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DVR Solutions

This page is to give you a comprehensive and easy to read guide to the most common business and home Surveillance systems. It starts with the basics-cameras and DVR systems and then moves on more complicated subjects. It shows you also the types of cameras available in the market, used in different environments to give you best result. 

There are 4 type of surveillance technology to consider: they are

Stand Alone DVR

Stand Alone DVR

Stand Alone DVR

Stand Alone DVR

Analog type  Systems

PC Based DVR Systems

Stand Alone DVR System

IP Network Camera Systems


Analog & Time Laps (VCR based) Systems

Time Lapse VCR's

Time lapse VCR's that are used for CCTV are different from ones in domestic machines in two important respects.

  • Firstly, CCTV VCR is an industrial machine which designed and built to a standard that will enable it to run 24 hours a day. A normal VCR machine would be expected to operate for this amount of time. hence cost.
  • Secondly VCR used in CCTV systems are typically ‘Time-Lapse’ machines have the function of stepping down or up the speed of the recording tape at slow rates and because of it making a standard 3 hour video cassette last for longer periods, If you need to record audio and video signals it is necessary to use a machine with linear recording capability.
  • When using a VCR in CCTV time-lapse system it is important to realize that not all of the pictures from the camera are being recorded. For example with a VCR in 24 hour mode, only one picture in 8 coming from the camera is actually being recorded onto the tape. The recording has a short interval between each recorded picture of approximately 1/3 sec. and this gives the jerky movie’ type pictures on playback.
  • 24 Hour machines CCTV VCR are not popular compare to DVR due to their maintenance in that the tapes need to be changed once per day. Where coverage is required for longer periods, e.g. over weekends or even holidays when no staff are available to change tapes.
  • The only way you can view more then one camera on TV in a split screen mode, is by using multiplexer that receive all the pictures from the cameras and split it on to the monitor signal.

Analog / Time Lapse System
Analog / Time Lapse System Overview

Benefits and advantages:

  • System is very low cost and easy to maintain.
  • No computer skills are required to operate them


  • Low Video quality  compared to the digital systems
  • High Maintenance The tape must be changed every day.
  • The VCR CCTV System does not have the ability for remote networking or remote viewing.
  • The video quality degrades over time.


PC-based DVR

PC-based DVR is a DVR Cards built inside a computer. You have a case either a tower or a rack mount. Inside you have your usual motherboard, Network card, VGA Card CPU, Hard Drive and memory. And inside is a PCI DVR Card. This capture board have 4,8,16 video input. The PC Based system receive the analog signal from all the cameras, it convert the signal to digital signal and compress it with mp4 compression, and than it store the data on the hard drive for archiving and playback. The DVR software provides all the necessary, video and recording functions: like, Video compression, converting the video to a file, camera controls and display, record and playback functions.
PC based DVR provide far better video recording clarity over Time Lapse and are easier to use and more flexible than standalone DVR's. These units are available as kits which you install on your PC or as complete factory built recorders and provide you with all the functionality you need for your Surveillance system. Some factory models can be expanded as your needs grow, this is not the case with Time Lapse or standalone (Hardware) DVR's.
PC Based DVR work on a computer base system so you can customize the hardware spec for you need ,like Size of hard drive or Multiple Hard drive, memory and processor. Etc…
PC-based DVR available in:
*        4 Channel DVR (up to 4 CCTV camera)
*        8 Channel DVR (up to 8 CCTV camera)
*        16 Channel DVR (up to 16 CCTV camera)
*        32 Channel DVR (up to 32 CCTV camera)

4 Channels

8 Channels

16 Channels

32 Channels

4 Channel DVR

8 Channel DVR

16 Channel DVR

32 Channel DVR

Our PC-based DVR system built on almost any modern computer. With high performance, DVR system and full support before and after you buy from us. The Surveillance system you get from Smart Security comes preconfigured, Plug-N-Play, so the only thing you need to do is run the cable, connect to the DVR and you are ready to go.


  • High Resolution Recordings (720x480)
  • Easy to use and flexible to upgrade
  • more option and friendly interface on playing back video
  • Using latest compression and Video standard
  • Stores large amounts of video or recording days
  • Easy network integration


  • The system runs on a PC Based system with the Windows Operating System, which make it more sensitive to viruses and windows malfunction
  • users must have average computer skills.


