Category Archives: General 4K UHD

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Best 4K NVRs?

Category : General 4K UHD

Some of the key features to look for when shopping for a network video recorder are fairly basic. However, some manufacturers add additional performance and functionality that will come in very handy when performing daily tasks or attempting to play back video.  For many of the lower cost 4K NVRs on the market even reproducing live images can be a daunting task.

Best 4K NVR


Cortex security offers unique features like complete image control, analytics controls and full PoE power output for many of their premium models in the Medallion series. The cortex 4K NVRs are completely plug and play with medallion series IP cameras as well as capable of integration with Onvif models. 

Users enjoy the high-performance capabilities of reproducing 4K images directly on live screens and remotely through software dedicated for PCs and smart phones. Unlike many units that are choked by lower performance bandwidth, these units have full capabilities that can connect to outdoor security cameras and can handle main stream the full resolution.

Fort Tampa security cameras and other areas in Florida weatherproofing is a vital feature in any model. Specific needs and requirements are necessary for outdoor security camera. Not only are the cameras exposed to high humidity and extreme rainy conditions, on many occasions the bright sun can distort the images and create issues with color and contrast balancing. Because of the encoding compression technology utilized by IP cameras its important to deploy a Network video recorder that can handle the stream fluctuations and larger package sizes.

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5MP IP cameras

How many sensor and DSP combinations are available for 5MP surveillance cameras?

5MP IP camera

IP bullets in 5MP

We know of at least 10 combinations for 5MP sensors with DSP chips that provide OSD controls and web-based settings. These IP camera components can mean the difference between easy installs and impossible headaches.  Sony semiconductors manufacturers some of the best CMOS sensors for IP cameras that money can buy. Sony Cmos sensors come in a variety of performance models with some top tier models capable of keeping color in very low lit areas. Sont IP camera CMOS components can be called “Starlight” at the top end of the spectrum since the required light source is moonlight and starlight.  At our Cortex QC6 testing labs, we often come across IP cameras that require very specific and confusing steps in order to setup network interconnectivity, making install much longer than necessary.  Since 5MP IP cameras are so popular now, finding models with the same old problems and inconsistent performance is fairly easy in the worldwide market place.

5MP is also known as 2K (4MP is also 2K) or roughly half the size of 8MP images produced by 4K cameras. However, 5MP has many mainstream advantages like lower price and lower bandwidth requirements than 4K UHD. The analytic features and capabilities in many 5MP IP cameras are very accurate due to the high density of pixels. Installers throughout the United States and the Caribbean are currently installing the new five megapixel cameras in both network systems and traditional coax with great success. 

One of the most popular analytic functions as line crossing. Line crossing on five megapixel IP cameras permits users a specific scheduled alert that can be programmed to notify via phone app or email when a person or object crosses the line and a specific pattern. Another very useful analytic function is perimeter protection. Perimeter protection can be installed to trigger specific events and alerts when a person or object enters a designated area. The cortex has integrated many of these basic analytic functions to their advanced IP cameras. 

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5MP IP Looks great on 4K TVs

Folks tend to forget that 5MP resolution is much bigger than 1080p (which is actually 2MP in resolution). This means that connecting your 5MP IP or 5MP AHD cameras to a standard Full HD TV or monitor will not provide all the definition that you paid for in your CCTV system.

5MP 1440p CCTV Cameras

5MP IP cameras and 5MP AHD coax camera

The security camera industry is now jam-packed with five-megapixel offers in analog coaxial based technology and digital IP. Soon to come will be digital over coax in the way of EX-SDI 4MP and EX-SDI 5MP CCTV Digital camera models.

4K CCTV monitors are not really a thing since most UHD TVs can handle the UHD resolution and continuous abuse that is necessary for surveillance systems. However, using UHD computer monitors with higher refresh rates and higher levels of brightness ( like IPS) can sometimes make a huge difference in how surveillance video at eight megapixels is displayed. Regardless, when installing or deploying a new 4K surveillance system always make sure to compare scaling and aspect ratios and keep everything in line and paired-up properly to avoid distorted video.

At higher resolutions frame rate can also suffer or must be sacrificed in order to process a higher resolution image. Another key aspect of surveillance video in the UHD level is sensitivity in poorly illuminated areas. Cortex surveillance cameras in the 4K category use premium CMOS  sensors specifically designed for low light areas and high color saturation during normal lighting conditions.

Why install five megapixel cameras? Prices are coming down dramatically in the five megapixel category and have replaced many of the other lower resolutions for video surveillance. Five megapixel cameras process through IP systems can be installed directly on your network or POE switches. When necessary, AHD  and TVI over coax can be installed and when using hybrid DVR’s, you can use both.

