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CCTV

Monitorování objektů

Home CCTV systems
Huge advances in technology and the openness of some technical standards provide countless possibilities for the protection of individuals and their property. The use of services of security companies and installation of home alarm systems has long been recognized as a necessity. Electronic alarm systems or more advanced solutions in "smart buildings" can automatically carry out established security procedures. Video surveillance complements such systems, giving the essential information about events taking place within the observed areas and providing the best and most convenient way to present the situation to the users of the systems.
The decision to install CCTV system in a home is an investment for a longer period of time. Unlike in plants, factories and public buildings, the elements of such a system shouldn't be prominently displayed, in order not to spoil the architectural character of the house and its interior. Of course, as with any security system, the primary criterion must be the efficiency of protection. Therefore, faced with the choice of concrete solutions, home owners should first determine what form of video security system will meet their requirements.
Professional CCTV system has to be based on solid analysis of the client's needs, resulting in a suitable design. The choice between analog and IP technology determines the next steps: the selection of cameras and managing/recording system, cable and wireless transmission means, the way of power supply.
IP CCTV or analog CCTV system?
This is the fundamental question before starting any project, as it determines the constituent elements of the system.
The place to be monitored is an apartment or house, so a property with a relatively small area, with low scene dynamics. Typically, the video surveillance also covers entrance(s), the area along the fence, maybe a small garden. From a technical point of view, both types of system could be used. Often the main criterion is price. IP CCTV systems are more expensive, but can provide images with higher resolution. Analog cameras may not produce the desired image quality.
Comparison of areas with the same detail captured by CCTV cameras of different image resolutions
The final choice depends on individual needs of the owner. We'll present here the two alternative solutions and compare the benefits of using each type of the system.
What will be monitored?
The case study covers systems for single family homes, the concrete example will concern a storied house with garden. The whole property with driveway and garden is fenced, with one side illuminated by streetlights. The house is located on an estate road with low traffic intensity. The risk of burglary is the main concern, but the system should also keep away graffiti artists, vandals, swindlers, hucksters.
Private properties, regardless of whether it is a detached house, semi-detached villa, row house, or a condominium unit - have much in common. The main principles of installing a video monitoring system will apply in each case.
Analog CCTV system
The choice of analog monitoring system determines the maximum video resolution - 4CIF (704x574 pixels). Despite this limitation, such systems are still successfully used in factories or office buildings, so they can also be applied at homes. For such (or lower) resolution, it is important to place the cameras in a proper way to obtain accurate information. At the stage of selecting the equipment, there are three criteria that should be taken into account to build an effective video monitoring system:
  • Areas that require monitoring. The identification of places that are most vulnerable to potential threats is a vital part of minimizing risks and ensuring effectiveness of CCTV system. For example, to minimize burglary circumstances, the monitored areas should include places where a thief would have easy access to the house: side entrance, terrace, rear of the property. Fraudsters and peddlers are usually disheartened by the camera(s) at the entrance and signs indicating the presence of a video surveillance system.
  • Level of visual detail. 4CIF resolution is fully sufficient for identification of people and majority of objects. Standard-resolution cameras capture images with 540 TVL. Better detail recognition (people's faces, license plate numbers etc.) will be provided by cameras with 600 or more TV lines.
  • Recording retention time. Typically, the "home" DVR records video on one hard drive. Online calculators help to choose an appropriate HDD capacity, taking into account bitrate, frame rate, image resolution, resolution. As an example, a 1 TB HDD can save video from four 4CIF@6fs channels over a period of about 40 days.
Analyzing the needs for a specific project, it is possible to determine the number of cameras. In turn, the number of cameras dictates the choice of the DVR - our offer includes 4-channel, 8-channel and 16-channel models. Home systems are usually based on DVRs from the first two categories.
Although standards and regulations specify a number of terms defining the ability to recognize objects, there are two identification thresholds that can be adopted as a practical measure of system quality - possibility to recognize people's faces and identify the characteristics of objects (such as inscriptions on vehicles, clothing details, etc). Without these features, the images would provide only general views of the monitored areas.
