Month: March 2016

How We Can Choose Display Interface for Video Surveillance

viVideo interfaces connect the monitor to the Image decoding device. Concerns over image quality and video protection has led to significant changes in display interface technology gradually. Although the VGA interface is still used in PCs, the future is moving to digital interfaces. Various methods including analog connector, hybrid digital plus analog interfaces and several digital interfaces have been developed up to now. However, there is some overlap in the features of display interfaces. We study several practical analog and digital video interfaces.

Analog display interfaces

S-video

S-video, standing for Separate Video, transmits video signals over a cable by dividing into two separate signals: one for color and another for brightness. Due to this separation, sharper and higher quality images than composite video can be achieved. S-video does not carry audio, so it commonly run with red and white RCA audio cables.

Component video

This video interface is superior over both composite and S-video. Because its three cables better preserve the various elements of the video signal including brightness and color, resulting in enhanced picture quality. Component video uses three RCA connections, Red, Blue and Green to send video signals. It carries visual data only, meaning that audio cables are still required. Hence, it is usually paired with stereo (red and white) RCA audio connections.

VGA

VGA or Video Graphics Array is the most popular video connection between computers and monitors. It is used on computer video cards, projectors and set top boxes. A standard VGA connection has 15 pins and supports display resolution of 640*480 pixels, while enhanced version SVGA is allowed for resolution of 1024*768. It is worth mentioning that the maximum resolution is limited by the connector bandwidth and cable quality and length.

In the VGA connector, due to tiny little pins into a small connector, building small coaxial cables is hard.

Digital display interfaces

DVI

Digital Video Interface (DVI) has been designed as a replacement for VGA (analog interface). However, in some cases DVI still supports analog displays. In fact, DVI is the only standard which can carry both analog and digital signals on one interface. If the display is analog, the DVI connection will convert the digital signal to an analog signal, otherwise no conversion will be necessary. It is worth mentioning that, the analog video bandwidth of DVI is higher than VGA, thus higher resolution can be supported compared to VGA. So, it can be applied by high resolution displays such as UXGA and HDTV.

DVI cables or ports with fewer pins are designed for lower resolution devices. In order to support maximum resolution, the DVI port should contain all the pins. Since DVI does not support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) encryption by default, by using hardware which only includes DVI ports, the video protection is not guaranteed. This is the biggest drawback of DVI. Since HDCP protects video from illegal copying, this feature is very critical for video surveillance systems.

DVI has several variants: DVI-D (digital only), DVI-A (analog only) and integrated DVI-I which carries both digital and analog video. DVI connections are popular on computer video cards, monitors and projectors.

HDMI

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) transmits uncompressed digital HD video and audio data in a single cable, while other connections require separate cables for audio and video. For instance, a component cable connection uses three cables for video and two for audio, resulting in five cables totally. While using HDMI, the uncompressed audio and video information can be transmitted using one cable, thus cable clutter is eliminated greatly.

Since HDMI is a digital connection, it is more robust to interference and noise problem compared to analog connections. Since most processes are the digital such as DVD players, Blue-ray players and game consoles, so by using HDMI for these consumers the analog to digital conversion will be eliminated. So, it leads to better quality picture and sound compared to other connections. Also HDMI supports HDCP, meaning that it is practical for video surveillance systems. HDMI connection is the most popular display interface, found on every TV, AV receiver, Blue-ray disk player, DVR, laptops and digital cameras, because by using HDMI, there is no need to buy separate audio and video cables. Therefore, fewer cables and connections are used.

DisplayPort

DisplayPort as a standard port to connect PCs, laptops, and other computers to video monitors has been called ultimate digital connection. It is a high definition AV connection which transmits audio and video data over a single cable with a locking connector. DisplayPort is a simple but high bandwidth interface which provides true digital images and clear sounds. It can even supply power.

One of the advantages of DisplayPort is that it works with older technology, as by using simple adapters, it is compatible with VGA, DVI even HDMI. DisplayPort enables high display performance, robustness, versatility, highest degree of system integration, and great interoperability among various device types. DisplayPort was originally developed as the next generation personal computer display interface and is now available on a wide range of tablets, notebooks, desktop computers and monitors. It is included on all newer Macs and many Dell, HP, and Lenovo computers and is also available on video graphics cards. DisplayPort can be used for consumer electronics but is not common.

DisplayPort is hot-pluggable, meaning that connections can be reconfigured without the need to restart the device. Also DisplayPort supports DPCP (DisplayPort Content Protection) and HDCP (High bandwidth Digital Content Protection). These two prevent illegal copying, so they are very critical in video security.

Comparing HDMI and DisplayPort

HDMI and DisplayPort are modern serial interfaces to transmit digital video over cables from one device to another. They are replacement for analog interfaces like VGA and S-video. DisplayPort is a newer connector can be found on Apple’s iMac desktops. It is compatible with HDMI signals, thus product interoperability is achieved.

