Frequently Asked Questions
DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. A Security DVR is capable of taking the video from digital or IP cameras and recording it into a digital format on a hard drive. It can record high quality video, maintenance free, for weeks or even months.
What is a video storage?
A video storage is a special surveillance HARD DRIVE which is installed in the Security DVR system which captures the signal from the cameras and stores the video in the recorder.
How many hours of video can the Security DVR store?
The length of archive depends on number of cameras, frames per second (FPS) and amount of available hard disk space.
How does motion detection work? Through the camera or software?
Motion detection works through the software in the DVR system by recording video when pixels in the image change. Most Security DVRs offer a sensitivity scale so the user can set the sensitivity of the motion detection.
Can I view live and recorded video locally?
Can I view live and recorded video remotely?
Yes, all our Security DVR/NVR systems are Internet enabled. You can view live and recorded video from anywhere through the Internet.
What kind of broadband do I need? How much bandwidth?
Basic DSL or cable will suffice in most cases.
Can several users view one site at once?
Most Internet-enabled Security DVR systems allow multiple users to view the same site simultaneously. However, as more people look at the same cameras/DVR at the same time, the bandwidth will be shared between them.
Can I record audio?
Yes, if the Security DVR system comes with an audio option you can record audio. Some cameras do not come with built in audio, so you will probably need a separate audio kit.
Can I listen to live and recorded audio remotely?
Yes, some of our Security DVR systems have that option. With an optional audio module, you can listen to live and recorded audio from anywhere through the Internet.
How many cameras do I need?
This will depend on the size and layout of the area you wish to survey. You can email your plan to us to get a location plan.
Can I use my existing cameras?
Yes, you can use your existing CCTV cameras. But this can be done only with our tribrid or higher HD CVI DVR but not with NVR Please check with us to find out best options.
What camera lens size is the best for my application?
Most of the fixed lensed cameras smaller the lens diameter wider will be the field of vision shorter the motion recording distance, larger the lens diameter narrower the field of vision but longer distance can be seen.
What is an Auto-Iris Lens?
An auto iris lens provides consistent video signal in areas where light levels vary.
Can I zoom in with a camera?
Yes, but you need a special camera called a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ camera. Please ask us for the better camera for your need.
What type of Operating System (OS) does the Security DVR use?
Most PC-based Security DVR Systems use Windows 7 Professional, and Standalone Security DVRs are Linux based.
What happens if there is power outage?
Most Security DVRs/NVRs will auto boot up as soon as power is restored. However, we suggest an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) which provides a short period of backup power and also serves as a surge protection device.
Can the Security DVR report an alarm?
Yes, some Security DVRs have that option.
You may see high definition CCTV called HD (high definition), IP, MP (megapixel) or network CCTV. They all refer to the same CCTV technology. This technology offers high resolution, high definition (1080P) recording and playback for security footage on a network system.
How does a HD system provide such good images?
An IP CCTV camera ranges from 1.3 to 10 megapixels in resolution whereas even a high resolution standard analogue security camera provides only around 0.4 megapixel resolution size. This makes the footage so much more useful for facial recognition, till monitoring, object search and more.
What is an IP Security System?
An IP security system broadcasts their video as a digital stream over an IP network such as a WAN, LAN, Internet or Intranet. IP cameras combine the capabilities of cameras and some PC functionalities. So they don’t require a direct connection to a PC to operate. So they can be placed anywhere within a network.
What is HD SDI CCTV camera?
HD-SDI security cameras, also known as HD CCTV cameras, are capable of capturing video surveillance footage at 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). These high definition surveillance cameras must be used with an HD-SDI surveillance DVR.
What do I get with a megapixel IP CCTV system?
- IP security cameras
- An NVR (Network Video Recorder) which records and allows playback and search of the video footage
- A monitor for viewing the live and recorded footage -or can be viewed from PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or android device
- Network cabling
- PoE network switch to power the cameras provided your NVR doesn’t have an in built PoE.
With an IP system each IP camera is wired to a network switch where it uses the existing network infrastructure (or, preferably a new network is built for the system) to take the video signal back to the NVR. IP CCTV cameras can also be integrated with a wireless network. This means expansion of the system is almost limitless and in many cases installation is less involved than with an equivalent analogue CCTV system.
How much hard disk space do I need?
This will depend on several factors:
- How long do you want to keep recordings for?
The industry standard is around one month. If you are away from the business for periods longer than a month it is recommended that you extend the pre-set amount of time before the older video footage is over-written, allowing you to access footage recorded in your absence if necessary.
- How many CCTV cameras do you require?
The more security cameras you have (and the higher the resolution of the cameras) the more hard drive space will be required to hit your target storage time.
- What frame rate do you want to record at?
The recording rate of the CCTV camera will affect the amount of hard drive space used for a given amount of recording time. e.g. if you record in “real time” 25 frames per second (FPS) you will use twice as much hard disk space per hour of recording than if you recorded at 12.5 FPS. While higher frame rates sound better, unless you have a fast moving subject in most cases 8 FPS is fine.
- Do you need full time recording or motion activated?
