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Published by Marie on April 16, 2015 9:47 AM

If your business is looking to improve operations and increase profits, have you thought about using a video surveillance system? While traditionally used to deter crime, those same cameras can be used to monitor employee safety, improve quality control, and more.

In the newest whitepaper from we look into the many ways video surveillance can be used to help your business run better. With both industry-specific information and results-oriented suggestions, this free whitepaper helps you identify areas of improvement.

Do you own a retail store? We'll show you how a surveillance system and video software can help optimize your store layout, monitor customer flow and dwell time, and track store patterns to create better work schedules.

Or perhaps you run a manufacturing plant. Using surveillance video you could catch dangerous behavior before an accident happens, increasing workplace safety. Surveillance cameras can also be used for product testing in areas a human could not go because of temperature, materials, or location, improving your quality control.

The whitepaper also looks at hospitality, construction, restaurants, and food processing plants with ways to increase safety, reduce liability, and improve customer satisfaction. Video surveillance cameras can be used for more than just security, and will show you how.

Download our free Operations Management whitepaper.


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Published by Marie on April 9, 2015 9:30 AM

A recent accident at a local Portland, OR game store has highlighted the importance of video surveillance systems. Red Caste Games was hit by a suspected drunk driver earlier this month, and the entire thing was caught by the store's surveillance cameras.

In the video you can see the moments leading up to the accident, the driver running away, and the extent of the damage to the store. Read more about the accident on Red Castle Game's website.

While no business owner wants to think this will happen to his or her store, recommends always being prepared. This includes installing a surveillance system to capture all accidents, crimes, and suspicious behavior to protect your business. This video highlights several things your business should look for in a surveillance system:

  • High definition resolution, for clear video even with fast moving objects
  • Wide angle of view, to capture as much of the scene as possible
  • Camera locations that can monitor the cash register & store entrances

In addition, surveillance video can be essential proof of a crime or damages when pursing legal charges or filing an insurance claim.

To learn more, or get a personalized video surveillance system recommendation from our experts, contact today.

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Published by Ellen on April 7, 2015 9:05 AM is proud to have run two successful scholarship programs in 2013 and 2014, and now is excited to announce that we're doing it again this year! Our $1,000 scholarship fund is focused on campus safety, and asks high school seniors and college students -- How would you use surveillance cameras to make a school campus safer? Students can answer this question in a 250-300 word essay, and submit it through our scholarship landing page.

The deadline is August 1, 2015. We encourage all seniors and college students (including those working towards their Master's degree) to apply! Campus safety is so important these days -- share your input with us by applying to win a $1,000 school scholarship!

For more details, visit our scholarship page:

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Published by Marie on April 2, 2015 10:04 AM

When looking at video surveillance cameras, you've probably noticed that outdoor cameras get a rating such as IP66 or IP65. You may know that this means the camera is protected from dust and water, but the rating system is much more detailed than that.

To begin, IP stands for Ingress Protection. This is an international standard for measuring what, and how much, a camera is protected from. An IP rating is made up of two numbers - the first number measures the camera's protect from dust, the second measures the protection from liquids.


The rating for dust goes from zero to six, and the higher the number the more protection:

0. No protection

1. Protection from solid objects over 50mm

2. Protection from solid objects over 12mm

3. Protection from solid objects over 2.5mm

4. Protection from solid objects over 1mm

5. Limited protection from dust

6. Complete protection from dust

The rating for liquid protection goes from zero to eight:

0. No protection

1. Protection from dripping vertical water

2. Protection from sprays of water, tilted up to 15 degrees vertically

3. Protection from sprays of water, tilted up to 60 degrees vertically

4. Protection from water sprays from all directions

5. Protection from low pressure jets of water from all directions

6. Protection from strong jets of water from all directions

7. Protected from temporary immersion in water

8. Protected from long-term immersion in water

So if you see a camera with an IP65 rating, you can know it's completely protected from dust and can withstand low-pressure bursts of water. This means the camera would be great for installing outside where it is exposed to the weather and elements.

Shop our store for all outdoor cameras.

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Published by Marie on March 26, 2015 10:45 AM

Power over Ethernet (also known as PoE) is an easy way to provide your cameras both power and network connection using a single cable. This sounds easy and convenient, but do you know how it really works?

IP cameras wired for PoE have a specialized power switch, which can use the power sent over an Ethernet cord to power the camera while providing network connection. A non-PoE camera would simple get the network connection from the same cable, and require an additional power cord.

How can this help with installation? Running only one cable makes your system less complicated, and gives you more flexibility in camera placement. You won't be limited by the nearest power outlet, or deal with the added cost of installing new outlets closer to your camera location.

Learn more about the benefits of PoE.


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Published by Ellen on March 24, 2015 9:02 AM

If you're considering adding an audio component to your video surveillance system, you'll want to carefully research the audio surveillance laws in your state to avoid potential lawsuits and/or criminal charges. Recording conversations can be a violation of privacy, so it's crucial to not only research -- but also understand your state's laws.