Standalone, Surveillance DVR System

Standalone DVR System is a perfect DVR solution for those PC-phobic clients. Every function on this DVR is a matter of a push of a button. Stand alone DVR has off-site viewing function that allows you to view from anywhere in the world. This is all with digital quality. With two or more internal hard-drive spaces and two external hard-drive connections, Standalone DVR recording time can extend at your preference.
Standalone DVR are computer base Machine which run on Linux, Unix or other proprietary Operating System that was design to run only one application, which makes the standalone device a reliable appliance and does one thing only. Because of that, standalone DVR are more reliable but limited in the functionality and upgrades.


  • High Resolution Recordings (720x480)
  • Easy to use and operates
  • Fax function usually one button operation
  • Very stable and very low maintenance
  • Stores large amounts of video or recording days
  • Easy network integration


  • The system runs on a proprietary operation system, which make it not flexible to standard changes or upgrades.

  • users must have average computer skills

16 Channel Video Input / 4 Channel Audio Input, 480Fps  /  720x480 / 200GB

• Real Time Display
• 16 Channel Video and Audio
• 4 Channel Audio
• 120Fps Recording
• Embedded Linux Operation Systems for Reliability
• Triplex Function (Record / Playback / Remote View)
• MPEG-4 Compression
• allows : Live Monitoring,


IP Network Camera

Network IP Camera, often referred to as IP-Surveillance for specific applications within security surveillance ,remote monitoring and Security Camera, is a system which gives users the ability to monitor and record video over an IP network (LAN/WAN/Internet).
Unlike analog video systems, network IP camera uses the network, rather than dedicated point-to-point cabling like Siamese, as the backbone for transporting information. The term network video refers to both the video and audio sources available throughout the system. In cable (Coax) a network IP camera (video application), digitized video streams are transferred to any location in the world via a wired or wireless IP network, enabling IP video monitoring and recording from anywhere on the world.

IP Camera

Remote accessibility

Access live video at anytime, from anywhere

You can access real-time video at any time from any computer anywhere. Our Network IP cameras products provide an easy way to capture and distribute high quality video over any kind of IP network or the Internet. The video can be stored at remote locations for convenience and security, and the information can be transported over the LAN or Internet. This means that even companies with several offices across the world can make effective use of a network video solution for security surveillance and remote monitoring purposes.
Network IP camera can be used in an almost unlimited number of environments; however, most of its uses fall into one of the following two categories:
*                     IP Security surveillance
Network IP's advanced functionality makes it highly suited to the applications involved in security surveillance. The flexibility of digital technology enhances security personnel’s ability to protect people, property and assets. Such systems are therefore an especially attractive option for companies currently using CCTV.
*                     Remote monitoring
Network IP Camera gives users the ability to gather information at all key points of an operation and view it in real-time. This makes the technology ideal for monitoring equipment, people and places both locally and remotely.


  • High Resolution Display and Recordings (720x480)

  • Easy to use and operates

  • Can access each camera separately

  • No limitation on amount of cameras

  • Very stable and very low maintenance

  • Can use and upgrade camera with out  DVR upgrade

  • Low cost cabling, and ability to use existing network infrastructure.

  • Easy network integration


  • Higher cost of camera

  • Limitation on bandwidth usage.

  • users must have average computer skills.


Which camera is right for you?

Selecting cameras for Surveillance DVR systemis important as choosing the DVR itself. Choosing the right camera for the job will give you the desire performance and picture quality depend on the environment the camera is in. The environments are divided to number of categories. CCTV cameras come in many different styles and prices. First question we need to answer is if the camera is an indoor or out door camera. Answering this question will eliminate half of the trouble. Second question we need to answer is the distant between the camera and the viewing object. If we need to focus on a entrance door from a 24Ft ceiling we cannot use a fix lens that exist in most dome and bullet camera, we will need to use a camera that have the capability to manually or remotely zoom on the object, for this kind of scenario we are usually use CCTV Box camera with suitable lens. Also think of camera prices; pices start at less than 120 riyals and go up to over 4000 riyals. However, most decent surveillance cameras are in the 600 to 800 riyals price range.