In most cases motion activated recording is the most efficient way to go as there is no point recording when nothing is changing in the picture.
How does network bandwidth affect in IP camera selection?
You should always consider band width requirements especially if you are connecting the camera over existing network infrastructure or want to solely view over the internet. For example if you have a situation where you will only use the camera to view live images over the internet there is no point installing a 5MP security camera as it will require around 8 megabits per second to stream video at 8 frames per second. Unless you have a fibre internet connection your upload speed will not come close to 8Mbps so a lower spec camera would be more appropriate.
Some IP security cameras come with free recording software for your PC. Do you support this type of set up?
No we don’t. While this may work okay on your PC we cannot guarantee the integrity of the system using an existing PC. Factors such as the computer’s hard drive not being a surveillance spec drive designed to be constantly written to can cause problems.
The bandwidth a high resolution camera uses can be too much for some home PCs especially if they are also used for other tasks. If the PC crashes it will stop recording.
What makes the network IP cameras different than an HDCVI CCTV video camera?
HDCVI CCTV cameras connect to a video monitor or DVR using a coax connection, while IP cameras connect directly to the network using a RJ45 connector and have their own IP address. HDCVI cameras transmit DIGITAL signals over the coax cables, while IP cameras transmit digitally encoded video over a standard network cable. IP cameras have computers and intelligence, so they can be shared by many PCs using web browser and the video recorded using video management software or a NVR.
What is a 4K camera?
4K IP cameras are defined as having at least 4,000 (4K) horizontal pixels. Some of the cameras that are touted as 4K don’t actually meet the specification. Typical high resolution 4K cameras provide over 4,000 pixels, but actually operate best with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. 4K cameras from Sony, Samsung and Dahua all meet the 4K requirement. It is best to check the details before selecting a camera and take a look at our review of 4K cameras.
How large are the images in Kbytes?
The size of the image or video frame, depends on the resolution and the compression scheme used. An image with a resolution of 350 X 240 that is compressed using MJPEG uses about 4-10 Kbytes. Higher resolution cameras, with over 1-megapixel resolution, create file sizes larger than 80K bytes per frame. Most mega-pixel cameras use H.264 or H265 compression instead of MJPEG compression. Since H.264 compression transfers only the difference between frames, it dramatically reduces the bandwidth. In this case, we don’t calculate the bandwidth using the frame size. Instead, we estimate an average data rate based on the resolution. The calculations consider the resolution of the camera, the frame rate and expected activity the camera will see. In general you can expect about 20 to 30 times improvement in compression using H.264.
Does the IP camera device have its own IP address?
Yes, it acts as a standalone web-server.
Do the cameras come with an application for storing and managing the video?
Some cameras come with very basic recording software. The problem is that software provided by the camera manufacturer usually works only with their cameras, so you may not be able to use another IP camera brand. For applications that require 4 or more cameras we recommend a more universal recording system.
IP stands for “Internet Protocol” which is the next camera system on the. IP camera systems work by using a standard Ethernet cable to connect several cameras together to your LAN “Local Area Network” in your house. The biggest advantage of IP cameras is that you don’t have to use a recording device on the other end to operate them (option), they all consist of their own web based program that can be accessed through your computer or a phone for viewing or local camera recording. IP cameras have the most sophisticated technology that gives them ability to achieve these types of operations. If the need to record your footage contact us, we sell NVR’s “Network Video Recorders” that allow you to connect up to 128 cameras to a single recorder. It also make it a central viewing station for all of the cameras you set up instead of logging into each individual camera. The cameras themselves can have different types of lenses which gives it the ability to view far away objects without distortion or view a wide shot for more coverage. The best thing about IP camera system is that you can record at a high resolution. In some cases you can record as high as 10 Megapixels! That’s 5x the size as your standard 1080p HD TV. With that picture you can digitally zoom into a video with little to no distortion. There are also other benefits to IP camera systems like POE “Power over Ethernet” which allows you to use one cable (Ethernet cable) to send power and data to avoid the use of and additional power cable. Doing so can save you time and money for installations and repairs. IP camera systems are becoming more affordable every day and will eventually become the standard in security cameras.
Getting the best footage is what most people are looking for in a security camera system and this can be achieve using the same technology as our predecessor the Analog camera system. HD-CVI can give you the reliability and price of an Analog system but the picture quality of an IP camera system. There are also a lot more benefits to using a HD-CVI camera system for example you can transfer video, audio, and data all through the same coaxial cable. This is something that is possible through IP but new to Analog. This is a benefit because it will save you on wiring and time with configurations on each unit. It also makes it possible to control the OSD functions of the camera at the DVR source. This makes it easier to manage your fixed cameras as well as PTZ’s (Pan Tilt Zoom) The biggest advantage is you can record at 720p resolution ,normally found on a IP camera system, for over half the cost.
Analog gives you reliability and options all at a reasonable price. IP producing quality picture and on the move to becoming an industry standard. Last but not least HD-CVI which gives you most of the benefits of IP with a similar cost to Analog. Now that it’s broken down you can digest the information to make the best choice.