The HDMI and DisplayPort both carry audio and video data on a same cable. They also support High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) to encrypt copyrighted video and audio data for the newest HD content. Therefore, data is protected from being played or copied during transmission over the interface.

Transmitting video and audio in high definition format (HD) must be conducted through interfaces with high data transfer rate. HDMI and DisplayPort are both high-speed digital interfaces, but they differ in several aspects. HDMI is mainly used for consumer electronics equipment, while DisplayPort is primarily developed for computer and peripheral video connections. In the following some of the main differences between these two, are studied.

Type of connector:

There are three main types of HDMI ports, each with 19 pins. The standard size (Type A) commonly found on TVs, projectors, set-top boxes and laptops. Smaller HDMI (Type B) is called mini- and mainly found on some laptops and tablets. The smallest is micro-HDMI (Type C) found on tablets and smartphones.

DisplayPort is available in two different types with 20 pins. One of them is the full-size version and the other is smaller called Mini DisplayPort which is used in Apple laptops.

Supporting the quantity of monitors (video and audio stream):

In video surveillance, using more than one display is preferable. Also, many gamers use two or more monitors simultaneously. HDMI can handle single video stream and a single audio stream, so it can support only one display at a time.

On the other hand, DiaplayPort can connect to multiple monitors up to four with a 1920-by-1200 pixel resolution. By using multiple DisplayPort interfaces, connecting as many as six display to one output is feasible.

Cable length:

The maximum cable length supported by each interface is an important subject. Since high data rate signals will be degraded over lengths, so cables should be kept short. A maximum HDMI cable length has not been specified, and a wide range of lengths is available, but manufacturers limit them to 15 meters (about 49 feet). For instance, by HDMI cables as long as 50 feet, the quality of video data has been degraded. In order to cover a long distance, a signal booster or an active cable to amplify the signal might be needed.

For DisplayPort, 3840- by- 2160 pixels (4K) video over a length up to 2 meters by using a passive cable can be achieved. Also, running a passive cable up to 15 meters is possible, but resolution will be limited to 1080p (full-HD), as defined by the standard.

Ethernet channel:

DisplayPort does not support Ethernet data and the standard does not have an audio return channel, while by using the latest version of HDMI, 100 Mbps HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC) can be implemented. HEC is used primarily for audio control.

The Ethernet channel can be used to provide an Internet connection between devices, especially when HDMI devices are used for streaming video or other content from the Internet.

Advantages of HDMI in video surveillance

HDMI cables have several advantages that make it superior over some interfaces like DVI and component video, especially in video surveillance systems.

HDMI includes all components of both video and audio data in one cable, so there is no need for extra cables. Because, everything is contained in one compact cable package. HDMI transmission line could be used instead of at most 13 similar transmission lines, thus the problem of cable clutter will be solved effectively.

On the other hand, like many other modern data transmission cables, an HDMI cable is composed of a series of twisted pairs. It has been proved that this cable manufacturing technology, is superior over other cables even huge coaxial cables for reducing noise and interferences. Also HDMI guarantees HDCP, thus video information is protected from copying during transmission, confirming its benefit in video surveillance.

Why we should consider DisplayPort in addition to HDMI in video surveillance?

In video streaming, choosing the types of video connection to stream the content to the display is an important issue. Over the years, delivering this content through HDMI, DVI, and VGA cables has been the most popular method.

In recent years, a new technology called DisplayPort has been developed. It has slowly been adopted by motherboard and displays. By the newest version DisplayPort 1.2, achieving to 4K60p resolution (3840×2160@60Hz) is possible, while HDMI only provides this resolution at half the frame rate or less.

The most important advantage of DisplayPort 1.2 over the other standards is a Multi-Stream Transport (MST) technology, in which DisplayPort can transfer multiple video streams from one video output by using 21.6 Gbps bandwidth. Therefore, achieving up to 4 displays with 1080p resolution from a single DisplayPort output is possible, confirming the benefit of DisplayPort for video surveillance.

 

What Are the Advantages of Using Cloud Migration Services

man2Many companies today around the world are looking to switch to cloud based solutions for their businesses. These can include switching to office tools such as Google Apps or Office 365, or instead adopting the use of software such as Xero and Unleashed, which fulfil entirely different purposes altogether.

Although these are some of the most popular cloud solutions, more and more options are appearing on the market on a regular basis, which can be considered a testament to the success of cloud as a modern day software solution for business.

With that said, switching over to cloud based solutions from traditional ones can be a stressful and confusing business. It is for this very reason that more and more people are looking for independent service providers and IT experts to help them make the move. Here are some of the main advantages of seeking out professional help in this instance.

The first benefit of using professional Office 365 or Google for work migration services is that this will take the effort and stress of the whole endeavour out of the hands of business owners who are not sure how to effectively manage the entire operation themselves.

In the case of larger businesses, there are often IT departments which are tasked with carrying out these kinds of improvements and updates on a regular basis. Due to budget and manpower restrictions affecting smaller companies, it is often a great idea to call in an expert who truly knows what he or she is doing.

