Shop Small Businesses this Saturday for Rebates

Shop Small at eDigitalDeals
This Saturday, show your love for small businesses, which employ almost half of all workers in the USA.

The crowds and early hours make shopping on Black Friday hard and many people are busy working during Cyber Monday. While these two post-Thanksgiving sales may steal the show, we need to take a moment to recognize the genius that is Small Business Saturday. This is a day to support local businesses and encourage everyone to come together in an effort to focus on what may seem small, but is actually a huge part of every community.

Started in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to “Shop Small” and visit local, brick and mortar businesses. The day became official in 2011, as governors, mayors, senators, and President Obama all showed their support. In 2014, an estimated 88 million people participated and $14.3 billion was spent at local independent businesses. With numbers like that, why would you not take advantage of this day, November 28, 2015?

Shoppers: how to activate rebates, before you buyLogin to your Amex account online to register for rebates from eDigitalDeals and other participating small businesses throughout your local area, as well as for online retailers. Rebates are only valid on Small Business Saturday, November 28th. 

Did you know…
– A small business is defined as an enterprise that has fewer than 500 employees
– Businesses with 20 or fewer employees make up 89.7% of all US employer firms
Over 50% of the US working population are employed by small businesses

How to participate:
– Qualifying small merchants can get access to certain perks from American Express
by visiting this link.
– Take advantage of the free marketing materials and free listings on
– Plan a special promotion for Small Business Saturday to make it a day that customers will want to take part in.
– Promote your special on social media and local advertising as much as possible.
– Work with real-estate agents, insurance offices and other small businesses
to help promote each other.

Take advantage of Small Business Saturday and encourage consumers to “shop small”!

#‎ShopSmall‬ ‪#‎Shopsmallforall‬‪#‎SmallBizSaturday‬ ‪#‎SmallBusinessSaturday‬ ‪#‎eDigitalDeals‬

IP NVR or HD-DVR? Here is a web chat I had today. Read best practices here.

