In the wake of new surveillance equipment and advanced technology, spy cameras and video trackers, there has been a gradual evolution in the way things are done with price reduction of gadgets worldwide. A notable evolution from my point of view was the introduction of spy video cameras. For instance, the ”nanny camera’ is now appreciated and valued by working mothers and has attained an admiration of its own. Here is a brief outlook on how spy cameras continue to evolve as time progresses.
Transmitters to VCR
In the beginning nanny cameras we made and sold in early 2000 when the first spy video system came to existence. The model that resembled a radio outsold all it competitors. Although spy video cams were often disguised in lamps, exit signs, teddy bears and plants, the device accounted up to eighty percent of total camera sales. However this camera was still cumbersome for its time. The device basically contained two components, a wireless transmitter and a camera. When buying the gadget the customer was given an A/V cable, an adapter and a transmitter.
The problem was setting up the spy video camera. The receiver had to be plugged into a monitor nearby or in a VCR if you want to record the events that happened when the nanny camera was engaged when you were away. The user had to place the VCR in the room within 100 feet away from the camera. The problem however is that a standard VCR can only record up to eight hours.
Let’s have a look at this scenario. A couple has hired a new nanny and wants to check on her as she looks after the baby. Before leaving their house early in the morning they ensure the nanny video camera is plugged in and turn on the VRC to record instantly. When arriving home at the end of the day’s work, they just want to sit down and view the recording as this was the only convenient way to spy on the baby sitter discreetly. However, this process was cumbersome but fortunately technology evolved.
Motion activated cameras
The introduction of motion-activated video cameras was a breakthrough. Though the technology was here way back, it became available in the mid 2000. Consumers no longer have to sit and watch blank VHS for eight straight hours only to realize nothing meaningful was captured. With motion activated video cameras, you can only record when there is activity. If there is nothing happy there was nothing to record and the user only had to review 50 minutes of footage, instead of more than 5 hours of static recording. The DVR technology was introduced later on the motion-activated spy video camera.
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So what is the allure to the PTZ Cameras? The original benefit to analog recorders of covering more area with a single camera has been rendered less than necessary on newer digital recorders. So business owners should determine how they will be using the PTZ Camera to determine if a PTZ Camera is the best solution. PTZ Cameras connected to PC-Based or Standalone DVRs provide the ability to move the camera and zoom in on specific activities while they occur. Unlike VCR based systems, you do not necessarily have to be stationed on-location in order to accomplish this. Many systems, like our Alnet Systems PC-Based DVR Cards, will allow you to move the PTZ cameras and zoom in on what is occurring even from a remote location over the internet. The Alnet Systems PC-Based DVR Card/Software combination will even allow you to control the live PTZ camera from a Laptop, PC, Windows Mobile PDA Phone or even Windows Mobile Smartphone. The ability to move the camera live while on-location or off, allows you to get more relevant video footage of what is occurring. This allows you to leave the PTZ Camera at a pre-determined “guard” position with a wide view of the area, but zoom in on something as it is occurring for better footage of the incident.
You need to keep in mind when installing the PTZ Camera that it will not be able to provide more detail of an occurrence than what was in view and recorded at the time when the activity was occurring. For instance, if your PTZ Camera was set to a wide-angle guard position while someone was breaking into a car in your parking lot, the recorder will only have the footage from the angle that the camera was pointed at during the time of the occurrence. In other words, a digital zoom after the fact will not provide the same quality footage as an optical zoom (controlling the camera during the event). A digital zoom after the fact, will only make the pixels larger on the screen – the further you zoom in, the larger and blockier the pixels become. But with today’s digital video recording systems, you can easily monitor your camera right on your PC, while you are working or even while at home, and can control the camera with easy PTZ Controls. This way, as long as you are connected in to your cameras, you can use the optical zoom of your PTZ Camera to zoom in on what is happening in the area covered by your PTZ Cameras.
Therefore PTZ Cameras are still an excellent choice for business security camera installations, because it will allow you to control your camera. This way, you can visually patrol your business or zoom in on things that are occurring at your facility while they are happening, but keep in mind that the camera will be limited to the footage that it is seeing at the time of the activity. So it is a good idea to have a guard position for your camera that will provide a good overall view of the area of your business. This way if something occurs, the camera is not looking in the wrong direction…and if you are watching the camera at the time that something is happening, you will be able to control the camera and zoom in on license plates, people, vehicles and more, to provide even better video footage of what is happening.
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