Tag Archives: video security systems

Video Surveillance Equipment Benefits for Home and Business


Having video surveillance security cameras was considered a luxury. Those who have tasted the benefits now understand why it should be part of your basics at home. Here are benefits that make these security installations a priority. Continue reading

Don’t Get Snowed When Buying Security Cameras

We just finished with a bad winter and saw plenty of snow. Hopefully it will be the last of until the end of the year. In the mean time, I was hoping to prevent a different type of snow job from occurring to our customers and followers.
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Illegal “Dumpers” Caught with Video Surveillance

In Springfield, Mass.,  police announced that 13 people had been caught dumping household trash and furniture in a wooded area near town. The alleged illegal dumpers were recorded by hidden camera detectors placed near the area in an investigation that included aid from both state, and local officials. This, according to the Springfield Republican. Continue reading

Hidden Camera Exposes Illegal Dentists

Going to the dentist isn’t something that we usually scrutinize to ensure our chosen practitioner has the necessary schooling and degrees that prove he’s a dentist. Usually, we opt for doctors or dentists who are recommended by our social circle, or, more likely, the ones covered by an insurance plan. Usually, the expectation is that they’re qualified; after all, masquerading as a dentist wouldn’t be the easiest scam to perpetrate.

In San Antonio, WOAI-TV News 4 recently published a news story by Jaie Avila using a hidden camera that might be surprising… Continue reading

Social Media Results in Thief Bust

Jacob Stone was having some bad luck last week.  His car was burglarized outside of a Seattle-area convenience store. The items stolen included high-end camera equipment and, of all things, his pants and a belt.

One of the store’s employees recognized the man who broke into Stone’s car as a man who had stolen items from the store previously during the week. Stone–obviously knowledgeable about photography and videography, retrieved copies of the store’s video surveillance footage and retrieved still images from the video footage.

Stone created “wanted” posters of the thief and the car he used to flee the scene and posted them around the neighborhood. Then, he went a step further and posted the flyers on Facebook. Anyone recognizing the now hunted man were given a dedicated Hotmail address so that they could submit tips.

In just a few days, he received the tip that local police used to nail the suspected shoplifter-cum-burglar. Someone in the area saw the man and emailed Stone. Stone called him back and later met with the tipster to give the man a reward of $250.  Plus, he got his equipment back, although he had to remove the images that the thief had taken of random items, like scenery in Seattle, a dog, and the perpetrators messy bedroom.

Stone is thankful that his idea for using social media paid off, and appreciates everyone who helped him during the investigation. Stone will be much more careful where he leaves his car, and it’s our opinion that he should invest in some automotive security if he’s going to keep expensive equipment in his car. Just saying…

And you thought Facebook just kept tabs on your friends…

How Does a DVR Work?

The DVR automatically records on motion. The problem is, with the trees blowing, cars moving etc, there is plenty of motion happening. We can screen out the unwanted motion so it does not activate the recording. The DVR will still record the entire view of the camera but the areas that are screened will not activate the camera to record. I hope that makes sense.

It stores up the video recording onto a hard drive of various sizes, depending on what you buy and the capacity of the DVR. Once your DVR reaches the storage capacity it begins recording over the oldest data. So there will be a rolling block of time that moves along. It’s hard to calculate what that total time is until the hard drive gets filled. But you can experiment by checking the DVR to see how far back you can go in time. Then you will have an idea of the amount of time you are getting before the video starts to disappear. We can increase the hard drive up to the capacity of the DVR. Some DVRs can take 2, 3 or more hard drives. But the size if each drive may be limited by the DVR specifications so you must check whatever that limit is. We have some standalone DVRs that are limited to 1 Terabyte (1000 GB) per drive.

To make a backup of an event, follow the various directions for backing up with a USB flash drive, CD-ROM, or DVD or by the Network as specified for your particular DVR. Events are usually short time periods, easily less than 30 minutes at a time. Usually 1-5 minutes. You don’t save the entire hard drive since you will be watching 99% of boring daily life around you and nothing of value. Plus the cost of hard drives will add up. If there is an incident that you wish to archive or save, you go to that date and follow the directions provided for your DVR. Then take that backup which will be on a flash drive, DVD or CD-ROM or to a computer and save it in a safe place or give it to the police or insurance company. Or play it on any computer (usually Windows) as the backup will usually contain a small player that can play the video file on any PC. Some DVRs record directly in an AVI format that can be played with a common media player such as Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Real Player or other video player If the file is recorded in that special format, you can convert the file to AVI from the player to give to police, Once it is in the AVI format, any PC or Macintosh computer will be able to play it.

I hope this makes sense. Each DVR is unique but the above is the case for most. Some cheap DVRs don’t offer the backup methods of above and require you to play the video you want to save directly to another recording source such as a DVD recorder or VCR. And remember, even the Macintosh compatible DVRs we sell will not be able to play the proprietary format of the DVR recording. You will need to convert the file to AVI with a Windows PC before viewing the backup on a Apple or Mac machine. Call or email me any questions so I can clarify. Good luck and stay secure.

Understanding Motion Activated Recording

Many customers of ours are aware of motion activated recording. This is a function of your video security system that provides recordings only when there is action or activity in the camera screen. Many people incorrectly believe this function is provided by the camera. It’s actually the DVR that senses the motion and starts recording when there is action. Any camera will not effect the Motion Activated function. So don’t worry about the security camera you buy when considering the Motion Activation feature. Here is how it really works.

The DVR has several choices of how to record. Motion Activated, Continuous, Timer or Schedule, etc. I don’t understand why anyone would choose anything but the first choice, Motion Activated Recording. This means, that in each camera, should any activity be detected, the DVR will record. And usually, the DVR will only record that particular screen. At least the higher quality (all of our DVRs) do. How the technology works is that whenever pixel motion is detected in the screen, the DVR things it is motion. So anything from a bird flying by, a tree or bush blowing in the wind or even an empty bag blowing in the wind. Other undesirable motion detection issues may be TV or PC monitors.

Another cool function of this Motion Activated Recording is the Mask or Screening feature. Let’s say you are shooting outside and there is a large tree or bush in the picture. You have the ability with al of our DVRs to screen or block out the tree. Just going to the Motion Setting area and you will be able to see the blocks or screen (depending on your DVR type) and control the area that sets off recording. You will see the entire screen in the live view or when the desired Motion areas have activity. But the tree blowing in the wind will not effect motion. Use this also for heavily traveled roads that are not critical security areas. If your business or home is near a busy street, the traffic can be eliminated.

There are other great features too. You can decrease or increase sensitivity as needed in the settings. This could be handy when you have some inconsequential slight motion like reflected lights entering the room through windows and such. A person walking through the screen should set motion recording off even in the lowest of sensitivity settings but you should test the settings before you assume everything is right.

The whole idea behind these features is to offer you the convenience of not having to watch hours of video when an incident occurred and you are unsure of the time of occurrence. So you walk into your office at 6am and discover a missing object. You can simply play the camera channel or channels that has the view of the missing object and the effort should be easy. Start reviewing your video at the time you know the object was present. As you play, only activity in the camera will be played back. Not the entire time frame.

Another great benefit is that you will save hard drive space. As you record video, you use up valuable hard drvie space. So if you can economize the amount of recordings you make through motion recording, you will ultimately have more days of recordings on your hard drive before it starts to recycle. This means you can view further back into history to check activity instead of buying a larger or an additional hard drive.

We hope you found this helpful. For more information, please visit our website’s video swcurity section https://blog.uspystore.com/cctv-video-security.html or call us toll free: (888) 338-4545.