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Published by Marie on June 30, 2015 10:47 AM

This blog post will walk you through installing and configuring your Ubiquiti antennas to establish a wireless link. Wireless surveillance systems are key to extending your security into areas a traditionally wired system can't go, including large campuses and remote buildings.

Before you install any wireless equipment, we recommend bench testing the connection between the Ubiquiti antennas - a mistake will result in having to un-mount the remote antenna to reconnect it locally.

Step One: Wiring the Components

The first step to setting up your wireless system is to wire the components so that all parts of the system receive power and network connectivity.

All Ubiquiti antennas require a separate power supply, and cannot work off of standard PoE devices. The power supply needs to be connected to a standard power socket, and have two ports for Ethernet cables. The ports are labeled PoE and LAN.

The PoE port will always be wired directly to the Main port on the Ubiquiti device. If the Ubiquiti device has a secondary port, do not wire the PoE to that port because it will not correctly power the device.

The LAN port on the power supply needs to be wired into your network, or to a switch powering the camera. The LAN port cannot be wired directly to a PoE camera, as it will not provide enough power for the camera to function.

Step Two: Setup Units as Broadcaster & Receiver

Once you have wired the units you need to setup one unit as a broadcaster and one unite as a receiver.

To begin, log into the Ubiquiti unit. The default IP address is 192.168.1.20. The default username is ubnt, and password is ubnt.

Once you have logged into the unit, click on the wireless tab.

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In the wireless tab, you will need to change a few settings.

First, you need to select the wireless mode. Select Access Point for the unit that will act as the broadcasted, and Station for the unit that will act as the receiver.

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Always check the WDS (Transparent Bridge Mode) box.

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You will always need to set a SSID that will be used by both antennas to communication. The SSID has to be identical on both antennas. We recommend hiding the SSID so no other devices can see the network connection.

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The last setting you'll need to change is to make the link secure, an important set to creating the link between units.

We recommend WPA2 for the security setting. Use a long, hard to guess WPA Preshared Key. If you do not secure your wireless link, anyone with a wireless device will be able to connect to your network.

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Once all of these setting changes have been made, click Change at the bottom of the screen. A message will pop up saying that the configuration contains changes and asking if you want to apply these changes. Click Apply.

Step Three: Secure Your Network

Select the Network tab at the top of the screen.

On this screen, set the antennas to a static IP address that will be reachable by your network. We do not recommend setting the antennas to DHCP, as communication between the antennas can be interrupted.

Next, select the System tab. Here, you will want to change the username and password of the devices to make your wireless connection secure.

To change the password, click on the key icon next to Administrator Username. Enter in the current password, and then enter in your new password.

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Once you have changed username and password, click Change at the bottom of the screen, and select Apply when prompted. Repeat steps two and three as needed for every Ubiquiti device on your network.

The devices will reset to accommodate all of the setting changes you made. Once they are back online, and both antennas have been setup, check the connection between devices. First connect the Access Point to your network, and then connect the station to the PoE side (leave the LAN side blank).

The back of the units will light up with red, yellow, and green bars if the connection is good. Once these light up, the connection is good and you can mount the Ubiquiti antennas to access your remote cameras.

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Published by Marie on June 25, 2015 10:43 AM

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Self storage businesses are spread all over the country, serving a wide range of customers from college students storing items during the summer break to homeowners who need to downsize. With customers coming and going from their unit, a huge array of items under your protection, and business layouts that resemble a maze, how can you secure your grounds?

Try installing a video surveillance system! A flexible system can include as many cameras as you need, allowing you to secure every corridor and parking lot. And with remote and mobile viewing, you can manage your system and monitor the business from any location - even when you're off-site at home or on vacation.

A surveillance system can also help you deal with claims of theft or damage to property. This will help your customers feel more secure, and allow you to share evidentiary video of the crime for police investigations. Your customers are often leaving prized possessions with you, so this peace of mind is invaluable in retaining and gaining business.

You can learn more in our Self Storage Industry Solutions page.

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Published by Ellen on June 23, 2015 9:27 AM

Parking lots are a key area to monitor, and shouldn't be overlooked. If you run a business or oversee a facility where there's a parking lot, then it's important to keep tabs on what vehicles enter and exit the parking lot in case there's an accident, vandalism, or even car theft.

