“Home security camera” is a broad term, it includes nanny cameras, hidden cameras, outdoor cameras, Wi-Fi-IP cameras etc… This article covers conventional CCTV (close- circuit television) system. CCTV system consists of cameras, cables (if wired), transmitters & receivers (if wireless), a DVR (digital video recorder) and a monitor. Most of DVRs come with network capability where you can fully control the DVR for remote viewing via internet. These systems are commonly used at commercial places, but if correct components are chosen and installed, you can have the commercial grade quality video security system for your home as well.
The fact is that need for having a security system is on the rise. Vandalism and theft can occur anywhere in and around your house. Having a noticeable camera outside will greatly reduce the chance for a burglary and break-ins. Watch your kids while playing outside, record anyone who knocks on your door, keep an eye on your housekeeper, etc….. Its usages are limitless.
Technology is improving very fast, security cameras have become more user friendly, and you don’t need to be a professional to install the system. When choosing which system is best for you, first you need to establish what your needs are and which way you will be able to install them.
You can choose a pre-set package from a store such as Wal-Mart or Price Club. However the best way is to choose each component separately in order to custom fit for your needs. With DVR being the most important part of the system, most of pre-set packages come with Chinese made DVRs. They lack quality, reliability, are harder to use and navigate. Also some components are proprietary to each other and in case of failure it will be difficult to replace them. We carry wide range of different cameras, quality DVR’s (made in Korea), and everything else that you would need to have a reliable and quality home security system optimized for your specific situations and needs.
DVRs can handle multiple cameras (4, 8, 9, 16 or 32). Number of channels cannot be expanded later on, so choose one with future expansion in mind. Navigating through the recording is a lot easier with a DVR that comes with GUI (Graphic User Interface) and mouse control features. The reason we recommend either Korean or Japanese made DVR is that a DVR is not just a circuit based product. It must have reliable hardware, software and network capability. Japanese DVR may be expensive for its brand name so we recommend a Korean made DVR which has the quality, yet a smaller price tag. DVRs are usually equipped with 500GB memory (expandable) and handling up to 4 cameras will retain up to a month or more worth of video (depending the setting). All DVRs can detect motion (pixel movement) and record upon detection to save memory and time when you playback. There are many other features such as networking, loop recording, cell phone viewing, e-mail notification, dual video output to TV or VGA monitor, auto-reboot (in case of black out) etc.
All types of security cameras will work with a DVR as long it has a composite video output. You can mix and match different types of cameras such as indoor, weather proof, night vision, low light, vandal proof, dome, PTZ, pinhole, covert, wireless, etc. Security cameras have been around for a long period of time. In most cases, all CCD sensor cameras will give you good picture and will last for long periods of time (10+ years). Some cheaper packages are equipped with CMOS sensor cameras. CMOS sensors are used mostly in a portable device such as a cell phone since they use less power. However, they lack low light capability and resolution.
CONNECTION (CAMERAS to a DVR)
To help you understand the task on hand for the installation, we are going to explain different connection methods and its pros and cons.
WIRED: Standard, Pinhole, Covert, Dome, Low Light, Night Vision
If you have drop ceiling or you are able to snake the wires through walls, the wiring method is most reliable and secure way to transmit the signal. Even hiring someone to run the wires may be cheaper than buying wireless components. We recommend: RG-6 coaxial cable which can transmit up to 2000 ft w/o much video loss. Choose the cable which can also supply power to the camera so you won’t need a power source near the camera. Plenum cables (non-toxic in a case of fire) are preferred. They are expensive but recommended especially for a new construction sites for meeting the fire code.
WIRELESS: Pinhole, Covert, Outdoor, Infrared, Digital (Covert), Digital (Outdoor)
When wired method would be difficult, you can attach a wireless transmitter (TX) to a camera to make it wireless. The receiver (RX) receives the signal from the TX and connects to one of the channels for a DVR. Wireless Tx & Rx come with 4 or more channels to connect multiple cameras within the same area. However you will need 1 each TX & RX per camera; one RX cannot receive multiple signals simultaneously. Also, wireless does not mean battery powered, you will need a power outlet nearby.
There are two types of wireless signals: analog (RF) and digital. Analog transmitters will give you full streaming 30 f/s real time video with almost no loss in video quality (if within range and no interference). Mainly, analog wireless frequencies are at 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz. 900MHz has become obsolete and 1.2GHz cannot be used by consumers due to FCC rules.
2.4GHz TX/RX are cheaper, but has limited range and interference problem is common due to other 2.4 GHz wireless devices such as wireless routers and cordless phones. Video interference can falsely trigger the DVR for motion detection recording and the signals can bleed over to each other. Most of wireless package deal uses this signal.
5.8GHz signal has much less interference since there are fewer electronic items that work on 5.8 GHz. It has longer range and has better penetration through walls since 5.8GHz frequency is a shorter bandwidth. Shorter bandwidth also means more channel separation and less likely that one camera signal will bleed over to another channel.
Main drawback for both signals is that this way of transmitting the signal is not secure. It may be a slim chance that the signal can travel through 2 outside walls and reach your neighbor who happens to have a similar RX but never the less, it’s a possibility. We recommend TX to be used with a camera such as, for example: an outdoor camera looking at the driveway, which will not transmit sensitive information.
Digital wireless signal has no interference at all, and it is fully encrypted. You can connect up to 16 cameras wirelessly and all of them will work fine without interfering with each other. However, the video quality and frame rate will be reduced during the process of converting from analog to digital and back to analog to connect to a DVR. Video will somewhat be pixilated and there will be few seconds of lag in video feed. But in a case where wiring is not possible and you want completely secure wireless connection, this is the way to do it.
Most of DVRs come with the feature where you can connect the DVR to a router that way you can watch the camera live via internet. Internet access level differs between models. Some DVRs only may have live view feature where other higher end ones allow playback, change of settings and smart phone access as well. There are no additional monthly fees involved other than what you currently pay for your internet service. Finally, there must be a hard wire network cable connection between the DVR and your router.
Bottom line, No matter where buy the system, technical support is essential. We are sure you have experienced run around support method that does not go anywhere. For example, if you have a difficulty connecting the DVR to your router, many companies will not help you due to lack of knowledge, or simply turn away by saying they are not allowed to troubleshoot with an item which is not theirs- the router. As a direct supplier and manufacturer, we are well knowledgeable about what we sell, and we will go all the way to make the system work properly. Please call us at 845-369-1777 for a free consultation. All orders are shipped with everything you will need to complete the task. We will help with any advice and answer any questions you might have while installing it.