Here at GLOBAL IT ZONE I receive a large number of inquiries from customers looking for license plate camera solutions that will read license plate numbers. There are cameras out there that are manufactured just for this purpose. They are referred to as License Plate Capture Cameras or LPR (License Plate Recognition) Cameras.
These security cameras are used for everything from traffic enforcement and access control, to stolen car identification and vehicle tracking. Many industries, namely law enforcement, have been reporting very positive results for quite some time.
Here is a story from just a few days ago in fact where the two women pictured below were caught thanks to the licence plate recognition technology…
License Plate Capture Cameras: Setup & Considerations
This is a fairly easy setup to put together but there are a few things to always consider when putting something like this together. Let’s take a look at a few areas to get a better understanding of these systems.
They Read the Plate, That’s It…
I think one of the biggest misconceptions of license plate cameras is the view the camera will give you. I have talked to numerous customers who will say “I want to be able to read a plate, and see what is going on around the vehicle.” An LPR camera is only designed to read a plate. When a license plate passes by the camera, the reflective film on the plate will be reflected back to the camera which gives you the good clear shot of the plate. You will ONLY get the plate. If you are interested in capturing the whole vehicle, surrounding area of the vehicle, or any type of camera shot it would be wise to install another general camera for an all-around view of the area.
One of the key ways to get optimal performance out of your LPR cam is to make sure you position the camera accordingly. A good rule of thumb is the more level you can get with the vehicle, the better shot you will get. Attempting to position the security camera at odd angles or exceeding the distance capabilities will result in a poor shot of the plate. When you find a camera you like, be sure to read the spec sheet and verify this camera will perform like you expect. All license plate capture cameras have different lenses and capabilities so be sure to read up on the performance of the cameras.
LPR Camera Software
An LPR camera can be hooked up to a standalone DVR. When using this type of DVR you will only be able to get shots of a license plate. You will be able to search back through recorded footage and see plates. If you have a PC based system, you can utilize what’s called License Plate Recognition software. This type of software will allow you to create a database to record dates and times of particular license plate numbers that your camera has picked up. You can also search through the database by plate number as well. This type of program is excellent for parking garages, toll ways, and any other application where recording license plates would be beneficial.
LPR Software Solution
Installing LPR Cameras
Here are just a few quick tips on installation. Make sure you have everything you need. Always make sure you have enough Siamese cable, bnc connectors, flying power leads, and tools. Not having the right equipment for the job can definitely raise the frustration level. Another cool product we carry is test monitors. Trying to position and focus an LPR security camera by yourself, or with another person can be frustrating. A test monitor is a unit you can wrap around your wrist that has a small monitor on the wrist strap. You plug it directly into the camera and adjust the view and focus all on your own. This type of item can save you a good deal of time.
The license plate capture niche of CCTV is a great technology. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of this type of product. As always, if you have any questions you can always contact us here at GLOBAL IT ZONE.