Chatting with Guest
Ray/eDigital: Hi, what can I do for you?
Guest: Is this a good unit. It seems the price is extremely reasonable.
Ray/eDigital: yes but I have a better one for you, same software. One moment
Guest: Does this unit actually act as an alarm interface.
Guest: and what is that
Ray/eDigital: There is this one, which is very similar, but lower price and better warranty:
Ray/eDigital: same exact software and hardware; just different logos on the box
Guest: why the difference in price
Ray/eDigital: And then there is this one:, which is double the channels you were originally looking at, better warranty, double the bitrate, and just $40 or so more
Ray/eDigital: genuine Hikvision versus LTS Platinum, both of which are trusted names in professional video surveillance.
Ray/eDigital: Hikvision just has a much larger marketing budget
Ray/eDigital: You can use LTS Platinum cameras with Hik NVRs, and Hik IP Cameras with LTS Platinum interchangeably because it’s all Hik hardware and software
Guest: it looks like the first 16c has CAT5 while the second 32c has analog input
Ray/eDigital: I’m actually doing that for another customer as we type
Ray/eDigital: no these are both NVRs with built-in PoE
Ray/eDigital: no analog inputs
Ray/eDigital: but we do have hybrid and tribrid DVRs with analog and network inputs, if that’s what you want
Guest: I was looking at the photos included on the link
Ray/eDigital: that rear photo is definitely wrong. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will have them change it.
Ray/eDigital: datasheet:
Ray/eDigital: correct photo is there
Guest: so would a switch be needed or are there actually 32 LAN inputs in the secone
Ray/eDigital: no only 16 PoE ports
Ray/eDigital: 1 Gigabit LAN input
Ray/eDigital: we also have systems with dual-Gigabit LAN inputs, in case you want to separate your camera network from your main network
Guest: what is the advantage of the separate networks, how does that work?
Ray/eDigital: The switch is ideal for applications where the camera is no more than 100m away in theory, but sometimes the actual distance is less when working with NVRs with built-in PoE
Ray/eDigital: main network –> NVR
Ray/eDigital: cameras –> camera switch –> NVR
Ray/eDigital: since the NVR gets connected to both the main network and the camera network, it serves as the sole access point to the cameras on the network
Ray/eDigital: it helps prevent unauthorized access to the cameras, and it separates the data-hungry megapixel cameras from the critical infrastructure such as VOIP, POS, etc.
Ray/eDigital: two separate networks
Ray/eDigital: can also be done with an NVR and external PoE switch
Ray/eDigital: but the NVR would need to have dual-LAN ports
Ray/eDigital: most people just go with single-LAN ports because they cost less.
Ray/eDigital: just make sure you have a gigabit or better network
Guest: I hate to say it, but every time I think I am starting to understand all of this I learn something new that I need to consider
Ray/eDigital: you’re not the only one, and that is why i don’t recommend IP systems to most people
Ray/eDigital: ask yourself this: do you have a real need to surpass the 1080p threshold?
Ray/eDigital: if yes, then go with IP. If no, then go with HD-SDI or HD-TVI
Guest: I am relatively knowledgeable and capable, but I am also new to the camera systems. I like to have better than acceptable, but don’t need the best. More like a Corvette than Camaro or Lamborghini guy, if that makes sense
Ray/eDigital: yes. Do you have any existing cables ran?
Ray/eDigital: I’ll help you make your decision for you and save you $ in the process
Guest: I am also a police officer so I know the benefit of a quality image for identification purposes
Ray/eDigital: understood
Guest: nope, no cables run
Ray/eDigital: best image quality outside of IP can be achieved with HD-SDI
Ray/eDigital: is this for a home or business?
Guest: I thought about setting up a separate router and running wireless dedicated to the IP cameras, but I am not sure that is the best idea
Ray/eDigital: i would definitely recommend wired over wireless
Ray/eDigital: the cost of HD-SDI cameras is a fraction of IP, and you get more features
Guest: is HD-SDI analog?
Ray/eDigital: yes analog HD over coax
Ray/eDigital: you are not going to see much of a difference between IP and HD-SDI
Guest: so separate power needs to be run, correct
Ray/eDigital: yes with siamese cable
Ray/eDigital: here:
Ray/eDigital: that is our most popular HD-SDI DVR. There is a live demo link on that page. Install the app on your smart phone and/or desktop/laptop. It is excellent
Ray/eDigital: pinch to zoom features for your mobile device
Guest: Yeah, I looked at that and wasn’t overjoyed
Ray/eDigital: plus it is hybrid, which means you don’t have to use all HD cameras if you don’t want
Ray/eDigital: what did you like about IP?
Guest: I want to future proof the system a bit
Ray/eDigital: IP is ideal for future-proofing
Ray/eDigital: plus you will have network cable for infrastructure, which is going to be better 5-10 years from now over coax
Ray/eDigital: we do Milestone XProtect for police stations and other mission-critical deployements.
Ray/eDigital: deployments*
Ray/eDigital: is this for your home or business?
Guest: I like the idea of having more capability than just enough, though I think 16 cameras for a 3000 sq ft home is probably more than enough
Ray/eDigital: yes it is fine. The LTS Platinum solution is what I’d recommend.
Ray/eDigital: They have some wireless cameras as well, but you still have to run power to wireless cameras, so they are not entirely without without wires.
Ray/eDigital: one thing you should keep in mind is WDR. Are you familiar with it?
Guest: no
Ray/eDigital: here is a video:
Guest: I was thinking of going with a computer based system, but I am beginning to rethink that
Ray/eDigital: i can give you pros and cons if you want
Guest: I’ll watch the video and be back…
Guest: I would think that the cameras have auto aperture, is this something different?
Ray/eDigital: yes. Auto-Iris is a feature of a lens, but it’s only available on varifocal lens cameras; not fixed lens
Ray/eDigital: all the cameras you will be looking to purchase for your home, at least for the interior, should be fixed lens
Ray/eDigital: because fixed lens is substantially less expensive and much smaller form factor
Ray/eDigital: no one wants a dome camera bigger than the size of their heads to be installed inside their homes.
Ray/eDigital: WDR is found on these economical fixed lens cameras in digital form, or D-WDR
Ray/eDigital: it is not going to achieve the same result as true WDR, so the way to prepare yourself is by installing indoor cameras near doors or windows, and pointing away from the door/window so as not to have the exposure effect.
Ray/eDigital: auto-iris and WDR go hand-in-hand, and that is why you will typically only see WDR on varifocal-lens cameras, especially when it comes to IP.
Ray/eDigital: A lot of our HD-SDI and HD-TVI fixed lens cameras have true WDR.
Ray/eDigital: so other than that, all you really need to do is to calculate your bitrate
Ray/eDigital: let’s say you will have 16 x 3MP cameras
Ray/eDigital: you will use H.264 for best compression
Ray/eDigital: you will typically use 8-12 frames per second (fps) for home applications
Ray/eDigital: so at the best image quality, you should expect a total bitrate of 83.88Mbps at 10fps using this caluclator:
Ray/eDigital: It is a best practice not to exceed 75% of an NVR’s bitrate limitation
Ray/eDigital: the lower-end NVR is 80Mbps, and the higher end is 160Mbps. So if you’re going to go with the lower end, you should consider keeping your frame rate lower, and possibly sacrificing your bitrate (quality) to keep your total bitrate at an acceptable level
Ray/eDigital: to run at nearly capacity will almost certainly result in one or more dropped video feeds, network instability, and a host of other network-related issues.
Ray/eDigital: Does this make sense?
Guest: I seem to have lost the link to the 32c for $849
Guest: trying to take it all in
Ray/eDigital: think of an IP/NVR system as a vehicle with manual transmission. It’s not “plug and play” like its analog counterparts, which is a lot like driving a vehicle with automatic transmission. There is pre-configuration and monitoring of the network to ensure an NVR is going to function properly.
Guest: so you have a better understanding of what I want/need than I probably do at this point, do you have a recommendation based on our discussion?
Guest: I am not afraid of having to work to get the system to work
Ray/eDigital: yes LTS Platinum 32ch NVR with 160Mbps for $839.95. And for dome cameras I like these because they are vandal-proof with infrared and weatherproof, and are available in 4mm lens (around 75 degree horizontal field of view) and 2.8mm lens (around 85 degrees_
Guest: is this what you are talking about
Ray/eDigital: yes
Ray/eDigital: go with the LTS brand for that extra year of warranty
Ray/eDigital: for cameras which will be shooting down the side of your house, parallel to it, i recommend a 3-axis bullet camera such as this:
Guest: and all these require is a single PoE Cat5 Cable to operate up to 100m
Ray/eDigital: because the dome won’t be able to get that angle without a wall mount
Ray/eDigital: domes are better for vandal-proofing
Ray/eDigital: correct
Ray/eDigital: in theory
Ray/eDigital: but as as i said sometimes you may not get that full distance with built-in PoE switches
Guest: a wall mount might be easier going through the attic
Ray/eDigital: i haven’t heard any complaints with LTS, but I have heard complaints with Dahua
Ray/eDigital: another very popular brand
Ray/eDigital: a wall mount for a dome camera is L-shaped
Ray/eDigital: here it is:
Guest: I have read bad things about Dahua on Amazon
Ray/eDigital: we can drop the price on that
Ray/eDigital: should be like half that… I’ll update it on your quote
Ray/eDigital: but the mini bullet is ideal if you don’t need vandal-proofing
Guest: do these cameras ptz a full 180 plus up and down?
Ray/eDigital: no need for a mount either
Ray/eDigital: you can flip and rotate the image on an IP camera using the web menu
Ray/eDigital: but those domes are ideal to install with mounts to get the best angle
Ray/eDigital: they are mini and not 3-axis, if that is what you are asking
