Search  |  Checkout  |  Home
 

*NO Additional Shipping Charges !

Listed Price is What You Pay.
No Need to Guess Final Cost. 

*Some conditions and restrictions apply.
Click here for details.

This Is A
VeriSign SECURE
Site Through
StoresOnline

Shopping Basket

Items: 0
Subtotal: $0.00
Note: All prices in US Dollars
*Frequently Asked Questions* FAQ's

CLICK ON YOUR QUESTION TO BE TAKEN TO THE ANSWER:

How is the Frame Rate related to Picture Quality?

How does an Infrared Illuminator work?

How many cameras are necessary?

How far can the cameras be from the monitor?

What are the recommended camera placements to capture the most relevant shots?

What is the camera's format?

Why is Resolution important to Consider?

How do wireless cameras work?

Would wired or wireless be best?

What are the various wireless frequencies available?

What is Line of Sight (LOS)?

How many walls can a wireless signal cross?

Is a wireless signal able to pass through any walls or obstacles?

How can I get the best range with a wireless camera?

Can two wireless cameras transmit simultaneously on the same channel to the same receiver?

Will a 2.4GHz telephone interfere with a 2.4GHZ wireless surveillance system?

Why is Focal Lens important?

What's a Varifocal Lens?

What is the PIR Motion Sensor on the camera and when is it used?

CMOS vs. CCD Image Sensors?

When is a Dome Camera or a Bullet Camera used?

What are BNC Connectors?

Why use a DVR?

What are the issues concerning recording Audio?

Is it legal to use a Hidden Camera?

What does an IP55 Camera Rating mean?

What is a Camera's Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N)?

What is a Camera LUX Rating?

What is a USB Port?

When would a Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera be effective?

ANSWERS

How is the Frame Rate related to Picture Quality?
Quality can refer to both how detailed the image is and how fast the frame rate is. Frame rate is simply a measure of how many individual pictures make up the video. "Full motion", what you see on television and on VHS tapes, is 30 frames per second, or fps. Most often, security systems record at slower rates, which result in more jerky-looking images but saves tape or hard drive space, allowing longer periods of time to be recorded.

How does an Infrared Illuminator work?
In situations where events need to be monitored at night, black and white cameras are used with infrared illuminators. Infrared light is used because black and white CCD cameras have very good sensitivity in and near the infrared region. These are wavelengths longer than 7000nm (nanometers). The human eye can see up to 700nm wavelength, and anything above 700nm is invisible to the human eye. Most infrared illuminators come in 730nm, 830nm, and 950nm wavelengths. These infrared illuminators are invisible to the human eye, and that's why they're perfect for night monitoring. You will be able to see in total darkness with these infrared illuminators, without anyone knowing.

How many cameras are necessary?
If you want to view more than one area, you'll need at least one camera per area. In some cases you may require two or more cameras in an area. If good identification is required, a general rule of thumb would be that each camera should cover an area of no more than 30 feet.

How far can the cameras be from the monitor?
Cameras usually came with cable that's about 63 feet long. But the length can be extended to go further to 300-400 feet with approved extension cables.

What are the recommended camera placements to capture the most relevant shots?
While this is a very broad question, here are some tips for placing your cameras...


Never angle a camera to look straight down. A camera that's pointed straight down will only catch the top of a perpetrator's head. The camera will most likely miss many of the distinguishing characteristics that can be used to identify a person later if necessary.

Always make sure to have a camera facing all entrances It is a fact, that the best time to catch the facial features of an individual is during their entrance into the building, whether it is your home or your business. Other cameras can catch the act of someone in the act of stealing; however, without the critical entry-shot you may not be able to identify the individual

Never allow direct sunlight to touch the lens of the camera. Regardless of which cameras you use, make sure that the cameras are never mounted in such a way that sunlight will directly shine into the lens. This will cause the Image sensor to discolor and fail. Direct sunlight will also immediately void any warranty.

Mount I/R Cameras within 20 ft. of subject being viewed.  Infrared bulbs emit an invisible light spectrum that will illuminate a subject even in complete darkness...however, the light will only project out 20-40 ft. to illuminate the target.

Always plug cameras into a surge suppressor or Battery Back-up unit. Cameras are extremely sensitive to voltage changes and can fail prematurely. Voltage changes will also void the cameras warranty.

What is a camera's format?
Camera formats are measured in inches: most surveillance cameras fall between 1/4" and 1". This refers to the usable image size created inside the camera. For most security systems, a small size is fine - 1/4" or 1/3" surveillance cameras dominate CCTV sales. Larger formats do not necessarily result in better images, but can be advantageous in dimly lit situations since they are able to gather more light.

