Friday, November 21, 2008

Wireless Cameras for Your Island

This afternoon I took a very unusual call. The request was for wireless cameras, which is nothing that uncommon, but the caller wanted to install the cameras all across a little island in the Florida Keys. Unfortunantely the caller was not with the local government but was instead calling from a Home Owners Association (HOA).

I say unfortunately because the caller had apparently been watching to much CSI and spent to much time in the U.K. Which is where he told me he kept his primary residence. To confess after a five minute update on life in the CCTV obsessed British Isle, which was proceeded by a five minute gripe about our phone system, I was ready to say "thanks for your call and have a nice day".

But somewhat like a dear in the headlights I just kept listening. With the history lesson and grandiose dreams aside the caller impressed me in so many ways as a classic uneducated consumer who wanted some one to come out and tell him how it "all works".

Not having the time to explain it "all" I just took the callers name and number and offered to get him in touch with our local affiliates.

However had I had the time I would have pointed out a few problems with a HOA installing cameras all across a six mile long island.

First lets start with the budget. Quality outdoor wireless CCTV hardware capable of spanning one to four miles has it's place. And in the right context it can be a very affordable solution. But spending tens and tens and tens of thousands of dollars to watch cars cross the bridge as they dive onto and off of your island is not something most HOA's are going to have in the budget.

Secondly a HOA with such a grad project has a problem with infrastructure. That problem is quite simply they don't own the infrastructure. They don't own the light pole with the best view of the bridge, they don't own the land that is immediately borders the road, they don't own the land over which power lines would have to be run to get to the land that somebody they know owns with the cruddy view of the bridge, etc., etc., etc.

What HOA's do however own are homes. But is there really anyone on a HOA Baord that would trust thousands of dollars worth of CCTV hardware being placed in the home of a HOA member? Or is there an HOA member that would really want to have the responsibility of that expensive hardware? Or is there a home owner who really wants who knows what number or size of antennas or wireless receiving equipment mounted to their house our installed on their property? Or for that matter does anyone who owns a well kept property in the Florida Keys want to have an industrial grade camera, and transmitter mounted to the side of their house? Is there anyone who lives in what looks like their own little paradise who want to turn that look into something more akin to a maximum security detention fatality?

This goes back to something the caller said about his time in the U.K. and how big brother was always watching. Well perhaps this was lost on the caller but in effect he and his HOA are tying to be, on their own little island at least, their own version of "big brother". And that is where in my opinion CCTV security camera systems fail.

Instead of trying to put cameras all over the island in some grand scheme that will never get funded or implemented the HOA should use it's power to recommend a standard CCTV technology that all HOA members could purchase on their own to make the right security choices for their own needs. If the individual HOA members saw fit they could share internet access to selected security cameras with other HOA members and create a web of watchful neighbors.

But to centralize such a project through an ever changing membership in an HOA would only lead to problems and ineffective use of funds.

As evidence to this the story ends with me taking the time to get the contact information for 4 local CCTV installers in the area and calling the customer back to pass on the information. My calls have gone unanswered and and my messages unreturned. That's no surprise and no problem from where I sit.

Friday, November 14, 2008

20th Century Fox uses

The Unit TV Show will apparently be using products sourced from on one of their upcoming episodes. They ordered 2 – 5” Fake Dome Cameras and needed them shipped overnight for Saturday delivery. We will keep an eye out to see which episode the show up in.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

IR135 Infrared Weatherproof Bullet Camera

The IR 135 is a top quality Infrared Camera. The first thing you might notice is that it is a full sized bullet camera with 36 LED’s on it. These “Super Powered” LED’s are capable of providing enough infrared light to see out to 110 feet. The IR135 is also completely weatherproof and boasts an IP66 rating. The IP66 rating is something you must have if you expect your camera to work outside. IP stands for Ingress Protection and it is a measure that all quality camera housings are rated. If you are looking at a camera and it does not boast an IP66 or higher then it is not a camera we would recommend for use outside.

Another Great feature of the IR135 is its varifocal lens. The varifocal lens allows you to adjust from a setting of a wide angle 3.3mm all the way up to 12mm wide angle. This is easily adjustable and allows you to easily fit any subject area inside the cameras viewing angle.

The IR 135 is one of the better IR cameras out on the market to date. Follow this link to see a live demo of the IR135 and to learn a little more about infrared cameras.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Security Cameras for Cash Registers

Security Cameras for Cash RegistersSo are you a small business owner running one or more cash registers and thinking about a Security Camera System for your store or restaurant? Have you been kicking around the advantages of security cameras and weighting them against the cost of the system?

Well before you make up your mind: Did you know that it is estimated that 20% of every dollar a US company makes is lost to employee theft? Did you know one out of three US companies that file for bankruptcy can trace their failure back to employee theft? And did you know that a GeoVisoin Security Camera system can directly integrate with your registers to make sure that you keep every penny of every sale that your employees ring up.

That’s right the GeoVisoin DVR software supports a video overlay of your register receipt so that you can see what an employee is ringing up as each transaction takes place. The software even keeps a searchable database of the transactions so that you can quickly find a video event of any given sale.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from employee theft at the register visit our Security Camera website or call us today at 877-422-1907.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Are Your Employees Stealing from the Till

Stealing from the RegisterIf you own or operate a business, its in your best interest to ensure that you are properly monitoring your businesses cash flow. Employee theft is rampant in businesses across the board from gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores and anywhere cash is handled. It is estimated that 20% of every dollar the average US company earns is lost to employee theft. With this in mind can you afford not to have adequate protection?

Efficient methods for preventing employee theft revolve around adequate security camera systems and proper placing. A traditional method for preventing theft is to have 1 camera per cash register, i.e 4 cash registers 4 cameras, as well as cameras watching the entrances and exits. This ensures that all transactions are being monitored and employees will have a hard time simply walking out of the establishment with merchandise.

Other popular methods include point of sale (POS) capturing devices, also known as "POS video overlay", and cameras which utilize zoom lenses for clearer pictures. If you are interested in other options to prevent employee theft, find out How to Protect Your Cash Register for more information.