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Quality Key To Video Image Clarity

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Image quality as it relates to video security and surveillance systems can mean the difference between clean, crisp video images and fuzzy unrecognizable video feeds coming from your security solutions. That's why this week I'd like to spend a few minutes focusing on bringing more clarity to the key concept of video image quality.

A camera image is divided into small pieces called pixels. The number of pixels that divide the image is called resolution. Typically the cameras that have higher resolution (more pixels dividing the captured images) can produce clearer images, but this is not always the case. The real key to shooting crystal clear images is how the captured light in each pixel is processed, which is referred to as quality. For example, a lower resolution (less pixels) video camera that is using sophisticated processing technology (higher quality) will often produce clearer images than a higher resolution (more pixels) video camera that is using antiquated and less capable processing technology (less quality).

Most everyone has seen videos on the news or elsewhere that show a bank or convenience store robber in the act of committing a crime along with the infamous subtitle “Have you seen this person?” You sit and laugh as you realize that the images are so blurry and distorted that you could just as easily be the person in the video. Then you ask yourself the inevitable question, “Why does anyone spend money buying poor quality video surveillance systems unable to produce intelligible video evidence?”

The answer to the above scenario is much simpler than you might expect. One key parameter to take note of when comparing video recording system specifications is called quality. The quality at which frames of video are processed greatly affects overall video crispness. The problem is that most end users misunderstand the meaning of quality in this context and believe by purchasing an expensive video system or selecting name brand video equipment they must be getting a “good quality” system. In actuality, the concept of quality in this context refers to video processing.

Customers can find themselves disillusioned after purchasing high resolution cameras and expensive video recorders that end up delivering poor recorded video clarity. The lack of understanding of quality being a key system attribute is evidenced when reviewing the specifications for various security solutions typically designed by veteran security consultants. The surveillance portion of most proposals almost always focuses solely on camera resolution and rarely mentions video quality or processing technology. In most well-known video recording systems, the quality parameter cannot be changed so it's simply not mentioned despite being the key to recorded image clarity. However, unlike most of our competitors, Orion Security Solutions offers software which has the ability to change the quality settings individually for each camera and to ensure our customers have full control over the quality of their recorded video.

Orion Security Solutions offers customers a comprehensive knowledge of the ins and outs of all the parameters associated with high-end video surveillance systems and their ability to produce good quality recorded video. In fact, our recorded video is clearer than the live video from the cameras through a process called scrubbing where we analytically clean each recorded image. We astound our customers and competitors as we routinely demonstrate this in real time. Orion Security Solutions also accommodates customers who don’t want to get too deep into the technological weeds of their security systems by providing assurance that our expertise and extraordinary experience will be used to make the best possible decisions for each security solution we design.

Be sure to visit The O every Wednesday as we explore other topics that relate to assessing, designing, configuring, integrating and installing high quality technical security solutions around the world.

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Sean Crain is founder and CEO of Orion Security Solutions (OSS). Prior to starting OSS, Sean spent over eight years with the U.S. Department of State as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Officer working in nearly 40 countries on 6 continents around the world including Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, Cambodia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Brazil, Peru, and Columbia.

He received advanced training in the techniques and methodologies of counter intelligence and anti-terrorism in order to carry out responsibilities which included designing, installing, and maintaining state-of-the-art security solutions to protect national security information, U.S Embassies and other sensitive U.S. facilities, and diplomatic personnel, including U.S. Presidents and Secretaries of State. Sean was also called upon to design and implement security protocols and systems which included video surveillance, intruder detection, access controls, locks, perimeter security, and assessments. He also played an integral role in writing the U.S. Department of State security policies for post communications centers, controlled access areas, and building management systems in U.S. Embassies, U.S. Consulates, and inter-agency facilities worldwide.