Security cameras are one of the best options available to help monitor your business or home operations, thus ensuring safety and security. The proper installation of security cameras and the correct choice of equipment play a very important role in their performance. The first steps in installing a video surveillance system are choosing the right cameras and then identifying the location to install them.
There are different types of security cameras, for example, infrared cameras are mainly used in places with low light; bullet cameras, which are highly visible, easy to install and can be mounted on a wall or ceiling; dome cameras, the most fashionable for home security; and vandal dome cameras where the cameras will be mounted in areas where they are easily accessible or in high crime areas. There are several considerations to take into account before performing any security camera installation:
• Make sure there is adequate power supply, especially for outdoor installations
• Choose the correct lighting options around the camera or choose a low light or infrared camera
• Weather considerations – This issue can be addressed by the use of weather resistant cameras or protective housings for outdoor camera installations.
• Use the correct lens for the camera, such as a wide angle for small hallways or hallways or a telephoto lens for aiming at targets from a longer distance.
• Consider using wired or wireless security cameras
Wireless security/surveillance cameras are increasingly becoming a desirable alternative to the wired systems of the past. One of the main benefits of using wireless technology is the ease of installation and portability of your cameras in case you want to change your location or take them with you if you move. You’re spending more money buying a wireless camera, but if it works, you can save hours of installation time. Wireless cameras can be connected to a power source or run on a battery.
These are the best reasons NOT to use a wireless camera:
• Battery life is very short. Just a few hours if you’re lucky. Remember, the battery powers both the cameras and the transmitter. We have countless customers who are surprised that wireless cameras don’t last longer on battery power. They are used to getting months or years out of their wireless alarm components that use very little power to operate and think cameras are the same thing. They are not!
• You have to wire anyway! If you’re not happy with the 2-3 hours of battery life, and most people aren’t, you’ll need to plug the camera into a power source. This probably means drilling into the wall and finding an outlet to plug it into. This also means that if someone inadvertently or on purpose unplugs the camera from the wall, the camera will stop working. Note that most wired installations do not have this problem, as the power cable is safely connected in tandem (Siamese cable) with the video signal back to the control room where the recorder and the monitor. The only way someone can stop the camera from working in the wired box would be to cut the actual wire.
• Wireless reception or interference is another problem. The FCC only allows a few frequencies for wireless cameras. 900MHz, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz range for now. But cameras aren’t the only things sharing this radio spectrum, causing huge headaches for customers and installers trying to find a good picture. And remember, your DVR recorder has a 99% chance of recording video with motion detection. This means that every screen flicker caused by the interference will cause your DVR to record. This, in turn, will cause you to review hours or days more of video when an event occurs and consume your hard drive capacity. Where you expected 4 weeks of recording capacity, now you only get a few days due to constant recording caused by poor wireless signal.
• When you send a wireless signal, anyone can pick up the transmission and watch. This means that a wireless signal inside your home gives a peeping tom or burglar an easy view of what’s going on inside. Keep your clothes on and hide cutlery when using a wireless camera indoors. No more HBO needed for your neighbors as your true lifestyle will be broadcast far and wide on your cameras.
• The stated transmission distance is never the case. Remember that wireless cameras will indicate a transmission distance from what they measured in the lab. This lab was probably located in a desert or remote region where there are no trees, walls, houses, or other transmissions. So your actual results will vary and vary greatly down! 300′ now becomes 100-150′ with neighboring walls and streams.
But wait! There is hope for wireless technology after all. The above problems with wireless have newer technology that can rescue you from some of these listed pitfalls. Digital streaming to the rescue! The new digital transmission for cameras will alleviate some (not all) of the problems of poor wireless reception. Digital transmission will block some of the wireless interference from wireless routers, cordless phones, etc., by scrambling the signal. This creates a much more secure connection and also encrypts the signal preventing a Peeping Tom or Sneaky Pete from peering into your home on the wireless channel. Digital will not guarantee you 100% as you are still using a wireless transmission; however, the encryption of the digital will prevent the average Joe from becoming a Tom or a Pete.
Even at the highest quality, we will always recommend hardwired cameras unless absolutely necessary. There is almost never a problem when you connect. From time to time you may get a cut cable; however, it can be easily repaired. I can confidently say that less than 0.5% of all installations I have ever been involved with have ever required a cut cable.
The bottom line is that Wire is King and Wireless is still working to get practical. Until then, stay tuned!