4K Security Cameras For Your Home
UHD – Ultimate Video Definition
Pixels Are Like Rabbits
Tiny Elements of Joy-Keep Coming…
What might just be the most viewed thing by every person, every single day? You’re looking at it right now. The pixel. Electronic communications have gone from subtle electric pulses down the telegraph lines, to Ultra HD face to face chit chat. The pixel has transformed everything, for the rest of modern day life. Soon humans will have made more pixels than all the blades of grass on this planet. While technology is advancing like a rocket, lets do a 4K security cameras review.
UHD & HD Certification
Who has come up with all this? Was it Sony who just said make everything this size? No, there is a group of ‘experts’ laying down the regulations and law for not just TV sizes or camera resolution, but ‘broadcast’ legislation in general. This is why there are standard sizes in the video realm.
The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) writes the international rules concerning digital broadcast signals. Earth bound electronic signals, cable television, and satellite television networks are beholden as a broadcaster, to these sets of rules. The ATSC standards were developed in the 1990s by a group made up of top electronics and telecommunications companies from around the globe.
This special group is called The Grand Alliance, and they have designed and engineered today’s HDTV formats. Frame modes such as 480i,720P, 1080P, 2K, 4K, 8K and so on. The Grand Alliance is comprised of the worlds top electronic manufactures like AT&T Corporation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Philips Consumer Electronics, and the David Sarnoff Research Center are some of the executive members of the assembly. Beginning in 1993, the GA arose from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) who needed another department for handling the regulations associated with broadcast data. Grand Alliance’s digital television (DTV) system is the foundation for the ATSC standards we are currently using today.
So as of now, the Grand Alliance has handed over certification management to the ATSC, which started in 1992. Their job oversees electronic devices and how the software modulated data into the appropriate formats for our TV’s and monitors. Modern encoding and decoding methods are contrived to achieve proper performance from the transmitted data. The ATSC’s scope regulates tuners, receivers, digital satellite transmission, digital subscription transmission, and IPTV data.
4K Resolution Explained
To begin, we can’t understand 4K Security Camera and DVR concepts with out first understanding the basics. Let’s start with the idea of aspect ratios. In the days of glass picture tubes and square TVs, we used the aspect ratio of 4:3. This represents for every 4 units across, there are 3 units up. It worked well for the times, but movies and games drove the industry to provide a longer image frame with more content in the frame. We know movies were slightly different as they would sometimes display “This movie has been altered from the original, It has been formatted to fit you television”. So traveling down the technology road we come to the 16:9 aspect ratio, thanks in part to movies. This states 16 units across with 9 units up and this is the aspect ratio for 4K.
The number, such as ‘4K’ in UHD(which stands for “Ultra High Definition”) , and HD(which stands for “High Definition”) 1080P resolution, represents the pixel count. Hence, 4K equates to 4,000 pixels. When talking about HD frame sizes and resolution up to 1080, it is the vertical pixel count (this will change tho). For instance, 1080P has one thousand and eighty pixel from top to bottom.
Now combine this fact with the aspect ratio of 16:9.
So if you take:
1080/9 = 120
16 * 120 = 1920
The aspect ratio dictates a pixel count of nearly 1920 for the horizontal dimension. So this gave us some insight into how the frame size is calculated. Notice there is not identifier at the end of the 4K? Why not 4KP or 4Ki? Just the way it is. 4K uses a ‘progressive’ method of scanning to assemble the picture content. Its common with most HD and UHD processors.
4K Frame Size
For 2K resolution, and 4K, and greater, we now are using this number as the horizontal pixel count, the opposite for 1080P and lower. 4K resolution has two types, and it’s not 4,000 pixels. I’m sorry but it’s just not. We call it 4K for simplicity. The first 4K is the ‘Cinema’ method. It’s distinction is 4K equals 4,096 pixels horizontal. We generally don’t use this for home consumer goods, we use the other one called ‘Ultra High Definition’. This pixel count is 3,840 pixels. I know, why can’t they just squeeze in a few more pixels? Tell it! That’s just life right now, so 4K(at home) is 3840 pixels wide, and keeping inside our ratio of 16:9,
we can take:
3840 / 16 = 240
240 * 9 = 2160
So our 4K frame dimensions are 3840 x 2160 pixels.