The following picture shows a face and license plate to be shown as a certain proportion of a CCTV image.
View of the "original" depiction of a human face and license plate

Image from a 650 TVL camera directed to a test pattern containing set of representations of the objects above shown in different scales (4CIF, high bitrate)
The image was captured in laboratory conditions. The process of selecting CCTV components and deploying them throughout the site should include additional factors such as lighting, contrast of the observed objects, the location and quality of cameras. The cameras capture objects at various angles, which should also be taken into account.
License plate recognition becomes possible when the height of the letters/numbers is at least 12 pixels. However, the height recommended for easy reading is at least 26 pixels. Although a need for license plate recognition in a home CCTV system depends on specific requirements of the owner, this level of detail will help to provide suitable coverage of the movement of vehicles on the estate.
Face recognition is usually a bigger problem. Acquaintances can be recognized when their heads fill in about 20% of the picture height, but, especially in the case of strangers, important details are visible only when the vertical size is at least 30% of the screen's height. Good quality images are indispensable to present the material as evidence in a potential investigation.
The recommendations result from practical experience and provide general guidance for owners of private homes/estates. It should be remembered that each country has its own regulations on CCTV. The installers of video surveillance systems have to know the local laws, because without meeting certain requirements the video recordings may be questioned to be a valid evidence.
The next step is the selection of a DVR. Among devices with a given number of channels, there are "economical" and "professional" models. The price is connected with parameters and functionality. However, there are parameters that have to meet the basic requirements:
  • Recording resolution. Some retailers still offer DVRs that are not able to record 4CIF images. This outdated stuff should not be taken into account at all. In some cases recording options with lower resolutions may be useful, but the format 704x576 pixels is an absolute standard. All DVRs we offer can record video with a resolution of 4CIF.
  • Recording speed. It is commonly expressed in frames per second, per channel. Installations in single family homes do not need DVRs with the highest frame rates, but the absolute minimum is 6 fps. DVRs often offer various recording speeds for different resolutions.
  • Compression standard(s). It is usually ignored by users, but is very important for the amount of archived data and optional data transfers over the Internet. The best compression parameters are provided by H.264/AVC codec. More on this subject is available the article: H.264 compression - learn and use in practice!. All DVRs we offer feature H.264 compression.
In addition to these basic parameters, other important features are:
  • Image analysis. Basic image analysis includes video motion detection and camera tampering detection. It is usually complemented with privacy zones. Motion detection can reduce the recording time to periods when there is some motion in the camera's field of view. This way the retention time can be even several times longer, comparing to continuous recording mode.
  • Remote access via the web Currently, all DVRs we offer have built-in web servers. Preview of the video over the network is a convenient feature that allows the user to view images from cameras anywhere. Generally, the web servers require to use Internet Explorer on client computers, but some manufacturers provide client applications, also capable of e.g. managing a number of DVRs and combining their video streams. This may be very useful when the user, in addition to home monitoring, wants to have access to another CCTV system in a separate location (e.g. store, workshop etc).
  • Availability of applications for mobile phones. In the era of smartphones and tablets this feature becomes very important. When choosing a DVR, the user should pay attention to the range of supported smartphones that will allow for remote monitoring. All DVRs from our offer provide support for all major operating systems of mobile phones.
  • Alarm inputs and outputs. These inputs and outputs are used to connect peripheral devices and communicate with other equipment, usually burglary alarm and fire protection systems. The multiple systems operating together can form an integral and coherent management system for the house. For example, activation of a fire detector can trigger recording of video from predefined cameras.
However, in most cases the budget issue is also very important. There are some components and features that may unnecessarily raise the cost of the system, but normally are not needed in home applications. The examples are PTZ cameras and system control units. PTZ cameras are essential in video surveillance systems in cities, at large parking lots etc., but not in home systems, similarly to system control units. The DVR in home can be fully controlled with a mouse and/or IR remote control.