Another benefit of parking lot video surveillance is that it can help identify vehicles that do not pay their parking fees if there's a charge to utilize the parking lot. High-definition video surveillance systems are especially recommended because of their ability to see clear detail that makes license recognition possible.

Parking lot monitoring is also critical to ensuring the safety of your patrons or employees, who do not have access to their vehicles while they're away. In case a car is broken into or a vehicle hits another without stopping, you'll have the tools to review footage and see which car was responsible for the crime or issue.

Also, employees and/or patrons will put more trust into your business for employing parking lot surveillance, as it will make them feel more at ease when they leave their vehicles in your lot. So, increase safety, identify suspicious vehicles, and capture evidence by investing in a parking lot video surveillance system.

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Published by Marie on June 11, 2015 2:28 PM

Motion detection is an important tool for securing your business or building. It alerts you when someone is on your property that isn't authorized. Understanding how this technology helps you set up better motion detection regions and alerts, but do you actually know how motion detection works?

To understand motion detection, you first need to understand how a camera works. Inside the camera is an image sensor, which the camera lens directs light to - when light hits the image sensor each individual pixel records how much light it's getting. That pattern of light and dark areas on the pixels becomes the complete video image you see. You can read a more in-depth explanation of image sensors here.

When you set up motion detection, you select a region or area to monitor, say a doorway. The way it works is to compare sequential images from your video and if enough of the pixels have changed between those frames, the camera software determines something moved and sends you an alert.

How "enough" change is determined depends on the sensitivity level or percentage level settings you put on your motion detection.

The sensitivity level looks at the changing light/dark levels in the pixels. Higher sensitivity will pick up on more changes while lower sensitivity will require a large level of change, such as the lights going on in a dark room, to set off the alerts. Percentage, on the other hand, looks to the percentage of pixels that have registered a change. If you are monitoring a door, setting the percentage at 50% will alert you when something large walks into the room, such as a person, but ignore something smaller.

Getting the best balance in your motion detection settings to prevent too many false alerts may take some time. While setting up your camera you can test the motion detection by having someone walk in the motion detection region and adjust the settings as needed. It may take some time, but the effort is well worth it when you're notified of a break-in at your store or vandals prowling the parking lot.

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Published by Marie on June 11, 2015 10:18 AM

Here at VideoSurveillance.com we often stress the importance of video surveillance systems in helping stores capture shoplifters and other criminals. Last week a Portland, Oregon store owner was able to do just that, capturing a shoplifter on camera.

Sarah Bibb owns Folly, a clothing boutique in Portland. After noticing an empty hanger, Bibb reviewed her store's surveillance video and found clear video of the theft happening. Bibb contacted police and then, hoping that someone would recognize the woman, shared the video on Facebook. You can see the original post on Bibb's Facebook page.

Friends of the woman recognized her in the video and brought her back to the store to return the clothing, where she was arrested. Read more on KOIN 6 News, who were on the scene when the arrest happened.

So why did Bibb's surveillance system work so well in this case? While Bibb is not a VideoSurveillance.com customer, here are several things we can tell she did right:

  • There were multiple cameras installed in the store, including one that provided an overview of the entire floor to monitor customers as they move between displays
  • Another camera was installed with a clear view of the door, making it easy to track every customer who entered the store and document those times
  • A camera next to the door was installed facing customers as they exit at a height for facial recognition
  • The camera's resolution provided clear video for police, and Bibb's Facebook followers, to identify the woman
  • Bibb immediately reviewed the surveillance video when she realized a crime had happened, making it easier to sift through the video files to find the relevant clip

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Published by Ellen on June 10, 2015 8:42 AM

If you're thinking of switching from analog to IP video, or are investing in a video surveillance system for the first time, it's important to know what equipment you'll need to deploy your new IP cameras. IP video provides a scalable solution for your long-term security needs so you can expand upon the number of security cameras in the future.

VideoSurveillance.com offers pre-configured IP security camera systems with everything you need to get started. We can also customize an IP camera system for you if you have special requirements. Our IP security camera systems are assembled to include the IP cameras you need, a network video recorder, and the necessary power supplies to get your system up and running.

Power-over-Ethernet, which is ever-present in the IP camera era, allows you to power your cameras with a single Ethernet cord. This, in turn, simplifies the installation process and makes it easier to install your cameras in more remote locations.

