Better CCTV Cameras Help Catch Thieves

Better cameras, network connectivity boost surveillance.
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IPVideo Sentry VMS video management system

Whether it’s a thief stealing a car from a mall parking lot or a government producer making an agency training video, better CCTV cameras and larger bandwidths are increasingly improving the way crooks are caught and employees are trained.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV), the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, is now in a technology transition to the use of IP or “network cameras.” The technology has improved dramatically over the past decade, allowing decentralized IP-based CCTV cameras, some equipped with megapixel sensors, to record directly to network-attached storage devices or internal flash for completely standalone operation.

However, the real advances have come in the past few years as bandwidth has exploded, allowing higher-definition images to be broadcast over HD cameras, said David Martin, director of sales for Supercircuits Inc. The Texas-based company manufactures security and hidden cameras, offering an array of devices and network solutions.

“The bandwidth increases mean that the systems can process the higher-megapixel cameras,” Martin said. “More megapixels mean you can cover more area with higher meg cameras compared to a pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera.

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Supercircuits HDC32IR IP camera with IR emitter

“The new cameras are more efficient because you don’t need someone watching over them and they can cover a much wider area. Even with the broad overall view, operators can zoom down to get important details, like a license plate number, because the new cameras have such high image resolution,” Martin said. “The zoom down with resolution, that to me for law enforcement and government is the biggest benefit.”

Supercircuits makes a high-resolution 2.1-megapixel HDcctv HD-SDI outdoor bullet camera with built-in IR emitter good for lighting out to 75 feet. It is built around a Sony platform and features a progressive scan CMOS image sensor, 3.7 mm lens and up to 1920 x 1080 (1080p) HD resolution at 30 fps (frames per second). The company also offers the Digiop Elements software suite, which integrates video and data intelligence, such as information from back-office systems and analytics.

Such integration is important for ambitious applications, like the construction of a “bait” car. The company wires up such cars for the Dallas police. The cars normally have a number of hidden cameras inside, as well as devices to lock the doors and shut off the engine once a thief has stolen the vehicle.

“That just would not work unless all the systems were integrated,” Martin said.


Camera network integration is also important to IPVideo Corp., headquartered in Bay Shore, N.Y., with research and development offices in Punta Gorda, Fla. The company manufactures the Sentry VMS video management systems and C3 Fusion PSIM physical security information management solutions.

Sentry VMS is an open-network product, supporting 1,800 different cameras from about 100 manufacturers, said David Antar, company president.

“We didn’t want to lock people into a specific product,” Antar said.

The solutions are also scalable. When the Long Island MacArthur Airport needed to upgrade the airport’s analog surveillance system to more advanced digital technology, it chose IPVideo’s Sentry VMS.

The company’s C3 Fusion takes integration to the next level, putting video together with an assortment of sensors, Antar said. C3 Fusion can identify, prioritize and resolve actionable security incidents. The software puts information together from video, security sensors and other management systems to form a common operating picture (COP).

But, there’s more.

“There are so many applications beyond security world,” Antar said. “We are going beyond that to telemedicine applications. We can track any type of sensor, it doesn’t only have to do with security.”

The company IPAV System (IP Audio Video) combines the latest in IP camera technology with software that ensures synchronized audio recording, Antar said. Typically, the difficulty in using audio/video capable IP cameras is that during playback the video and audio streams are not synchronized. The company developed a specific application to ensure smooth synchronized playback that can be used in distance learning or agency training, he said.


Panasonic’s 360-degree network cameras offer high clarity for government security users, said Greg Peratt, the senior director of the Video Solutions Integration Team of Panasonic System Communications Co. of North America.

Available in indoor (WV-SF438) and outdoor IP66 rated weather and vandal resistant (WV-SW458) models, they feature a full 360-deg. field of view that eliminates blind spots and are capable of replacing multiple cameras in high-traffic locations. They deliver full HD 1080p resolution at 30 fps, and the company’s Mega Super Dynamic processing enables the cameras to capture accurate images with minimal distortion.

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Panasonic WV-SW458 IP camera

“The ultra-thin, low-profile design allows Panasonic’s 360-deg. cameras to be deployed in places where conventional PTZ cameras will not fit,” Peratt said. “And makes them the ideal choice for government, law enforcement and security professionals who require highly accurate images and versatile monitoring of wide areas with a single camera.”


Electronics giant JVC just introduced a new network HD indoor PTZ dome camera that works in almost total darkness, according to John Grabowski, national sales and marketing manager, JVC Professional Products Security Division. The VN-H557U is equipped with a wide-angle zoom lens (6.3-63.3mm), day/night functionality and a two-megapixel CMOS imager that delivers 1920x1080 HD resolution. However, it’s the camera’s Super LoLux HD technology that makes the unit excel.

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JVC VN-H557U IP camera

“The new VN-H557U stands out due to its Super LoLux HD technology, which allows it to produce accurate color images in near total darkness,” Grabowski said. “It also supports the latest ONVIF Profile S protocol, so easy installation is virtually assured in a wide variety of systems.”

Plus, JVC’s PTZ technology is known for its high accuracy and longevity―30,000 hours mean time between failures―so Grabowski described it as a dependable and durable choice for government installations.

Toshiba also just released a new camera to deal with low-light conditions. Designed for outdoor video surveillance, the IK-WB81A captures a wider field of view by using an exclusive, long-range SRLED (Single Reflex LED) IR system with an illumination angle of 53 degrees.

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Toshiba IK-WB81A IP camera

The IK-WB81A is designed for changing light conditions that require extra illumination at night, said Sergio Collazo, director of sales and marketing for Toshiba Surveillance & IP Video Products Group. The Vari-focal 3.7mm to 9mm zoom lens and SRLED IR illuminators are complimented by new Split Glass technology that eliminates the washed-out “halo” effect often seen on nighttime images, Collazo said. The IK-WB81A also features day/night imaging with IR-cut filter and wide dynamic range for difficult backlighting conditions.

“Our new IK-WB81A offers a 30-meter viewing range that takes advantage of the 1080p HD resolution,” Collazo said. “That means you can discreetly monitor larger outdoor areas at night without incurring the cost of additional hardware.”


Moxa Americas, with a U.S. base in Brea, Calif., provides a line of hardened networking, communication and computing devices that are both reliable and rugged. The company recently launched the VPort P26A-1MP-T network camera, a fixed-dome HD IP camera engineered for harsh outdoor environments, said Joe Cook, business development manager for industrial video networking at Moxa.

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Moxa VPort P26 IP camera (web)

The company’s P26A-1MP-T camera features an operating range of -40F to +167F, high EMI/surge protection and an IK10 vandal-proof dome cover. In addition, the camera has a built-in dehumidified membrane for diffusing moisture inside the camera to prevent fogging, icing or overheating, Cook said. Because preserving network bandwidth is critical in IP deployments, the camera features Moxa’s DynaStream, which automatically alters the video frame rate to help control the network bandwidth budget.

“There is growing adoption of IP systems across all segments of the security industry, however there remains some resistance to mounting IP cameras outdoors due to reliability issues,” Cook said. “We’ve incorporated the hardened engineering into our newest VPort camera so that customers can have confidence in the performance of their outdoor systems in areas with high electromagnetic interference and wide temperature conditions.”



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