Network DVR: ATU H.264 (4ch)
Network DVR: HIKVISION DS-7204HVI-ST/E (4-ch H.264)
Network DVR: HIKVISION DS-7204HVI-ST/M (4-ch H.264, alarm, PTZ)
CCTV Network DVR: TREND 250X04 (H.264, 4 channels)
4-channel DVR ATU H.264
M71000
4-ch DVR HIKVISION DS-7204HVI-ST/E H.264
M71041
4-ch DVR HIKVISION DS-7204HVI-ST/E H.264
M72041
4-ch DVR TREND 250X04 H.264
M72504
Example application based on DS-7204HVI-ST/M
Hikvision DS-7204HVI-ST/M M72041 DVR is placed in utility room providing environmental conditions suitable for continuous operation in all seasons - temperature between 10-40ºC and relative humidity between 10-85%.
The number and location of cameras have been determined by risk analysis, and esthetic and architectural issues. V-CAM 430 M10754 camera is placed at the entrance gate. Two other outdoor cameras (n-cam 610 M11270) monitor the areas in front and behind the house. Inside, there is only one V-CAM 450 M10749 camera intended to observe the most vulnerable place (balcony door and window). For the comfort of the residents, the rest of the home's interior is not monitored. The task of the camera placed at the gate is to monitor the people entering the house. Smart IR illumination eliminates typical overexposure problems. The outdoor cameras feature high resolution and, in the case of the n-cam cameras, long range of IR illumination. The indoor camera uses wide angle lens to ensure observation of the whole wall with the window and door.
The cabling uses the YAR 75-0.59/3.7+2x0.50 M5995 CCTV cable (coaxial cable combined with two 0.5 mm2 power wires) and PCT connectors. Beside the DVR there is power supply M1828 12-14V/2.5A with adjustable stabilized output voltage, which allows for compensation of voltage drops.
CCTV Cable: CAMSET/YAR 75-0.59/3.7+2*0.50 (2 power wires up to 230VAC) [100m]
Professional Compression BNC Connector PCT-BNC-59<br />(for CAMSET cables)
CCTV cable
YAR 75-0.59/3.7+2x0.50
M5995
Professional compression BNC connector
PCT-BNC-59 for CAMSET/YAR cables
E8293
The objective has been to create a maintenance-free system. The preview of the cameras and recordings from the DVR is available on computers connected to the home LAN. By redirecting the appropriate ports on the router, the users can access the video via the Internet, also via mobile phones. A 4 Mbps / 1 Mbps Internet connection is sufficient for preview of one camera (main stream) or of four cameras (auxiliary streams). The bitrate of the main stream is usually between 512-1792 kbps, and that of an auxiliary stream between 64-256 kbps (the total bitrate is the sum from individual channels). Generally, the total bitrate should not exceed 85% of the link capacity.
The preview over LAN or the Internet can be implemented in two ways: by Internet Explorer, or using a dedicated, free application iVMS4000. There is also a dedicated application for mobile phones, iVMS4500.
The DVR has many features that support network operation. An example is email notification in the case of predefined events, such as motion detection or video loss from the indoor camera. The use of alarm inputs and outputs and their linking with other systems present in the home allow professional installer to create efficient automation solutions comparable with those used in "smart buildings".
Comfortable viewing of CCTV images on TVs
The video from the DVR is fed to the RF modulator TERRA MT41 R871741 and then in the form of RF channel is combined with the signals from the antenna using the two-way TV splitter Signal R-2 R60102. Thanks to the modulator, the video from the DVR is accessible on all televisions in the home as one of the TV channels. The remote control extender Signal-Link R93109 allows the users to control the DVR from the living room. In the described case, there are thick walls between the living and utility rooms. In different situations, there may be used wireless remote control extender instead, e.g. R94120.
The USB port of the DVR has been made available in the living room by application of M1680 USB extension over UTP cable with range up to 50 m (the length limit of a standard USB cable is 5 m). The USB port allows for data archiving, firmware updating, control via a mouse.
This solution enables the residents to glance at the images from the CCTV cameras while watching TV programs. It may be even more convenient when the TVs have features like PIP, PBP.