This is the equivalent to an 8MP resolution picture.
Let’s overlay a 1080 HD frame size over a 4K frame size to compare. See Fig.1
Why is Ultra HD 4K better?
Why does 4K perform better than other current resolutions? Why would you care? Having great picture quality isn’t hard to achieve. It can be done with analog 960H and it can be done with 720P, so why is 4K better. Because more pixels are better. Why?
It’s Not Like The Movies!
One thing common to many security systems is the digital zoom. We have all seen some movie where the control room zooms in on someones face and computer software puts a grid over there features, or how about the license plate zoom while the bad guys speed off. These are exaggerated scenarios and can’t be done with the average home security system. Until 4K resolution that is. Having a security system with zoom features can be dramatically improved with higher resolution cameras. Zooming in multiple times on a license plate or face of a person is truly accurate and the result will have little to no pixel breakdown. Zooming in analog footage and even low lighting 720P images can result in loss of detail and an image that is not very useful as evidence. It can just turn blocky after zooming. What if you could have 4 times the detail to zoom thru? That would make things much clearer. When using 1080P resolution, zooming looses clarity after about 35-40ft. The resolution can’t keep up with the demand for an accurate image at that point. When using the new 4K security cameras(8MP and up to 12MP) the data at each pixel block is 4 times greater and it results in clear features and detail that criminals can’t dispute!
Enhanced Media Technology
When the entire point of a security camera is to ‘see’ things, it’s not hard to understand a better camera will give you better results. When it comes to video resolutions, technology quickly moves forward to bigger and better things. The funny thing about burglars or thieves is they never pose for pictures. They are always moving here or there. Running, dancing and maybe even fighting with the locals! The average 1080P or 1080N security system has great clarity. But now, 4K offers almost 4X’s the pixel data, taking the blur out of moving objects and people.
HD 1080 vs. UHD 4K Pixel Count
|Resolution||Frame Size||Pixel Total|
|HD 1080||1080 x 1920||2,073,600 pixels|
|UHD 4K||3840 x 2160||8,294,400 pixels|
4K Security Cameras
Before today’s incredibly versatile cameras, analog cameras needed magnetic film, a digital camera needs a sensor that converts light into electrical charges and a file system to store the information. Within a good quality digital security camera there will be one of two kinds of sensors for image creation.
- CCD-The first type is referenced as a CCD IC which stands for charge coupled device. This takes charges created by light sensing material and converts them into image data. Beginning at one corner of the pixel array and moving across and up to complete the array data. After that the remaining circuitry will assemble a file of data for the image.
- CMOS-A second alternative to CCD is the CMOS IC. Using complementary transistor pairs internal to the IC, it transforms light charges to data and the reaming circuitry converts it to electronic highs(1) and lows(0). And then on to the file assembly for us to find and use.
The image sensor dictates at what resolution an image or video is captured by the camera. With 4K security cameras, there will be approximately 3,840 x 2160 pixels captured as a complete frame. Then it is coded into digital buss data and sent as 1’s and 0’s to the UHD 4K DVR recorder.
CCTV to 4K IP Cameras
As other forms of security camera systems, manufacturers of 4K products have scrambled and gone out and covered all the bases. So far we can find some great 8 channel camera systems, also immensely defined video from IP cameras moving 4K resolution.
IP network cameras are equipped with 4K optics and give High Definition streaming live 24-7 to your smartphone. They are primarily designed for indoor use. Shelf size models are light and compact. Pet and baby can be seen quickly with a few screen taps. Full panning is something CCTV can’t offer, many units give full 355+ degrees of head turning adjustment. The digital zoom is second to none as it is detail city when 4K is involved. The tilt up is not as wide as the sweep left to right. IP’s will get to around 100 degrees of movement.
Another high point with these IP cameras is they come wireless. Strong signal boost and accurate modulation means not interference or letting a signal land where it shouldn’t. This reduces wires and increases location choices. Win Win. With some much video data flowing it is a common feature to have built in speaker and microphone for 2- way communication. And lastly the IP differ from CCTV in that many house a port for SD cards. Plug in your choice of size and load footage directly to that card. No fuss and hassle free.