Ray/eDigital: the 3-axis domes are the larger units with varifocal lens and more features, and around 2.5x the price
Guest: do these IP cameras need anything other than the PoE Cat5 for full power, PTZ, video
Ray/eDigital: no, and there is no PTZ
Ray/eDigital: PTZ is when the mechanism on a camera pan, tilts, and zooms
Ray/eDigital: you can digitally PTZ using megapixel cameras
Guest: so they are just dome cameras, the same as bullet cameras
Ray/eDigital: also referred to as “ePTZ” for electronic PTZ
Ray/eDigital: but no moving parts
Ray/eDigital: we do have those, but they are more expensive, and are only ideal for applications with security guards, really
Ray/eDigital: do you want to see some IP PTZs?
Guest: I still need the question of, only one cable, Cat5 for power and video
Ray/eDigital: or perhaps fisheye cameras to get that full 180 degree view?
Ray/eDigital: correct just one cat5 per camera for power and video
Guest: what is this camera
Ray/eDigital: that is that larger dome, ideal for more commercial jobs, or for residential with high ceilings
Ray/eDigital: motorized lens offers the ability to zoom optically
Ray/eDigital: and remotely zoom/focus the camera
Guest: what is the motorized part, and what does de-branded mean (no name?)
Ray/eDigital: true WDR
Ray/eDigital: scroll up for motorized function
Guest: got it
Ray/eDigital: de-branded means it’s not genuine hikvision. We are going to give you the same exact camera without the hikvision logo, same warranty, same lifetime support
Ray/eDigital: i actually used this camera over a cash register in a high-end restaurant deployment in beverly hills, ca
Ray/eDigital: it is excellent
Ray/eDigital: once the owners saw the image quality, they decided to go mostly IP for their other restuarants
Ray/eDigital: but the image is the same as the mini dome, for the most part
Ray/eDigital: just more features like built-in WDR, motorized zoom lens, etc
Guest: so most of these cameras are fixed focus, if the focus is off a bit, there is nothing that can be done.
Ray/eDigital: yes, what you see is what you get
Ray/eDigital: if you want i can prepare a design for you to show you what angle camera you should choose and what type of pixel density you will achieve
Ray/eDigital: something like this:
Ray/eDigital: scroll down for the sample design i did for another client
Ray/eDigital: that will eliminate guess-work on your side, and you can be confident that what we recommend for you will be in alignment with the design. Basically no surprises
Ray/eDigital: it’s a free service we offer.
Ray/eDigital: I can do it in another 30 min or so. Please email me your address to
Ray/eDigital: let me know the approximate mounting height of the cameras
Ray/eDigital: the areas which you want to cover, e.g. front door, driveway, front lawn, right side looking forward/backward, left side looking forward/backward, back yard, pool, etc.
Guest: yeah, I was thinking five or six outside, one n, one s, two front, two back, one or two basement, one upstairs, two or three main level, two in the garage and (maybe) one or two in the attic
Ray/eDigital: ya go with 2.8mm lens cameras for most of your indoor cameras, mount in the corner of the room to get most of the room
Ray/eDigital: those mini domes are excellent for inside the house
Ray/eDigital: there is also a fisheye camera
Ray/eDigital: it will give you a full 360 with no blindspots
Ray/eDigital: here are examples:
Ray/eDigital: more coverage, but less quality
Ray/eDigital: and excellent digital PTZ using the dewarped lens
Ray/eDigital: here is a video
Guest: that might work well over the outside entry and upstairs hallway
Guest: image quality suffers a bit with this last suggestion
Ray/eDigital: these are ideal in hallways, especially intersecting hallways, so that you can see people going in and out of doors
Ray/eDigital: it does, and i did mention that
Ray/eDigital: you are taking a few more megapixels and spreading them out 360-degrees (from ceiling) or 180-degrees from wall mount
Ray/eDigital: ideal mounting height for a fisheye is 8-12 ft for ceilings
Guest: do you work on commission?
Ray/eDigital: no i own the company
Guest: oh, that explains a lot.
Ray/eDigital: if you want me to save your info in our system and email you a quote on paper, just reply with your name, email address, phone number, and shipping zip code
Ray/eDigital: shipping is free within the continental USA
Ray/eDigital: yes it does explain a lot! =)
Guest: knowledgeable, informative, patient, not too techie, professional
Ray/eDigital: thank you
Guest: Honestly, I have talked to a few other companies, and it has been very difficult to deal with some of the support staff
Ray/eDigital: we have dedicated toll-free support, and you can chat or email as well
Guest: a price that will be there for a while, I still have to think about all of this, but I have been taking notes
Ray/eDigital: yes, we don’t really raise prices on this type of equipment
Ray/eDigital: if anything you may see a promotion here or there, so sign up for our email newsletter to be informed of updates
Guest: just signed up
Ray/eDigital: Great. The best thing to do when you’re getting ready to buy is to call or email me and ask if there are any promos on the equipment. There are always promos, but maybe just not on that brand
Guest: the last question is the most important to me. Is the
Guest: a good system that I can rely on for years
Ray/eDigital: there is a reason why hikvision is the number 1 company surveillance in china, literally
Guest: I would rather pay more, and get good than pay a little less and get much less
Ray/eDigital: i have seen more government solicitations with hikvision in the past 6 months than I have ever seen
Ray/eDigital: If you are open to using a PC-based system, I can show you a MUCH better option
Guest: I was planning on using a pc based system
Ray/eDigital: I know, but you said you scrapped that idea
Ray/eDigital: it will cost you less
Ray/eDigital: actually you will need a PoE switch, so the price of the PC-based solution will be $100 or so more, but it is the Lamborghini of video surveillance
Ray/eDigital: and i can get you a free trial so that you can see if it works for you
Guest: i am listening
Ray/eDigital: watch this video presentation I did for another client. It’s a long one, but it will give you the whole navigation of the software
Ray/eDigital: Milestone XProtect is arguably ranked in the top 3 VMS (video management software) solutions on the planet.
Guest: Like I said, I am a police officer and have worked dignitary protection with secret service training for years, but I cannot afford what the government buys
Ray/eDigital: you can use Xprotect Essential, which is the home/office version of the software, whereas a police department would use Professional or Corporate
Ray/eDigital: here is a link to Milestone XProtect Essential:
Guest: this is pretty much what we use at work
Ray/eDigital: yes it most likely is
Ray/eDigital: I have designed this solution for government buildings around the world
Ray/eDigital: and if you already use it at work, then it’s one less thing you need to learn
Ray/eDigital: oh sorry i already sent it
Ray/eDigital: this solution is truly enterprise-grade, scalable, and will give you a lot more value.
Guest: It is just that we have a couple of tech guys do all the install, I just use it, so I don’t know the best route to proceed
Ray/eDigital: So for example, you can mix and match different brands of cameras
Ray/eDigital: ya understood
Ray/eDigital: well I’ll make you a deal
Ray/eDigital: we typically offer free configuration with complete package purchases (server, cameras, PoE, etc.), but since you already have the server I can have someone login to your system to pre-configure it for recording, users/passwords/permissions, and remote viewing on your mobile device
Ray/eDigital: and instead of charging you the normal rate of $30 per camera, we will do it for a flat rate of $199.
Ray/eDigital: you would need all your cameras connected to the network switch, and we would need supervised access to your server, as well as the user name and PW for the router to set it up for mobile viewing
Ray/eDigital: there is already a link on that page to download a trial if you want to play around with it, but i recommend you just watch that video presentation I gave you
Ray/eDigital: milestone is releasing a new XProtect in March
Ray/eDigital: there are a lot of “body worn camera” solicitations right now. I was doing a conference call with Oklahoma City PD a few days ago
Guest: yeah, our department was thinking of it too, I was suppose to be in charge the project, but they went with a consultant
Ray/eDigital: Well… perhaps you can forward him/her my info so that I can give you guys some insight as you gather your research.
Ray/eDigital: also, you should make sure your server meets the minimum recommended specifications for Milestone. I can help you with that when you have decided on your cameras.
Guest: They kind of pissed me off when they took me off the project, but I will definitely consider talking with them, but I doubt they will listen anyway as the consultant would do anything to avoid being suggested to (cut off his nose to spite his face)
Guest: The computer I was thinking about using is an AMD Athlon 2 2700
Ray/eDigital: 3MP cameras all around, right?
Guest: I am not sure I need that, I just sent my address
Guest: interior may be different than exterior and sides of the house might require less than the front and back
Ray/eDigital: you can really get away with 1.3MP inside the house in the attic and in areas where you are not as concerned as entry areas where there is a door or window
Ray/eDigital: 3MP outside is recommended
Ray/eDigital: I’ll just do a quick design
Guest: my concern is the entry and driveway, and the back yard
Guest: those would be primary points of entry. Maybe a decent resolution in the three and a half car garage
Ray/eDigital: what about the front door?
Ray/eDigital: it would need it’s own camera. You can put a 1.3MP
Guest: that is the hardest for me to decide
Ray/eDigital: definitely should have it
Ray/eDigital: that way you never have to wonder who’s at the door
Guest: and may be the hardest to run wires to
Ray/eDigital: you can wire it from outside
Guest: yeah, I can run the soffit, but it would be difficult
Ray/eDigital: run wires outside, under the eave on the roof to the front. Use black or brown cable.

