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Choosing a Home Security Camera System

When thinking about home security, security cameras are often the best option as you can watch from your mobile phone, and if you hear a noise at night, you can switch on your TV and see what is happening outside, which vastly improves your sense of security, some people elect to buy a DIY kit, and some like installed security cameras, whatever you prefer, here are some tips.


What Drives a Great CCTV Security Camera System?

This is simple (according to us anyway), the CCTV (security camera) system must provide clear evidence level recording that is easily extracted to ensure user sees exactly what happened and has evidence to prove it.

The system should also provide easy access for live viewing from smart phones, tablets and PCs anywhere in the world without needing a network engineer.

 

Choosing a CCTV Security Camera System

There are several areas that need to be covered, so we will discuss each area below.

Resolution

You will see terms like 960h to 720p, 600TVL to 480p, 1200TVL to 1mp, 2mp, 3mp, 4mp, 5mp, etc. etc., it’s like the whole story was made to the highest level of confusing.

If you feel this then you are probably right.

The naming of the resolutions are done by specification and age. Meaning a High Resolution camera of 5 years ago does not mean it is HD now as high resolution several years ago was definitely not what we call full HD now.

When talking resolution, we follow these simple rules.

Small offices and front door close up, use a minimum of 1MP, although if you beleive it may be used as evidence we recommend 1080P (2MP) or above.

Front yards and larger retail/office areas, use a minimum of 2MP

Larger yards, industrial areas and other large spaces, use a minimum of 5MP

If you do not follow this formula, you are unlikely to get the results you need when something bad happens.

If the camera you are looking at has a H, like 960h or TVL like 1200 TVL then it probably IS NOT HD.

Always ask about the “p” rating, like 720p, 1080p, etc. or talk in Megapixels like 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP, 5MP, etc.


Technology

As per the resolution section above you will be presented with all the different technologies available like Analogue, CVBS, CVI, TVI, AHD, HD-SDI, IP, etc., the list goes on and on.

What does it all mean you may ask?

Well, not that much in some areas.

Firstly if it is Analogue or CVBS cameras then stay clear as these are obsolete technologies.

If it is CVI, TVI, AHD, HD-SDI or IP then the technology is current and mainstream, although HD-SDI is now an ageing technology and is becoming more expensive and is a little harder to install correctly.

Selecting a Security Camera Shape

There are many descriptions, like pig nose, eyeball, bullet, lipstick, dome, full body, etc. etc.

In actual fact there is only two things to consider when selecting the shape of the camera.

If it is under a few meters high then select a camera type/shape that a crim cannot grab and point away or easily throw a rope over and rip down.

Secondly, select a style that looks aesthetically pleasing as it will be there for years.

Selecting an NVR or DVR

The maching that records your camera images is a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or XVR with technolgies like TVI and AHD, and an NVR (Network Video Recorder) for recording IP cameras, as IP cameras are network based. make sure your recorder has easy to set up P2P remote view, is secured against hacking and can handle resolutions high enough for your cameras. Another area for your recorders are if they have a fan, many recorders in the market have fans and are not suitable for a home security setup or a business where it is quiet.

 

Night Vision

many people require goos night vision as this is when many of the crimes are committed, however night vision is a complivated area as the majority of cameras may not live up to your expectations, so if night vision is important, then we recommnd a SONY Starvis sensor, or at the very least any other SONY sensor, as cameras using other brands will often let you down. Another thing with night vision is that it rarely goes as far as advertised due to the testing system manufacturers use, for best result take on third off, do if it is a 20 meter IR camera, expect about 13 meters of usable night vision.

Audio

If you want audion, then this will be a specialised camera and they may not last as long outdoors as often the cheaper brands will eventually get water in through the mic hole, you can get around this by using a seperate audio device outside the camera.

Reputation

It is expected that the average quality CCTV system should last up to five years and the industry is moving at an extremely fast pace. An ineffective CCTV system is actually a false sense of security and represents a waste of money.

Warranty

With all CCTV ask your installer to offer at minimum a 3 year warranty. With most OzSpy CCTV systems you have the option for up to or over four years warranty.

Licensing

Always get your equipment installed by a licensed security installer. Failing to do this at very least may void your warranty and at most may end with you facing penalties.

 

IP vs COAX

For 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP, 5MP and some 8MP, we recommend coax systems as they do not have the latency and dropped frames that equivelent IP systems. You can run a coax based system on Cat5/6, but you will need baluns to convert the cable and you should expect to lose about 5% or so in quality of image/recording.

If you are going 6 megapixel or over then we recommend Cat6 (IP), otherwise for all systems 5 megapixel and under, there is little difference between high quality coax and high quality Cat5 or Cat6.

Wireless

In the average home CCTV camera system OzSpy would not recommend wireless now that the frequencies are flooded and it is difficult to gurantee a reliable image using domestic grade systems.

Cheaper wireless systems flicker causing false recordings 24/7 for the particular channel causing a painful increase of effort in finding a relevant recording.

OzSpy does do wireless systems, but please know that professions wireless CCTV systems are custom built and a larger investment because we know that unreliable wireless CCTV systems make an average system unusable.


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