CCTV units offer outdoor ruggedness not found in plastic shelled IP cameras. The IP66 standards keep cameras strong and sealed. Night vision can be seen up to 50 feet and graininess is reduced at the 4K level. Many complete packages come with 4,6,8,16 and more cameras with image sensors ready for sun and shade at 8,294,400 pixels. Sound and sensor expansion can easily be done with the accompanied NVR unit.
4K Security DVRs
Record In Your Favorite Format
DVR stands for ‘Digital Video Recorder’ and NVR stands for ‘Network Video Recorder’ and they both do essentially the same job. To record video data from the camera(s) and have it available and searchable for users at a later time. DVRs record digital signals by gathering the converted binary MPEG information being received and storing it much like a computer would allocate space on the disc drive for the new data. The HDD drives for 4K DVR’s and NVR’s are impressive with 3TB Hard Drives being pre-installed on many units.
The resolution you choose to record at is set in the DVR GUI. You can select 4K, but you also have the option to record at lower rates (1080, 720, 480, ect…) to accommodate older cameras if doing so.
High grade security products for Lorex function in the 4K resolution on 16 simultaneous channels . Lorex has made millions of security cameras and complete systems, and they keep getting smarter and more powerful. This is no exception as an example of a 4K DVR or NVR in this case, let’s look at the NR9163.
Powerful Controls and Latest Features
Compatibility- This Lorex NR9163 network video recorder (NVR) is compatible with IP security cameras from 720p all the way to 4K resolution. So getting your current IP to talk to this NVR is as simple as connection inputs.
Connectivity- It contains sixteen built-in Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports. Bring power to your cameras, and bring back video and audio in exchange. Really great for DIY installs.
Capacity To Run and Run- and a 3 terabyte security certified hard drive. It can also be connected to our innovative FLIR Secure app for easy remote monitoring from your smartphone or tablet. Whether you need it for your home or business, 4K resolution will provide the best chance to capture the specific details you need should an incident occur. NR9163.
- Real-time recording up to 8MP on all channels
- Supports industry-leading 4K recording
- 16 built-in PoE (Power over Ethernet) ports
- Expandable high capacity storage up to 12TB
- 24/7 security-grade pre-installed 3TB hard drive
Hours of Lab Testing and Draft Table Designing has developed a high level of quality for our way of life.
This unit is simply stunning in overall packaging and workmanship.
Featuring modern styling, and practical function. It will be reliable and dependable when you need it.
Backed by the industries leading suppliers. Your lifestyle will be enhanced with simplicity.
Connecting 4K at Home
Just saying “4K camera” sounds expensive doesn’t it? But, as far as electronic gadgets go, 4K security systems are reasonably priced compared to very similar products in the HD(720P, 1080P) range. The affordability between a newer 4K security system and HD system either 720 or 1080, we find that they are not too much different. Shop and compare a large selection of 4K IPs DVRs and CCTV systems here.
You Need This to Play
Do you need a special router for 4K resolution. The short answer is no you don’t. A good router from within the last 5 or so years will keep up just fine. So as long as your current setup works well for you this should be an addition the same as any other device on the home WiFi network. Now you will need a 4K monitor to bring all that detail to your eye balls. Yes an 1080P will only reproduce the image in a scaled down format and you toss out all that great clarity you worked for. So a good 4K security monitor is a necessity for this resolution. Your TV may double as a security monitor if it can output UHD 4K.
Beyond 4K Resolution
Where Security Resolution is Headed
Right now we care about 4K but sadly soon we won’t bother. The next pixel count is coming, don’t worry. It’s 8K right? So how many pixels is and 8K frame size? 7,680 x 4320 pixels. That is 33,177,660 squares of color and light! There are new standard in the works from the ATSC (standards 3.0 I believe) meaning 4K is already planned to be replaced with something. That might take awhile as televisions sales are slowly moving in that direction. Well what if it went to 18K? That is totally possible, an 18K Camera is available right now, from Russia.
Bring One Home
4K is still a baby, eh baby bunny?…and it will hang around our lives for a few years yet. The newest TV’s from the largest manufacturers are based around up coming content for the 4K format. More shows and movies are created each day to satisfy 4K demand. As you my know security cameras are just this year starting to populate the consumer shelves and displays signalling a long time to get to know your favorite content in brilliant UHD 4K.
You can not go wrong with a good quality 4K security system for your home or business.