Specifications

11 Common Types of Security Cameras

Bullet, dome, covert, outdoor, varifocal and night vision are just some of the common types of surveillance cameras. Here’s a quick reference list. Selecting a type of security camera is simple, right? If you want a camera that follows people as they move, you want a pan/tilt/zoom or PTZ camera. Otherwise you want a fixed […]

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The Truth About License Plate Recognition Technology

After numerous questions about the merits and drawbacks of cameras designed to capture images of the license plates of vehicles entering and exiting a property, I wanted to put something together to clarify the two approaches to this application. These cameras are often referred to interchangeably as “license plate cameras” and “license plate readers”. In […]

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Do You Really Want to Use That Security Product?

We’ve recently started providing product reviews forSecurity Sales & Integration magazine and its website, www.securitysales.com. As we kick this off, and on an ongoing basis, we’re going to be looking for feedback on how these reviews meet your needs, where they come up short, and what you’d like to see covered. The genesis of SSI’s Bench Test […]

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HDcctv: Back to the Future, or Ahead to the Past?

At ISC West 2014 last week, the HDcctv Alliance provided a first look at the new generation of HDcctv 2.0 surveillance technologies and products. As this is a technology that has been mentioned on and off over the years but never really gained traction, I thought I would avail myself of this opportunity to understand a little more about […]

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Overpromising & Underdelivering: How Cutting-Edge Tech Is Often a Waste of Money

We are all familiar with the business mantra imploring you to “underpromise and overdeliver”. The concept is that by managing expectations in such a manner that you are positioned to exceed them, you stand a greater likelihood of leaving behind a happy customer. Or spouse, or child, or co-worker, as the concept really works anywhere […]

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Some Corners a Security Installation Shouldn’t Cut

Security system installations are rarely done in a vacuum, although many integrators would tell you otherwise. Often the emphasis is on getting in and out quickly — after all, time is money, right? Unfortunately, as many learn the hard way, that axiom cuts both ways. Sure, it’s more profitable to complete a job quickly than […]

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Problems in Selecting Surveillance Monitors

The consumer market drives demands for 16:9 monitors, but there are still times when a 4:3 monitor is a better fit. As people get more acclimated to technology change in their personal life, it often spills over into their professional life. While this is generally a good thing, we’re seeing one area where the change […]

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Protecting Your Video Surveillance From Leaks

While there are a number of opinions and methods as to the best ways to capture and manage video images for investigation and evidence, we tend to focus on the technical aspects. What’s the best resolution, frame rate, compression method, or retention time for a given application? How will we get images off of the […]

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Keeping Surveillance Networks Secure

The bad guys aren’t supposed to be able to hack a video surveillance system, period. Recent headlines about a casino scam in Melbourne brought the consequences of an insecure security system front and center as scammers allegedly walked off with $32 million after using the casino’s surveillance system to cheat at cards. While we may never know […]

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6 Tips to Selecting the Right Security Camera

As we move toward more advanced video surveillance equipment, it’s often hard to resist finding high-tech solutions to low-tech problems. For example, if you can use image stabilization, why worry about camera vibration? While it’s true that modern cameras can often get you good images under lousy conditions, improving conditions usually improves the image quality dramatically. […]

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Hacking Surveillance Cameras in Casinos

A high roller and his accomplice scammed a casino in Melbourne, Australia, by hacking into the surveillance system to cheat (and win) at a series of card games in his suite. The Herald Sun in Melbourne reported that the gambler was able to use information from security cameras about his opponent’s cards to scam the […]

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A Guide to Fiber-Optic Cable & Coxial Media Converters

One topic that generates a lot of discussion is the transition from analogue to IP cameras. On new construction, it’s rapidly becoming a moot point — there are so many advantages to IP, and the cost advantage of analogue is rapidly disappearing — but there are a lot of analogue systems out there that are aging […]

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Back to the Basics of Camera Placement

