A closed circuit television, or CCTV camera system is one of the best ways to protect your property and loved ones. CCTV security cameras for home use have been around for decades to catch perpetrators in the act. They allow you to know immediately if there has been a break-in or theft on your property. They also record any activity that may have taken place before or after the act. This will give crucial evidence to law enforcement agencies allowing them to track down and catch the perpetrator.
I’m sure you have had or have heard of someone having the experience of being robbed in the past. A new flat screen TV is stolen from the patio for instance. So, you call the police and report the crime. They come out, ask some questions, have a look around and write up their report.
You ask them, “What are the chances are of finding the guy who did it”.
Their response, “Not very good, if we had a face image or a description of him we might be able to do something.”
The police get into their cruiser to head off and you likely won’t see them again. Unfortunately, this story and many like it are the reality for most Phoenix residents. However, that story would be much different if you had some CCTV security cameras for home protection installed.
What if you were able to pull up a full high definition video recording of the entire incident, a video showing the time stamp and length of the act? As well as the face, clothing, car and maybe even license plate of the perp. If the police got all this information, I think the story may have ended a lot differently.
Let’s Talk About CCTV Cameras
CCTV security cameras for homes have many features. Here are some of the main features to look for in your home surveillance camera system.
- They can be weather proof and can be rated for indoor or outdoor use.
- They can be IR capable and can be used in daytime or nighttime.
- Their body style can be bullet, dome, turret or discrete.
- More advanced cameras can even be controlled remotely allowing the user to pan, tilt or zoom the image to follow or close in on any activity taking place. These cameras are called PTZ or PanTiltZoom.
The main features listed above are key to making any decision on a CCTV system, but you do need to take into account additional elements during the purchasing process. Keep in mind, any camera you purchase, unless it has sufficient built-in memory and recording capability will need to be fed into a DVR or NVR to record the video and store it. I will cover more on this topic later. Also, there have been a lot of cameras coming on the market being advertised as WIFI or wireless. Most surveillance cameras need video cables ran from the camera to the DVR or NVR. They also need power. WIFI cameras can solve many logistical problems. They are especially useful when trying to install them in difficult locations. However, all CCTV cameras need power. Even batteries will eventually die. So, if you choose to go with a wireless camera, we will need to make sure we have a plan for how to get power to each one. In our experience at Infinity HD, we have found it’s much more practical and reliable to simply run a video and power cable to each camera.
Indoor Outdoor Cameras:
Indoor cameras – designed for use in low lighting; they sometimes have a wider viewing angle than outdoor cameras. Wider viewing angles are necessary in order to capture video at shorter distances. Indoor cameras are not designed to be in the elements such as dust, rain, moisture, sunlight or heat. Therefore to keep it simple they should really only be used in living spaces.
Outdoor cameras – built with a robust casing and are sealed to protect the electronics from rain, snow, dust, UV rays and other extreme conditions.
Discrete cameras can come in many shapes and sizes. Discrete cameras can be in the form of smoke alarms, motion detectors, alarm clocks, USB thumb drives, thermostats or lighting fixtures. The idea behind a discrete camera is that it is hidden in a common object you would see every day. Since visible cameras have been known to change a person’s behavior, discrete cameras allow the property owner to catch a person in the act.
These are the classic style surveillance cameras you will see at bank tellers, grocery stores and public places. A bullet camera is the best choice when you want people on your property to know they are being watched. Out of all the styles of cameras, they are the most recognizable. They are identified by a long spherical shape with a lens on the front and usually have some sort of hood to protect them from rain or sunlight. They are fixed cameras and usually can be focused a full 180 degrees left to right, and 180 degrees top to bottom. People generally are on their best behavior when there is a bullet camera in sight. Bullet cameras have such an effect, that some businesses and homeowners have been known to place fake plastic decoy bullet cameras around their home to fend off burglars. This can be a cost effective solution. However, here at Infinity HD, we don’t recommend such practice, unless it only functions as a compliment to an actual working surveillance system.
