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CCTV FAQ

CCTV FAQ

  • General Questions
    • I need a cctv surveillance system, but have no idea what parts to buy, how to choose cameras, lenses, or anything. Can you help me put this together?
      • YES! Click on the email link at the bottom of this page and tell us what you want to accomplish. We will probably have a few questions, when we write back. Once you answer those questions, we'll put all of the pieces together and help you build a system that meets your exact needs!

    • I keep hearing that G-Max is a SYSTEM not just a DVR. What does that mean to me?
      • G-Max System is a complete video security management tools. You can add Alarm inputs, relay outputs, control pan tilt zoom equipped security cameras (like our dome security cameras), and manage and monitor multiple facilities. You even get video outputs that security guards can use for monitoring. G-Max is SO MUCH MORE than a simple DVR. G-Max does it ALL!

    • Can I view my cash register transactions onscreen?
      • Yes! For more on our Cash Register Surveillance Systems, please click here.

    • What will my G-Max Security System do for me?
      • Our fully integrated DVR performs the following:

        1. Multiplexes up to 16 signals from security cameras
        2. Has advanced playback or monitoring features. One can select which security cameras to monitor even when playing back recorded video
        3. Records high quality stream, maintenance free, for weeks
        4. Features advanced motion detection, so recording is only activated when appropriate
        5. Broadcasts video stream out on the Ethernet port
        6. Has hardware integrated remote video options (TCP/IP stack, IP addressing...)
        7. E-mails users with pictures detected upon motion
        8. It is highly configurable and flexible
    • Why is Digital Video Recording better then my VHS machine?
      • The main advantages of digital recording are maintenance-free operation for longer periods of time and increased stream resolution. Consider a 24 hours time lapse VCR, which does the job in most cases. Every 24 hours, one has to change the tape, or program the VCR to automatically start over when the tape reaches the end. Time-lapse VCRs that record hundreds of hours on a tape - they just do not record every fraction of a second, but merely one image at every x seconds. If recording is not triggered by motion detectors, one can fail to catch the very important moment on tape. In another words, in order to record continuously (say 30 frames per second), there is only so much a tape can take. Digital technologies increase the storage ten or even hundred fold: a 60Gb hard drive stores live video for a week.

    • Where are the G-Max system components and hardware made?
      • The G-Max products are designed by us and manufactured to exacting standards here at our factory in North America.

    • What is G-Max Remoteview?
      • G-Max Remoteview is VIDEO TRANSMISSION streaming software solution. You can use G-Max Remoteview to view video LIVE in REAL TIME over a Windows tcp/ip network connection.

    • What kind of warranty will I receive?
      • We offer one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry! We ONLY sell high-quality, name-brand components at the lowest prices possible! We stand behind the products we sell so we are able to offer a comprehensive, 2-YEAR warranty that covers parts and labor!

  • Network and Computer Questions
    • What kind of network connections can I use with the G-Max System?
      • G-Max works with ANY Windows tcp/ip network connection, including Ethernet, ISDN, DSL, T1, Frame Relay, and ATM.

    • How much hard drive space is required for video recording?
      • The G-Max System video recording systems features adjustable quality settings that let you increase or decrease video picture quality. If you decrease picture quality, you will need less hard drive. If you increase picture quality, you will need more hard drive. In round numbers, if you want to obtain excellent video recorded images (much better than a VCR tape can provide) you should have about 350MB of free hard disk drive space for every hour of record time that you require. In other words you will need about 9GB of hard drive space for every 24 hours of recording time. If you need 7 days (168 hours) of recording time, you need about 56GB of hard drive. Of course, if you enable the built in video motion detection that comes with the G-Max software, and only record when there is movement in front of the cameras, you will be able to record for MUCH longer periods of time.

    • What is MPEG-4?
      • MPEG-4 is the next-generation, global multimedia standard, delivering professional-quality audio and video streams over a wide range of bandwidths, from cell phone to broadband and beyond.
        MPEG-4 was defined by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), the working group within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that specified the widely adopted, Emmy Award-winning standards known as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. Hundreds of researchers around the world contributed to MPEG-4, which was finalized in 1998 and became an international standard in 2000.

    • What is an AVI file?
      • AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. It is a special case of the RIFF (Resource Interchange File Format). AVI is defined by Microsoft. AVI is the most common format for audio/video data on the PC. Its an example of a de facto (by fact) standard.

    • What is a Digital Watermark?
      • A visible or invisible watermark that is applied to a digital image such that ownership of the image is known.

    • What happens to the G-Max System when the hard drive gets full?
      • When you run the G-Max System you are given a choice. The software can be set up to either stop recording when the hard drives get full, or start recording over the oldest data (FIFO) when it runs out of hard drive space.

    • I want to record video for a really long time. Can I use G-Max System to write video to more than one hard drive?
      • YES! G-Max System can write video to as many hard drives as you want, up to 12 drive letters in total! You can write to local drives, SCSI drives, RAID, and even mapped network drives! The G-Max software will record video onto each hard drive, until the last one gets full, and then start over again automatically.