Why is Resolution important to consider?
Resolution refers to how detailed a picture the camera can see. The measurement to look for is horizontal TV lines (TVL). A normal CCTV picture is around 350 to 400 TVL, with high resolution getting up to 480 or 500. You need to make sure your entire system is capable of supporting that resolution. If your VCR records 350 lines and your monitor displays 400, the money you spent to upgrade to a camera with 500 lines is completely wasted.

How do wireless cameras work?
Wireless cameras
are basically wireless transmitters carrying a camera picture signal. The camera is wireless and the video signal travels between the camera's transmitter to the receiver. This works much like a radio. The sound you hear on a radio is wireless and you tune to a certain frequency and hear the sound. Wireless cameras also have channels. The receiver needs to tune into the same channel as is being used by the transmitter in order to receive the picture.

The process is the following: The Camera sees the image, and sends it to the transmitter.  The transmitter then sends the signal through the air to the receiver, which picks up the signal and outputs it (via a cable connection) to a TV/Monitor/Digital Video Recorder.  Keep in mind that both the camera and transmitter require power. The power is provided either by battery and/or transformer/adapter.


In some wireless systems, the camera and transmitter is very small and the power is provided to both from one source. A good example of this is a hidden wireless camera in a clock radio.  In this case, the wireless camera is powered by plugging in the clock. The camera and wireless transmitter are provided power by the clock radio internally. 

Would "wired" or "wireless" be best?
A
wired camera needs an RCA cable to connect it to a video recording device such as a VCR, DVR or TV.  The video signal is passed from the camera, through the cable, to your monitoring device, which allows you to see the picture.  

A
wireless camera doesn't need an RCA cable to provide the video signal to the VCR, DVR or TV.  The video signal is transmitted through the air to the monitoring device directly, or through a receiver.  However, wireless cameras still require power.  You can apply power by either using batteries, or by plugging the camera into a regular wall outlet.

Wherever possible
"wired video" should be the first consideration, as it produces a clearer image and is more reliable, with less chance of interference.  These cameras operate on very crowded frequency bands, which can be interfered with by a mobile phone, wireless access-point, wireless network card or many other wireless devices. In addition, wireless cameras aren't as secure as wired cameras. They may permit an intruder to see inside your house or business. 

However, wireless cameras would be advantageous in situations where video observation is only needed on a temporary basis or when the prospects of getting a wire between two points is next to impossible. Wireless is also excellent for simple observation applications, when high definition is not critical and when low cost solutions are the objective.

What are the various wireless frequencies available?
434MHz
is a lower frequency amateur band, which requires a license to operate. It operates on one channel which is picked up directly by a television, without a receiver . With the TV set to channel 59, (cable mode), the actual cable from the input is removed and a UHF antenna (high gain increases the range) is used to receive the signal.  Range can vary from 300-400 up to 1000 feet.  The range can vary depending on frequency interference and other environmental factors.  The antenna is approximately 6.5 inches and operates on 9 volts.

2.4GHz   has 4 channels available and requires no tuning.  It's generally recommended over 434MHz and 900MHz, since the overall quality is superior.   Range varies from 200-700 feet, depending upon environmental conditions, and operates on 12 volts.  Most 2.4GHz units are FCC approved, so no license to operate is required.

2.4GHz wireless cameras require a receiver to pick up the video signal.  The receiver is then plugged into the monitoring device with the provided RCA cable. Receivers come with all 2.4GHz cameras and transmitters.


What is Line of Sight (LOS)?
Line of Sight (LOS) is the distance between two points with nothing but air in between (no walls, trees, furniture, etc.).  This is a common method of rating wireless receivers and transmitters.

How many walls can a wireless signal cross?
This varies depending on the material the wall is made of and the thickness of the wall.  Generally, a standard 10mW can cross 4-6 ordinary walls within a space of 100-450feet.

Is a wireless signal able to pass through any walls or obstacles?
Most walls pose no problem for wireless signals.  However, the signal may weaken considerably when passing through walls with a metal frame or walls built with thick blocks.

How can I get the best range with a wireless system?
Here are some tips: 1) Place the camera where there are the fewest obstructions between it and the monitor. 2) Place the monitor higher than the camera. 3) Try making adjustments to the location of the camera and/or monitor. Moving the monitor or camera in any direction by only a few feet can improve the reception.

Can two wireless cameras transmit simultaneously on the same channel to the same receiver?
If this were to be done, the two cameras would interfere with one another, and you would not get a clear picture.  Each camera must be assigned its own channel.


Will a 2.4GHz telephone signal interfere with a 2.4GHz wireless surveillance system?
In some instances, it could be a problem.  When using a 2.4GHz phone, the monitor's picture may go out, or lines of static may appear.  There may also be a horizontal hold type problem with the picture.  There's no telling what problem may occur because each phone model is different.  For example, the older 2.4GHz telelphones occupy the entire 2.4GHz range and will cause a high level of interference.  The new 2.4GHz Digital Spectrum telephones don't seem to cause as much interference.  If you have a 2.4GHz phone system, or any other 2.4GHz device in your home or office and can't get good video reception, unplug the power to the phone or other device to determine if that's causing the problem. 

