DIY Ensuring Plug-Play and Handy Surveillance

Chinese manufacturers are targeting the home security market with DIY plug play products from GPS car alarm systems, wireless devices, DIY baby monitors and surveillance kits to hidden or spy cameras and portable DVRs with embedded LCD monitors.

In China and Taiwan, manufacturers of electronic security products are developing baby monitors, DIY surveillance kits and hidden (spy) cameras. Most of these low-priced products offer easy installation and low-cost maintenance, while others tout wireless features. Makers are also enhancing product quality to beat out fierce competition. While most are concentrating on wireless DIY home security products, the biggest challenge is making wireless surveillance as reliable and flexible as wired systems. Prices of baby monitors should drop by five percent in 2008. Cost depends on functions and screen size. Mainstream models with CMOS sensors, 2.5-inch LCD screens, 2.4-GHz transmission and sound detection occupy the mid range.

Meanwhile, prices of DIY surveillance kits and hidden cameras are expected to remain stable. DIY surveillance kit prices depend on cost of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Hidden camera prices are governed by sensor type, form factor and housing material. Generally, a hidden camera in a smoke detector with a black white CCD sensor costs at least US$10, while a high-end model with a Sony Super HAD CCD sensor is twice the price. Longse's LS-8004BK DIY integrated monitor DVR suite with color CCD cameras includes a four-channel DVR with optional LCD, four IR CCD cameras, and accessories like brackets, camera power, IR r emote controller and wires.

Its DVR features real - time recording and playback in quad mode motion detection, and video loss alarms that support continuous motion detection. Sensors that activate time schedule recording and client software are provided. It also has a built-in HDD rack and USB2.0 port. Users get 14 days of recorded data at seven frames per second with a hard-disk drive of 120 gigabytes. The optional 10.2-inch color LCD monitor rounds out the offering.

The IR CCD cameras can be customized with one-third inch Sony or Sharp CCDs and feature 420 TVL resolution, automatic gain control (AGC), 0.5 lux, 26 IR LEDs for 15-meter night view, high S/N ratio, low illumination and backlight compensation. The housing is weatherproof with a sun shield protecting the cover.

Longse also has camera with display product kits for IR cameras and CRT/ TFT LCD monitors with optional 3.6-millimeter F2.0 board lenses. The LCDS-MB55 delivers a CCTV monitor and camera system with 200 mA audio output and 10 watt power consumption. It has a one-third inch Sharp black-white CCD and weather-proof IR that supports zero lux, auto white balance and 200-meter radiant distance. The five-inch CRT monitor features 200 mA audio output and about 10-watt power consumption. Then, the LCVACDS-MC70 comes with a one-third inch sharp CCD weather-proof camera capable of 200-meter viewing distance. The display monitor is a five-inch color TFT LCD.

Looking at GPS vehicle tracking systems, Wenzhou Times has launched its LD28891 GPS tracking systems with MP3 and MP4, and photo viewer with clock and calendar equipped with a Sirf Star III chipset. The LD28891 comes with a car tracker, GPS with a Samsung S3C2440 400MHz CPU that uses Microsoft Windows CE 4.2. The SD card is 256 megabytes to two gigabytes. The built-in GPS 20-channel receiver with GPS antenna has 90 percent location precision for 10 meters. This product features voice step-by-step guidance and one SD card slot with USB1.1 transmission. It has rechargeable lithium batteries for continuous operation for 3.5 hours. The LD28891 supports WMV, MPEG-4, ASF and AVI video formats, and MP3, MP4, WAV and WMA9 audio formats. The photo viewer supports BMP and JPG formats. It also supports earphone output, 3.5 inch touch screen TFT-LCD, 4:3 in 64,000 colors and handwriting input.

For portable DVRs, Goscam and RDI have launched a baby monitor series and some suppliers, like Surway, have wireless DVR solutions with 100-meter distance and JPEG compression in CIF. Channel frequency is 2,414 MHz (channel 1), 2,432 MHz (channel 2), 2,450 MHz (channel 3) and 2,468 MHz (channel 4). Telehof's DVR-2V1 is the mini standalone real-time DVR features plug-play installation and operation. Dimensions are only 115 millimeters by 80 millimeters by 31 millimeters and it weighs only 105 grams. Meanwhile, it supports motion detection with up to two gigabytes of storage (changeable SD cards). It is compatible with two Telehof high-quality cameras. It is an ideal DIY surveillance kit that is suitable for residences, offices, stores or baby rooms. The DVR-2V1 offers real-time display and playback. The Mini DVR provides one channel, full-screen view or two-channel, picture-in-picture mode.

When the unit detects motion (using the two-gigabyte SD card), it automatically snaps up to 35,000 photos at JPEG compression, or records up to 9.7 hours and 3,500 AVI video clips. By pressing convenient buttons and with the user friendly menu interface, users can easily operate and set functions like the TV system, motion detection area, motion detection interval and motion detection sensitivity. It can be powered by five volts DC or 12 volts DC (with an adapter). And it is CE approved and RoHS compliant. Goscam's 8110 LC portable DVR with mini camera and 2.5-inch TFT LCD monitor comes with 640-by-240 pixel resolution and a miniaturized camera for hidden wearing. The 8110 LC is suitable for outdoor applications with its waterproof and anti-dust protection. The product has embedded IR LEDs for five-meter night viewing distance. Video recording and saving on SD cards are supported. The rechargeable lithium battery inside the monitor is the power supply for the camera as well. WAM, ASF, AVI, MP3, WAV, JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG and TXT file formats, and PMP playing and multiple entertainment functions are supported.

The camera and receiver provide a CMOS sensor, 720-by-480 pixel resolution, 48-dB S/N ratio and zero lux (IR on). The receiver features sensitivity of less than -85 dBm to deliver anti-jamming and one-gigabyte video recording capacity.

Finally RDI's CMR5036 wireless DVR monitor system with motion detection and digital photo frame has a 3.6-inch DVR monitor and 2-in-1 DIY kit, integrating monitoring and digital photo frame functions. It has preset recording, full-time recording or alarm recording with motion detection. The product displays picture slide shows as well. Any triggering activates the slides back to live image  display. It supports a two-gigabyte SD card for storage of display images and video files.

The camera provides nightviewing,  motion detection, desktop stand and wall mounting, and a weather-resistant design. The 3.6-inch LCD with DVR function supports up to three camera inputs, auto and manual control, adjustable brightness, contrast, color and alarm volume, manual, and auto or preset time recording. The product connects A/V input for TV program recording and it has a built-in SD card slot.

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