Tech Talk - Understanding Security System Industry Terms

Author: PREP SECURITY | | Categories: Commercial Security , Residential Security , Security Cameras , Security System


Every industry has its own language and terms. These words and phrases can be confusing to anyone who is not part of a specific industry’s daily operations, and the security system sector is no exception.

To help you understand the terms, acronyms, and phrases extensively used when talking to a security system professional, Prep Security has created this handy reference guide. Here you’ll find valuable information allowing you to comprehend and communicate your security system needs effectively.

DVR: Digital Video Recorder - Device that records video onto a hard drive or other storage devices.

NVR: Network Video Recorder - Specialized hardware that IP cameras use to record onto a hard drive or other storage devices. Sometimes these are Windows-based and are called servers. Many are embedded NVRs, meaning the operating system is embedded on the circuit board in a “box” similar in size to a DVD player.

VMS: Video Management Software - Software that runs on a Windows-based machine to collect and store video from cameras.

IR: Infrared Light - Comes on to help with night vision on the cameras to capture images in dark areas or at night. When the IRs come in the picture goes into black and white mode.

POE: Power Over Ethernet - IP cameras are usually POE, meaning instead of needing a separate power supply like HDCVI or analog cameras, either a POE capable network switch gets used, or sometimes the NVR has the ability to power the cameras.

HDCVI cameras: High Definition Composite Video Interface - These cameras get wired with a coax and power wire back to a DVR and power supply. HDCVI is one of many HD over coax technologies.

IP Camera: Internet Protocol Camera -These cameras are wired with Cat5/6 back to either an NVR or a POE network switch. They use an IP address to communicate with the network.

WDR: Wide Dynamic Range - Used to describe a camera’s ability to handle bright and dark conditions.

Fixed lens - A camera lens that does not have zoom capability, but is suitable for close-range monitoring.

Vari-focal lens - A camera lens that allows you to adjust the field of view when zooming in or out. This can be either manually done at the camera or with motorized lenses, which can be adjusted remotely and keeps a quality picture with an autofocus feature.

Dome camera - A camera style with a clear dome to cover the camera and protect the lens. Typically used for its discreet design or when a Vandal-resistant solution is needed.

Bullet camera - Camera style that is cylindrical in shape and often gets often is used in outdoor scenarios as a deterrent. These cameras have a more extended IR range for better nighttime coverage.

Eyeball or Turret camera - A camera style that has a ball and socket design which allows it to rotate freely until secured in its base. They are less vandal-proof than dome styles.

Cat5/6 - This is the cable used for IP cameras, data runs, and ethernet cables. The cable has four pairs of wires that get twisted in the sheathing to help with data transfer speed.

Coax or RG59 - This is another wire type that is used for HDCVI or analog cameras that can run further than cat5/6, but has to connect directly into the DVR.

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Our solutions include video surveillance, network cabling, security alarms, communications, and audio/visual. We also provide access control for clients.

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