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Monday, December 6, 2010

Smile, if you're in downtown Houston!

The city is installing 250 to 300 cameras at downtown intersections in an effort to prevent and fight terrorism and crime, part of a security initiative sponsored by the U.S. department of  Homeland Security.
The cameras, which the city began installing in earnest this summer, already have helped police catch car burglars in the act, said Dennis Storemski, the city's director of the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Eventually, he said, the cameras could be used to allow dispatchers or officers approaching a crime scene to survey what's happening from their patrol vehicles before they arrive.
"The intent is to protect critical infrastructure and prevent terrorism," he said. "Experience has shown that when people plan terroristic acts, they plan and they do dry runs, so what we would be looking for is suspicious activity around certain locations. And for any crimes, you can go back and look at the video and identify the perpetrators."
More than 50 cameras already have been installed around the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green Park, the theater district and Minute Maid Park. Every downtown intersection will be equipped with a camera. Eventually, Storemski said, the program may be expanded to include the Reliant Stadium complex, the Port of Houston, even some city parks where festivals frequently are held.

'Big government'

The footage can be monitored in real time by police and after the fact through a computer network built during the past three years.
The cameras will allow police to monitor any scene from several viewpoints at once rather than having to staff events with officers surveying the scene in binoculars, he said.
For some who passed by the northeast corner of Milam and Texas early Wednesday, where a crew installed one such surveillance device, the idea was alarming.
"I'm not in favor of it," said Mike Wells, who was walking to his office across the street.
The cost of operating the cameras, as well as their capability to invade privacy, was troubling, he said.
"That's big government watching our every move," he said.
Chris Goldsmith, who works downtown, said he was most concerned with the cost to taxpayers of installing and operating the cameras.

Public spaces not private

Privacy, he said, is not necessarily a concern because "in the public you've got no expectation of privacy."
Storemski sounded a similar note, saying that all the cameras are in public spaces where people should be aware that their actions are not private.
"We live in an age right now where there's really no expectation that there would be no video in a public space," he said. "Everybody that has a cell phone has a video camera. This happens all the time. We're just doing it for public safety purposes."
The city has spent about $14 million in federal grant funding on the camera program, which it expects to finish by the end of January. The money comes from Urban Area Security Initiative funds doled out annually by Homeland Security to regions across the country, Storemski said.
In recent years, Houston has received an estimated $18 million to $20 million, money to spend on initiatives to prevent and detect terrorism.
Other projects include funding an interoperable radio system and the video network that can sustain the cameras, make footage shot by private cameras accessible to police and even take footage from a helicopter and allow first responders to see it. The latter particularly has been useful for fighting fires, Storemski said.

ID'd subway bombers

Cameras in public spaces already have proven successful in major worldwide incidents, such as identifying suspects in the 2005 subway bombings in London, he said.
In Chicago, dispatchers already have access to cameras and can provide descriptions to police arriving at a scene.
Some Houstonians on Wednesday responded favorably to the camera program.
Julio Flores, a waiter at a downtown skyscraper, said he felt more comfortable knowing that surveillance camera footage could be used to solve crimes or to track suspects.
Judith Hanson, who was visiting downtown to watch her daughter's performance at the Wortham Center, said the cameras could provide comfort to women who come to the area.
"Just knowing that there is a camera just makes me feel a little bit safer," she said.
-2010 Houston Chronicle

Instant Camera Mount!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Newb Caught In The Act!

I now present you the latest edition to Bolide's sales force

Got Hidden Cameras?

Don't worry he knows we made this Final video...he's a great sport!

Look Familiar? 

Shedding Some Light on Resolution


Resolution in an analog or digital world is similar, but there are some important differences in how it is defined. In analog video, an image consists of lines or TV-lines since analog video technology is derived from the television industry. In a digital system, an image is made up of square pixels.

