Getting Into Video Surveillance: PICK THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

Aug. 1, 2008
Many types of companies are entering the video surveillance installation business, but no one group enjoys a clear advantage, and you won’t know if you like it until you try.

Besides being one of the strongest growth segments in security, video is also one of the most volatile. Changes to the playing field and rules are constant, which gives the advantage to those who are able to keep up.

Video surveillance is hot because the demand for surveillance and the availability of product are converging lines on the security forecast radar. Retail, institutional, education, government and even residential customers can see the benefits of implementing video surveillance and the diversity of video technologies available enable installers to design systems which meet their requirements precisely and economically.

The security industry as well as the end-users also recognize that despite the onslaught of new technology, it is wiser to install now rather than to wait for the next big thing and then pay the price for waiting too late.
My company is currently involved in a 100-camera project for a school district, and the assistant principal asks daily when we will be done. This is because the properties are being vandalized on a daily basis, and they need the video to regain control of the situation.

On the TV this morning, a spokesman for the ACLU said that everyone should wake up, and that video surveillance is ineffective at deterring or solving crime. On the other hand, we observe arrests and dramatic mitigation of criminal activity made possible by the implementation and use of video surveillance.

Many companies are entering the video surveillance installation business, but unlike the old days, no one group enjoys a clear advantage over another, and you won’t know if you like it until you try. The technology is in such transition that no one knows it all, and ongoing training and applications support is part of the installation process. Of course the more you do and the more you study, the quicker you will learn.

Who is supplying this equipment? Video equipment is available from a wide variety of sources, making the buying process an important part of the total system installation process. Creative procurement can enable you to save big on materials while still achieving superlative levels of performance. Learning how to interpret the specifications, and not being afraid to do a little research, will help a lot in this regard.

If there was ever a played out term, it’s “New Technology.” But the truth is that there is an immense research and development process occurring all over the world trying to develop new products. Video surveillance combines several different disciplines: optics, analog circuitry, digital signal processing along with good old fashioned ‘curb appeal.’

Here is a selection of a few impressive new offerings from established Video suppliers. Feel free to look under the hood and kick the tires.

The CCTV IMPORTS WDR3600 is a powerful and ultra advanced camera that promises to capture cleaner, superior high resolution pictures. Even with a strong back light, this camera will show images that normally would appear dark. The spotlight BLC function is especially effective when you are trying to record a vehicle license plate in the street or parking lot at night time.
Another great feature of the WDR3600 is the 3D filtering method of advanced DNR (dynamic noise reduction) technology. The 3D filtering of the video signal optimizes the visibility of the signal, even in low light conditions.

Features include:

•           OSD Menu Control
•           WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) feature shows obvious, clear and perfect light contrast
•           Day/Night Feature
•           DNR (dynamic noise reduction) DSP Chipset

For more information on CCTV Imports products, contact your local locksmith distributor or CCTV Imports, phone 888-315-1219 (East Coast) or 800-490-9048 (West Coast), web site

Speco Technologies Intensifier Camera Series are for indoor and outdoor use, and see in low light without IR LEDs.
The Intensifier Technology that is featured in the new CVC-6246iHR amplifies and maximizes existing light to generate pictures in darkness where other cameras cannot.

This Intensifier Series color dome indoor camera features 540 lines of resolution that deliver extreme details and a 2.8 to 11mm auto iris varifocal lens indicating a wider zoom range to fit more applications. This model also offers auto sensing dual voltage (12 Volt DC / 24 Volt AC) operation with line lock. The mount is an internal 3-axis type for maximum versatility - mount on ceiling or wall.

The HT-7246iHR tamperproof, weatherproof dome camera features a wider range 2.8 to 10mm auto iris varifocal lens. Mountable on both the wall or ceiling, this model also offers dual voltage (12 Volt DC / 24 Volt AC) operation with line lock. A new feature on this new intensifier dome camera is a snap-on cover (Chameleon Cover) that converts the housing from the standard dark grey to decorator white. It can also be painted to match any décor without painting the actual camera housing.

The HT-INT8B intensifier, weatherproof bullet camera offers dual voltage (12 Volt DC / 24 Volt AC) operation with line lock and the new “EZ mount” system.
The HT-INTD intensifier camera series encompasses the best features of bullet and dome cameras into a single package that lends itself to many types of installations.
For more information on Speco Technologies products, contact your local locksmith distributor or Speco Technologies, phone 800-645-5516, web site

We asked SPECO’s Vice President of Product Management Gary Perlin for an in-depth information on their new technology. Following are the Ledger’s questions and Perlin’s answers.