IR stands for Infrared. IR is an invisible form of light with a frequency lower than our eyes can detect. IR is the same type of light that is sent out of your TV remote control when you press a button. Your TV remote control has a built in IR emitter known as an LED that emits this type of light and is picked up by an IR sensor on your Television. So, when you press the ON button, your TV knows to turn on. This same type of technology is incredibly useful in nighttime CCTV security cameras for homes. Since IR is basically a form of heat. Heat is everywhere even at nighttime. That means that cameras that have IR capability can see in the dark! I know exciting, right? Most IR cameras also have LEDs built right in just like the LED in your remote. These LED’s are arranged in a cluster and function as a big Infrared flashlight that lights up the foreground in front of the camera for even more clarity. Here at Infinity HD we recommend using IR cameras exclusively. Since any location can be dark at some point. Most IR cameras will be labeled day/night meaning they can record regular visible light as well as IR.
Dome cameras are recognized by their half sphere and clear or tinted dome shaped lens. These types of cameras are typically less obtrusive than bullet type cameras. Since most dome cameras don’t allow you see exactly where the camera is pointing, there is much less of a sense of “being watched” when you are around one.
Turret cameras are much like dome cameras except they do not have a protective dome shaped lens. Don’t let this discourage you though; many turret cameras are designed to withstand the elements of outdoors.
PTZ Cameras are basically turret cameras with built in motors or servos. The motors allow the camera to be moved left to right, up and down and even zoomed in and out completely from a remote location usually with the use of a mouse or joystick. Some advanced PTZ cameras have software that allows tracking, meaning the camera can follow the motion of an object moving across it’s field of vision.
DVR or digital video recorder is a piece of hardware much like a PC, only it is specifically designed to record and store digital video data from CCTV security cameras for home systems. DVR’s have built in hard drives and specialized software that will monitor, manage and record multiple video cameras at once. They also have the ability of being logged into remotely over your internet connection from a Smartphone Tablet or PC. This allows you to monitor your property in real time anywhere in the world* They can even send you notifications when one of the cameras has detected motion, and send you snapshot images of the motion that was detected.
NVR or Network Video Recorder is much like its brother the DVR. It has a built in hard drive and software and can monitor and manage multiple cameras at once. The main difference between and NVR and a DVR is an NVR is designed for use with IP cameras.
Recently, IP cameras are quickly becoming the choice for homeowners and business owners who wish to protect their property. IP cameras have much more flexibility than traditional CCTV cameras. They can be managed over large networks, be plugged into multiple NVRs and be part of a vast surveillance network spanning over miles. An NVR can record and monitor dozens or even hundreds of cameras locally and offsite. The greatest thing about IP cameras is that they do not need to be directly wired to the NVR to work. They simply need a network or internet connection. IP cameras get their power directly from the network connection usually in the form of a cat5 or cat6 Ethernet cable. The Ethernet cable provides the power using a technology called POE or Power over Ethernet. Special power injectors are needed at the other end of the cable to integrate the power in with the video signal.
What is CCTV?
CCTV is another way of saying video surveillance or security cameras. CCTV or closed circuit television is a system that uses cameras and monitors and can be installed on industrial, commercial or residential properties and buildings that allow a user to monitor activities in multiple locations from one centralized point using a monitor or television. That centralized location can be on-site in a security office or viewed remotely from a laptop PC or Smartphone.
Can I use wireless cameras instead of having to run wires in my home or business?
Wireless cameras or WIFI cameras are a good choice when wanting to simply monitor your baby’s room, or your kids when you are away from home. The biggest draw back of wireless cameras is their reliability. WIFI is a great technology; however it can be interrupted by a neighbor’s wireless network or other electrical interference from your home. Video streaming requires a solid connection to be reliable and video surveillance is too important to allow such interferences to take place. Also, remember that batteries will eventually die and WIFI cameras still need power, therefore they are not truly “wireless”.
Where am I allowed/not allow to put cameras?
Arizona law prohibits the use of cameras in certain locations where an individual would expect to find privacy. These areas include but are not limited to showers, bathrooms, and changing rooms.
*Anywhere in the world as long as there is a reliable internet connection with 1.5mbs or faster
Protect your family with a security camera install in Phoenix from the experts at Infinity HD. Don’t wait, call Infinity HD toady at (480) 787-0443.