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4K Sony CMOS Camera

Category : General 4K UHD

Eight megapixel (4K) CMOS Sensors used for network cameras are now trending in the market. 4K network cameras can use many different types of brands for UHD cameras. 4K Sony CMOS sensors are well documented for having a fantastic night time viewing with very little noise and hi levels of light sensitivity. Cortex produces fix lens and motorized varifocal models that use the Sony 4K CMOS in their cameras. 


4k Sony CMOS camera

These UHD cameras have advanced features in the software like analytics that can be used for object detection, line crossing, faced detection and Cross counting. The 16 : 9 aspect ratio of these CMOS sensors also provide an amazingly wide image viewing angle. 

Cortex network video recorderS and software allow remote management and video recording of the video streams from these UHD network cameras. Additional streams can be managed for video management software like our RTSP on port 554 and substreams for cloud backup. 

 By integrating 4k Sony CMOS sensor into Cortex Network cameras this manufacturer provided superior night time performance that can be set for continuous color viewing instead of black and white. Color saturation during daytime and full lighting environments is also increased. The option of converting the image to black-and-white in order to take advantage of infrared lighting is a great option used to many times in excessively dark areas. 

8MP IP Cameras for low light areas are extremely important and provide extremely wide angles because of their aspect ratio. 

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4K IP cameras

2018 brings the latest wave of UHD IP cameras with many different labels like 4K IP cameras, 8meg IPC, 4K IPC, 8MP Cams and many others. One of the key issues that has held back 4K IP cameras is frame rate. Up to now users had to choose between very high resolution at extremely low frame rates like 1-3 FPS because of compression and throughput technology. With the latest release of high-efficiency compression engines including h.265, more information can be sent via networks and processed through network infrastructures. This means much higher frame rates like 15 FPS or even real time 30 frames per second. Prices fluctuate because of processing power and chipsets inside the cameras.


4k IP camera Processors

Along with better compression and increased functionality a new generation of 4K CMOS sensors have also hit the market from famous brands like Sony and others. This has increased the output of 4K into the mass-market and the general distribution channels. Citing reports from statistic gathering agencies, many distributors in the computer and home automation markets have also increased their offers of 4K IP cameras and recorders to their clients.

UHD IP cameras can be found for a variety of prices which reflects the components used and housings that are chosen. Even the finish and painting on the 4K rated housings have a direct correlation with prices since higher quality finishes and polishing delays production which increases labor costs. 8MP rates Lenses for 4K cameras also have a huge influence on final costs with many manufacturers scrambling to find cheap solutions that can increase their competitive edge. Premium sensors like Sony and Aptina have an effect on the cost of production and engineering.

4k IP cameras and NVRs also benefit from the mainstream branding of 4K TVs and household appliances. This mainstream resolution is now a must-have for any new video product on the market and will soon be dominant in the CCTV and surveillance world as well.

Another advancement in technology that has also increased UHD penetration into the markets is storage size. Western digital and Seagate have both introduced 8 TB and 10 TB hard drives that are dropping in price very quickly. There is even a display for a 12TB HDD visible in the pictures from the last CPSE security trade show in China. These new mega storage hard drives allow simpler cased designs with smaller power supplies which in turn lowers the cost of recorder manufacturing.  With so many affordable storage options and low-cost hybrid recorders, there is little doubt that 4K CCTV will make a big splash in 2018.

Be sure to shop the latest line of Cortex IP cameras and NVRs that will provide your clients with great value and long term performance.

UHD Cortex IP

Cortex IP cameras with Motorized Zoom Lens

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New 4K CCTV Cameras

Category : General 4K UHD

The latest 4K CCTV cameras were on display during the China public security expo hosted in Shenzhen this year. Many new chipsets are available for UHD security technology which have dramatically dropped the market prices and created a whole new segment for video surveillance.


China public security Shenzhen 2017

2160p UHD CCTV was the most common ultra high definition option available during the show since many of the component manufacturers have really focused on producing affordable solutions for 4K. These components include the sensors but also items like lenses that are very difficult to manufacture in such high resolution. Up to just a few months ago, it was very difficult to find low-cost lenses in the category suitable for 4K. During our visit we noticed at least seven lens manufacturers with a heavy focus on UHD CCTV offers. Now that lenses are available in fixed wide-angle formats and varifocal for 4K CCTV cameras, it easy to assemble affordable, high value 4K systems that can be deployed throughout every industry that utilizes video surveillance. 

