Published May 18, 2004
Volume 12, Number 5

Safe Home Makes Digital Video Surveillance Affordable
New Technology Makes Tape-Based Video Surveillance a Thing of the Past
Safe Home Staff
Safe Home World's staff stands outside their Willow Road offices.

By George Walsh
Special to NETWORK

Safe Home World, Inc. a manufacturer of professional digital video security solutions for home users based at 4473 Willow Road, has just announced a line of digital video surveillance systems for small business owners and home owners. The company’s digital video recorders are enabled by chip technologies that are not yet widely available in the marketplace. This new technology reduces the cost of professional-quality video surveillance. It enables recording capability and video quality that was previously available only in digital video recorders (DVRs) that cost thousands of dollars more.

Safe Home World was initially founded in March of 2002 as Vineyard Technologies and employs around 30 people.  Since starting out, they have shipped nearly 200,000 DVR-controller semiconductors and are expecting similar success with their DVR products that are enabled by these chips. While time-lapse VCRs are limited to three weeks of recording time at their slowest recording speeds, the Safe Home Security DVR can record up to a full year on a standard hard drive inside the unit. For example, the Safe Home DVR model S000-JN03-16 supports up to a 120 GB hard drive, model E-K0802C-JN03-16 supports up to a 300 GB hard drive, and model MT-K000-JN03-16 supports up to a terabyte of storage. The company is also shipping units that enable remote monitoring and control of the DVR from a PC or laptop via the Internet.

“I’m amazed that law enforcement can identify anyone based on some of the tapes that I’ve seen on TV,” says Theartris Ervin, Chief Marketing Officer at Safe Home World. “With time lapse VCRs, people make a tradeoff between video quality and the recording capacity of the tape. At TV-quality recording speed, a VHS tape will only record for six to eight hours. What many people do with a time-lapse VCR is to change the recording speed to half a frame per second to get the tape to last from two to three weeks. However, the slower the recording, the poorer the quality becomes. With digital recording, it’s the equivalent of taking snapshots. So regardless of how slowly you record, you still get the same resolution. It looks like a series of photos that are occurring in sequence.”

Another issue that buyers of the time-lapse VCRs face is the fact that those systems require a costly multiplexer to enable the support of more than one camera. Then, users need to add a specialized security monitor to complete the system. All of these parts can cost from $1,000 to $1,500 in equipment purchases and another $1,000 to $2,000 to install the system with four cameras. Some of Safe Home World’s Security DVRs will retail for less than $400 at major electronics stores. The multiplexer function is built into the Safe Home Security DVR. In addition, the unit does not need a special monitor.  A standard TV set can be used. If the end-user has already installed an older analog system with security cameras, Safe Home protects that investment by allowing the user to plug existing cameras and sensors into the Safe Home Security DVR.

The company has begun to ship several models of its four-channel DVRs to stores throughout the US. Safe Home World DVR systems can be found at Fry’s Electronics, CompUSA,  Amazon.com,  SmartHome.com,  and TigerDirect.com. The company also offers high-resolution weatherproof cameras (including night vision infrared cameras) as options to its customers.


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