Let's take a look at Oregon's laws, where is located. In Oregon, all parties (or persons) must be informed of and consent to being recorded in a private conversation before a recording can take place. However, conversations occurring in the public sphere, i.e. in a park or walking on the street can technically be picked up on video without the need for consent because of the limited expectation of privacy in these places.

For a summary of each state's audio recording laws, see the following guide:

Be sure to also speak with an attorney in your state about any lingering questions you have concerning audio recording. States where audio surveillance is permitted often require signs informing all parties that their conversations are being recorded. Here's an example of an audio recording notice:


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Published by Marie on March 20, 2015 3:43 PM

While you may be more familiar with the term DVR (digital video recorder), a main component of CCTV analog systems, NVRs and DVRs have different uses and are not the same thing.

Both a NVR and DVR are used to record and store video files from a security camera. Network video recorders (NVRs), however, are used with IP systems. NVRs are designed to work with the digital file format new IP cameras use to send and record video. A NVR, like the Milestone Husky M30, comes preloaded with video management software to help you manage and view your system.


A DVR, on the other hand, is older technology designed for use with CCTV analog surveillance systems. DVRs also come with system management software, and allow you to view your cameras. DVRs won't work with IP cameras, so you won't be able to easily add an IP camera without upgrading other parts of your system too.


As many organizations upgrade older CCTV systems with IP products, you can transition to hybrid products that work with both IP and analog cameras. A hybrid NVR, like the Milestone Husky M30 Hybrid, can connect to both IP and analog cameras, giving you all the benefits of an IP system without the cost of replacing every single camera.

You also have the option of using a video encoder instead of a hybrid NVR. Video encoders take the signal from analog cameras and turn them into the digital format used by a NVR so you can connect analog cameras to an IP system.


What type of technology is best for your system? Contact us today and we'll help you understand the options and recommend the best system for your surveillance needs.

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Published by Marie on March 19, 2015 9:50 AM

An IP video surveillance system is made from several standard components. While the specific cameras or software may change, your system will almost always include:

  • One or more IP surveillance cameras
  • Video management software
  • NVR, or other storage device

You should also receive all power cables, Cat5 Ethernet cables, and power supplies for your equipment. You may choose to add wireless antennas for long-distance surveillance on large campuses or advanced third-party analytics software, but all of that will build off the basic system.

When you are researching your IP system options, keep in mind two key features you may want to prioritize:

  • High definition resolution
  • Remote & mobile access from a smart phone or tablet

HD resolution is quickly become the standard in IP cameras, with most featuring 720p or 1080p resolution. With HD cameras you can monitor a larger area with fewer cameras because the video is wider, and you can see details more clearly than with a standard camera.

Remote and mobile access is essential if you want to stay connected to you surveillance system when you're out of the office. You can set up email or text alerts to be notified when your cameras detect something and instantly log into the system from your phone to view live or recorded video.

Shop our store for IP video surveillance systems, or contact our IP video experts today for a personalized system recommendation.

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Published by Ellen on March 16, 2015 8:53 AM

Despite what some might believe, an IP-based security camera system is actually quite affordable and has the potential to provide a hefty return on investment if used to its fullest.

The cost of cabling CCTV cameras (also called "analog") can be 2-3 times more expensive than the cost of installing IP cameras. How is that possible? Consider this fact: CCTV camera systems require two separate cables, one for powering the cameras and the other for sending video signals. This lends to the increase in installation costs.

IP camera systems on the other hand only require an Ethernet cable to send and receive data. In other words, this creates a simplified installation since the Ethernet cable provides both power and network connectivity. No need to hire certified electricians when installing your system -- IP cameras can be installed in-house by someone with basic networking experience.

What's more, an IP camera system is scalable, allowing you to easily grow the number of IP cameras over time without worrying about additional installation costs or technical limitations.

At we're all about designing custom IP security camera systems for our customers. We respect your budget requirements, and do our best to not only provide cost-effective IP cameras, but a system you can depend on for years to come.


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Published by Marie on March 12, 2015 3:32 PM

When designing a video surveillance system, are you taking into account the outdoor spaces you should monitor? If your business has a parking lot, borders an alley way, or has outdoor seating, it is important to secure those areas as well as the indoor spaces. But you don't want to use a normal indoor surveillance camera to do it.

Surveillance cameras placed outdoors have to endure a wide range of conditions that an indoor camera is protected from. This can include potential water damage from rain, snow, or hail, damage from dust and debris picked up by the wind, or condensation from fog. Specialized outdoor cameras come in durable housing that protects a camera's sensitive electrical equipment.

Outdoor cameras come in a wide range of styles, so you will have just as much flexibility designing your outdoor system. This includes bullet cameras like the Optica B204 IP camera, domes like the Optica DV204M IP camera, and even PTZ cameras like the Optica P218Z PTZ IP camera.

Shop our wide selection of outdoor surveillance cameras, or contact us today to design a custom outdoor system.


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