ALC and ELC on Security Cameras with DC Auto-Iris Lens

Our Panasonic-sensor EA-Series auto-iris varifocal-lens HD-SDI and HD-TVI IR bullet cameras now offer ALC. These HD-SDI cameras also offer True WDR and a superior image quality, with infrared distances of up to 300 feet using new matrix IR technology.

ALC (Auto Light Control)

Automatic Light Control (ALC) indicates the image sensor’s ability to automatically adjust in diverse lighting conditions to yield the most vivid video image possible. It allows the auto-iris circuitry to either take bright spots more into consideration (peak), bringing out detail in bright areas, or less into consideration (average) bringing out detail in shadows.

For automatic brightness control in the ALC function, an auto iris lens with a voltage controlled aperture (DC) is necessary.

ALC: Auto Light Control

ELC (Electronic Light Control)

ELC compensates for moderate light changes in indoor applications without the use of expensive auto iris lenses.

A fixed-iris lens or manual-iris lens can be used. ELC allows the changing of shutter speeds up to 1/100,000 second. This allows for sharper images, even in limited lighting conditions.

Upgrading Video Security: 1000 TV-Line Cameras or 1080p Full HD?

by Raymond Shadman, President

eDigitalDeals Inc. 


phone: 1-877-DEALS-79 x101

skype: rshadman


There are a lot of people who are looking to get better image quality on the video security cameras for their homes or businesses. It is my job to keep up with fast past of new video security technologies, and to educate low-voltage installers, IT professionals, and consumers on the various types of video surveillance which are currently on the market.

