Security trends from CES 2015

Earlier this month saw a migration of the world’s tech journalists and bloggers to the barren, sun baked wastelands of Las Vegas, meaning only one thing- it was time for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The behemoth of a trade show is the first opportunity in the year for the major manufacturers to show off their wears for the coming year. Everything from concept pieces to market-ready products were on display at CES 2015, so it was one of the best places to gauge upcoming trends for everything tech. Regrettably, the blogging budget here at SpyCameraCCTV towers doesn’t quite cover all expenses paid trips to Vegas (especially once Roulette losses are taken into account), but not to worry, as I am here to digest all of the news from the show, and pick out some of the biggest tech and security trends for this year!

Intel’s Curie microcontroller module. (image via Intel)

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Are Council and Police Funding Cuts Crippling CCTV?

Just a quick one today, as I thought I’d highlight & share a great article on by the BBC that I’m sure lots of you guys will find interesting. In a detailed report for their magazine section entitled “The end of the CCTV era” they go into detail about how the post-austeritylocal council and police funding cuts have resulted in a slew of cutbacks to public CCTV monitoring across the country. Examples include forces in Denbighshire, Powys, Derby and even metropolitan Birmingham, where CCTV cameras will no longer have round the clock monitoring.

CCTV is ubiquitous on our high streets, but is facing cutbacks across the country. image via

Forces understandably face pressure to make savings, with a significant weight of cuts falling on their unprotected budgets. To many forces, the “back room” CCTV expense is an easy target to axe when compared to front line assets- they need to keep the bobbies on the beat! Unfortunately though, forces across the country have increasingly been relying on CCTV as one of the primary ways to gather evidence, with an astonishing 95% of Scotland Yard’s murder convictions using some form of video evidence. Proponents of cutting back CCTV- including many privacy advocates- point to the studies that suggest it has little effect on crime statistics on a city wide level, but there is much less information on how beneficial it is to conviction rates. In addition there is solid evidence that it definitely helps cut down crimes against property such as car theft and vandalism.

One thing is for certain though- the fewer police run CCTV systems are in operation, the more police and victims will have to rely on privately operated home and business security systems to gather evidence.

So…an understandable necessity of our national belt-tightening, or a shortsighted budgeting exercise- what do you think? Get in touch to let us know!

Expanding your bird box camera kit

As we often like to mention, our tiny Bird Box Camera Kits are an ideal Christmas gift, and fly off the shelves in this season, ready to be installed before the birds move back into nesting boxes in the Spring. And now that we’ve upgraded each camera’s sensor to 700TVL they are more popular than ever! As people get their camera’s up and running, one question that we’re often asked is whether it is possible to get a second camera that can run using the same system? This would allow them to have multiple boxes in one garden, or even have them installed in a larger container such as a Rabbit run. Luckily, this is indeed possible, but the best way to achieve it depends on the type of camera you are using…

Nest Box Cam with Night Vision and 20m AV cable, Perfect Bird Box Pack

Our wired bird box camera kit

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SpyCam Scenario- Who’s sneaking down my chimney?

Scenario: I have a security situation that seems to reoccur every year, and I am at my wit’s end to find a way to prevent it. Every year without fail, in the last week of December someone has been breaking into home and leaving things behind- seemingly as a way of taunting me. After the first couple of years I began leaving little traps to see if the doors or windows had been opened, without any success. This leaves only one possibility- that the nefarious intruder has been somehow gaining access through my chimney via the fireplace in my living room. They have even taken to eating mince pies that I had left out for myself in the room. Is it possible to use CCTV or spy cameras to catch this intruder in the act?

Mince pies going walkabout? You might need some CCTV! image via

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The perfect Christmas gift for wildlife lovers

Naturally, it’s that time of year again when we panic to look for that perfect gift idea- the unique and quirky present that shows you know what they really like. Well if you are looking for something a bit different then we may have the ideal thing! For 2 years running now, our most popular product by far has been our wireless bird box camera kit- the ideal Christmas gift for wildlife lovers, gardeners or kids with an interest in animals.

Wireless Bird Box Camera with Night Vision - Perfect for your Garden

Our ever-popular bird box kit!

