameras are the gold standard for surveillance and security systems for a number of reasons. They’re affordable, powered through dedicated wiring and are secured by the network they’re connected to with little worry of eavesdropping or poor signals. This makes them very reliable. With the power distributed on-site, it’s also possible to ensure that you’re always operational with the use of battery backups or generators. However, in some situations, wired cameras simply do not fit the requirements. This is common in multi-structure camera systems or those using light posts, billboards or other mounts to cover a wide area. In these cases, wireless cameras are a better option for both dependability and overall cost. With the proper approach, it is easy to minimize the concerns of going wireless for your security system. In general, wireless cameras cost more due to additional components used to eliminate the wires. Unfortunately, many wireless camera makers use subpar components to make wired cameras wireless. This means you’re paying more for poor performance and unreliable operation. For example, most wireless cameras with built-in wireless networking adapters use the 2.4Ghz frequency to connect with wireless networks in the area. This is the same frequency used by many phones, consumer and business Wi-Fi networks, toys and more. Even a microwave operating in the vicinity of a 2.4Ghz network is capable of causing major interference and interrupting connections or degrading stream quality. All of this means less quality and increased hassles keeping your wireless cameras connected to your NVR. A far better solution is a wireless hybrid system. Although wireless cameras themselves have a number of... read more
A Look at the Eye of Your Surveillance System: The Lens

A Look at the Eye of Your Surveillance System: The Lens

Whether you’re looking at a state-of-the-art 4K camera system or searching for an affordable CCTV solution, don’t forget to consider the best lens options for your needs. No amount of advanced technology or fancy features will make up for choosing the wrong lens for the job. Common indications of a poor lens choice include: Images look too distant or too near Coverage is inconsistent across your surveillance area Images are blurry or grainy Color is washed out or tinted The lens is ultimately what controls how your surveillance system sees its surroundings. This makes it an essential consideration when deciding how to best protect your home or business. Intimidated by lens options? Consider these 5 factors: Depth of Field: This determines the distance at which the camera’s footage will stay in focus. Greater depth of field will offer a clear shot out to the horizon. Shallow depth of field will capture details at a specific range while blurring things in front of or behind the ideal distance. Focal Length: Often measured in millimeters (mm), Focal length determines the angle of view and magnification abilities of your camera. These two factors work in opposition to each other. Longer focal lengths will capture a narrower area but at a greater distance. Shorter focal points capture wider areas but won’t pick out details far from the camera. CCD Chips: While not technically part of the lens, this is the surface within the camera that reads the light coming in from your lens. A larger chip will provide better low-light performance and increased detail. Common chip sizes range from 1/4-inch to 2/3-inch. F-Stop/Aperture:... read more
Keeping West Hartford Schools Safe in 2016

Keeping West Hartford Schools Safe in 2016

Keeping West Hartford schools safe is priority number one for all involved, including parents, administrators, teachers, and staff members. With all the madness in the world today, safety at school has become even more of a priority than ever before. Learning ways to improve security at schools is a critical aspect of keeping the children and staff members protected at all times. Here are a few tips to help you keep your school safe and what you can do to start protecting the children now.  No matter if you are at Conard or Hall High School, they should be protected. Vulnerable Areas If you’re considering installing a video security system in West Hartford, one of the first places to install cameras are in the vulnerable areas where crimes or issues can happen. There are some places in the school building where people can be attacked by others, crimes can happen, or bullying can take place. Having the cameras in those areas are important to help protect all involved. Those areas include: The perimeters of all buildings Recess locations and playground areas Hallways Fields used for athletics Parking lot areas Libraries Computer lab areas And all main entrances and exits on the buildings   Get a Video Security System A video surveillance security system can be a great step in deterring crime from taking place in the first place. These systems can be the first line of defense when it comes to school zones and protecting all on the grounds. It will be on duty at all times and can help alert those in leadership tend to any issues that... read more
Are 4k Cameras Worth It?

Are 4k Cameras Worth It?

When it comes to the best resolution, security and CCTV’s available, there is a difference of opinion on the new 4K technology, or also known as Ultra HD. Basically these newer models of cameras are beginning to drop in price for the consumer as your regular 1080p HD cameras are starting to get a little long in the tooth. Many are saying that 4K technology is the way to go when it comes to cameras and CCTV security cameras. While it is a great technology to utilize, you must also remember that using it requires the adequate light sources to make sure you can see what you’re capturing in pictures or filming.   When you talk to ViDi Labs, the consensus is that this newer technology will not take off as suspected unless it is created for a broader market. Vlado Damjanovski does not feel like the technology will go anywhere unless it is set up for a larger market than just the CCTV industry. He does not feel like CCTV will dive into that much technology just for that arena.   An Advantage to the Technology One advantage to this type of technology is that it can be a much clearer picture than before. The only way the photo or image can be more enhanced is if the sensors that are used are more enhanced at the same time. If it is not enhanced to handle the 4K optics, then you’re looking at a four times lower quality photo/image when the low-light circumstances are involved. Learn more about the best camera systems available HERE. Another Aspect of 4K... read more