    • I need video surveillance at more than one location. Can I install more than one G-Max video server on my network?
      • YES! You can install a virtually unlimited number of G-Max video servers onto your network using the G-Max pro Series. The G-Max Pro Series System was specifically designed as an enterprise wide video surveillance solution and makes it easy to manage all of your facilities from anywhere on the network.

    • I understand that I can use G-Max System to view video from my desktop. Can anybody else view video from their desktop while I am playing back video, or do they have to wait until I finish before they can play video?
      • Multiple viewers can simultaneously view video from any G-Max video server.

    • Is the G-Max System easy to set up & use?
      • YES! We have invested a great deal of effort in making G-Max System very powerful, yet easy to use.

    • Is this proven and reliable technology?
      • YES! We have been building digital video surveillance product since 1995, and G-Max Systems are in use all over the world. The software is very stable and powerful. We continue to add features and each time that we do, we test the software extensively to insure reliability.

    • I'm looking for an ENTERPRISE WIDE video surveillance solution. We need cameras at a number of our offices and warehouses around the world, and we need the video to be accessible through our WAN. How can I view video & manage every G-Max server on my network from my office.
      • Each G-Max Pro Series video server runs independently on the network. In order to access the servers, all you need to do is install our G-Max Multiview software on your PC. Our G-Max Multiview (workstation software) is designed to let you connect to video servers and view video from them. G-Max Multiview contains a "tree" (like Windows Explorer) that you set up and configure with the names of all of the video servers on your network. To connect to a particular video server, you just double click on the server icon in the tree. it's that easy. Each video server is user name & password protected, so you can allow a user access to some servers and deny access to others based on their user name & password. In fact, our software is so powerful that you can even deny users access to specific cameras on the servers, while allowing access to the remaining cameras.

  • Cameras and Cable Questions
    • General Security Camera Information
      • Many years ago there were only about five types of security cameras available in the security systems market. Today things have changed considerably. At one time there were only tube security cameras. Today all of the security cameras we use for closed circuit television (CCTV) use a special computer chip called a CCD. These security cameras are a lot more dependable than their tube counterparts, and produce a much better picture. These chip security cameras are much less expensive to produce as well. All of these factors have made the use of CCTV much more affordable and practical for a wider variety of applications than ever before.

    • What's an Outdoor Security Camera?
      • Outdoor Security Cameras the capabilities of the security camera and lenses must be configured to perform according to the variations in illumination and temperature. Due to exposure to humidity and freezing, most of the high performance security cameras are not appropriate for as is outdoor exposure; instead, either use an indoor -outdoor bullet security camera or an enclosure is required to maintain steady temperature and humidity.

    • What's an Indoor Security Camera?
      • Indoor only security cameras limited to operate within fixed temperature ranges, these security cameras are available pre- equipped with lenses, or mostly the lenses are purchased separately, depending on the application.

    • What's an Indoor-Outdoor Security Camera?
      • Indoor-Outdoor security cameras for medium to high image quality and flexibility, the bullet security cameras are both cost effective and versatile. They can be installed either indoors of outdoors without any need for a heater and blower enclosure. Pre-equipped with various kinds of lenses, the bullet security cameras maintain a steady (high) temperature within the tiny enclosure.

    • What's a Dome Security Camera?
      • Dome Security Cameras Among the most versatile types of enclosures. Can be used for both indoors or outdoors applications. Easily accessorized with Pan/Tilt/Zoom capabilities, they offer an aesthetic appearance. Lens are usually interchangeable.

    • What does Manual Iris Lens mean?
      • Manual iris lenses provide an effective solution for applications where the scene and lighting requirements are relatively stable, especially when used with security cameras that are equipped with electronic shutters.

    • What does Auto-Iris Lens mean?
      • Auto iris lenses produce consistent video signals in scenes with varying light levels, thus enabling reliable surveillance in areas that would otherwise be compromised.

    • Should I use Manual or Auto Iris Lenses?
      • You can save money and use Manual Iris Lens only when scene illumination never changes. Example: illuminated store or office. If the light changes a lot it is recommended using Auto-Iris.

    • What's Varifocal Lens?
      • The varifocal lenses are ideal in situations where the security camera surveys a distant point. One can adjust the zoom and focus of these lenses either manually or automatic

    • What Focal Length will I need?
      • •Guide: smaller the focal length number => wider is field of view. •If you have securit camera in the office or warehouse and you want to see as much as you can, you should go for 2.8 or 4 mm lens (makes wide, somewhat distant view) •If you want to observe limited area, like entrance you should go for 8mm or (makes narrow view and objects are closer). •Give us a call and we can help you determine what security camera lens will best suit your location. •Use varifocal lenses to get flexibility for choosing best field of view.