As we move toward more advanced image acquisition equipment, it’s often hard to resist finding high-tech solutions to low-tech problems. For example, if you can use image stabilization, why worry about camera vibration? While it’s true that modern cameras can often get you good images under lousy conditions, improving conditions usually improves the image quality […]

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Evaluating Security Product Substitutions for Installations

When specifying a project, the term “or approved equal” (OAE) comes up often. We frequently find it easier to describe a specific make and model than force the bidder to decide what we are looking for from a detailed list of specifications. Adding the term OAE lets the bidder know they are free to present […]

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How Trimming Support for Obsolete CCTV Products Benefits the Industry

I received an E-mail blast from a CCTV manufacturer today describing a new five-point plan aimed to overhaul its technical support and customer service. Four of the five points were in line with expectations for a high-end company in the electronic security industry, but I suspect that the bulk of the objections the manufacturer hears […]

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P/T/Z Control in an IP World

Based on some comments I have received from a surprising number of manufacturers, I’m going to write a “CCTV 101” type blog. It will be short and sweet, and if this is too basic for you, check back in a few days for a new entry. But when a question comes up as often as […]

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The UPS and Downs of Camera Power Supplies

In an earlier blog, I mentioned that innovation seemed in short supply at ISC West this year. That’s not to say there wasn’t anything new, just that you had to dig further to find it. So, digging I went … Case in point was a new line of camera power supplies from Altronix that include […]

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Grade A Security for ‘Big D’ Complex

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the sprawling Galleria Dallas shopping center and its new expansive security system live up to that claim. However, what looms largest was the tightly coordinated effort the security consultant, integrator and end user demonstrated to help maximize the facility’s safety. There is nothing average about Galleria Dallas. […]

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Handling Coax, UTP Cables During Installations

“There’s a lot of coaxial cable out there.” “The 100 meter limit for Ethernet over copper presents some installation challenges.” I think there are very few people involved in the installation of IP-based CCTV systems that would disagree with either of the above statements. In an upcoming study featured in SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s April […]

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To Bid or Not To Bid: That Is the Question – Security Sales & Integration

Part of the value we bring to the table as a consulting firm is the ability to secure our clients competitive bids on their project(s). Our goal is somewhat different than that of an integrator. We want an embarrassment of riches — so many qualified bidders and competitive bids that the owner has to scratch […]

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Maintenance and Repair Needs for a Digital System

As facilities have moved from their analog tape based systems to the digital world, many believed that the system maintenance aspects were gone. Sure, we were used to repairing or replacing VCR’s – there were tons of mechanical parts, tapes shed grime and particles into the units, and VCR’s were pretty cheaply made to begin […]

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Bigger Isn’t Always Better – Be Mindful of the Category Rating

More and more of our projects involve networked systems and associated devices, and that inevitably includes cabling. And, as the price differential between the various category-rated cables diminishes, we are finding the temptation to provide the highest level of category rating possible throughout projects, whether or not it makes sense. If CAT5 is good, and […]

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What Not to Recycle

Our last blog entry (“Recycling Is Green, But It Can Make You Some Green Too…“) reviewed the benefits of recycling in unexpected ways, telling a short case study involving the reuse of a console. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t explore the dark side of recycling. Some things should be destined for the landfill, […]

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Don’t Throw Out the DVR With the Bathwater

While everyone was happy to get away from feeding tapes to VCRs, the digital replacement is not without an appetite of its own. I speak of course of the need to replace hard drives from time to time. This article was written by Bob Grossman for his “Enterprising Solutions” blog for Security Sales & Integration […]

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What Really Is an IP System?

The market is being whipped into a frenzy by buzz about IP, yet studies show that only 10-15 percent of systems sold include IP cameras. What’s the deal? Our firm was recently retained by a new client to provide a strategic review on the electronic security industry. This client was focused on CCTV, and inevitably […]

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Look for the Hidden Costs in Contracts

Despite the best of intentions, there is often a “disconnect” between the people who design, manufacture, distribute, sell, and install electronic security products, and those who specify, purchase and use them. As someone who has spent roughly equal amounts of time on both sides of the chasm, I will do my best to help bridge […]

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