||Surveillance Systems / Digital Signage
Type of Cameras available for video surveillance
Fake security cameras – Covert surveillance cameras – Wireless security cameras – Wired Surveillance cameras – Night vision security cameras – Home surveillance cameras
|Security Camera Selection – Fixed vs. PTZ: A camera can be fixed to only look at one specific view or it can be movable through the use of panning, tilting and zooming (i.e., moving left and right, up and down, closer and faster away). Most cameras used in surveillance are fixed. PTZ cameras are generally used to cover wider fields of views and should generally be used only if you expect a monitor to actively use the cameras on a daily basis.
Colour vs. Infra-Red vs. Thermal: In video surveillance today, the only time producing a black and white image makes sense is when lighting is very low (e.g., night time). In those conditions, intra-red or thermal cameras produce black and white images. Infra-red cameras require special lamps (infra-red illuminators) that produce clear image in the dark (but are significantly more expensive than colour cameras. Thermal cameras require no lighting but product only silhouettes of objects and are very expensive in day time or lighted areas, colour cameras are the obvious choice as the premium for colour over black and white is trivial.
Standard Definition v. Mega-pixel: This choice is similar to that of TVs. Just like in the consumer world, historically everyone used standard definition cameras but now users are shifting into high definition cameras. While high definition TV maxes out at 3 MP, surveillance cameras can provide up to 16 MP resolutions.
IP vs. Analogue: The largest trend in video surveillance today is the move from analogue cameras to IP cameras. While all surveillance cameras are digitized to view and record on computers, only IP cameras digitize the video inside the camera. While most infra-red and thermal cameras are still only available as analogue cameras, you van only use mega-pixel resolution in PI cameras.
Connectivity IP vs. Analogue: Video can be transmitted over your computer network (IP) or it can be sent as native analogue video. Today, most video feeds are sent using analogue but migration to IP transmission is rapidly occurring. Both IP cameras and analogue cameras can be transmitted over IP.IP camera can connect directly to an IP network. Analogue camera cannot directly connect to an IP network. However, you can install an encoder to transmit analogue feeds over IP.
Wired vs. Wireless: Video can be sent over cables or though the air, whether you are using IP or analog video. Over 90% of video is sent over cables as this is generally the cheapest and most reliable way of sending video. However, wireless is an important option for transmitting video as deploying wires can be cost-prohibitive for certain applications such as parking lots, fence lines and remote buildings.
Video Management System DVRs are purpose built computers that combine software, hardware and video storage all in one. By definition, they only accept analogue camera feeds. Almost all DVRs today support remote viewing over the Internet. DVRs are very simple to install but they significantly limit your flexibility in expansion and hardware changes. DVRs are still today the most common option amongst professional buyers. However, DVRs have definitely fallen out of favor and the trend is to move to one of the three categories below.
HDVRs or hybrid DVRS are DVRs that support IP cameras. They have all the functionality of a DVR listed above plus they add support for IP and mega-pixel cameras. Most DVRs can be software upgraded to become HDVRs. Such upgrades are certainly a significant trend and are attractive because of the low migration cost.
NVRs are like DVRs in all ways except for camera support. Whereas a DVR only support analogue cameras, an NVR only support IP cameras. To support analogue cameras with an NVR, an encoder must be used.
IP Video Surveillance Software IP video surveillance software does not come with any hardware or storage. The user must load and set up the PC/Server for the software. This provides much greater freedom and potentially lower cost than using DVR/NVR appliances. However, it comes with significant more complexity and time to set up and optimize the system.
Storage Internal storage uses hard drives built inside of a DVR, NVR or server. Today this is still the common form of storage. With hard drives of up to 1 TB common today, internal storage can provide total storage of 2TB to 4TB. Internal storage is the cheapest option but tends to be less reliable and scalable than the other options. Nonetheless, it is used the most frequently in video surveillance.
Directly Attached storage is when hard drives are located outside of the DVR, NVR or server. Storage appliances such as NAS or SANs are used to manage hard drives. This usually provides greater scalability, flexibility and redundancy. However, the cost per TB is usually more than internal storage. Attached storage is most often used in large camera count applications.
Storage Clusters are IP based pools of storage specialized in storing video from large numbers of cameras. Multiple DVRs, NVRs or servers can stream video to these storage clusters. They provide efficient, flexible and scalable storage for very large camera counts. Storage clusters are the most important emerging trend in video surveillance storage.
Viewing Video Local Viewing directly from the DVR, NVR or servers is ideal for monitoring small facilities on site. This lets the video management system double as a viewing station, saving you the cost of setting up or using a PC. This approach is most common in retailers, banks and small businesses.
Remote PC Viewing is the most common way of viewing surveillance video. In this approach, standard Pcs are used to view live and recorded video. Either a proprietary application is installed on the PC or a web browser is used. Most remote PC viewing is done with an installed application as it provides the greatest functionality. However, as web applications mature, more providers are offering powerful web viewing. The advantage of watching surveillance video using a web browser is that you do not have to install not worry about upgrading a client.
Mobile Viewing allows security operators in the field to immediately check surveillance video. As responders and roving guards are common in security, mobile viewing has great potential. Though mobile clients have been available for at least 5 years, they have never become mainstream due to implementation challenges with PDAs / phones. Renewed interest and optimism has emerged with the introduction of the Apple iPhone.
Video Wall Viewing is ideal for large security operation centers that have hundreds or thousands of cameras under their jurisdiction. Video wall provide very large screens so that a group of people can simultaneously watch. This is especially critical when dealing with emergencies. Video wall generally have abilities to switch between feeds and to automatically display feeds from locations where alarms have been triggered.
Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows information, advertising and other messages. Digital signs can be found in public and private environments, such as retail stores and corporate buildings.
Public information News, weather and local information, such as fire exit and traveler information
Internal information Corporate messages, health & safety, news
Advertising Either related to the location the signage is in or just using the audience reach of the screens for general advertising
Brand building- in-store digital signage to promote the brand and build a brand identity
Influencing customer behaviour- directing customers to different areas, increasing the dwell time on the store premises
Enhancing customer experience applications include the reduction of perceived wait time in restaurant waiting areas, bank queues as well as recipe demonstration in food stores
Enhancing the environment with interactive screens or with dynamic way finding