Our video surveillance systems include a network video recorder to view, record, and manage your IP cameras. Most NVRs today feature free mobile surveillance apps to give you instant access to your cameras when you're not onsite. With a secure internet connection, you'll be able to tap into your IP camera system from virtually anywhere. For existing CCTV systems, you'll need a video encoder to convert your system over to IP (digital) video.

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Published by Marie on June 4, 2015 11:05 AM

Graduation season is in full swing, but it's also the time for graduating high school seniors to focus on the upcoming start of college. Has the student in your life applied for the VideoSurveillance.com scholarship yet?

This is your third year running a scholarship program, and we love the opportunity it gives to interact with bright, young motivated students. Open to graduating high school seniors and students enrolled in undergrad and graduate college programs, this scholarship will award $1,000 to help one student with tuition this fall.

To enter, applicants must write a 250-300 word essay answering the question "How would you use video surveillance to make a school campus safer?"

This is a great opportunity, so share this scholarship to help a student afford college. See full scholarship details.

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Published by Ellen on June 2, 2015 9:54 AM

Mobotix's mobile app enables you to view your Mobotix video surveillance system remotely from a smartphone or tablet. The free app, included with any Mobotix camera or system with a firmware of 4.1.4.70 or higher, delivers multiple features to maximize your viewing experience. Read more about this cutting-edge app below.

High-resolution images: Users can expect high-resolution footage of their Mobotix camera system. You'll be able to view ultra-clear live and recorded video wherever you go.

Numerous search functions: Quickly browse through specific footage to find exactly what you're looking for -- the search functions allow you to find events even in continuous recording mode.

Convenient Playback: The app gives you the ability to play back external MxPEG videos.

Control Several Cameras: With the Mobotix Mobile App, you can control and view several cameras at once.

Event alerts: Receive alerts directly on your mobile device or tablet thanks to Event Alerts, a function that notifies you if your camera is tampered with or an alarm is triggered.

Control Image Settings: Easily adjust images to optimize visibility. Control image settings such as brightness and contrast.

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Published by Marie on May 28, 2015 9:15 AM

This blog will walk you through adding an ONVIF-compliant PTZ camera to Milestone software. The process can take some time, so please review all the steps before beginning.

When you add a PTZ camera to Milestone, it will not automatically recognize that the camera has PTZ capabilities. To enable the PTZ controls, open up your XProtect Management Application.

Once the application is open, right click on the hardware device that you want to enable PTZ controls, and click on properties.

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Once the properties screen has opened, click on the PTZ Device menu.

To enable PTZ controls you need to check the box for Connected Cameras have Pan/Tilt/Zoom capabilities.

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Once that is selected, change the PTZ type on the first field, COM1, to Absolute. Then change the camera type to Movable. Click OK to save these settings. When you open your Smart Client you will be able to move the PTZ camera remotely.

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Please note, however, that enabling a camera as PTZ with Milestone will not give a fixed camera PTZ capabilities, the camera must be a PTZ model.

If you have any questions, or run into problems, please call VidoeSurveillance.com technical support at 866-945-6806 or email us at support@videosurveillance.com.

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Published by Ellen on May 27, 2015 11:32 AM

If you are experiencing a rather slow performance in Milestone Smart Client, the streaming quality may be set too high for the number of cameras you have displayed. When you add more than eight cameras on the screen, the size of the images is small enough that trying to display them in full resolution and frame rate slows down the system.

This blog post will walk you through several settings you can change to improve system performance.

To begin, open up Smart Client and click on Setup in the top right corner.

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On the left side of the page, scroll down until you find the Properties section of the menu:

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Start by selecting the camera feed you want to change by clicking on the ellipsis button.

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When the menu opens, expand the Server root menu by clicking the arrow next to it. Then expand the Camera root menu, and then click on the camera you want to change. In this example, you are changing the settings for Camera 1.

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The first setting to change is Image Quality. The default selection is Full; however you can improve performance by reducing this toHigh with no discernable loss of quality.

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Second, you can reduce the Frame Rate from Unlimited to Medium.

It is possible that you may actually see an increase in frame rate by changing this setting, as the system is no longer overwhelmed by displaying so many videos at top frame rate.

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While making these changes, make sure you do not change the Keep when Maximized setting. You want this to remain unchecked, so when you maximize a camera it will display the video with full settings.

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Once these changse have been made, you should see an improvement in the performance of your Milestone system.

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