The tiny camera can be easily fixed to the interior of any bird box, birdhouse or nesting box, where it transmits wireless video and audio back to the receiver in your house. This then plugs straight into your TV, letting you watch live images of the brooding birds and chicks in your garden, all from the comfort of your sofa. Because the camera uses wireless transmission, all you have to do is connect it to the included power supply- no need to run trailing cables to your TV! Despite the camera’s tried-and-tested design being as popular as ever, we’ve gone all out this Christmas to add a couple of improvements to make sure you get the most for your money… Continue reading

7 Reasons to avoid the high street this Black Friday

It’s that time of year again, the day after Thanksgiving in America and time for certain shoppers worldwide to go into a frenzy, literally in some cases. We thought in this week’s blog we would take a look at Black Friday and how it has grown to the extreme shopping event¬†we know today.

Traditionally the first shopping day after Thanksgiving in America; “Black Friday” is so named because retailers would be swamped by shoppers on this particular day, making huge¬†sales and be “in the black”. We start off with a compilation of some typical Black Friday madness showing the huge numbers of bargain hunters allowing the stores to make these huge profits.

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How to protect your IP camera from hackers

As many of you may have seen, the world of CCTV and security was rocked this week by high profile reports of a Russian website, on which was posted thousands of feeds from webcams, CCTV and IP cameras from around the world, including over 500 from the UK. The links claimed to offer anything from views inside retail properties to live feeds from baby monitors. Many manufacturers’ equipment was listed in the feeds, including cameras from such brand names as Foscam, Linksys and Panasonic, with the COO of Foscam promptly branding the hack “a gross violation of people’s privacy.” He went on to suggest that “just because someone leaves their window open it does not give permission for an unauthorized individual to set up a camera outside their window and broadcast the feed worldwide.” But just how new is this threat? And what is the best way to protect your IP camera from hackers?

The BBC provided this edited screenshot of the website, obscuring the camera views

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Making Fat Balls to feed birds in Winter

Users of our popular bird nesting box cameras often ask us how to set up their bird boxes in a way that will guarantee usage and residents. One sure fire way to encourage bids to visit your garden is to have a feeder out throughout the year to provide them with a source of food, and at no time is this more important than in the lean Winter months, when foraged food is scarce, and the colder temperatures mean the birds need to load themselves up with calories in order to replace this lost energy. Because of this, one of the best ways to help out the wildlife in your garden is to put out Fat Balls to feed birds over the coming months.

image via

Fat Balls are made by collecting a wide variety of traditional bird foods such as seeds, fruit and grain, and bonding them together into a block using saturated fats. The birds can pick at the ball and eat the seeds and fat, giving them a high-calorie boost to provide extra energy for activities in the cold. You can buy them from any good pet or garden shop, often inside of pre-made feeders, but did you also know that they’re simple to make yourself? This quick recipe is easy to adapt for different species of bird, and different size balls… Continue reading

Introducing Our Covert IP Cameras – Next generation of IP Spy Cameras

You may have noticed over the last few weeks that we here at SpyCameraCCTV towers are going just a little bit mad for IP cameras. There’s good reason for that- by recording digital footage and sending it directly to your network as data, they allow much more freedom when setting up your system, as you are not tied down to wiring everything back to a central DVR. Not only that, but they can record footage at resolutions much higher than is possible with traditional analogue equipment. Traditional however, the cameras themselves have been rather bulky units, leaving very few options for discreet recording. This has all changed however, with our new range- the next generation of IP Spy Cameras!

720 HD WiFi IP Spy Camera Hidden in PIR Sensor w/ Motion Detection

This IR sensor conceals a fully fledged Wifi IP camera

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Expert Guide- Setting up a mobile access wireless CCTV kit

The ability to view your CCTV on a smartphone or tablet is now one of the first features people ask for when searching for a new security system. It’s easy to see why- the ability to check in on your property or home no matter where you are simply provides great peace of mind. Quite often however, some of these systems can be rather daunting to get up and running, involving in depth setting changes on your router or network. Luckily, our simple to install digital wireless kit has been designed to be as easy as possible to get up and running. To show you how, we have put together this quick guide on how to set up Mobile Access Wireless CCTV for your home or office.

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