Before reading this post, one should educate himself/herself with a little background on how resolution of cameras and DVRs is measured. Older camera technology is measured in TVL or “horizontal TV-Lines”, while newer HD camera technology is measured in pixels (horizontal multiplied by vertical). The greater the number of TVL or pixels, the better the resolution. One of the biggest flaws of current analog technology is that the highest analog recording resolution is 960H (960×480), or 960 horizontal lines, but 1000 TVL cameras typically have 1280×960 pixels, or 1280 horizontal lines. This results in forced recording at 960H, even if the camera has higher resolution. That is the same concept putting a governor on a sports car to maximize the speed at which it travels. Here is a compressed version of how it looks when viewing on a screen:

Now take a look at the cost of a 16 Channel 960H DVR ($259.95) and an all-in-one 1000 TV-Line CCTV camera ($79.95) with an effective resolution of 1280×960 pixels, for a total of $339.90. Now take a look at a 16 Channel Hybrid HD-TVI DVR ($599.95) and an all-in-one 1080p HD-TVI camera ($89.95) with an effective resolution of 1920×1080 for a total of $689.90. So for about double the investment, one can upgrade his/her critical cameras to 1080p, while keeping less critical cameras in lower resolution. This offers the ability to mitigate upgrade costs, while achieving full HD resolution. The difference between a 650 TVL camera and a 3-megapixel HD camera can been seen in this video.

Alternatively one could opt for a non-hybrid 16 Channel HD-TVI DVR ($369.95) and 16 all-in-one 1080p TVI cameras ($79.95 x 16) for a total of $1649.95. This would be more ideal if one needed all cameras in HD resolution.

Read the web chat conversation I had with a low-voltage security camera installer this morning, and see how I helped him achieve his objective while at the same time adding much more value in to his equipment upgrade. With the proposed solution, it would result in the ability to upgrade to a higher resolution camera with a clearer image and better ability to zoom in on details, versus spending money on a 1000 TVL camera which would not offer any significant gains.


Chatting with Guest

 Hi, what can I do for

 Quick question, if I
am using a DVR with 960H resolution I am thinking I won’t see much image
quality difference between a 700tVL and 1000TVL camera — or am I wrong?

 it’s not only the TVL
that counts toward the image quality

 it’s also the sensor (CCD
vs. CMOS, Panasonic vs. Sony)

 and some other
improvements in lighting, exposure, etc

 but all other things
being equal, you will see an improvement in 1000TVL over 700TVL; it’s just not
worth it in today’s market compared to the improvements you will see in HD

 if you really want to
see improvements in image quality, your best bet would be to purchase one of
our low-cost hybrid DVRs, and then upgrade your critical cameras to 1080p

 and keep the majority
of your other cameras in 700TVL

 or whatever you
currently use

 HD-SDI was released a
few years ago. And HD-TVI and HD-CVI were released earlier this year

 And the three
technologies are competing in the market, which is resulting in dropped prices

 give me a number for
one of the hibrid DVRs — didn’t know there was such a thing, need 16 channel

 and our 1080p SDI
cameras start at $83.95, which is much more pixels per dollar over the 1000TVL

 Ok — thank you, I am
just putting our proposal together so this give me more options for our client

 and a HUGE difference
in image quality. And the Eyeball cameras have true WDR:
True WDR is a feature found in much more expensive cameras.

 just make sure you are
using high quality RG59 or RG6 cable from a spool; not the cheap pre-made

 that’s what we use in
all applications.

 If you are using
pre-made cables or network cable, you could go with an HD-TVI DVR. Here is the
exact same unit in TVI technology:

 I highly recommend
taking a look at the demo using your iOS or Android device. You can watch HD
cameras from your mobile device, and you can pinch to zoom. And the quality is
truly exceptional

 And if for whatever
reason the MAG-Series DVR is beyond what your budget will allow, you can go
with our EA-Series DVRs. The difference is the MAG-Series is made in Korea
with a 3-year warranty, has a much better app, and is compatible with Windows
and Mac OS. The EA-Series is made in China with a 2-year warranty, has
compatibility with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and other legacy mobile devices,
is compatible with Windows only, and can be accessed from a Mac using Safari

 Here are all of our HD-TVI

 if you want something
you don’t see, feel free to ask

 so now you’ve created
a lot more work for me We were reusing a 16 Channel DVR purchaed a few months
ago for temporary deployment at same location, now moving to permanent place
and adding 11 more cams with the existing 3. But if go with higher image
quality cameras I am sure I can upsell my client into the upgraded DVR — so
if I upgrade to your recommnended DVR since it’s a hybrid it will work with
analog cams as I have three I am redeploying one being the 052730LR700550DV
and another similar that has a distance of 400′, plus I am looking at two that
are elevator cameras I don’t think I want to change out, but only 700 TVL Sony
Super HAD CCD II 2.8mm — then I would need varifocal lens 2.8 – 10 or 12 mm
to cover indoor parking garage from one end to the other, about 50M (3) 2.8-12
MM lens about 50′ (3) and 2.812 MM lens up to 40Ms for my other cameras

 the varifocal lens
would be ideal for box/brick type cameras only. If mounting the camera in a
parking garage, make sure you point it away from light sources such as the
exit. If pointing it toward an exit, ensure you are using a true WDR camera to
account for the high exposure contrast

 you can use any number
of analog cameras with any number of HD cameras, as the MAG-Series DVRs have
auto-sensing inputs for analog up to 960H resolution or HD up to 1080p

Difference Between the GeoVision GV-Tower NVR and our Custom Cube NVR

This customer from Algeria inquired about our DW (Digital Watchdog) Cube NVR. He admitted not knowing anything about the unit, and gave us the specs his project recommended, which turned out to be for the GV-Tower NVR. Here is the GeoVision GV-Tower NVR.

