Home Security Cameras
The Call for Home Surveillance Cameras
These days, it really doesn’t matter where you live. In neighborhoods and subdivisions everywhere there is always crime. Home Security Camera Systems can help deter theft and vandalism around your home by providing a visible security presence at all times. Whether your problem is with kids in the area, a ornery neighbor, or more serious burglars prowling through; security cameras can provide a visual presence that can help deter these individuals from vandalizing your property or stealing from your home and family. Surveillance cameras around the outside of your home have many benefits and are becoming much more popular due to the rise of crime in neighborhoods throughout the country. Unfortunately, when something happens at your home, often the police show up and without any physical evidence, the perpetrators go free. That is where cameras can really help, because they silently record everything that happens, allowing you to truly see exactly what happened around your home and even provide video evidence to improve the chance of capturing the perpetrators.
With video evidence in hand, the police are now enabled to do their job and find the perpetrators. From the annoying childish vandalism on your property to more severe burglary or other criminal activity, with great video coverage of your home, you greatly increase the chance of capturing the perpetrators and perhaps even recouping the damages from them, making your family whole again. These security cameras can be discreetly mounted above your entry doors, above the driveway, or in the eaves looking over your backyard and record to a Standalone DVR or PC with a DVR card or NVR software (for IP Cameras).
Selecting a Home Camera System
Once you have decided to install security cameras at your home, then there are several decisions that will have to be made in order to select a system that will suit your needs. These days, it seems like every store is carrying something that they call security or surveillance cameras, but are all systems created equal and perform the same function…no they are not. When it comes to selecting a home security camera system, it is important to think about how the video will be used and the quality of video that will be needed.
If you are going to go through the trouble and expense to install cameras to improve your security at home, then you should certainly make sure that in the end, those cameras will perform the job which you intended. Think for a moment to the last bank robbery or convenience store theft you saw covered on TV. Was the video clear or blurry? Unfortunately, in many cases, the video was not clear enough to make a positive identification. Cheap off-the-shelf camera systems often provide that quality of video.
In order to ensure your video will be useful, first consider what type of cameras will be used. There are 2 major types of surveillance cameras that can be used: Traditional CCTV Cameras and High Definition MegaPixel IP Cameras. While there are differences in quality between the 2 types of systems, either type of camera when properly used can deliver video quality that will be acceptable for identification of perpetrators on your property. Proper consideration should include the distance from a camera that a person will be standing, width of coverage required, number of cameras that will be used and the quality of the camera’s image sensor. Each of these selections and conditions will affect the overall quality of the video and will determine the usefulness of the video.
Traditional CCTV Cameras
The traditional CCTV cameras are available in many different styles, sizes, shapes and quality levels. These cameras are popular for home security camera systems on a budget and connect to a Standalone DVR or PC-Based DVR Card with coaxial cables. These cameras deliver a standard definition recording, ranging from 320×240 to 720×480 resolution maximum. The cheaper camera systems often record at 320×240 resolution, and really will not provide good recognition of a person unless the person is within 5 feet of the cameras. All of our traditional Home Security Camera systems utilize cameras that record in the full D1 resolution (approx 720×480) which is 4 times the resolution of many of the budget home security camera systems, but still around the same price.
Our traditional security cameras range from outdoor infrared night vision model cameras to hidden style indoor covert cameras. These cameras can record to either our Platinum CCTV™ brand Standalone DVRs, or Alnet® PC Based DVR Systems to deliver digital recording from these cameras and even remote access from PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or even Windows Phones. Each camera has a different lens and will provide distinguishing characteristics at various distances and conditions.
Wide Angle CCTV Cameras
When selecting a cctv camera for viewing, if the camera has a wide angle lens (3.6-4mm), depending on the resolution (TVL), it should generally be used for general coverage of an area or overview. These cameras are great for seeing WHAT happened, but may only deliver WHO did it when the person is crossing close to the camera, generally within 5-20 feet line of sight for best identification. At distances further than that, you will still be able to see what is happening, but will not get the level of detail that may be needed for identification of who is doing it.
Zoom Lens CCTV Cameras
If the CCTV camera you are selecting has a narrower lens (generally 6-18mm or above), these cameras cover a much narrower field of view. This means that although the camera doesn’t cover as wide of an area, it can be used for better identification of a person or license plate at even greater distances 20-50 feet or more depending on lens. These cameras are common for coverage of pinch points for best identification, like the end of a driveway, walkway, entry door or other areas where individuals must pass when entering or exiting the property. Because these cameras cover less width, either more cameras need to be used, or these cameras can be used in conjunction with wider angle cameras that will provide coverage of what happens in the wider expanses.
Varifocal Lens CCTV Cameras
Cameras with varifocal lenses have an adjustable zoom lens, which allows you to adjust the zoom and focus on each camera during the installation process to deliver the best quality picture and coverage for the particular area where the camera is being installed. Our higher resolution traditional security cameras all include varifocal lenses because it makes them more versatile. Most of these cameras, like our CD-9361 Outdoor Infrared Bullet Camera or CD-8361 Outdoor Infrared Armor Dome Cameras, come with a 2.8~12mm lens, that allows adjustment between 100 degree and 30 degree field of view, to provide you with greater versatility. Once the camera is mounted, the lens can be adjusted while a person is standing in front of the camera to provide the best blend of distinguishing characteristics and width of view.
