The easiest and most affordable way to organize a surveillance system is to connect a USB camera to the computer. Naturally, such a solution has minimal functionality, but is quite suitable for home use.
It is immediately worth noting that it is unacceptable to use such equipment for professional surveillance (with clear requirements for technical specifications and safety level).
There are two options for organizing surveillance via USB:
- analog equipment connected via a USB converter;
- classic USB digital cameras (WEB-camera, “webcam”).
In the first case, special equipment is used. a USB converter, which is a compact recorder (capture card with a USB interface). Depending on the model of the converter, from 1 to 4 analog cameras can be connected to the device.
The advantages of the converter include compact dimensions, easy installation and configuration, as well as full compatibility with computers and laptops with the Windows operating system. The main disadvantages are limited functionality and low image quality in comparison with full-fledged DVRs.
Classic USB cameras allow you to organize surveillance in just a few minutes. A large number of models are presented on the market.
Preference is given to modern equipment with HD resolution (1280 × 720 pixels) and a built-in microphone. You can use cheaper cameras with a resolution of 0.3 megapixels, but the image quality will be below average.
There are models on sale with built-in infrared illumination for shooting in the dark. As a rule, IR illumination is turned on automatically (there is a light sensor on the equipment case).
Key Benefits of USB Digital Cameras. low price, easy connection and a very wide range.
- minimum functionality;
- installation restrictions (cable length. not more than 5 m;
- at high values, it is necessary to use a special signal amplifier).
USB CAMERA SOFTWARE
To implement surveillance based on USB cameras, you must install the appropriate software on your PC.
Most USB digital cameras and converters are sold with a disc on which drivers and software are recorded. Also, the minimum set of utilities can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
Converter software is usually included. So, the popular EasyCAP002 DVR converter model is designed to work with Super Viewer.
The software allows you to quickly switch between connected cameras, set up time recording, take screenshots and save files to your computer or laptop hard drive.
For surveillance using digital USB cameras, as a rule, third-party software is used that significantly extends the functionality of even the simplest models. There are both paid and free versions of programs.
- WebcamXP is one of the most popular programs. The main advantages are flexible settings, compatibility with almost all camera models, the ability to use a motion sensor to send alerts by email.
- Mobile Computer Control. built-in recording scheduler, motion detector, the ability to remotely control a computer through a mobile phone.
- Xeoma. no installation required (can be launched from a memory card), support for all types of cameras, motion detector, notification mode.
- Ivideon Server is an interesting solution with the possibility of cloud surveillance. If the PC is not connected to the Internet, you can only use the client program to save the to your hard drive.
All of the above programs were created as affordable analogues of specialized software for security systems. And mainly used to organize the simplest home surveillance. Also, such software is often installed by owners of small outlets to monitor employees and customers.
HOW TO CONNECT A CCTV CAMERA TO USB
The digital camera (“webcam”) is already equipped with a standard USB connector for connecting to a computer or laptop. Most camcorders are designed for standard USB 2.0.
However, models with high-resolution matrices, up to 10 megapixels (for example, Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920), which work better when connected via USB 3.0, are gaining popularity.
High speed data transfer allows you to realize all the advantages of high resolution images. It should be borne in mind that saving files in high resolution requires much more space on your hard drive.
After connecting the device, you must install the driver (usually included or available on the manufacturer’s website), and the software to choose from.
Connecting the converter is also not fraught with special difficulties. Almost all models connect to a USB 2.0 port. To connect analog cameras, the device is equipped with standard composite RCA connectors (tulip).
connectors are yellow, audio is white. The converter can be connected either directly or through a regular USB extension cable.
After connecting the device, the driver and software are installed. For converters, it is recommended that you use the software provided.
- No picture. the device is not recognized by the operating system. The solution is to reinstall the driver.
- The camera works intermittently, image freezes, etc. The solution is to check the quality of the USB connection. If an extension cord is used, it is necessary to check the operation of the camera without it (signal attenuation is possible).
In general, a surveillance system based on USB equipment is quite reliable, with special attention being paid to the technical condition of a computer or laptop.
When choosing a digital USB camera for surveillance, it is recommended to pay attention to models from well-known manufacturers:
For surveillance in the dark, it is better to choose a camera with IR illumination (available model. A4Tech PK-333E). The advantage for USB cameras is the presence of autofocus, a built-in microphone and a rotary mechanism for orientation of the lens.
If there are no special requirements for image quality, you can use the available models with a resolution of the VGA standard.
Since the standard length of the camera’s USB cable rarely exceeds 1.5 meters, an extension cord is required to select the optimal installation location. It is not recommended to use low-quality extension cords longer than 5 m. After installing the camera, it is necessary to test the performance of the equipment in all modes.
You can connect any analog cameras to the USB converter. When organizing a surveillance system, you can use several types of cameras:
- street, etc.
Considering the limited functionality of systems based on USB cameras and converters, it is recommended to pay attention to more advanced IP surveillance from a technical point of view.
But with low system requirements, this equipment is the best choice in terms of economy. You only need to connect a web camera and install the appropriate software.