Historically, video surveillance was a form of security reserved for big business. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) was sophisticated and expensive, requiring integration by a professional security installer. In the last few years however, advents in consumer electronics technologies have enabled the development of robust video security solutions that are easy to install and use, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions.

Many of the technologies used in consumer video security are adopted from those implemented in the broad consumer electronics market. As advanced consumer technologies are introduced, market leaders such as LOREX will continue to adopt and integrate them in their video security solutions.
Lorex Security

PART 1: The Advent of Plug & Play Video Security

The key to a good video security system is secure video content (this is what differentiates security video from web cams and camcorders). Traditionally, security was achieved by using standalone circuitry and cabling so that the video was self-contained in a closed network (hence, closed circuit television). In order to set up a CCTV system, coaxial cables needed to be run from every camera to the recording unit, which may have been hundreds of feet away and separated by several walls and floors. Installation was a big job and expensive, though for decades this form of video security was the only option.

Wireless Video

In the 1990s a handful of video security manufacturers developed video cameras which could transmit video wirelessly. While the idea of wireless video was clever – in theory it eliminated the need to install a coaxial cable – early versions were impractical as wireless video could be rendered unwatchable by interference from many household appliances such as cordless telephones and microwaves. In addition, early wireless video was not actually secure (it could be intercepted and viewed or recorded) so these early systems were actually not really closed circuit, therefore not really secure/security video.

Current wireless technology has solved both of the flaws of earlier versions: using digital, frequency hopping signals, video can no longer be interfered with, resulting in high quality, secure video. While wireless video quality is still not as high as its wired counterpart, current standards are more than sufficient for the needs of home and small business owners and are improving constantly. And without the need to run video cables, digital wireless security cameras are much easier to install. While the equipment cost is a little higher than for a wired camera solution, the total cost of a digital wireless solution (including the cost of installation) is often less than that of a wired solution.

Installing a digital wireless security camera solution is truly plug and play, and results in high quality, secure video on a closed circuit. Digital wireless security camera solutions are also ideal for contractors who don’t specialize in video security, but may have customers looking for a video security solution.

LOREX Technology Inc. has been a leader in digital wireless video security for home and small business since frequency hopping digital technology became available for video. LOREX has combined the benefit of plug and play digital wireless video security with its leading recording and monitoring technology, resulting in some of the best video security solutions in the marketplace. Its latest offering, the LW2702 Digital Wireless LCD Video Security System, is a two-camera digital wireless solution that incorporates infrared motion detection and built-in recording to an SD card. The device’s wireless receiver is built into a 7-inch LCD display (which looks like a picture frame), providing an affordable, complete plug and play viewing and recording solution. The LW2702 is the recipient of the Design Engineering & Innovation Award at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 2010). The LW2702 is one of several LOREX digital wireless products to fit a wide range of video security environments for home or small business.

Limitations of Current Wireless Security

Current digital wireless video signals have a maximum range of up to 450 feet. However, the upper range is only achievable in line-of-site conditions; while not interfering with the signal, walls, floors, and other solid objects do reduce the range of transmission. The denser the wall or floor, the greater the reduction in range. Today’s digital wireless solutions will work admirably in a typical house or small business, but users should be aware of things like cement walls or steel beam structures. LOREX complements its digital wireless camera line with a line of wired cameras, allowing users to substitute wired cameras in those spots where a wireless camera signal is too low.

There is also a limit to the number of digital wireless cameras that can be practically used together before the speed of the video (measured in frame rate per second) declines measurably. LOREX currently recommends users consider using up to four digital wireless cameras although certain situations may support more.

PART 2: Video Security in an Internet Age

Traditional CCTV solutions were conceived before the Internet took the stage. At the time, the best one could hope for was to record video in a single building and view it locally. With great effort and cost, a small number of large businesses could extend their traditional CCTV systems over larger distances.

With the Internet came an opportunity to view security video anywhere in the world, to redefine the manner by which video security solutions could be implemented. Now in theory, home and small business owners could access video themselves when they are not at home or work, giving affordable peace of mind twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

While the idea of Internet video security sounded great in theory, practical solutions took time to develop. The first frontier of Internet video security had local CCTV recording units connected to the Internet through a wired Internet router. A user could then connect to their video securely using their computer and manufacturer-supplied software.

While effective, the first Internet video security solutions were available exclusively on Windows PCs. Apple Macintosh users and mobile phone users have had to wait longer for solutions to be developed for those platforms. Furthermore, consumers have become increasingly likely to own several Internet capable devices each using different platforms, so even if users could view security video through the Internet on their PC, they couldn’t also view it on their Mac and/or smart phones at the same time. LOREX recognized the growing need for Internet video solutions that work on multiple Internet capable platforms, and thus focused on bringing this capability to market in its products. One of the latest digital video recorder offerings by LOREX is the LOREX Link H.264 Video Security DVR. Designed for universal Internet connectivity, the LOREX Link allows users to view live streaming security video on a wide range of Internet capable platforms and devices, including PCs and Macs, as well as iPhone™, iPod touch™, Blackberry™ and Windows™ Phones. The LOREX Link is also ready to work with Apple’s forthcoming iPad™. The LOREX Link also features the latest in CCTV technology and is designed with a home or small business owner in mind. The LOREX Link is also a winner of the Design Engineering & Innovation Award at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 2010). It is the first consumer-grade security DVR to offer compatibility among all of these platforms.


Lorex Easy Internet Connect Remote Viewing

While Internet video security can be an ideal solution for home, small business or multiple locations, setting it up has traditionally been very complicated. Commonly, Internet video security solutions have required the user to configure their Internet router, which generally requires an understanding of information technology (IT). The most common issue in the Internet set up is ensuring that the user can always locate their video from a remote location.

Most home and small business owners and non-IT contractors don’t have much IT know-how, and while many manufacturers have developed Internet video security cameras, few have made them easy for these users to set up. As a pioneer in video security for the consumer, LOREX has been at the forefront in making Internet setup manageable. LOREX typically has at least one (but usually more than one) easy connect option in every Internet video security solution it offers. The first easy connect option featured in every LOREX Internet-capable solution is known as Dynamic Domain Name System (DDNS), which ensures the user can always access their security video remotely, even if they have a dynamic IP address that constantly changes. LOREX offers DDNS as a free service to all of its customers.

While DDNS makes Internet remote viewing easier, a typical DDNS setup may still take a user an hour or more and may require troubleshooting. For those who want a faster setup, LOREX has enabled most of its Internet capable products (including the LOREX Link) with a free service called Lorex Easy Connect. Lorex Easy Internet Connect turns video security Internet setup into an easy process that is simple enough for the average user or non-IT contractor to do without requiring support.

Complete Lorex Consumer Video Security Solutions

Many of the technologies used in consumer video security are adopted from those implemented in the broad consumer electronics market. As advanced consumer technologies are introduced, market leaders such as LOREX will continue to adopt and integrate them in their video security solutions.

For more information, visit LOREX at www.lorextechnology.com.