High Definition MegaPixel IP Cameras
The newest and best resolution security cameras are our High Definition MegaPixel IP Cameras. These cameras, unlike the traditional ones are not limited to the traditional D1 resolution. These cameras can range from 1.0-5.0 MegaPixel or beyond for video resolution. This means that when compared with traditional CCTV security cameras, the high def IP cameras provide 7-25 times the resolution for better clarity and distinguishing characteristics. Cameras with this HD video quality can cover a wide field of view, and still deliver great face and license plate coverage around your home, meaning you can often use many fewer cameras while still providing police with the needed video coverage to help achieve prosecution when something happens.
MegaPixel IP cameras are a different technology than traditional CCTV cameras. These newer models connect to your computer network with a traditional ethernet cable, making it easier to run the cables by utilizing a smaller cable with more flexible routing of the cable. Instead of each cable needing to run back to a DVR, it can simply connect to a network switch and branch out to each camera. Many of these cameras, including all of our Platinum CCTV™ MegaPixel IP Cameras, have PoE support (Power over Ethernet), which means that no separate power cable is needed for each camera when the cameras were plugged into a PoE switch.
IP style cameras record onto a PC with NVR software installed, communicating with the PC directly over the network, so no DVR card is needed for systems running all IP style cameras. Luckily, the cost of High Definition IP cameras have come down in the past few years, making them accessible even to home security camera systems.
Home Security Recorders
The DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is the brains of the home security camera system. So when it comes to ensuring that your system will perform how you intend, the recording system should be a great consideration. The recorder will determine the quality of recording, remote access features and even motion detection capabilities of the recording.
Standalone DVRs are a common style of recorder for use with home security systems. These devices are about the size of a DVD player, and have inputs for traditional cctv cameras with BNC connectors on the back of the DVR. These DVRs are self-contained devices that analyze the video that comes from each of the cameras to perform motion detection on the video so that it will only record when something is happening on the screen. By doing this prior to recording the video onto the internal hard drive, it can conserve on space and speed up the playback capabilities.
Standalone DVRs have various recording qualities and frame rates, which will determine the video quality and how smooth the video plays back. Some DVRs record at CIF resolution (~320×240) so even when used with higher resolution cameras, it will still record only at the lower resolution. Our Platinum CCTV™ DVR-88xxRT Standalone DVRs record at the full D1 Resolution (~720×480) at full Real-Time 30 fps for the smoothest video and best quality offered by traditional cameras.
Internet remote viewing is also determined by the DVR employed by the home camera system. The DVR will plug into the internet with an ethernet cable and will provide the ability for homeowners to connect in and view the cameras from their laptop or PC inside the house or over the internet from PCs or PDA phones. Our DVR-8804RT, DVR-8808RT and DVR-8816RT Standalone DVRs even provide live access over the internet from Mac, PC, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phones with live access and even control of PTZ Cameras on these devices.
PC Based DVR and NVR (High Def IP Camera) Systems
PC-Based Systems take advantage of the increased processing capabilities of today’s computers to reprocess the video and in many cases, like with our Alnet® PC Based systems, can even provide greater quality and smoother remote viewing from PCs, Macs, iPhones, Android Phones and Tablets, BlackBerry Phones and even Windows Phones. These systems record from the cameras onto a PC inside the home and come in Traditional CCTV Analog Camera and High Definition IP Camera (NVR) Systems.
Traditional CCTV DVR Cards Systems
For traditional CCTV cameras with coaxial cables and BNC video connections, our Alnet PC-Based DVR Cards are an excellent choice. These systems involve a PCI or PCIe DVR Card that installs into a desktop PC running Windows XP, 7 or 8. This camera system has advanced motion detection capabilities, providing improved recording quality and motion sensitivity over Standalone DVRs (even our DVR-88xxRT series). This system also provides easy access to recorded video, so that you can find the video you need in a matter of seconds, rather than having to playback an entire day of video, like is required with Standalone DVRs.
Alnet® Netstation™ NVR Software for IP Cameras
Newer High Definition MegaPixel IP Cameras, like our Arecont Vision™ Brand MegaPixel IP Cameras or Platinum CCTV™ IP Cameras deliver a higher resolution video recording than is possible with normal cctv analog cameras, and plug into your home network with a CAT-5 or CAT-6 ethernet cable. This type of system does not require any additional hardware to be installed in the PC, so it can be run with a Desktop PC or even laptop inside the house. This PC or laptop would be used as the master recorder and the system that provide access over the internet as well.
Remote Viewing with Alnet® PC Based DVR and NVR Systems
Once the DVR card is installed into the PC, your computer becomes a powerful, remote viewable home security camera system. The PC DVR will then allow remote viewing over the internet with CMS Professional software for Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones, Androids, BlackBerry Phones and Windows Phones as well as many other devices. These systems have superior remote viewing from all devices when compared to Standalone DVRs, providing multi-site remote viewing and even remote recording capabilities, allowing you to keep a backup of your video on an on-site or off-site computer, as well as easy remote playback capabilities, and even control of home automation devices and alarm systems right from your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phones and tablets. These systems offer industry-leading remote access, making your system work for you. With these systems, when your doorbell rings, it is easy to jump right into your cameras from your phone or laptop to see who is at the door without even getting up. Better yet, you can watch your home from over the internet, letting you see your home, just like if you were sitting there.
Home Camera System Selection
No matter what your home, our technicians can help you find a camera system that will suit your needs and budget. We offer a large variety of cameras and systems, because there is no one size fits all solution for home security.
If you need more information about selecting a system that is right for you, please contact us at (866) 537-5438 and let us help you find a system to suit your needs.