Types of Cameras


Dome Camera
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Conceal the camera Direction
Small and Esthetics
Fix Lens.
Design to mount on Flat Ceiling.

Dome Camera
Dome cameras will give you professional grade pictures in a convenient dome housing. The precision wide angle 2.6~6.0mm, the standard 4.0-9.0mm auto or manual-iris vari-focal lens and 3.6mm standard angle lens, it allows you to setup the camera shot quick and easy. With high resolution Sony Exview HAD chipset, you’ll have crisp, color corrected images, even at low light environments. These Dome cameras work great offices in department stores, jewelry shops, convenience stores and professional business environments. Dome camera are perfect solutions for DVR Camera in Low ceiling are and places where esthetics surveillance is in need. Dome camera Runs on 12VDC.


Bullet Camera

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Small Design.
Water Proof.
Very Small and esthetics
Fix lens 2.6-3.6mm
Include metal mount.

Bullet Camera
This is the perfect camera for harsh outdoor environments where you need a compact color camera. Bullet camera is ideal for home and small business environment. You’ll get great pictures 380 to 480 lines of resolution and low light Lux at 1.0. With the advanced back light compensation, you’ll have crystal clear images throughout the day. Bullet camera is powered by 12-Volt DC.


CCD Box Camera

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High resolution and durability
Wide variety of lenses
Wide variety of mounting

The CCTV Box Camera combines high 380 to 570 TV lines of resolution and a 0.03 lux low light camera at unbeatable value. The advantage of Box CCTV camera is the ability to purchase the camera and the lens separately. This advantage will provide you the ability to fit between the camera and the environment. You can  select the right lens that will  provide you the picture you want from the camera. The powerful auto electronic shutter, gain control, white balance, back light compensation and flicker-less mode work in perfect unison to give you a crystal clear picture in almost any light condition. The advanced Sony 1/3” ExView Super HAD chip-set employs the latest digital signal processor for extreme low light performance. This camera is perfect for high security and retail store front applications. With your choice of either 12VDC or 24VAC it can be used in any security system


Infrared camera
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Provide view in Color and Total darkness.
Indoor an outdoor camera.
High durability

Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras:
PTZ cameras, stand for Pan Tilt and Zoom Camera , they are the most expensive and most advance security camera. They can pan 360 degrees, tilt 270 degrees, and optically zoom in as much as 25 times. PTZ Camera can be control from the security DVR itself or remotely. They are controlled and programmed with either a desk top joy stick control or through the remote view software of a PC based or standalone DVR. PTZ  CCTV Camera come in both indoor and outdoor model, can be wall or ceiling mounted, and can be equipped with color Day/Night cameras or night vision.


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Most advance CCTV camera.
Can be remotely controlled.
Can cover wide area

Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras:
PTZ cameras, stand for Pan Tilt and Zoom Camera , they are the most expensive and most advance security camera. They can pan 360 degrees, tilt 270 degrees, and optically zoom in as much as 25 times. PTZ Camera can be control from the security DVR itself or remotely. They are controlled and programmed with either a desk top joy stick control or through the remote view software of a PC based or standalone DVR. PTZ  CCTV Camera come in both indoor and outdoor model, can be wall or ceiling mounted, and can be equipped with color Day/Night cameras or night vision.


Hidden camera
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Easily installed.
High image quality

Hidden Camera is Originally developed as a method for monitoring cash registers in retail stores; this camera has evolved into one of the most versatile cameras available. At home, in the office, warehouse or manufacturing environment, the camera is available in hardwired models with a down view cameras in one area makes this the perfect choice for small to medium sized business. All of the cameras have a 3.7mm 78° field of view pinhole mini lens. The color cameras have 380 to 480 lines of resolution and low 1.0 lux rating. Runs on 12VDC


Camera Specification Guide

Here will try to explain how to read camera spec and understand their effect on the performance of the camera in the environment. Understanding camera spec will let you make wise decision on selecting the right camera for your environment cameras. All the cameras listed meet and exceed the minimum standards for professional surveillance applications. A lot of this information is good to review but you really do not need to memorize it.