NTSC and PAL resolutions

NTSC (National Television System Committee) and PAL (Phase Alternating Line) resolutions are analog video standards. They are relevant to network video since video encoders provide such resolutions when they digitize signals from analog cameras. Current PTZ network cameras and PTZ dome network cameras also provide NTSC and PAL resolutions since such cameras today use a camera block (which incorporates the camera, zoom, auto-focus and auto-iris functions) made for analog video cameras, in conjunction with a built-in video encoder board.
In North America and Japan, the NTSC standard is the predominant analog video standard, while in Europe and many Asian and African countries, the PAL standard is used. Both standards originate from the television industry. NTSC has a resolution of 480 lines and uses a refresh rate of 60 interlaced fields per second (or 30 full frames per second). A new naming convention, which defines the number of lines, type of scan and refresh rate, for this standard is 480i60 (“i” stands for interlaced scanning). PAL has a resolution with 576 lines and uses a refresh rate of 50 interlaced fields per second (or 25 full frames per second). The new naming convention for this standard is 576i50. The total amount of information per second is the same in both standards.
When analog video is digitized, the maximum amount of pixels that can be created is based on the number of TV lines available to be digitized. The maximum size of a digitized image is typically D1 and the most commonly used resolution is 4CIF.
When shown on a computer screen, digitized analog video may show interlacing effects such as tearing and shapes may be off slightly since the pixels generated may not conform to the square pixels on the computer screen. Interlacing effects can be reduced using deinterlacing techniques, while aspect ratio correction can be applied to video before it is displayed to ensure, for instance, that a circle in an analog video remains a circle when shown on a computer screen.
At left, different NTSC image resolutions. At right, different PAL image resolutions.
NTSC and PAL image resolutions

VGA resolutions

With 100% digital systems based on network cameras, resolutions that are derived from the computer industry and that are standardized worldwide can be provided, allowing for better flexibility. The limitations of NTSC and PAL become irrelevant.
VGA (Video Graphics Array) is a graphics display system for PCs originally developed by IBM. The resolution is defined as 640x480 pixels, which is a common format used by non-megapixel network cameras. The VGA resolution is normally better suited for network cameras since VGAbased video produces square pixels that match with those on computer screens. Computer monitors can handle resolutions in VGA or multiples of VGA.
VGA resolutions.
Display formatPixels
QVGA (SIF)320x240
4x VGA1280x960

Megapixel resolutions

A network camera that offers megapixel resolution uses a megapixel sensor to deliver an image that contains one million or more pixels. The more pixels a sensor has, the greater the potential it has for capturing finer details and for producing a higher quality image. Megapixel network cameras can be used to allow users to see more details (ideal for identification of people and objects) or to view a larger area of a scene. This benefit is an important consideration in video surveillance applications.
Above are some megapixel formats.
Display formatNo. of pixelsPixels
SXGA1.3 megapixels1280x1024
SXGA+(EXGA)1.4 megapixels1400x1050
UXGA1.9 megapixels1600x1200
WUXGA2.3 megapixels1920x1200
QXGA3.1 megapixels2048x1536
WQXGA4.1 megapixels2560x1600
QSXGA5.2 megapixels2560x2048
Megapixel resolution is one area in which network cameras excel over analog cameras. The maximum resolution a conventional analog camera can provide after the video signal has been digitized in a digital video recorder or a video encoder is D1, which is 720x480 pixels (NTSC) or 720x576 pixels (PAL). The D1 resolution corresponds to a maximum of 414,720 pixels or 0.4 megapixel. By comparison, a common megapixel format of 1280x1024 pixels gives a 1.3-megapixel resolution. This is more than 3 times the resolution that can be provided by analog CCTV cameras. Network cameras with 2-megapixel and 3-megapixel resolutions are also available, and even higher resolutions are expected in the future.
Megapixel resolution also provides a greater degree of flexibility in terms of being able to provide images with different aspect ratios. (Aspect ratio is the ratio of the width of an image to its height.) A conventional TV monitor displays an image with an aspect ratio of 4:3. Bolide megapixel network cameras can offer the same ratio, in addition to others, such as 16:9. The advantage of a 16:9 aspect ratio is that unimportant details, usually located in the upper and lower part of a conventional-sized image, are not present and therefore, bandwidth and storage requirements can be reduced.
Illustration of 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.
4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios

Bolide Mega Pixel Options

    Interested in the latest MP technology? Go Here: 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Need a Camera Alarm

 I couldn't stop laughing at this video, the author must be fed up with all the non sense and mis leading information out on the market these days.
Question: How do you think your going to record the video from your cctv cameras?
Answer: Through my Iphone...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Superhuman tape measure skills

He's got skills!

Calif. CCTV installer accused of over billing elderly woman $300K

A closed-circuit television installer has denied billing a woman more than $300,000 for a $25,000
security system.

Adam Margaros, 30, who was arrested Tuesday by Costa Mesa police, has been charged with grand
theft and felony elder abuse, plus a sentencing enhancement for theft of over $200,000, Orange
County Deputy District Attorney Craig Cazares said.