Why is Focal Lens important?
If you're looking for a security camera for the office or warehouse and you want to see as much as you can, you should look for a 2.8 or 4mm lens (provides a wide, somewhat distant view). If you need to observe a limited area, such as an entrance, you should choose an 8mm lens (provides a narrow view and objects are closer). In other words, the smaller the focal length number, the wider the field of view. To get the most flexibility in choosing the best field of view, consider a varifocal lens. 

What is a Varifocal Lens
The varifocal lens is ideal in situations where the security camera surveys a distant point. One can adjust the zoom and focus of these lenses, either manually or automatically. This is sometimes referred to as "manual zoom" lens.

What is the PIR Motion Sensor on the camera and when is it used?
The small item mounted to the top of the camera is a PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor). It's a sensor that looks for and detects the movement of objects by sensing heat sources. The PIR detection feature is a user option. When the feature is active the sensor will detect anything moving in front of the camera and the monitor will chime and bring that camera to full screen while, at the same time, triggering an output relay that can activate a professional VCR to start recording. This feature is great if you want notification and a recording of activity in front of any camera, saving tape, as well as minimizing wasted playback of video. Typical applications include unmanned lobby areas, receiving doors, back doors, restricted areas and during the time the business is closed.

CMOS vs. CCD Image Sensors?
CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) and CCD (charge coupled device) image sensors are two different technologies for capturing images digitally. Although recent advances in CMOS sensors are closing the gap, CCD sensors currently offer the highest possible image quality.

A CMOS camera has a less-expensive image sensor. The other benefits of CMOS are size, and low-power consumption. Most CMOS cameras can even be operated for several hours on a single 9-volt battery! The low-power consumption comes at a price however. CMOS cameras have a lower resolution and less color quality than the CCD cameras. However, the CCD Cameras are much more sensitive to power fluctuations, due to the fact that the CCD Sensors have 4 integrated processors compared to the one processor found on a CMOS sensor. CCD cameras usually have much better picture quality, resolution and color balance. The drawback of a CCD camera is high-power consumption and sensitivity to minute voltage changes.


When is a Dome Camera or a Bullet Camera used? 
Dome cameras are commonly used when there is a need to mount cameras to the ceiling. The benefit of the dome camera is that you can't see where the internal camera is facing and, as such, provides an illusion of increased surveillance. Domes are less obtrusive and generally accepted in any environment. The cables for a dome cameras are generally fed through a small hole in the wall or ceiling, so no wires are visible after installation.

Bullet cameras (commonly call Tube Cameras or Lipstick Cameras) are smaller and less noticeable, visually directional in their viewing and they're weather resistant for outdoor applications. 


What are BNC Connectors?
A widely accepted coaxial cable termination in CCTV is the BNC termination. There are three different types of BNC connectors availabe in the market. The most commonly used and found would be the male BNC connector. Other BNC connectors are also available, such as the female BNC plugs, and BNC to BNC barrels.


Why use a DVR?
Video surveillance is only as beneficial as the person watching it, or the actual video recording for review at a later time. Watching an event take place on a monitor won't be of benefit if you wish to enforce, prove or demonstrate anything. It needs to be recorded. 
The video of a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is digitally recorded to an internal hard drive.  This allows continuous recording for days or weeks at a time.  When the hard drive is full, the oldest video is deleted so that the system always has the latest video stored for immediate playback.  The USB port can be utilitized if the video needs to be saved indefinitely.  Since the video images are stored digitally, the image quality won't degrade over time, as would a VHS tape when recorded over multiple times.  The time saving search capabilities of a DVR will enable the user to locate the desired video clips via user defined parameters (camera, time, date, etc.).  Also, a DVR can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world using the Internet.  

In addition, a DVR also provides a user interface to remotely manage many functions of the video files and cameras, including motion detection and pan/tilt/zoom features. At a minimum, a DVR should allow multiple users to view multiple cameras remotely. High Definition technology provides superior quality. Issues of frame rate, resolution, disk size, motion detection, compression ratio, and camera noise all affect the storage capacity of a video surveillance system. High resolution is ideal to capture details, while high frame rates are needed to capture events. Frame rates of less than 20 fps tend to be jerky, while rates of 20 - 30 fps can be adequate for most surveillance needs.

The amount of time a DVR will record is based on the size of the DVR's Hard Drive, the number of cameras recording, the number of frames per second it's recording at and the amount of activity if using motion activation .  

