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CCTV Technology Evolves in Self-Storage

Chester Gilliam Comments
Continued from page 1

The other advantage to intensifier technology is that in bright sunlight, like that reflected by a front door or concrete drive, the camera does not get a backwash of bright light. This is referred to as white-balance correction or backlight compensation. The camera takes into consideration the complete picture and balances it digitally. This includes lighting, distance, white balance and focus to make sure the entire picture is correct. In the event you want to zoom in or enlarge the picture, these types of cameras give you the best file with which to work.

Storage Devices

VCRs are just like the ones you used to have before DVD and Blue Ray. They are single-channel units that use a cassette tape to record your video from a camera system in time-lapse. Simply put, this enables you to get 24 hours on an eight-hour tape. But VCRs are dead. Tapes are becoming non-existent. Just as you do not use one in your home, you should not use one for your self-storage facility. If you are, upgrade now. 

Digital video recorders (DVRs) have replaced the VCR along with multiplexers, quads and switchers, allowing more flexibility and features in one unit. DVRs are computers that have a single use: managing video. They use a hard drive to capture images from cameras and store them in files. They have the ability to store more images for a longer time period than a VCR tape. This is done by setting the cameras to record only when there is motion or a change in the camera’s field of view.

Setting to record on motion eliminates hours of unwanted video. This allows us to have more storage for video files and search for an event faster. Searches are easier because events are stored in records that are date- and time-stamped. Records can be viewed, played back and copied to a CD, DVD or thumb drive for distribution. DVRs can also record and play back simultaneously, allowing for uninterrupted recording while doing searches.

Because we control the cameras and monitors through the DVR, we have the ability to view camera footage on the monitor in a variety of ways and still have the footage recorded even when it is not being displayed. Some DVRs allow for multiple monitors showing different cameras or views. This can be a useful addition to public viewing by giving your office a modern appearance.

Network video recorders (NVRs) are fast becoming the storage device of choice. They retain all the features of conventional DVRs but have several advantages. NVRs still record video at the site like a DVR, but we begin to see the IP architecture. IP cameras have an IP address, which allows them to be viewed through any Web browser. An NVR is the gateway to the cameras and storage device.

This unit is installed in much the same way as the DVR, but it’s also connected to the Internet, either directly or by connecting to the facility’s local area network. This connection now allows for remote viewing and operation. NVRs enable you to view your cameras over the Internet as well as conduct searches and save recorded files. You can bar cameras from being viewed locally and make them viewable only through the Internet via masking or password protection.

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