Closed  Circuit Surveillance Systems
 

Anubis’ trained professionals are capable of servicing all brands of DVR’s, security cameras, and multiplexers.  As the industry moves towards adopting this technology to provide rapid detection of fires in sensitive, high risk environments, you can be confident that our technicians will be up to the challenge in terms of knowledgeable installation, testing, and servicing requirements.

For a no-obligation survey or your project, please feel free to Contact Us, or call 778-863-7147.

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A  LITTLE  CCTV  HISTORY

The smallest and most important part of any video surveillance system is, of course the camera.  Modern CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras employ an optical chip to process a visual image into electronic data bits.  Digital cameras are a far cry from the old style black and white monsters that employed things like Vidicon™ and Nuvicon™ tubes to translate the image into an analogue signal.  These types of cameras suffered from the effects of harsh light (called blooming - where the image around a bright light source actually whited out entire areas of the picture) and burn-in (a condition that resulted in a ghost-like after-image).  The older cameras were big and chunky and difficult to enough to conceal let alone protect from harsh elements and even harsher conditions.  Large camera housings were obvious targets for vandals or criminal elements.  Today, you can conceal a camera in a book of matches or in the frames of a pair of glasses (you still need a power source and a means of transmitting the image it sees).

Camera's need to be able to capture an image or series of frames in order to be of any use to your security personnel or law enforcement officers.  From very early on, the security profession recognized the importance of the VCR (video-tape recorder), but the early models had some problems too.  For one thing, you could only fit a very limited amount of time on a standard video tape cassette.  The courts also required you to be able to substantiate the exact time and date of the occurrence as well, or you couldn't use this new tool as evidence against an accused suspect.  Technology and the need for more time heralded the birth of the time-lapse video recorder.  Early models provided a visual time record but recorded images in one to three second bursts with several seconds of inactivity in between.  This resulted in a played back image that appeared jerky and difficult to watch.  As the technology advanced, time-lapse recorders could actually tape up to 48 hours on a special, high quality six hour cassette.  The tape moved so slowly across the record head that it's physical movement was almost imperceptible, yet the image quality was excellent (compared to the stop-frame units.

When you coupled this type of unit to a digital multiplexer you now had the ability to record images from multiple cameras onto a single VCR tape, and play them back camera-by-camera should the need arise. The one major drawback is the requirement to have the unit professionally cleaned frequently (normal video head cleaner did almost nothing in this instance).

The time-lapse VCR has given way to the next generation of computer hard drives.  Able to store up to ten terabytes (thats 10,000,000,000,000 bytes) of information, these mass storage devices can play back digitally enhanced images that rival those produced by modern film studios.  Instead of having to change tapes every other day, the digital recorder can store up to a months worth of images, makes data retrieval a snap, and output to a standard video cassette (or USB flash drive) which can be played without the need for special equipment.  Most units of this type also come complete with a built in multiplexer that allows you to record images from up to thirty-two cameras at a time.

While the camera remains the most important part of the system, technology has helped to shrink it's size to allow it to be mounted completely covertly (inside a regular room heating thermostat, or behind a clock face for instance).  Large department stores can conceal cameras in mannequins, coat racks, even fire sprinkler heads.  Shrinkage from shop-lifters isn't as big a problem these days as we're lead to believe.  Loss prevention officers are shifting their attention to some store employees and using micro technology to help them.  Wireless cameras use standard nine volt transistor batteries, have a range of over 1500 feet (450 meters), and can be placed anywhere.

CCTV cameras employed to act as fire and smoke detectors is a totally new concept which leverages DVR technology and software to detect a fire even before there is smoke in sufficient quantity to activate a standard detector.  We’re keeping a close eye (pun intended) on this exciting new application that we are certain will serve to take building life safety to a whole new level.

CCTV  FAQ

What will the courts accept in the way of video surveillance evidence?

This is a difficult question to answer, in that there are a number of laws and codes that address the individual’s rights to a fair trial. We've all seen what happened to photo-radar.  Is the fact that you have Joe Blow on video stuffing that Black & Decker® cordless screw driver down his pants proof that he's going to steal it?  No. This is where a good loss prevention department will kick into high gear, though!  If an officer has seen Mr. Blow actually stuff that thing down his pants, it's a pretty good bet that in the next few minutes the store will be minus both the screw driver and some money.  The clincher is being able to physically capture Mr. Blow's every move while he makes his way to the exit (with the screw driver).  As soon as he steps through that door, he's committed theft.  He formed the intent when he saw the screw driver and decided to conceal it in his pants.  He didn't actually commit theft until he walked out the door without paying.

A completely different scenario involves either a physical attack or vandalism that is captured on tape. In both these instances the camera is actually witnessing a crime in progress.

The single most important element the courts require is to have an image clear enough to be able to identify the thief, attacker, vandal.  The need to employ high resolution colour cameras is paramount.

Aren't most surveillance systems black and white?

Yes. Sometimes you just can't beat the low light performance of a black and white camera, particularily if you want it to remain covert or inconspicuous.  But most courtroom judges these days favour colour images because it makes identification of the individual so much easier.  Hair colour, eye colour, jewelry, clothing, and facial features are much easier to discern with a colour picture.  Most banks and trust companies have switched to this technology.  Where ambient lighting isn't an issue, the difference in cost between a black and white system and a colour system isn't that significant. New technology keeps narrowing that gap as well.

I live in an older apartment / condominium.  Is there any way for the residents of my building to see who's at the door before they let the person in with the intercom?

Yes.  All camera systems can output to a special device called a frequency modulator which will transmit camera images onto an unused cable channel of your wide-screen TV.  Your local cable company can give you more information on this feature and it's availability in your area.  The unit is available either through them or your local security professional.

 

 

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