This particular customer requested a system that could handle between 32-48 IP cameras. Not knowing any other details about what kind of cameras he has or what kind of recording and viewing settings his organization will be using, I recommended the Milestone XProtect Express software, or the Digital Watchdog Spectrum software, installed on an eDigitalDeals custom Cube NVR, since that seemed to be his preferred form factor. I also recommended 16GB RAM with SSD hard drive and a dedicated video card, as well as Dual Gigabit-NIC cards. He did not know anything about either VMS (video management software), so I gave him links to both websites so that he could compare the software and download it and make a decision for himself.

He then asked what the difference was between the GV-Tower NVR and our hardware. This is what I replied. A copy of the first page of his quote is detailed here:

Custom Cube NVR quote.

Here was my response to his question:

We can also build a 4U rack mount unit with removable hard drive bays and optional RAID and optional Redundant Power, as well as nearly any other option you can think of.

The difference in hardware between the two systems is as follows:
– Ours has a quad-core i7 CPU; theirs has a dual-core i3.
– Our cube has a high-performance Intel SSD with 5-year warranty (120GB for DW, or 180GB for Milestone). They offer either a 16GB or 32GB DOM, for their i3 and i5, respectively.
– Our cube is too small to have any removable drive bays. We would have to use either a 2U or 4U rack mount chassis to give you this option.
– Our cube is very compact. It is not designed to accommodate more than a couple hard drives. The exact hardware configuration of the cube is: 1 PCI-E x16, 1 PCI-E x1, 1 x 5.25″, 2 x 3.5″, 4 x SATA3, HDMI/DVI (on-board), 300w Power, USB 3.0, eSATA. We can also install an mSATA SSD drive for the OS, and replace the internal DVD burner with an external burner to accommodate up to three internal hard drives, each with a current maximum of 12TB (4TB x 3 drives). We expect that the 5TB and 6TB will be compatible in early 2015.
– Ours has the capability for external storage via USB 3.0 or eSATA. Theirs does not have either of those options.
– Our system has 16GB of Kingston RAM with lifetime warranty. Theirs has 4GB with 3-year warranty.
– Our cube has a dedicated video card with 1GB memory and your option of two simultaneous outputs: VGA, DVI, or HDMI. Theirs only has VGA and HDMI, and I am unsure of their dual-monitor capabilities.

Conclusion: Our CPU can handle 32+ cameras; theirs may not. We offer 4x the RAM, SSD OS drive, more video outputs, faster external storage, etc.

If you or someone you know would like a custom DVR, NVR, or Hybrid DVR quote for your home or business, and to take advantage of our free pixel density reports, please email me at, or call me toll-free at 1-877-DEALS-79 (1-877-332-5779) x101.

by Raymond Shadman, President


Troubleshooting NVR and IP Camera Systems

Question from our customer: 

I am very disappointed with the Dahua vertical NVRs that I have purchased. I was under the impression from the specs online and conversations I have had with tech support in the past that I should have no problem running 16 cameras at 1080p on that NVR… 

I am forced to run these cams at 720P and 10 fps or less just to get them to stay up. However, this results in lagged and low quality video at playback time. I feel that these 16 channel NVRs cannot actually handle 16 HD channels as advertised. I need a solution for this client asap as they are not too happy with me right now. What would be the chance of me returning this 16 channel and buying a 32 channel device. Do you think the 32 channel device will handle the 16 cameras at 1080p and 10fps?

Our answer: 

What most people don’t realize is that IP systems involve technical design and a high amount of pre-configuration for the system to function properly. When compared to other video surveillance technologies such as HD-SDI, HD-CVI, or traditional analog, IP systems require the highest level of technical design and configuration for a successful deployment. The main advantages of IP are an unlimited recording resolution (depending on the VMS and hardware), and complete control over the output quality. It’s like driving a manual-transmission car instead of an automatic transmission. It’s a lot more work, but you have a lot more control over the vehicle. For a more plug-and-play solution, we recommend HD-SDI or HD-CVI. Or if you insist on IP, I recommend you consult with our technical team prior to deploying your surveillance system so that you know the proper frame rate and bit rate so as not to exceed your system’s capability.

The specifications online for your latest NVR show 16 channels at 1080p real-time viewing. Is this not the case for you? Keep in mind there is usually a maximum bit rate associated with NVRs. The newer Dahua NVRs advertise the maximum viewing and recording bit rate, and it has been my experience with all of these standalone, non-PC based NVRs that one should not exceed 75 to 80% of the bit rate for a stable system without dropping of IP cameras. The same is true for the aggregated network traffic, whether the network is 10/100 or Gigabit. The specifications of these discontinued vertical NVRs don’t show the maximum total bit rate, but I can check with a Dahua technician if you want me to find out for you.

You should use a bit rate calculator to see what your current usage is, and to see how to lower the usage. I like to use this one. You will see that 16 cameras at H.264 at 10fps at the best quality puts you at nearly 70Mbps, which is nearing the maximum threshold of the network. Unless the camera network is separate from the main network, I would look into reducing bit rate because other devices on the network are probably causing the total bandwidth usage to overload the network, which results in packet loss and in your case dropped cameras. You can reduce the bit rate down using a lower frame rate, a lower quality, or a lower bit rate. You can actually set your NVR to cap out the bit rate at 3500kbps constant bit rate instead of using variable bit rate.

Another limitation is the built-in PoE on these standalone NVRs. It is not ideal to use them on cable runs longer than 50 feet. I recently heard this piece of information from a Dahua engineer, and she said it applies to all standalones on the market; not only Dahua. You just won’t get the same level of power output on the NVR as you would on a dedicated PoE switch, even if the level of power in watts is supported on the NVR with built-in PoE switch.

