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Video Security Equipment Glossary (Part Three)
Sep 01, 2017

Video Security Equipment Glossary (Part Three)


· ONVIF : Global industry forum and standard for the interfacing of IP security products. All ONVIF products are compatible with each other regardless of the manufacturer’s brand.

· Optical Zoom : Is a true, mechanical zoom which allows a camera to enlarge object at great distance. Unlike digital zoom, optical zoom does not suffer from pixilation, but it cannot be performed on video playback via the video recorder’s software.

· OSD : On-screen display is a feature on many security cameras which allows you to locally configure every setting on a camera’s as you are installing it without having to run back and forth between the camera and DVR.



· Pixel : A single point in a digital display device or the smallest element of a picture. Used as a measure of video resolution.

· POE : Power over ethernet is a method in which power can be sent to video security cameras over the ethernet network rather than running a secondary power line to each individual camera. Though normally reserved for IP cameras, recent technological developments have allowed PoE to be used for analog security systems by using a PoE / RG59 converter.

· PTZ : Pan tilt zoom is a type of security camera which allows the manual articulation along the camera’s X & Y axis as well as the enlargement of specific areas in the cameras field of view.


· RG59 : Industry standard of coaxial cable which is used to transmit video signals over distances up to 700 feet with minimal degradation.

· RG6 : Type of coaxial cable that is typically used to route cable TV video signals to residences, but can be used to transmit video signals within security camera systems.

· RJ45 : Type of connector used on Cat5 / ethernet cabling.



· Sensor Chip : Flat electronic chip that converts a visual input into an electronic output to be used in imaging devices. Two types used in security cameras are CMOS & CCD.

· Siamese Cable : Type of CCTV cable which couples RG59 coaxial cable to transmit video from a camera to a recording device and an 18AWG power line to transmit power from a power supply to the security camera. Siamese cable is sold in spools and pre-cut cable kits which are typically used in analog security camera systems.



· TB : Also known as terabytes, TB refers to the size of a hard drive and how much data it can store before reaching maximum capacity.

· TVL : The specification of the number of vertical lines of resolution an analog security camera captures horizontally. The higher the TVL specification, the clearer the captured video will be.



· Varifocal Lens : Type of camera lens with two focal lengths, typically seen in an x-y mm format, which notates that the lens may adjusted so the camera’s field of view can be altered to suit the environment. Though this allows a camera’s “zoom” to be adjusted, it does not occur automatically or with the push of a button. The camera’s focal length is altered locally to provide a wider field of view with a nearer target area or a more narrow field a view with a further target area.



· WDR : Wide dynamic range is a more effective version of Backlight Compensation where details in the foreground which would normally be drowned out due to intense background lighting are clearly visible. This features is especially useful around entrances, exits, and near windows.



· Zoom : To enlarge or reduce the focus of an image by use of a mechanically variable focal length lens or digital video enhancement by way of NVR / DVR software.

If you think of or find any terms that you’d like to know more about in this video security equipment glossary, let me know about them in the comments below.