Saturday, July 10, 2010

Security Camera Terminology

Security Camera Technology
When you're purchasing a security camera, it's hard to know exactly what you're looking for. There are so many different terms association with surveillance systems that the average person probably doesn't know what they mean. That can making purchasing a camera or surveillance system a lot harder than it should be. In the event that you are purchasing a camera and need a little help with the language, here is a quick guide to 20 security camera terminology and definitions.

1. AES - AES stands for Auto Electronic Shutter. This is the ability of the camera to compensate for changes in light without using auto iris lenses.

2. Analog - In electronics, there are two different ways to represent data: Analog and Digital. Analog represents data by measuring a continuous physical variable as a voltage of pressure.

3. Bullet Camera - A bullet camera is a camera that is essentially shaped like a bullet, and often a less expensive choice when choosing a security camera.

4. CAT5 - Cat5 stands for Category 5 cable, which is often used in networking applications.

5. CCTV - You may see CCTV often when looking for cameras; this stands for closed-circuit television.

6. Dome Camera - Like its name says, a dome camera has a dome-like shape and is often used indoors. Features often include infrared lighting and they are often tamper-proof.

7. Field of View - This is basically what is visible to the lens of your camera and that will vary based on the distance of the camera from its subject or what type of lens is being used.

8. Housing - A camera's housing is the container or cover surrounding it to protect it from elements such as weather.

9. Infrared Camera - These types of cameras have special infrared lights around the outside of the lens and can capture pictures even in complete darkness.

10. JPEG - JPEG stands for "Joint Photographic Experts Group." This is the standard way of compressing photographic images.

11. Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera - Pant-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ cameras allow you to use adjust the position and focus of the camera with a remote control. They can be fairly expensive.

12. Plug and Play Cable - These types of cameras have three wires built into one with attached connectors.

13. Remote Surveillance - The ability to view your cameras from a remote location. For example, if you own a store and have place cameras in that store, you can view the images from your home computer.

14. Resolution - Resolution basically tells you how much detail your camera can see. The higher the resolution, the more detail that can be viewed.

15. Smart Search - This feature of digital video records allows you to search for changes in an image over time. If something is stolen, you can fast forward to and search for the point in time when the item disappears from the camera's view.

16. Switch - A switch takes multiple camera inputs and shows them on a monitor, one at a time, or allows you to view a particular input at a time.

17. Transformer - Transfer energy from one circuit to another, inductively coupled wire coils that effect such a transfer with a change in voltage, current, phase, or other electric characteristic.

18. Video Input - This is a connection that allows you to plug a camera into a video controller or recording device. You can connect as many cameras to a device as there are input devices.

19. Weatherproof - Any camera described as "weatherproof" means that it can be placed outside and not, for the most part, be affected by harsh weather or extreme temperature changes.

20. Wireless Camera - Wireless cameras transmit video and audio via waves instead of wires.

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