The newer NVRs do advertise the bit rate in the specifications, and we usually put these bit rates in our titles because that is primarily how one will determine if the NVR will be able to accommodate all the cameras at the desired recording preferences. Some of the newer NVRs also support gigabit LAN, as well as dual-gigabit LAN, the latter which can separate the main network from the camera’s network. Separating the network ideal for network traffic management (IP cameras, VOIP, web browsing, database server, etc.), as well as better security. It also helps to understand how much traffic is on a network, so as not to exceed the 75-80% bandwidth limit of the network’s capacity.

Lastly a best practice is to set all the IP Cameras and NVR to a static IP address. Dynamic IPs on the NVR can affect the remote viewing of the camera system, and dynamic IPs on the cameras can result in dropped cameras.

So unless your IP cameras are set to DHCP, or unless you are exceeding 75-80% of your network’s capability at this customer’s site, or unless you are using cable runs longer than 50 feet with the built-in PoE, I would recommend setting up an RMA for that unit.

To return the NVR now and exchange it for another model will only be possible if the vertical NVR is not in stock. And since it has been discontinued, you have a pretty good chance of getting an exchange for another unit. It all depends on Dahua’s stock. We did an RMA for someone else last week on an older DH-NVR5232, and Dahua swapped it out for the newer DH-NVR4232-P.

This Dahua DH-NVR5216 16 channel NVR supports 160Mbps, which should be more than enough for your 1080p cameras. It will also support cameras up to 5MP, whereas your old vertical NVR had a limited recording resolution if 1080p.

The Dahua DH-NVR7432 32 channel I quoted you a couple weeks ago support 256Mbps live and 192Mbps recording, and has dual-Gigabit LAN ports. It supports a maximum recording resolution of 1080p.

Another good option for economical standalone NVRs and IP cameras is Hikvision.

Contact me if you have any more questions.


Raymond K. Shadman

eDigitalDeals, Inc.

Office:         310.370.9500, ext. 101

Toll-Free:   877.DEALS.79 (877.332.5779), ext. 101

Fax:              310.370.9555

Lowest Price Guarantee | 30-Day Money Back | Free Lifetime Support

Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP: What This Means for Your Surveillance DVR

By Raymond Shadman
President, eDigitalDeals, Inc.

Support for the 12 year-old operating system Microsoft Windows XP has officially been discontinued by Microsoft, as of Tuesday April 8, 2014. This means users can no longer download critical security updates, which will leave systems that are connected to the Internet and running Windows XP vulnerable to infectious worms and security attacks. There are hundreds of millions of systems that still operate on XP, including an estimated 95% of bank ATMs, POS machines, hospitals, and surveillance DVRs.

So what to do now? The obvious solution would be to upgrade the operating system to Windows 7 or Windows 8. Although this is the easiest solution, it may not be viable for a number of reasons:

  1. Older systems with Windows XP are using older hardware, which likely is not compatible with Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  2. The older hardware (Pentium 4, Celeron, etc.) in XP systems most likely cannot power the more CPU and memory-intensive Windows 7 and Windows 8 as effectively as XP, which will result in a high CPU load and processing delays.
  3. The older hardware in XP systems has a much higher chance of failure, as it likely several years old and nearing its end of life. To diagnose and replace failed components which are now outdated is like replacing parts on a classic car. It’s just not worth it, as the cost of repair usually exceeds the cost of buying new components.

eDigitalDeals recommends two solutions for its customers who are using XP-based surveillance DVR servers:

  1. Purchase new internal hardware: the motherboard is the backbone of the system. One cannot simply replace the CPU, because the newer CPUs on the market have a newer socket for newer motherboards. Replacement of internal hardware will include a new motherboard, CPU, RAM (memory), video card (if not using on-board, or if the old card is not compatible with the new motherboard, e.g. AGP), possibly a power supply (depending on compatibility with the new motherboard), at least one new hard drive (preferably SSD, which runs a lightning fast operating system and programs), and of course the new Windows operating system. eDigitalDeals recommends Windows 7 Home or Professional 64-bit. If the hardware is purchased from eDigitalDeals, we will send a hard drive or SSD that already has Windows 7 pre-loaded with the DVR software installed.
  2. Purchase a new DVR server. Take advantage of the tax-write off, and donate the old DVR to charity. The old DVR card should be removed and transferred to the new system. Rest easy with a 3-year warranty from eDigitalDeals, ability to add megapixel cameras to hybrid DVRs, and take advantage of low hard drive prices to add more storage space.

For more information or to request a quote on new internal components, please contact us via email at, or by telephone at 1-877-332-5779 x1 for Sales.

Subscribe to our email newsletter, which will provide you with product and software updates, email-only promotions, and education on new technological advances in the video surveillance industry:

eDigitalDeals, Inc.11009 Venice Blvd Ste 1   Los Angeles, CA 90034   USA

Tel: 1-310-370-9500    fax: 1-310-370-9555

Hybrid DVRs and the Benefits of using Megapixel/HD Security Cameras

A hybrid DVR is a DVR that can accept more than one type of video signal. The three most common video signals on the market today are analog, HD-SDI, and IP. It is advantageous to have a hybrid DVR for many reasons, the most significant of which is to utilize existing analog cameras, while adding megapixel cameras to areas that need more detailed monitoring with clear digital zoom-in capabilities. HD cameras can also be used to minimize analog camera count, as they have more pixels and can cover large areas of real estate with a minimal number of cameras.


Analog, a closed-circuit television system (abbreviated by CCTV), is the traditional video signal, which has been in use for decades, and is typically carried over coaxial cable. In some cases people use Cat5 network cable to send video and even audio and power over network cable with the use of baluns, which are adapters that convert the camera’s BNC connector to RJ45 for Cat5, or to twisted pair, which is common for video-only signals. The typical distance limit for coaxial cable is between 250 to 450 feet, depending on the quality of the cable. With baluns and Cat5 cable, this limit can be extended to several miles.