Margaros pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Thursday, according to county Superior Court

The 74-year-old woman was given a medical examination that revealed she's suffering from paranoia and early signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease, Cazares said. "She can take care of herself and drive to the store, but her imagination gets carried away," said the woman's son, Steve Trottier. "She thinks things are happening that aren't."

Margaros, 30, is a member of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce and has two businesses, CCTV
Masters and LYTE Solutions. He initially was recommended by another security company to install a $1,800 security system, but Cazares said that Margaros played on the woman's paranoia and convinced her to buy a series of upgrades.

Trottier said Margaros told his mother that the government had installed secret listening devices. Margaros installed a keyless entry system, plus around 20 cameras hooked up to a computer and monitors, and charged more than $320,000, Cazares said. An independent security firm estimated that the system's value plus installation cost was round 25,000, Cazares said.

Monday, September 6, 2010

DIY - How To Cut A Piece Of 2X4.. THIS IS AWESOME

         Click The Play Button On The Control Bar Above

Fraud Trends in 2010

Here at CCTV Soup, we discovered some interesting statistics regarding crime and theft. 

A fraction of the report is below through CCTV Soup by First Data  

First Data is the sole supplier to American Express for the infamous "Black Card". Interesting fact about the "Black Card" - American Express can only invite you to own one, you can not apply. Anyway, enjoy the article below. 

- Enjoy! - Nick Cardenas
'Fraud Is Big Business'

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Simply Multi Streaming!

Bolide Technology has released their first wave of Mega Pixel Camera’s available  with a very advanced feature called Multicast among others.  Multicast addressing is a network technology for the delivery of information to a group of destinations simultaneously using the most efficient strategy to deliver the messages over each link of the network only once, creating copies only when the links to the multiple destinations split.

The word "multicast" is typically used to refer to IP multicast or Multi Stream which is often employed for streaming media and Internet television applications. In IP multicast the implementation of the multicast concept occurs at the IP routing level, where routers create optimal distribution paths for datagrams sent to a multicast destination address spanning tree in real-time.

IP multicast is a technique for basically one-to-many, communication over an IP infrastructure in a network. It scales to a larger receiver population by not requiring prior knowledge of who or how many receivers there are. Multicast uses network infrastructure efficiently by requiring the source to send a packet only once, even if it needs to be delivered to a large number of receivers. The nodes in the network take care of replicating the packet to reach multiple receivers only when necessary.

Basically multistreaming can and should be used on ANY platform where you are experiencing extremely large filesystems. It is far better to backup smaller images than 1 huge image. Think about a 500GB server which is not that uncommon. If you can set up multistreaming to do 5 streams at 100GB in each stream then you can cut down the time by 1/5 the time to complete the backup. If one stream fails than this smaller 100GB stream is all that needs to be rerun. Meanwhile the other 400GB from the 4 streams that were successfull will not have to be rerun.

Try out any of these cameras, Contact Nick Cardenas for a Demo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mac Attack!? The Fight For Chicken Nuggets!

I think they're putting MSG in those nuggets! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gun Fight Caught on Tape With AUDIO!!!

Police released surveillance video to identify gunmen captured on camera at Route 66 Bar in Toledo, Ohio. The shootout involved multiple gunmen.

What's The Deal With Safe Rooms/Panic Rooms??


Through some quick research I have found that not to many companies offer this particular service... Here's some food for thought!

But do me a favor consider Bolide Tech Cameras and equipment for the security portion of this project!! :)

The concept of the Safe Room arose in response to the increased risk of kidnaping and terrorist attacks on high-profile or wealthy individuals and their families and aides. Typically the intent of the Safe Room is to provide short-term protection for the occupants until help arrives or the attackers leave the scene. In extreme, hostage type scenarios, the safe Room may be required for an extended period.

Typically Safe Rooms, also known as panic rooms, are fitted with warning devices that communicate with persons outside the Safe Room or threatened building. Upon entering the Safe Room, the occupant triggers an alarm, or phones the police or a security agent. Audible alarms may alert the intruders to the fact that the situation is known to security forces. Consequently, unless these alarms were disabled prior to the assault, the attacker knows that he has a limited time to complete his mission.