Universal Single LNB: Inverto BLACK Premium 0.2 dBSteel Satellite Dish: FAMAVAL Off-Set 100 LH (100cm)UHF TV Antenna: DIPOL 44/21-69 Tri DigitPower Supply Adapter 12-14VDC/2.5A (metal case)Network DVR: HIKVISION DS-7204HVI-ST/M (4-ch H.264, alarm, PTZ)Compact Outdoor Camera: n-cam 610 (600 TVL, Sony Super HAD II CCD, 0.01 lx, 4-9mm, IR up to 40m, OSD) Compact Outdoor Camera: n-cam 610 (600 TVL, Sony Super HAD II CCD, 0.01 lx, 4-9mm, IR up to 40m, OSD) IR Remote Control Extender: Signal-Link (using existing antenna cabling)TV Modulator TERRA MT41USB RJ45 Extension Adapter2-Way TV/FM Splitter R-2 SignalAccess Point: TP-Link TL-WR740N (w. router, 4p-switch, 150Mb/s 802.11n) TV/Sat Combiner (Diplexer) DC-009 TerraVandal Proof Camera: v-cam 450 (600 TVL, Sony Super HAD II CCD, 0.01 lx, 2.8-10mm, OSD)Subscriber Terminal Outlet: Signal R-TV-SATVandal Proof Camera: v-cam 430 (600 TVL, Sony Super HAD II CCD, 0.01 lx, 3.6mm, IR up to 20m)DVB-S/S2 Receiver: Ferguson Ariva 102IR Remote Control Extender: Signal-Link (using existing antenna cabling)USB RJ45 Extension AdapterUniversal Remote Control for HIKVISION & ULTIMAX DVRs
Analog CCTV system integrated with home DVB-T/SAT installation
IP CCTV system
Megapixel IP video surveillance is a much newer technology. Unlike in the case of analog cameras, the image (and optional sound) from a megapixel IP camera is provided in the form of compressed digital data stream. It means not only a higher resolution, but first of all - a completely different approach to system architecture. Each IP camera must be connected to the LAN and have a unique IP address.
The criteria that should be taken into account are similar to those for analog CCTV systems, with certain modifications due to specific features of IP devices:
  • Areas that require monitoring. This criterion remains unchanged - considerations concerning any potential risks on site are the same.
  • Level of visual detail. There are IP cameras with resolutions of analog devices, but it does not make much sense to use them. IP CCTV system should be based on cameras with resolution at least of 1.3 MP (preferably 2 MP). It often allows for a lower number of cameras than needed in analog systems, because megapixel cameras can cover wider areas and their images can be enlarged without without a significant loss in detail.
  • Recording retention time. HD Ready or FullHD recording consumes much more disk space than 4CIF in analog systems. NVR applications may require allocation of a separate partition on the HDD. This is a good practice, it is even better to use for this purpose a separate HDD. Planning the recording retention time, the installer may use capacity calculators provided by camera manufacturers.
Each IP camera sends data packets to the network in accordance with its (proprietary) standard, so a marginal problem of compatibility in analog systems becomes much more essential in IP CCTV solutions. It must be taken into account at the stage of choosing the cameras and NVR.
There are two methods of recording video (and audio) streams from IP cameras:
  • application of PC NVR software - requires a PC with adequate performance and operating system (usually MS Windows). The software from independent producers, as a rule, is available only in commercial versions, with image analysis functions and advanced system management interfaces for a wide variety of IP devices from multiple manufacturers. An alternative to this solution is free NVR software supplied by the manufacturers of IP cameras. The free software can carry out basic video monitoring functions (live preview, recording, playback, etc.), but is usually compatible only with the equipment coming from one manufacturer.
  • application of a standalone DVR/NVR - the professional devices have embedded operation and management systems, so there is no need for buying additional software or hardware (except HDDs). These devices are usually more expensive than basic PC suites, but more energy efficient (no need for continuous operation of a PC). Thanks to dedicated software and hardware, there is no risk of system hang-up caused by external factors (e.g. by another program running in the background of Windows). Purchasing such a device, the user can be sure that the system will have declared capacity. It should be noted that some of the devices don't have monitor outputs and the whole management, configuration and operation are only possible via LAN.
Systems in single family homes can be based on IP NVR/DVR Signal NVR3216 HD K4416. It entirely fulfills requirements typical for this kind of systems, combining high reliability with easy operation and low cost.