Analog cameras are typically plug-and-play, meaning there is no additional configuration required. Once the camera is plugged into a video and power source, the image is immediately displayed on the screen. The most common resolutions for analog cameras are 352×240 (CIF), 640×480 (VGA), 704×480 (4CIF), and 720×480 (D1). As of 2013 a recent introduction to analog CCTV camera resolution has been 960×480 (960H), which is 33.3% improvement in horizontal pixels.


HD-SDI was introduced after IP cameras began the megapixel revolution for HD video surveillance. HD-SDI is a closed-circuit video signal that delivers at two main resolutions: 720P (1.3-megapixels) and 1080P (2.1-megapixels). An HD-SDI camera cannot be used on a traditional analog DVR. And when not using an HD-DVR, an HD-SDI signal can be converted to HDMI to have the image displayed on an HDTV. The main advantages of HD-SDI over IP cameras are as follows: (1) no brand compatibility issues: simply use your HD-SDI camera with an HD-SDI DVR; (2) no pre-configuration of assigning IP information to a camera; (3) no network bandwidth issues; (4) no latency; and (5) no learning curve.


IP cameras are network based, meaning instead of connecting directly to a DVR (digital video recorder), they connect to the network via a network switch. Older IP cameras required auxillary power, while since 2010 or so the market’s main demand for IP cameras is PoE, or Power over Ethernet. Instead of having to use an auxiliary power source, a PoE IP camera receives power and data over a single Cat5 or Cat6 network cable, which is either connected to a PoE midspan or injector, or to a PoE Switch. A PoE switch is the most common of the three PoE-powered devices, as it is a hub for one or more cameras, as well as the hybrid DVR or NVR (network video recorder) to connect to the same network.

First and foremost when choosing an IP camera (or network camera) and a hybrid DVR or NVR, one must check the compatibility of the recorder’s video management software (VMS) and the camera. If the camera’s make and model is not listed on the VMS’ compatibility list, then that IP camera is most likely not compatible. Incompatible cameras will either not display video, or will not record on one or more streams in motion detection. In recent years, there has been a common standard between IP camera manufacturers called Onvif. If the VMS or recorder is Onvif-compliant, and if the IP camera is Onvif compliant, then the camera is theoretically compatible with the VMS/recorder. However, this comes with certain limitations. Although the video will be displayed on the hybrid DVR or NVR, it is not guaranteed that all of the camera’s features will work. The most common needs for an IP camera, especially if megapixel resolution or higher, is to be able to record on a higher-compressed stream such as H.264, and usually to be able to record on motion detection. Other compatibility issues are IP PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras, or any IP camera which has the ability to pan, tilt, or zoom. For example, If an IP camera advertises an optical zoom feature, where the lens actually moves to zoom in or out, Onvif compatibility will not offer zoom controls. The same applies to when the IP camera has a fisheye lens and it will be de-warped so as to act like a PTZ camera but without any moving parts. Unless the camera is listed as compatible in the VMS, the fisheye IP camera’s lens cannot be de-warped.

H.264 offers 50% better compression over MPEG-4, and over 80% better compression over MJPEG. (It will reduce the load of the Hybrid DVR or NVR to setup camera-side motion detection, but when working with a lower number of IP cameras, one can opt to control the motion detection from the VMS instead.) After all, when using less data, the entire system will require less storage space to record for the same period of time, and it will require less bandwidth when viewing the cameras from a remote device.

In addition, one must be considerate of the network’s bandwidth limitation when designing a camera system that includes IP cameras. The most common IP cameras on the market as of 2014 are between 1.3MP (720P HD) and 5-megapixels. A 2.1-megapixel (1080P Full HD) IP camera running at real-time 30fps at an uncompressed image stream will typically use 8 Megabits per second (Mbps). Network administrators generally advise for bandwidth consumption not to exceed 80% of the network’s capability, otherwise one will risk cameras being dropped or network hiccups. So for example, if using a 10/100Mbps switch, the total local area network (LAN) bandwidth is 100Mbps. If using 1080P IP cameras at MPEG4 or MJPEG streams at the best image quality at 30fps, with each camera using approximately 8Mbps, the maximum recommended number of 1080P cameras on that network will be 10. To lift that limitation, one can upgrade the PoE switch to Gigabit, or 10/100/1000, and that would increase the maximum number of 1080P cameras to 100.

Difference between an analog CCTV camera and a 3-megapixel IP Camera

It is a common practice for hybrid DVRs or NVRs to use a Dual Gigabit NIC (network interface card). This will separate the camera system’s network from the main network, so that the main network’s traffic does not get interrupted by the heavy bandwidth requirements of the camera system’s network. Between Internet browsing, checking email, Voice over IP (VOIP) phones, and other high priority network tasks, it is generally recommended to separate the two networks when the camera’s network will utilize more than 25% of the main network’s capacity.

Most IP cameras require some type of pre-configuration (setting the IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and DNS info) and post-configuration setup (motion detection, alerts, etc.). So between the compatibility checks, pre-configuration, and post-configuration, one may wonder why IP cameras are even a popular choice in the security camera market. The biggest advantages of IP cameras over analog or HD-SDI is the ability to record in higher than 1080P resolution, as well as scalability of the camera system. HD-SDI is currently limited to 720P and 1080P cameras, whereas IP cameras can record in over 40 megapixels, as long as that recording resolution and/or bitrate is supported by the Hybrid DVR or NVR. Regarding system scalability, certain robust NVRs can accommodate hundreds or even over a thousand IP cameras, whereas the analog or HD-SDI systems are typically limited to up to 16, 32, or 64 cameras.

eDigitalDeals specializes in design for analog, HD, IP, and hybrid video surveillance systems. Subscribe to our informative newsletter to hear more about video surveillance tips.

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