What are the issues concerning recording Audio?
Some observation systems have "Two Way Audio". This means that you can communicate using the cameras in the system. To communicate, it's a "Push to Talk-Release to Listen" function with any one camera at a time. Its function is very similar to an intercom system and the user benefits can be significant when used effectively. Care and discretion must be considered when using audio surveillance equipment, especially when there's perceived privacy. You should inquire regarding federal, state, and/or local regulations applicable to the lawful installation of video and/or audio recording or surveillance. Party consent may be required.

It's illegal to record speech without a person's consent in the following 15 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.


Is it legal to use a Hidden Camera?
It's indeed legal in all 50 states to use a hidden camera. However, it's illegal to record speech without a person's consent in the following 15 states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

What does an IP55 Camera Rating mean?
An IP55 rating means that the unit has a protection level of '5' against
solid-body ingress, and a protection level of '5' against the ingress of water. Five is the second-highest protection level against sold bodies, meaning the cameras are protected against dust ingress to the point of disallowing harmful deposits. Protection against water ingress goes up to level '8', and a '5' means these units will protect your camera against the effects of low-presssure jets of water from any direction.

What is a Camera's Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N)?

The S/N, or signal to noise ratio, is an important measure of a camera's quality. 'Noise' is caused by a camera of poor quality, low-light conditions or poor wiring, and consumes processing power and disk space. A camera with a wide dynamic range is ideal, especially for recording in areas in which both indoor and outdoor light are present. CCD (charge-coupled device) sensors provide high-quality images that are less susceptible to noise. CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors may offer less image quality, but are usually more cost-effective and energy efficient.

S/N indicates how much "signal," or actual picture information, the camera transmits, as opposed to "noise," which comes across as static. An s/n ratio of 40db indicates that the signal is 100 times the noise, which results in an acceptable picture with some fine grain or snow. 30db results in a poor picture, and 60db produces an excellent picture with no static visible. Keep in mind that noise can be introduced by other components in addition to the camera.

What is a Camera LUX Rating?
The LUX Rating is the measurement used to indicate how sensitive a camera is to light. It represents the level of light reflected off a piece of paper by a candle from one meter away. For example, a sensitivity of '3 Lux' would mean a camera could generate an acceptable picture of a piece-of-paper sized object that was illuminated by the equivalent of 3 candles from one meter away. The important thing to remember is that the lower the lux level, the better the camera's ability to work in low-light conditions.

The following are examples of natural light expressed in LUX ratings: Full Daylight = 10,000 LUX,  Very Dark Day = 100 LUX  Twilight = 10 LUX,  Deep Twilight = 1 LUX,  Full Moon = 0.1 LUX,  Quarter Moon = 0.01 LUX 


What’ s a USB Port?
USB, or Universal Serial Bus, is a hardware bus standard that allows users to plug a peripheral device into a USB port and have it automatically configured and ready to use.

A port is an interface for attaching external devices to a computer. The original IBM personal computers came with two ports -- a serial port and a parallel port. Typically, devices such as modems were attached to the serial port and devices such as printers connected to the parallel port.


Ports not only connect external devices, but also control the transfer rate, the rate at which data can be transferred between the computer and the attached device. This is where the USB port excels. On the average, USB allows data to travel ten times the speed of the normal parallel port. It is also faster than a serial port. The average serial port transfer rate is 150 kbps; the parallel port is 1.2 mbps. The USB port transfers data is up to 12 mbps depending on the type of device that is connected.

Each of these different types of ports is uniquely different. While a device can have several different types of ports built into it, each port can connect only its own distinctive type of peripheral. If a device is made with a parallel port connection, it can be hooked up only to a parallel port. If a device is made with a USB connection, it can be hooked up only to a USB port. Some peripherals come with dual support; they can be hooked up to either the parallel port or the USB port.

When would a Pan/Tilt/Zoom camera be effective?
Pan Tilt Zoom style cameras are useful only for installations where someone will be constantly controlling the cameras. If, instead,  these cameras are set to ‘automatic tour', they miss most of the action that's occurring because they are constantly panning and changing direction.


These cameras were initially designed for Time Lapse VCR's, which were limited to a maximum of 4 cameras. More than 4 cameras would have dropped the picture resolution to levels that would make buildings unrecognizable, let alone people's faces. Due to this 4 camera limitation, the PTZ cameras were created to cover a larger area.

However in a DVR based system, which can have up to 16 or 24 cameras, this aspect becomes less beneficial.  On the contrary, you might be missing much of the territory that you would like to have covered.

Another issue with the use of PTZ cameras on a DVR system is that the compression rate that  DVR's use is based on the change of pixels (or dots) between each frame. The more pixels that change, (as the PTZ camera moves), the larger the file sizes, thus reducing the time which will be recorded on the hard drive before it is full.