CCTV Camera Resolution (Picture Quality) 

All cameras performance and picture quality is based on the number of horizontal lines the chip in the camera provides. Called the lines of resolution or TVL which specified the quality of the video the camera can produce. The higher the TV lines of resolution are, the better the quality of the image the camera send to the DVR.

Standard Image Quality

380TVL  To 420TVL

High Image quality

420TVL To 480TVL

Very High Image Quality

480 TVL to 570TVL


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The Lens (Optics)

Lenses (Optics) play an important role in the design of a CCTV system. Their primary function is to collect reflected light from a scene and focus a clear, sharp image on the camera's imager. Typically, the more light that passes through a lens, the better the quality of the picture.

Selection of a lens is especially critical because it directly affects the size, shape, and sharpness of the image to be displayed on the imager. Factors such as distance from the scene, focal length, desired field of view, lighting and format affect the size and clarity of the image on the camera's imager.

Field of View

The field of view (FOV) is the actual picture size (height and width) produced by a specific lens. If the field of view is not suitable, you may consider using a different lens (wide angle, telephoto, etc.) to increase or decrease the field of view. Tables are available to calculate the proper imager size, lens and distance combination needed to produce a desired field of view. See page 92 of this catalog.

Camera lenses can be divided into two basic types: fixed focal and varifocal (or zoom). A fixed focal lens has a constant focal length, while a varifocal lens can change its focal length. Focal length is simply the distance from the optical center of the lens to a focal point near the back of the lens. This distance is written on the lens (in millimeters) and indicates the field of view produced by the lens.

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Focal length


Fixed focal length lenses are available in various wide, medium, and narrow fields of view. A lens with a "normal" focal length (Ex: 8.0mm on a 1/3" camera) produces a picture that approximates the field of view produced by the human eye. A wide-angle lens has a short focal length, while a telephoto lens has a long focal length. When you select a fixed lens for a particular field of view, bear in mind that if you want to change the field of view, you must change the lens.

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Wide angle vs. telephoto

When both wide scenes and close-up views are needed, a varifocal or zoom lens is best. A zoom lens is an assembly of lens elements that move to change the focal length from a wide angle to telephoto while maintaining focus on the camera's imager. This permits you to change the field of view between narrow, medium, and wide angles, all on one lens.


The ability of a lens to gather light depends on the relationship between the lens opening (aperture) and the focal length. This relationship is symbolized by the letter f, which is commonly referred to as the "F-stop," and can be found printed on the side or front of the lens (see figure 9). The lower the F-stop number, the larger the maximum lens aperture and the greater the lens' ability to pass light through to the camera's imager.
For example, a lens with an F-stop of f/1.2 can gather a great deal more light than a lens with an F-stop of f/4.0. A lens with a low F-stop number is called a "fast" lens

F-Stop ability
The F-stop indicates the lens' light gathering ability

Depth of Field

Another consideration when determining the proper lens is depth of field. Depth of field is the area in focus before and behind a subject. This means that when you focus precisely on a subject, a certain distance in front of and behind the subject also will be in focus, although not as sharp. Depth of field increases or decreases based on the 1.) Length of the lens, 2.) The lens aperture and 3.) Distance from the camera to the subject.

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Depth of field

Each of the three depth of field factors will yield the following:

 1) Lens length

Short lens (i.e. wide angle)

= longer depth of field

Long lens (i.e. telephoto)

= shorter depth of field

 2) Aperture

Wide aperture (low F-stop)

= shorter depth of field

Narrow aperture (high F-stop)

= longer depth of field

 3) Distance to subject

Short distance

= shorter depth of field

Long distance

= longer depth of field

Purchasing and planning decisions should take these factors into account since depth of field can affect image quality. If depth of field is important, you may want to explore options such as increasing artificial lighting or installing cameras with normal lenses rather than telephoto lenses, etc.

Lens Mounts

Camera lenses generally come with either a C-mount or CS-mount and must be matched appropriately to the camera's mounting requirements. The difference between the two mounts is the distance of the lens optics from the camera imager. The C-mount lens is 17.5mm from the imager; the CS-mount lens is 12.5mm from the imager.