    • Do you have a Lens chart?
      • Indicates total viewable area (WxH) at a given distance based on focal length used

        Focal Length 5' (WxH) 10' (WxH) 20' (WxH) 40' (WxH) 50' (WxH) 100' (WxH)
        2.5 mm 9.4x7.1 19x14 38x28 75x57 94x71 188x142
        2.9 mm 8.6x6.4 17x13 34x26 69x51 86x64 171x129
        3.6 mm 6.9x5.1 14x10 27x21 55x41 69x51 137x103
        4.0 mm 6.0x4.5 12x9 24x18 48x36 60x45 120x90
        4.3 mm 5.7x4.3 11x8.6 23x17 46x34 57x43 114x86
        5.5 mm 4.5x3.4 9x6.8 18x14 36x27 45x34 90x68
        6.0 mm 2.0x1.5 4x3 8x6 16x12 20x15 40x30
        8.0 mm 1.5x1.1 3x2.3 6x4.5 12x9 15x11 30x22
        12.0 mm 1.0x0.7 2x1.4 3.8x3 7.7x6 9.6x7 19x14
    • General Security Camera Lens Information
      • The lens of a security camera is like the cornea of your eye. Without it you can not see, and neither can the security camera. There are many different types of security camera lenses in the security camera market. The first division between lenses are the wide angle and the zoom lens. The next division is between the auto iris, manual iris, or no iris at all. These choices and others depend on the intended use of your security camera system. Correct security camera lens choice should be determined with your CCTV technician. There are many factors involved in choosing a suitable lens are given on the CCTV Camera Lenses .

    • Do you have a 35mm to CCTV Focal Length Conversion Chart?
      • 35 mm
        1/4"
        1/3"
        1/2"
        2/3"
        1"
        Angle
        10
        0.9
        1.4
        1.8
        2.5
        3.7
        120.6
        35
        3.2
        4.8
        6.4
        8.8
        12.8
        53.2
        60
        5.5
        8.2
        11.0
        15.1
        22
        32.6
        85
        7.7
        11.6
        15.6
        21.3
        31.1
        23.3
        110
        10.0
        15.1
        20.1
        27.6
        40.3
        18.1
        135
        12.3
        18.5
        24.7
        33.9
        49.4
        14.8
        160
        14.6
        21.9
        29.3
        40.2
        58.6
        12.5
        185
        16.8
        25.3
        33.9
        46.4
        67.7
        10.8
        210
        19.1
        28.8
        38.4
        52.7
        76.9
        9.5
        235
        21.4
        32.2
        43.0
        59.0
        86.0
        8.5
        260
        23.7
        35.6
        47.6
        65.3
        95.2
        7.7
    • What does Lux mean?
      • Lux (1/10 of a foot candle) is a standardized method by which to measure a security camera's sensitivity to light. The lower the number, the less light it will take to reproduce a clear image. For example: A security camera that sees down to 1 LUX, means it generally has the ability to see an image during early evening hours or just before dusk. A security camera that's down to .1 has the ability to see an image in let's say, a well lit parking lot. A rating of .05, the ability to clearly view an image in a dimly lit area at night. A .05 image can usually enable a security camera to actually see better than the human eye at night!

    • What's proper lighting?
      • Proper lighting or illumination is very important in the world of CCTV. If an object is not illuminated it is very difficult to produce a viewable picture. Fortunately there are security cameras that can work in very little visible light. We now have security cameras that can "see" with infrared light. This can be quite useful if your CCTV application requires your security camera to work in the dark. Infrared light is invisible to the human eye, but to a security camera that is sensitive to this type of light it may appear to be daylight while remaining dark to the observer.

    • What is Camera Resolution?
      • Security camera resolution is a measurement of the security cameras clarity. A security cameras resolution is determined by the number of horizontal video lines (like 400 or 430 lines) that the security camera needs in order to reproduce the desired image. The higher the resolution number, the sharper the image will be. Although resolution is important when considering which security camera to purchase, the quality of the security cameras components is much MORE important. We only sell high resolution, name brand, quality security cameras.

    • Can I use my existing cctv cameras with the G-Max System?
      • YES! As long as your cameras are in good working order, you can continue to use them with G-Max!

    • How do I connect my video cameras to the G-Max server?
      • Cameras are connected to the G-Max video server via coaxial cable, using security industry standard BNC type connectors. If you use RG-59U coaxial cable, it can be up to 700 feet long. Please remember to use copper braid cable, not aluminum braid cable. Aluminum braid cable is cheaper, but it does not work as well over the long term.

    • Can I use G-Max to control security camera pan tilt zoom movement?
      • YES! The G-Max System requires a RS-422 connector that is used for security camera pan tilt zoom control! For security camera Pan Tilt Zoom control, you need to run an additional cable (besides the video coax) to each PTZ or Dome camera location for delivery of data. We recommend a Belden 8723 or equivalent cable. It can be up to 2000' in length.

    • I've heard that I can't combine color and black & white security cameras on a digital system. Is this true? Or can I combine color and black & white security cameras on the same G-Max video server?
      • There are security camera systems in the market that impose this limitation on you, but not our G-Max systems! Our G-Max System can accommodate a mixture of color and black & white security cameras, no problem at all! We designed it right, so you don't have to worry.

    • Does the G-Max System provide any CCTV (composite video) monitor outputs?
      • YES! The G-Max System you can replace your existing video matrix switcher, multiplexers, and vcr's with the G-Max System it comes with 1 composite video output.

    • Where can I get more information?
      • If you have questions, just click on the Email link (it's on the bottom of every page of our web site), or visit the Contact Us section and send us your questions. We are here to help!

 

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