A word of warning: with so many component manufacturer is fixated on delivering price driven 4K cameras and 4K recorders Byers must be extremely careful not to indulge in their price oriented decisions and test everything thoroughly in order to achieve a true 4K experience for consumers. An interesting point to focus on our the number of CMOS chip producers and have entered the market and are not competing with famous names like Sony, Panasonic, and Aptina. Although it will be sometime before these smaller CMOS chip manufacturers can perfect their technology and create the stability necessary for infield deployments, there will still be many buyers and manufactures that will attempt to prematurely use these 4K components and create the damage commonly seen during infield testing of new technology. A common word is “guinea pig” which is something that no integrator or installer wants to be. On the bright side, this means that very soon price competition in 4K will reach a boiling point which will create a standard for every day projects. 

Like many security shows around the world, large format drones equipped with video imaging and UHD recording devices have a heavy presence. Many of the manufacturers or targeting military and government uses but also can be very helpful for commercial and industrial applications like land surveying and hazardous area surveillance. The price tag for many of these high tech toys can be astronomical but many times extremely worth it for commercial users. We noticed that firefighting and fire detection are a fantastic use of these military grade drones. 

Drone based video surveillance is growing in popularity very quickly. Although it requires custom programming and some levels of artificial intelligence in order to achieve the desired results, we will soon see border patrol and seen awareness performed by unmanned drones. 

Face detection in video surveillance is it common function which so far has served a little purpose but when used correctly has been useful for storage space saving and alerts of unauthorized individuals in a timescheduled zone. Using many new chipsets that provide additional processing power for artificial intelligence in CCTV engineering firms have put forth face recognition that can map a persons face. By creating a percentage based analysis, this new AI UHD can plot accuracy and compare the scanned faces to internal databases like blacklists that can quickly alert security forces of a potential threat. This new technology is available throughout the video surveillance world and will soon make its way to the field. Although some countries like the United States and Europe will quickly balk at the idea of giving up one’s privacy in the name of safety, it is highly likely that security concerns will outweigh any justification for shelving this technology. If programmed correctly, we envision a future where these AI CCTV tools are integrated into scanning 4K cameras and can even trigger access control locks and gateways. AI with it’s cognitive capabilities will surely change the landscape of the surveillance market. 

Another technology worth mentioning that has also received a boost is the latest generation of EXSDI Which is now capable of 4mp resolutions. This Coax SDI technology is the only interface in the how megapixel range that can do full frame rate at full shutter speeds. This means real time display in the capability of recording at 30 frames per second. 4mp SDI or 4mp EXSDI is available from select distributors worldwide and requires an equally powerful serial digital interface on the recorders. 

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This year the Las Vegas security show was exciting for many new attendees. Displaying the worlds most advanced security countermeasures and preventative technology, the show is attended by countless exhibitors from around the world and visitors alike.


The security show in Las Vegas

While attendance was lower than expected, many of the exhibitors were very happy establishing new contacts with resellers and integrators. Speaking too many of the exhibitors about future plans, many said that they would repeat their attendance in future events.

One interesting technology that was added this year was drone warfare. With so many new UAVs out and ready for deployment countermeasures are hard to find and highly sought after by corporations and government officials.

UAV in ISC West 2017

Many devices and technologies were available on display to either incapacitate or completely take down drones that are trespassing and illegal airspace or pose a security threat. The technology ranged from radio frequency jamming to Nets that can be deployed.

drone killing rifle

As expected many of these new technologies Drew great crowds and fascinated spectators. In most cases some sales or future purchases were discussed. One conversation about drone take down veered off into trained eagles that are being trained to quickly attack and take down drones that enter secure areas.

Many manufactures backtracked from IP VIDEO to analog technology in the high definition form. Technology like AHD and TVI were prevalent throughout the convention and displayed by many famous name brands. Dahua also displayed their latest generation of CVI, another analog high definition format.

New resolutions throughout the show which generated the most buzz included: 3 and 4 MP AHD, 3-4MP TVI, 4K IP using H265 compression which allows increased frame rate and lower bandwidth  requirements.

The theme for this year in the video category was definitely fisheye. With 180° and 360° views, many 4K Ultra HD IP cameras could be found with the dewarping technology built-in or on the accompanying NVRs. Multi sensor cameras in the four, eight, and 12 megapixel categories could also be found throughout the show. Many of these models require specialized software that can stitch the video images together to create one large panoramic view. Another option for these multi sensor cameras is individual use while utilizing only one housing.

In the access control arena, many companies displayed the latest in biometric technology. Radio frequency readers combined with fingerprint and retina scanning technologies were available. In many cases prices and availability fluctuated depending on the brands and country of origin.

In summation, this years ISC West show was not as exciting as we all hoped, but definitely did a great job in displaying new technology. We hope to see everyone again soon at ASIS EXPO.