Get a good face shot: Use Higher quality cameras at entry areas
Doors, gates and other entry areas need a good quality, high resolution camera to record a good 'face shot.' The video from this camera should be considered a highly valuable since it can be used as evidence in identifying a person in a court of law.

Wide Angle Cameras for large surveillance areas
Once you can get a good shot of a persons face, you should use a wider angle camera lens for the interior surveillance spaces of the building. Using color cameras inside your building is a good idea because you can readily identify a person by the clothes they are wearing. Used in conjunction with the face shot at the entry point, you have an excellent record of all people and activities in your surveillance areas.

Bullet Cams and Dome Cams are Excellent Options!
They have low cost, high performance and available in color or B&W dome cams and bullet cams come in many low cost models. Good quality B&W cams start at less than 200 riyals and good color cams start at 650 riyals. When it comes to budgets, having a black & white camera is better than no camera at all. Additionally, if most of your surveillance goals are at night and your budget is limited, a black & white camera may actually be your best solution.

Professional and Standard C-Mount Cameras
If your budget permits, a c-mount camera offer a big advantage over other cctv cameras.

C-Mount or CS-Mount?
C-mount and CS-Mount lenses offer similar performance; the only real difference is the way the lens mounts to the camera. And that's not a problem since the adapter to convert 'C-Mount' to 'CS- Mount' comes with the camera. This enables the camera to use either C-Mount or CS-Mount lenses.

Lenses can be changed!
They simply unscrew from the camera body, just like the way lenses are removed from traditional cameras. There are lens options from 2.5mm up to 500mm providing many different magnification options. In general, an 8mm lens is like a 4mm lens magnified 200%. A 16mm lens is like the 4mm lens magnified 400%

Varifocal Lenses
You can also use a varifocal lens on a c-mount camera body. The higher millimeter of the lens the further distance viewable. C-Mount cameras can use a varifocal lens. This is a huge advantage because you can adjust zoom and focus. With Varifocal lenses the focus can be varied from 5mm to 20mm or more.
Even after installed, the varifocal camera lens can be adjusted to choose a variety of focal distances and angles of view. An example of where you might use a varifocal lens is outside (or inside) a warehouse or parking lot where you need more distance than 35 feet.

Professional C-Mount Camera with Varifocal 4- 8mm Lens in Outdoor Housing
C- mount cameras can be used outside when put in an outdoor camera housing like the photo to the right needed to protect the camera. Heat and Fans are necessary in the 'extreme climate areas.'

Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras also known as PTZ cameras are excellent devices to use when you want to 'look around' your surveillance area. PTZ cameras allow you to pan an entire room, tilt up and down and zoom in on anything or anybody within the sight of the lens. PTZ cameras can be set to automatic or manual mode or both. In automatic mode, hundreds of points can be set for the camera to look at. The duration that the camera looks at a given set point can be adjusted from less than a second to as long as you would like.

Cameras Tips

Apply Logic when picking cameras and lenses

Consider the following when choosing a CCTV camera:
1. Sketch out a Floor Plan:
Put in all camera locations. Consider the distance to your surveillance zone: Are you 5 feet or 15 feet away from your surveillance target area? It is best to locate your camera as close to the surveillance area first, then choose how much zoom you need. Do you need 4mm, 8mm or 12mm lens?

2. Field of view or area of surveillance:
Take photos of areas you want to cover from the proposed camera locations. What lens you need depends what you want to see and how far away and how wide a viewing area. Wide angle and fisheye lenses are available.

3. Resolution:
Do you want to capture a persons face or a car license plate? Each camera location will determine which lenses would maximize your surveillance potential. Do you need 50mm lens or standard 8mm?

4 .Vandalism potential:
Will your camera be subject to damage? Damage resistant cameras are available.

5. Lighting: Is the space well lit or dimly lit.
Are the lights turned off at night? Do you want to monitor the area with the lights turned off? Do you need infrared or low light cameras?

6. Budget:
Just like any technology, the more you spend, the better the system you get. Keep in mind a low cost camera is better than no camera.

For more information on how we can help you, contact Smart Security team today.