As many people will often recount, switching to cloud based services seems relatively simple on paper, yet it can be long, time-consuming and even highly confusing if you are not very technically-proficient or are concerned about making a major error. For this reason, Office 36 and Google for work migration services have become very popular.

The advantage is basically that dangerous mistakes will be avoided with a full and carefully thought-out plan put into place by the professional in question, and it will not take up any of the business owner’s time. No mistakes mixed with efficiency will mean that the business will have a smooth transition into the use of cloud solutions.

The next important point to make is that hiring a professional to complete your migration means that your company will be able to incorporate several solutions at once, not only limiting itself to an Office 365 or Google Apps migration.

In many cases, businesses benefit from integrating several different types of cloud solution into their business, and a professional company will be able to help plan things accurately and strategically to make sure that this is handled carefully, thoughtfully and efficiently in order for there to be minimum disruption to business.

Furthermore as well as providing Xero, Unleashed or Google for work migration services, it is also possible for these professionals to carefully analyse each company’s needs before carrying out a migration. This is important, as for those people who are not experts in the area can find it difficult to determine the right product or solution for them.

Instead, experts will be able to use their combined knowledge of different cloud software together with their experience to fashion a tailored solution for each and every client. This will ultimately lead to much better results and a business with a fully integrated cloud solution that works like clockwork.

Although it is a wise move for many companies to considered switching to cloud solutions for their business, it is not always so wise to go it alone. Instead, it is worth finding a service provider who will help you make the switch, as this can lead to great efficiency and business success in both the short term and the long term.

6 Interesting Things You Should Know About Fiber Optic Cables

cavWhile fiber optic cables have been around for long, few people know about it. Here are 6 things that you should know about them:

They have a solid history

Although, many people started hearing of these cables in the 1990’s they have been there since 1870’s. Just like any other technology, the cables have been growing and improving everyday and they will continue being made better.

They are green

To protect the environment, companies have been coming up with harmless products. Fiber optic cables are one of the harmless products that consume just minimal amounts of light to transfer data from one place to another. Due to the low energy required, low levels of carbon dioxide are released thus the environment is protected. The low energy also means that the cost of running the cables is low which saves money to network owners. The users also have a great experience.

The cable uses light

Most of the data cables known to mankind use power to transfer data, but this isn’t the case with fiber optics. The units use light thus there is no heat involved. Absence of heat means that the cable isn’t a fire hazard; therefore, you don’t have to shy away from installing it in your home or office.

They transfer data fast

Due to their increased capacity, the units have been shown to transmit data much faster compared to their traditional counterparts. Currently, the units have the ability of transmitting up to 16 terabits of data in one second over a 7,000km distance. The fast nature of the units and their high capacities translates to fewer connections and great experience to both the network owner and consumer.

They have a wide range of applications

If you ask many people, they will tell you that fiber optic cables are only used in transferring computer data. While the units are heavily used in this application, they are also used in other areas such as: art, signs, imaging optics, spectroscopy, gun sights and artificial Christmas trees.

They are weather resistant

Since the units use light instead of electricity like the traditional units, they aren’t affected by changes in rain, temperature, cold and other weather conditions.

3 Reasons You Need a Cloud Computing Support Service

lopIf you have a computer, tablet or any other valuable electric device in your home you need to have a surge protector. This is a device that protects your electronics from voltage spikes. Traditionally, voltage ranges between 110-120 volts. When there are problems, the voltage increases up to 170 volts putting your devices at the risk of getting damaged.

Voltage spikes are brought about by many factors including: tripped circuit breakers, lightening strikes, downed power lines, malfunctions at the power company, and on/off cycles of large appliances and tools.

How the surge protector works

The protectors have a simple working formula-they short-circuit power surges and redirect them to the electrical ground. The devices have the capability of working up to 200 volts. Extremely high spikes brought about by lightening can damage the protectors; therefore, you should protect them from damage by unplugging them when lightening is too strong.

Factors to consider when buying surge protectors

For you to buy the right protector you need to consider these factors:

Type of protector: There are four types of protectors in the market that you can go for: battery backup, wall mount, whole house and surge protector strip. Each type has its pros and cons. You should research and find the one that is right for your needs.

Number of ports: The number of ports in the protector that you choose should be informed by the devices that you are looking to protect. If you are looking for a protector for your home appliances, you can go for a protector with many ports, but if you are looking for a travel protector, go for a protector with a few ports to make it easy for you to travel with it.

Absorption rating and clamping voltage: Absorption rating is the amount of energy that the protector can absorb before it fails. The rating is usually given in joules. For ideal results, go for a device with absorption rating of 700 joules or higher.

Clamping voltage is the voltage that triggers the protector. Go with a device with a lower clamping voltage. The voltage can be 400 volts or less.

Certification: To have peace of mind that your devices are fully protected go for a protector that is certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories. The protector should also meet UL 1449 standards.

Warranty: Even the best brands of surge protectors fail. To avoid wasting money, go for a protector that has a warranty. Before you make the purchase, understand how to file a warranty claim in the event the protector fails.