Crookston Audio Aquision

On November 26, 2018, Crookston Audio was acquired by Media Technology Solutions, LLC.  After 30 years of being in the audio business, John Crookston has decided to retire and Rob and the team at Media Tech will continue to serve his clients with the same care and detail John did.  We look forward to continued service to our existing and new clients for many years to come.

Understanding the Basics of Video Surveillance

We all have seen that news story where they show an image captured by a video surveillance camera asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect. Most times the quality is so bad it is even hard to identify if they are male or female. What is the point of having a video surveillance system if the quality is that low? Fortunately, technology has come a long way in coming up with better quality cameras and capture devices IF you purchase the correct equipment.

Consumers are used to watching content that is high definition so why would anyone want to continue purchasing analog equipment.  There are some larger companies (that sell security systems as well) that are still selling their customers analog cameras that don’t have the quality that measured up to what everyone is used to. With the prices coming down on HD equipment there isn’t even much savings.  However, upgrading to an HD surveillance system doesn’t mean you need to re-wire your entire system as some newer technology allows HD video over the old coax cable.  Some terms to understand when looking at video surveillance systems.

IP Camera System: networked cameras connect like the way computers connect.  They provide video, power & control over a single Cat5 or Ethernet cable.  The quality of an IP Camera System can be quite high.

HD-TVI Camera Systems: High Definition Transport Video Interface (HD-TVI) will transmit 1080p video content over coax cable.  If you want to upgrade the quality of an analog system you can save money by reusing the coax cable and just replace the cameras and recorder

Analog System: Lower quality cameras that can vary in quality depending on the camera.  The resolution is not HD quality

Hard Drive Size: The larger the hard drive size the more video footage can be stored. Sizes are measured in Tera-bytes (TB).  Depending on the quality of the cameras the amount of footage can vary.

Motion vs. Continuous Recording: the video recorder can be set to record only when motion is detected on the camera or it can be set to record constantly.  There are also schedules that can be programmed into the recorder to select when it records motion vs continuous.  If the recorder is setup to record continuous it uses much more space than set to only motion.  Why fill up a hard drive with footage of an empty room?

DVR/NVR: Digital Video Recorder (DVR)/Network Video Recorder (NVR) are the 2 types of recorders.  If you have an IP camera system, the recorder will be a NVR because it is recording from network devices. If you have an analog or HD-TVI system the recorder is a DVR because it is digitally recording the footage. Most NVRs or DVRs can be connected to your computer network so viewers can monitor the cameras from any computer on the network

Remote/Mobile Viewing: Most modern surveillance systems have phone or tablet apps to allow viewing on your phone when you’re at home or off site.  A high speed internet connection is needed to connect to the DVR or NVR.

If you are considering a video surveillance system hopefully this information will help when talking with the sales person or system designer to make sure you are getting a system that will meet your goals.

6 Reasons Every Organization Needs Video Surveillance

Many organizations have video surveillance systems in place.  Others have thought about it but don’t know where to start.  There are many aspects that need to be considered before purchasing a video surveillance system and it must be designed to meet your goals.  We’ll explore some of the reasons to have a surveillance system at your business.

  1. Watch who is entering or exiting your business: Many organizations are moving away from a traditional receptionist that sits and greets everyone when they enter. If there was a surveillance system in place, anyone could watch the front door from their computer.
  2. Asset protection: no one wants things stolen from them and the same is true for organizations. By having a surveillance system, it will detract from people stealing product or robbing the organization.
  3. Watch employee’s activity: At times, it is important to watch what employees are doing. This could be to see what stage of the project they are working on or it could be to make sure they are doing what they are paid to do. Sometimes it is used to watch for safe work practices. I had a client with an employee claiming a box fell off a shelf and injured them and they needed paid time off to recover.  After reviewing the surveillance footage there was indeed a box that fell but it didn’t touch the employee that was looking at some paid time off.
  4. Watch visitor’s activities: What are the people visiting your organization doing? Are they entering an area they shouldn’t be in or acting suspicious? Having a surveillance system will help monitor where people are at and how they are acting in your organization.
  5. Child protection: organization that care for children must have a video surveillance system to protect the children. In the world today children are at risk of abuse from caretakers, If there is surveillance in place it can support their claims. This is a needed system for daycare facilities, church nurseries and classrooms, and schools.
  6. Caretaker protection: While caring for children, caretakers can be reported for abuse and ruin their lives even due to a false claim. A video surveillance system can protect the caretakers from allegations of abuse by disproving the child’s claim.

If your organization is considering a video surveillance system it is important to discuss the goals you’re hoping to achieve once the system is installed.  If you read my other article to understand the basics of video surveillance it will help make an informed decision about your surveillance system.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church – Acoustical Treatement

Media Technology Solutions just finished up a project at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids.  St. Matthews added a multi-purpose room which doubles as a gym about a year ago and they were having problems with reverberation in the room.

The architect that designed the space did a great job designing it to minimize the reverberation by putting in angled walls and perforated ceiling grids but it still had about a 4 second reverberation.  It was difficult to even have a conversation

with 2 people in the room let alone hold a worship service with 300 people.  MTS came in and designed a combination of ceiling baffles and wall panels The baffles are hung from the steel rafters and the panels are hung on the back and side walls.  We were able to avoid putting panels on the front walls.  The final result was a reverberation time of under 1 second.  They are able to hold worship services in that room now and everyone will be able to understand what is spoken and communicated.

Harderwyk Ministries

Harderwyk Ministries recently contracted Media Technology Solutions to upgrade their video recording systems in their 3 different auditoriums on campus.  MTS designed a system with a Pan/Tilt/Zoom HD camera mounted in the back of the auditorium connected to a monitor in the booth allowing remote control of the camera.  There is a recorder/streaming device in the booth that allows the video and audio to be captured on an SD memory card.  The video can then be edited and posted to their website.  The HD video quality is a huge upgrade to the old SD camera system that was about 15 years old.

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Harderwyk also contracted MTS to add a projector and screen to their sanctuary.  They wanted the projector mounted in the back and an electric screen mounted to the side of their stage.  The screen would end up covering the organ chamber opening, so a screen was chosen that doesn’t block sound.

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