Oftentimes when using video surveillance, there are certain areas that need to be either concealed (Privacy Masking) or areas that must prevent the motion detection from going off (Masking).
If you have video surveillance in an area where you want to utilize motion detection for certain elements but not for others, then you’ll need video Masking, which is where you create a designated area in the settings that will prevent motion detection from being activated. For example, if you have a security camera in a parking lot, but there is a large tree in sight, the movement of the tree might trigger the motion detection and begin to record. You may want to add a mask to the tree in this instance.
If there are sensitive areas that you wish to block entirely, you’ll want your camera or DVR to have a Privacy Masking feature. You can also block sensitive material with Physical Masking, which we discuss below.
Many security integrators often look for ways in which they can reduce their disk space to lower costs. By blocking out or Masking certain areas or zones from motion detection, the DVR or camera will use less disk space, thus lower storage costs. Masking will also avoid the annoyance of setting off an alarm whenever a bird flies by or some other non-significant event occurs. Simply set the area you wish to ignore in the view of the camera, and you’re good to go!
Privacy Masking is a feature on some security cameras that allows you to blur or completely block certain areas seen on the CCTV monitor within the field of view of the camera. You may need to do this in order to protect sensitive material from being shown but not at the expense of losing valuable surveillance footage. The zones that are blocked are usually just that… blocks, or solid rectangles that can stay in place, even if the camera is moving or zooming. The camera or DVR settings will allow you to control this feature.
Who Uses Privacy Masking?
One common use of a privacy mask is for ATM security cameras, so they can block out PIN number entry. Other examples include indoor bathroom entrances, windows, and entire houses. There has always been a public concern about video surveillance in regards to private homes, so always be mindful of your video surveillance.
Polygonal vs Standard Privacy Masking
The solid rectangle shapes are what you get with standard privacy masking. Polygonal Masking is slightly more advanced in that it allows perspective for more accurate masking. We offer some surveillance cameras with polygonal masking, to find more you should give us a call or you can always check the spec sheets. Basically, the polygon mask allows a bit more flexibility than the square or rectangle shape.
I wanted to briefly touch on one more solution for hiding certain elements in your video surveillance. Physical Masking is not a feature of a camera, rather an option that some might consider as a quick way to block areas using elements such as a wall. For example, if there is a wall separating homes and a building and you wish to monitor the entrance of the building, you may choose to mount the camera next to the wall so that you can view the building entrance but have the wall as a barrier, blocking the view of the homes.
Physical Masking is more effective if you have a fixed CCTV camera, rather than a PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) camera that will be moving and capturing different areas at different times. If you are using a PTZ, you can use the camera setting to give horizontal and/or vertical limits for the potential field of view to physically mask at area.