Virtual Surveillance to Provide Security System Demonstrations at Seven 2014 Trade Shows

2014 is shaping up to be another healthy and exciting year for the trade show industry. Virtual Surveillance, a security and access control systems integrator based in Dallas, TX, will be attending seven of these trade shows, providing live system demonstrations using the latest technology and equipment. READ MORE

How Private Surveillance Assists Public Issues like the Boston Marathon Bombing

April 15th marked the first anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing that took 3 lives and injured an estimated 264 others. Our thoughts are with the families that were forever changed that day, and all Bostonians, as they are reminded of the tragedy this week. Boston is strong, which is evident from the outpouring of support and steadfastness being demonstrated by its people.

Though the subject is difficult to write about, it is worth pointing out the significant and very important role that private surveillance cameras played in identifying and tracking down the bombers. READ MORE

Employee Theft Statistics for Small Businesses Infographic

We talk about retail shrink and theft a lot in the surveillance industry, but today we want to specifically discuss employee theft in relation to small businesses.

Recently, a University of Cincinnati researcher’s employee theft study was presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justic Sciences in Philadelphia.

The study surveyed 344 small businesses, asking questions that included whether the business had experienced employee theft, whether they had reported it, what was stolen, who stole it, and more. READ MORE

Frito-Lay Employs Virtual Surveillance to Implement IP Security Camera Solution at Modesto Facilities

Virtual Surveillance has been chosen as the equipment provider and integrator to facilitate the transition from a legacy analog surveillance system to a vastly improved, leading edge IP solution at Frito-Lay’s Modesto, CA facilities. READ MORE

Security Camera and Access Control System Integration

Controlling access to business facilities and private property is often a requirement in today’s world, even more so than in the past.

Application varies, of course, but you might see anything from keypads to biometric scanners on doors, gates, or other entry and access points throughout a facility. These systems are in place to protect company assets and employees from both internal and external threats. READ MORE

Types of Security Cameras – What Camera do You Need?

There are many different types of security cameras. Some are used for very specific purposes, like license-plate-recognition cameras, while others are used for more general applications, such as standard dome cameras. What we are here to look at today are the different types and when you might need which.

We will review several different primary attributes, most of which can be mixed and matched to identify the best camera for your application. READ MORE

School Security Measure Adoption and Crime Statistics Comparing 2000 to 2010

Virtual Surveillance has installed surveillance and access control systems in numerous educational facilities, so we take a direct interest in school security statistics on a national level. As such, we have been analyzing the 2012 “Indicators of School Crime and Safety” study released in mid 2013 by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The study is a comprehensive publication focused on compiling, comparing, and analyzing reliable indicators of school crime and safety. June 2013 was its 15th year. READ MORE

Virtual Surveillance Hits the Surveillance Expo Circuit

The Virtual Surveillance team is hitting the road! We have already attended and exhibited at one expo this year and plan on taking the new booth to at least 7 more.

If you plan on coming out to any of the below builder or restaurant conferences, please stop by our booth and say hi. We will have our demo rig available so expo attendees can play with all the cool toys. READ MORE

What Are The Differences Between a Security DVR, NVR and HVR?

A Network Video Recorder (NVR) is used to record video footage in a digital format to a hard disk drive (HDD). It usually captures video/images through an ethernet network via Cat5 or Cat6 cables from IP cameras. It is mostly used for physical security applications. A combination of an NVR and IP cameras is more expensive, however, but it offers much higher resolution and superior video clarity when compared to a DVR & analog cameras. Some IP cameras offer up to 5 mega pixels in resolution. Proximity is not an issue and the IP cameras can be located anywhere as long as they can be accessed through a network.

A Digital Video Recorder (DVR) is used to record video footage in a digital format to a hard disk drive (HDD). It usually captures video/images through coaxial cables from analog cameras. It is usually used for physical security applications. This combination is more cost effective and easier to setup, however the resolution is usually limited to D1 (720×480). Proximity is a limitation as the analog cameras cannot be more than 700-1000 feet away from the DVR without visible degradation in video quality.

A Hybrid Video Recorder (HVR) is used to record video footage in a digital format to a hard disk drive (HDD). It accommodates both IP and analog cameras and captures video/images through an ethernet network via Cat5 / Cat6 cables from IP cameras as well as coaxial cables from analog cameras. It is mostly used for physical security applications. This option is a good choice when planning for future expansion into an IP video surveillance system as your existing analog cameras can be reused and incorporated into the system without any drop in coverage.

Let’s Talk Frame Rate (FPS) Settings

When we talk FPS (Frames Per Second) or IPS (Images Per Second), it is really rather simple…the more frames you have available the more fluid your video feeds. This is a good thing, right? Yes, it can be, but there are pros and cons to everything. If you have an unlimited budget, that’s great! Crank it up to 11! For those of us on a tight budget, this can be the difference between great and mediocre coverage.

Regardless if we are going IP or analog security cameras, we can expect to pay a little more for the best frame rate. The more frames we get, the larger the video files will be, the more storage we will need, and that extra storage will cost additional dollars. What could have been a month’s storage can be cut down to a week if you aren’t careful.

On the flip side, the lower the frame rate, the more choppy the video. The top two frames in the above video show exactly what to expect with lower fps settings. Naturally, this is not ideal, but it dramatically increases the amount of storage space on your hard drives. Depending on the application, having a camera set to 5-10 FPS is not only completely acceptable, but encouraged. If a camera is at the end of a long hallway, monitoring a wide open space, or watching a low traffic area, recording at 30 fps is not only overkill, it’s wasting money every second it’s recording.

One quick tip, the difference visually between 30fps & 15 fps is absolutely minimal. If you put them side by side, you’d hardly be able to tell the difference. Recording at 15fps gives you fluid video at HALF the storage space! This will dramatically improve the amount of video in your archives.

Each setting is different and finding a happy median that works best for each camera is the goal. Your license plate recognition cameras, cashier stations, and entry ways need to be recorded at max frame rate and you can sacrifice fps in those other areas mentioned above. If you have any other questions, feel free to call me at 800-424-9070 and I’ll be more than happy to help!