General Design Criteria:
As with all construction, the design of a Safe Room responds to particular criteria, in this case relating to the level of risk that is anticipated. The design must also respond to such practical matters as costs and available space. Clearly there may be a difference between the design of a Safe Room for an important political leader and that of an individual who may fear some unspecified threat. A modest Safe Room may be resistant to handguns and physical attack only, whereas a more elaborate Safe Room may be designed to resist greater ballistic forces as well as chemicals and gaseous matter.
Typically the anticipated end user(s) of the Safe Room meet with a security consultant to evaluate the potential risks at the specific location where the Safe Room is to be located. A professional security consultant working in the industry will be well appraised of the current tactics and sophistication of an attacker and be able to advise on the design accordingly. A petty felon breaking into a residence in a wealthy neighborhood, for example, may arrive armed with a handgun or other small weapon. A determined terrorist intent on causing political turmoil, will more likely have researched the target location, have become familiar with the level of security in place and arrive with sophisticated weapons and electronic equipment capable of overriding or otherwise getting past some of the security that is in place.

Well-designed Safe Rooms - Panic Rooms should contain the following items:
  • Cameras & Monitors: Bolide concealed cameras located outside the room enable the Safe Room’s occupant to secretly monitor the movement and numbers of attackers on a monitor screen. It is common to locate one visible camera outside the room. An attacker disabling the exposed camera may not think to look for other hidden cameras, giving the Safe Room occupant an advantage in that situation.
  • Gas Masks: Gas Masks are necessary in the event that the attackers force poisonous gas into the Safe Room. Where an odorless gas might be used, an electronic device may be used to detect any noxious materials.
  • Bottled Water & Non-Perishable Foods: There should be a small provision of bottled water and non-perishable foods (such as dried trail mix or similar nourishment) for the occupants.
  • Ventilation: It is important to consider a protected means of ventilating the Safe room with fresh air.
Radio Communication: It should be assumed that attackers will disable land line phone service prior to entry. Safe Rooms lined with steel may interfere with cell phone transmissions. Accordingly, radio communication to the outside world is important. Typically a small radio transmitter is hard-wired directly to a concealed antenna outside the steel-lined enclosure. The radio can be pre-programed to signal the police or a security service in an emergency.

Next go extravagant with some off the wall designs, see below.

Watch the Video to a see a company put this into action! Enjoy!

Not affiliated with any of these companies!

Electro Magnetic locks insure top security with an ability to withstand tremendous forces. These locks cannot be picked or pried open.

Bullet resistant glazing materials are installed over existing windows.

Walls, floors and ceilings can be lined with plywood for entry resistance or with Armortex® for bullet resistant strength.

A 24 hour back up battery is supplied, avoiding the need to worry about electricity being cut off.

An electronic keypad allows entry only by those with knowledge of a numbered combination key code.

Sliding pocket doors are used for maximum strength & the fastest possible entry time"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Robbers Think They've Outwitted CCTV!!

Check this out! Wide Angle Lens - for the win!

A gang of robbers who stole 12 grand from a gas station thought they outwitted the stations CCTV cameras by trying to put their faces in the way,but gave police a better description.

Dummy Camera Lawsuit!??

Have you installed Dummy Cameras Lately or EVER??? Then you must read this article regarding the Lawsuits all over the US. 
Dummy cameras have a certain place and application but don't talk yourself into installing a dummy camera for your client's home or business. There is actually a liability happening all across the United States right now with dummy cameras and the false sense of security they provide. 

There have been many instances when an owner will place dummy cameras up to deter theft or vandalism, but when an employee has their car broken into and the employee thinks the cameras caught the action, they turn to thier employer to review the recorded video. When the employee finds out that the cameras are really dummy cameras, they fire up a lawsuit for a false sense of security and guess what, they are winning these lawsuits.
As professionals we know that security is not something to take lightly. Its important for us to educate the customer of the potential problems that could run into in the future.

The time that I recommend Dummy cameras is when the budget doesn't allow for additional cameras for the system. Lets say they already have 6 cameras installed for their surveillance system, well a few more dummy cameras will provide a burglar with the notion of a large surveillance system when in fact you are concentrating on very strategic areas of coverage.
It is obviously always important to match dummy cameras with the real cameras, to keep the look identical. Having real cameras in place, while being strategic, allows for adequate surveillance coverage and the notion that the cameras all over your home or business are legit. 

The next time you decide to install that fake camera for your customer just think about the possible liability  associated with it. A lot of people are getting convicted, please don't be one of them!!