Although the NVR is a quiet device, the fan noise can cause discomfort to residents. The system must work all the time, so it is better to put the device in a little visited place such as a utility room.
Sample implementation based on Sunell products
Economical IP CCTV systems should be based on solutions from one manufacturer. The optimum choice in the described case has been application of Sunell IP cameras. Due to the fact that the resolution of the cameras is much higher compared to analog devices, it is possible to use only three cameras. Two SN-IPR54/12DN/V K1680 cameras monitor the front and rear (garden) of the house. The front camera located at the driveway also covers the gate, so there is no need for a camera there. These economical cameras use 1/3" CMOS sensor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD) and sensitivity of 0 lx (IR ON, raised mechanical ICR filter), and built-in lens with adjustable focal length (4-9 mm @ F1.4) allowing for the adjustment of the field of view to operational conditions. The integrated IR illuminator has a range up to 40 m, which is fully sufficient for this kind of applications.
Inside the house there is SN-IPD54/12VDR K1695 camera, also with a resolution of 2 megapixels. The ability to work day and night allows the use of the camera in indoor conditions where the amount of light is relatively low or non-existent (at night). Its powerful IR illuminator ensures clear images at night and allows the identification of individuals even in complete darkness. Additional features such as AGC and shutter speed control makes the camera ideal for places with variable lighting conditions.
All the cameras are able to provide images in Full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) at 25 fps, but the recording speed depends on the user needs and system components (NVR). For example, a 16-day retention period for 3 channels and 24/7 recording mode will require to use a 1TB HDD (total bit rate of about 5 Mbps).
PoE Switch: TP-LINK TL-SF1008P (8x10/100Mb/s incl. 4xPoE)USB RJ45 Extension AdapterOutdoor IP Camera: Sunell SN-IPR54/12DN/V (1080p)Outdoor IP Camera: Sunell SN-IPR54/12DN/V (1080p)Access Point: TP-Link TL-WR740N (w. router, 4p-switch, 150Mb/s 802.11n) Active HDMI Cable (30m, 24 AWG, FullHD 1080p+3D)Megapixel IP Dome Camera: Sunell SN-IPD54/12VDR (1080p, indoor, vandal-proof)IP NVR/DVR Signal NVR3216 HD (max 16 channels)USB RJ45 Extension Adapter
Diagram of the IP CCTV system
The network is built in the same way as normal LAN. Thanks to PoE technology, the cameras are powered via the same UTP cables that are used for signal transmission. The power is supplied from PoE ports of the TP-LINK TL-SF1008P N29930 switch. The LAN also employs TP-Link TL-WR740 N3252 wireless AP/router. Each of the cameras has received a different IP address as well as has been redirected to another port, so can be viewed separately on the Internet. The employed devices enable the user to create three profiles of network video transmission. In the case of insufficient bandwidth of the Internet connection, lower bit rate options may allow for satisfactory remote access to the system resources.
CAT 5e UTP Cable: NETSET UTP 5e [1m], indoor
8-pin Modular Plug (on solid wire) [1pc.]
Indoor NETSET UTP 5e cable
E1408
8-pin modular plug
J2008
Due to the fact that the NVR has HDMI output, the preview of the live and recorded video streams is possible on a regular (preferably Full HD) TV set. The most intuitive way to control the NVR is by a mouse, so the USB port of the device has been extended and brought to the living room with the use of M1680 USB extension over UTP cable. A Full HD television provides sharp and clear view of the Full HD images from the cameras.
An alternative to direct control of the NVR through USB port is the use of LAN and free PSS software for Windows, Mac and Linux operation systems. It controls all the basic functions such as recording, motion detection, playback of archives, video export, alarm inputs/outputs. The user (administrator) may configure displaying modes and set their automatic switching in a close cycle, change recording parameters, manage access rights for other users.
In case of a network failure, the cameras have been equipped with MiniSD cards for local recording. The recording on each camera can be activated by motion detection or scheduled. After using the whole capacity of the flash card, the data is overwritten by new video files. The access to the data on the flash card is possible after logging on to the camera.