Our recent series of blogs on very important issues of security – for computers and networks, property and people – wouldn’t be complete without reporting on the incredible advances in remote camera control. Anything that provides more flexibility, better control and stable ease of use is going to find a warm welcome from business owners everywhere. This is exactly what’s happening now with various iPhone apps and other third-party tools that make it possible to configure and control security systems remotely, giving you unprecedented real-time insight into what is happening a block, a mile or half a world away.
These are exciting times for all areas of technology, but among the greatest benefits are those coming to people who need to be in two places at one time, namely, security-conscious businesspeople and homeowners. It is less expensive all the time to upgrade your security technology, with the march of technology adding more features for less money as time goes on. There are some unique new capabilities now available in the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) market. Everyone’s specific security needs and budget will differ, and you will need to decide what is appropriate for your specific situation. That said, there is exciting progress in a number of areas.
Long-distance power of video surveillance
Remote video surveillance means you can manage, access and view live and recorded video stream from your cameras, all from a distance and over the Internet. After configuring the cameras, you would typically log in to a secure site and control them. You can access your control site from just about any Internet-connected computer in the world. The best services will work with all the remote camera’s built-in capabilities, such as multiple resolution settings and “PTZ power” (panning, zooming, tilting). Remote control means a lot more in this context than it does running your TV at home, but it can get almost that simple.
Event tagging: Since DVRs convert the captured images into a digital format, the management, storage and retrieval of the information is greatly simplified. This is a tremendous advance over such antiquated forms of recording as VCR tapes. Now DVRs can be set up to “tag” events the moment they happen, allowing you to review a particular occurrence without having to visually scan every minute of a recording. You are also able, with the latest DVRs, to jump immediately to specific time and date ranges, or define tags for imprinting directly into the image stream at predefined intervals.
Automation and alerts
There are DVRs that can do automatic recording at event detection, recording only when a certain kind or level of security event is detected (by various other triggering devices, whether motion or sound detectors). This allows you a means of saving time, money and hard drive space by ignoring event-less scenes and only recording action. Beyond the common motion and sound detectors, these DVRs can also be used with various temperature, water and light sensors. This type of flexibility makes DVR security possible for any kind of business in every imaginable setting, offering protection against both humans (robbers, burglars, arsonists) and Mother Nature (tornados, floods, earthquakes).
With the right computers and communications equipment, detector/DVR systems can also be configured for such automated alert features as alarm, phone or e-mail notification of events. Among the main reasons people install security systems in businesses and homes is that they want to be notified of problems as soon as they occur. Automated alerts can even have short video clips attached, offering up-to-the-minute information about what is occurring at your home or business.