What differentiates this camera from similar products?
There really is no similar product to this. There are day/night cameras on the market but they rely upon IR LEDs to see in the dark. The Intensifier technology uses existing light such as from the stars, moon and distant streetlights to create a picture passively without the use of IR LEDs. This allows the camera to have a lower current consumption, produce less heat and operate in lighting conditions with low reflectivity. Normal IR cameras are limited in distance to the power of their IR LEDs while the intensifiers have no such limitations.

What is the target market/application for this product?
This Intensifier technology has enjoyed success in all markets including Industrial, Residential, Municipal, Military, Education. Anywhere that excellent low light pictures are required in tough situations, the Intensifier has become the “go to” camera.

What are the product options?
They are available as indoor and outdoor domes, bullets and traditional box cameras. The domes and bullets each have various varifocal lens options available. Mounting accessories are also available for corner and pole mounting

How does the performance of this camera compare to other cameras that use integral IR or outboard IR?
The Intensifier will work in areas where the scene reflectivity is low and is not limited to a transmission distance. It is perfect for use in blacktop, grass, and waterfront areas.

What is the price point & how does it compare to other cameras which use integral IR or outboard IR?
With a list price of under $500, the Intensifier costs the same as any good IR camera and less than some. Additional cost savings are realized by lower power requirements at the camera site allowing thinner cables to be run for power.

How does this camera compare to IP cameras with respect to low light and image quality?
Apples and Oranges. We actually make IP cameras with the Intensifier technology as well as analog cameras. The Intensifier module itself is high resolution reaching 560 lines. The IP module may or may not pass the entire resolution depending upon the user settings for the network transmission.

The Toshiba IK-WD01A IP mini dome camera offers real-time, high-resolution surveillance video over networks.
Discreet and compact, the mini dome makes it easy and affordable to bring IP video into your surveillance program. It is the ideal companion to Toshiba digital recording solutions, LCD monitors and accessories.

Main features include:
•           Streaming digital video of IP networks and the Internet
•           VGA video (640 x 480) with audio
•           Dual MPEG-4 and Motion JPEG compression
•           Power over Ethernet (PoE)
•           Up to 30 frames per second
•           1/4-inch CMOS sensor
•           Varifocal lens with 2x optical and 4X digital zoom
•           Simple installation and perfect for replacement of analog domes

For more information on Toshiba products, contact your locksmith distributor or Toshiba, phone 877-855-1349, web site

Locksmith Ledger once again cut to the quick for more detailed info on the IK-WD01A by asking Lee Muratori, product marketing manager, surveillance & IP video products ; imaging systems division; Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. a few questions.

What differentiates this camera from similar products?
The IK-WD01A is unique in that it incorporates IP networking capabilities into a mini-dome form. Mini-domes are very popular in retail and school applications, making it easy for installers to swap out existing analog dome cameras for the IK-WD01A to gain the benefits of IP without modifications. The camera is also unique for using a simultaneous Motion JPEG and MPEG4 dual codec to 30fps VGA streaming. Another feature unique to an IP camera in this design is the built-in microphone input to monitor audio and warnings.

What is involved in setup at the camera and at the DVR?
Setup can be performed using Toshiba’s included Installation Wizard (CD-ROM) or by a web browser, FTP or SMTP. Cabling to the DVR is standard CAT 5e or 6 with RJ45.

Is it IP output only?

Do you offer a corresponding analog output product?
Toshiba does offer dome cameras with analog output but not one identical to the IK-WD01A.

What is the target market?
The first market targeted is retail (small convenience stores to malls), although the mini-dome form works very well in other indoor environments, such as schools, banks and casinos. This model is not vandal-resistant but Toshiba offers an IP dome that is (IK-WR01A).

What are the product options?
No options.

What is the price point?

How is the video output controlled?
IP. Up to ten users can access and control the camera’s Pan (175 degrees ±), Tilt (85 degrees to –35 degrees) and zoom (2X optical, 4x digital) simultaneously.

Is PoE an included feature?
Yes. It can also be powered with AC 12V (adapter included).