Shearer Security Devices

5450 Derry Street Harrisburg, PA 17111
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Video Surveillance

Light Levels:
More than anything else light levels, or lack there of, will have the best or worst impact on the quality of the images you’re trying to capture. This brings us to our second and third issues.


Color vs. Monochrome:
For capturing images in daylight or in areas that are well lit even during the nighttime hours, color is the camera of choice. A color camera image will provide an overwhelming amount of detail and clarity. “i.e.” A client owns a gas station, it is imperative to know not only the year and make and model of a vehicle that drove off without paying, but, to also have the color of that vehicle. However, good lighting is not always available, and with all the details that a color camera will provide, in low light levels, even a “high resolution” (480 TVL or higher) will have a tendency to blur as light levels drop. For this situation it is best to use a monochrome, (black & white), camera. Even with a small amount of lighting in most cases a monochrome camera will still provide you with a crisp clear image.


We’ll just touch briefly on this subject because it’s an easy one. Do we choose Standard or High Resolution? The answer is simple and here it is, although standard resolution will usually be more forgiving to your budget, high resolution will always give you the better image and in most cases when it comes to evidence, in the long run, the high resolution camera will pay for itself.


Your choice of lenses will be determined by the “field of view” you wish to see. Lenses can be used to cover a wide area, however the wider the field of view the smaller the individual images will be (to a point that the images are not visible enough to be used as evidence). The amount of light that the lens lets into the camera must be determined. Interior cameras usually have a light level that is constant during those periods of time that the camera is to be viewing so normally a fixed Iris lens will suffice. On outdoor viewing cameras or where the light level varies an Auto Iris Lens should be considered to control the amount ;of light entering the camera. To use an auto iris lens, the camera must have a DC auto iris input capability.


Monitors will range in size usually from 12” to 21”. A smaller monitor may be suitable for a single camera system but, in a situation where multiple cameras are being monitored it is most likely a better choice to utilize a larger screen monitor. Monitors come in small or large screen, high resolution or standard resolution, color or monochrome, CRT or LCD.
*Note: Professional CCTV Monitors are NOT the same as televisions. Televisions are not made for continual monitoring and will “burn out” quickly under the same conditions as those required for CCTV.

Processor or Multiplexer:
The processor is designed to process or decipher multiple camera signals all at the same time, and to also make sense of them. Without the processor the monitor would just rapidly flash from camera to camera, not knowing what to show. The processor depending on its functionality will also allow you to record all cameras even if you’re viewing all of them on the monitor.


Recording Device:
When it comes to the recording capabilities of your surveillance system you will have few extremely different choices. The Time Lapse Tape Recorder, is the least extensive of those choices, however it does have its draw backs. The time lapse utilizes tapes for recording. Although in certain applications these units are very effective, they also require a lot of maintenance and up keep. It is suggested that the heads in these units be cleaned every 6 months, and to keep track of the evidence you’ve captured it is also recommended that you use a different tape for each day of the week. For reviewing recorded footage you will need to view every hour that the recorder has put on tape. In most cases this means hours and hours of video watching, and in most cases just to find out that nothing has happened. The second and third options of these choices share many of the same features. The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and the Digital Video Multiplexer Recorder (DVMR) utilize a hard drive and possess storage or archiving capabilities. This means you will not have to review footage everyday. Archive space will be determined by hard drive space or, the amount of gigabits or GB’s. Units will start at around 40GB and go up from there. These units are more often than not network ready and capable of remote viewing, via either the internet or a modem. *Note: to utilize the remote viewing capability over the internet you must obtain a “static IP address” from your ISP. One of the most noticeable conveniences for the end user will be searching capabilities. With a digital unit, instead of watching hours of video, you may search by date, time, or motion. In some cases, searching by motion in a defined area of the screen is also possible. Because the DVR has the ability to record on motion, the user can go right to the point in time when an actual activity has occurred. This usually means watching a few minutes of footage as opposed to a few hours, and if there was no motion or activity, the unit will display a “no recorded images”, or similar message. D.V.R.’s and DVMR’s will also, in most cases provide much higher quality recorded images than tape recorders. Also these units are comprised of electronics with almost no moving parts. This means there’s almost nothing to break, increasing the longevity of the end users investment.

Contact one of our highly skilled security professionals and see what surveillance system designed by Shearer Security Devices can do for you, as well as your company’s bottom line.


High Tech Cameras and Camera Systems:
What’s hot on the video market? GE’s UltraView camera analyzes every pixel for light level to allow it to look directly at bright scenes and still display viewable views. This technology allows businesses wishing to have a camera pointing at a front door, for instance, to see the face of a person entering even though a bright sun is shining though the door. No more silhouettes.

GE’s Video IQ has the ability to distinguish between images of visual objects such as trees, birds, and even animals such as large dogs and deer from humans. Guards watching video monitors no longer have to keep checking video motion that turns out to be only non human objects. Video IQ only sounds an alarm when human form is detected. 



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