Author: Moe Updated: April 14 2017

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Category : General 4K UHD

China’s public security expo 2016 Hilton Beijing and attended by thousands of professional security installers and purchasing agents from around the world was an extremely productive event this year. With the latest generations of security cameras and every other solution for electronic security systems on display and available to your curious touch, this show is always a must for any serious security provider. As world markets for security technologies increase and become more competitive it is vital to stay at the forefront and this type of show does not disappoint. 

4K expo

Many Chinese hobbyist and enthusiast also attend these extremely large expositions making an already popular show extremely over crowded. Navigating this Multi building maze is normally very difficult and not well organized. However, this year, apparently after many attend these complaints, the facilities were much better prepared to provide easy access to any specific technology that buyers were seeking. By grouping manufactures in specific arenas of technology a buyer could quickly visit hundreds of booths without having to filter out for a specific industry. Traveling to and from the facilities however remains a challenge with limited access for taxis, extremely long lines at the metro station close by, deadlocked traffic outside at all times. 

Some of the more interesting technologies include  AHD three and four megapixel engineering samples, TVI three megapixel models from many sources, 4K IP as well as the EXSDI solutions, and many new component level solutions that were probably displayed by such producers at Sony, Nextchip and Huawei. 

Much like the last two years many large drone solutions were also on display. In fact so many Autonomous vehicles and unmanned aircraft options we’re available that many visitors stopped finding them interesting and swiftly passed by on-route to more unique offerings. 

Some of our favorite items include:

1. Ultra low cost cameras for kits in packages

2. New DVRs with hybrid solutions that can except up to five unique signals on each channel

3. Ultra high megapixel IP cameras with compatibility for many common NVRs. Some ranging up to the 12 megapixel category

4. New 4K recorders that can capture full frame rate and reproduce multiple channels

5. Advanced analytics software Solutions that actually work

With so many potential new advancements we are eager to move into the future and experience what the security camera world can bring to industry professionals. We are looking forward to our next visit in Shenzhen next year. 

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Hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean

Category : General 4K UHD

During hurricanes and tropical storms homeowners are always extremely concerned with not just a loss of property but also vandalism and theft. Any instance of a tropical storm can quickly lead to opportunity for criminals and opportunistic individuals. Having security cameras installed in both residential and commercial properties abroad cannot just deter the act but also allow remote access, at least will be Internet is still working, for a quick viewing and confirming the lockdown status of the property. 

security camera monitoring for properties during storms

hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean

Here we see the early formation of tropical storm Matthew in the Eastern Caribbean September 2016. The amount of immediate damage two properties throughout the Caribbean is always multipronged. Loss of valuables and a reduction in tourist visits quickly lead to a financial drain for any business owner. Hurricanes and tropical storms also create long-term damage to many areas which also affects the pocketbook. It is vital to have an effective security system in place that will provide peace of mind to  a property owner that lives abroad. Having the ultimate ultra high definition resolution is helpful in identifying important details when a crisis arises. 4K cameras are affordable and extremely available and current marketplace. These UHD cameras Can be used in the Caribbean and other corrosive environment while reproducing the now familiar 4K format. Many of the new DVR’s also have multiple outputs for different styles of monitors. VGA, HDMI, and composite are many times available. 

4K security cameras are the perfect solution for high detail in an ultra secure environment. Wether using this technology in IP camera form or via coaxial cable in an EXSDI System, UHD security cameras are the latest and greatest of all video security Systems. Recorders are also available now in many configurations that allow the processing of the 4K signal. Make sure to inquire about processing power and memory since this increased video size will require additional muscle on the video recorder side. If viewing offsite is necessary make sure you carefully select a device that will allow high definition via networking and provide the same HD format over smart phones and tablets. 

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Small fixed lens 4M IP bullet from Uniview Signature

Category : General 4K UHD

The latest signature offer from Uniview (UNV CCTV) with the new black out IR Cover hits some good notes but overlooks tamper resistance. 

IP bullet with 4 megapixels

The bracket is strong enough to support the heavier body and the wire harness is easy to tuck away. However this IP Bullet camera has an easy to access bracket adjustment and reset switch in the rear that leaves vandals plenty of chances for a quick disable job. 

The graphic menus on the IP camera are clean and efficient with an intuitive structure that can easily be navigated by even the most novice users. Producing 4M video on a small surveillance cameras is no easy feat since the noise ratio is usually higher. The noise creates a breakdown of the resolution in low light with further assistance in interference from the on-board video compression. Many of these models use the now popular OV CMOS which in itself has higher low light noise levels and is widely regarded as a low cost solution for night time surveillance. 

If an Economic solution is desired, then this low cost mini IP 4M bullet has all the features and the necessary low price tag to meet the requirements. This signature up camera from UNV is available from many OEM suppliers at a variety of prices. 

In many ways, the Uniview signature IP Cameras have filled the gap between Dahua and Hikvision for the commercial surveillance industry.