Intro into license plate recognition
Customers often ask “What license plate recognition (LPR) system should I purchase? The problem is there is no one true answer. It is entirely dependent on how you plan to use the camera and what capabilities you require out of it. Another factor you’ll need to consider is the price you are willing to spend.
What are my options?
In essence, there are two main types of LPR cameras on the market. The first is generally used for basic security reasons. These LPR cameras are designed to capture moving images without distortion. If something occurs on your property, you will be properly able to recognize and capture license plate details to report to the authorities. The second type of LPR camera is designed for more specific use. These have more advanced capabilities. They are not only able to capture clear images of license plates, they are also able to process the information they are receiving. Further, they are then able to perform secondary functions upon recognition of specific license plate characteristics.
Type 1, Basic LPR
The first type of LPR systems are ones that simply record plates clearly enough for a human to identify. This is especially useful for moving vehicles, where regular CCTV cameras would lack the clarity to capture such a fast moving image. This allows the owner to review the footage later and identify the plates. High contrast LPRs are able to compensate for moving vehicles, reflective license plate material, headlights and varying lighting conditions.
Type 2, Advanced LPR
In some circumstances, the customer may require that the system can automatically identify characteristics of the license plate and perform an action. That is where the second type of LPR system comes into play. They can automatically recognize plate numbers using software (ANPR) and take further action for example, opening a gate or dialing a phone number.
HD LPR Cameras
HD cameras are hardwired using the same RG59 Siamese coaxial cable as traditional analog CCTV cameras. However, modern technology has allowed 1080p HD video to be captured and transmitted to a DVR. Further, hybrid DVRs have been created to allow analog and HD security cameras to be connected to the same DVR.
Important things to consider
LPR cameras are generally designed to monitor a single lane of traffic. Most do so with the intent of recording license plates which will appear at a certain angle to the camera. LPR cameras are not intended to provide a wide angle view because it does not allow for enough detail to be captured. It is important to consider using a LPR in conjunction with other camera systems to ensure total coverage. An overview camera is a good pairing choice; it will allow the user to capture the overall vehicle so you may provide a more accurate description.