Home Security > Home Video
Home Video Surveillance
Homeowners can improve the safety and security of
their family and home with a home video surveillance system. Cameras can
be placed in strategic areas of the home to provide complete coverage
both inside and outside. Homeowners can watch the camera video streams
from a connected TV or monitor. You can also monitor your home cameras
while at the office or on the road through your office computer, iPad,
PDA, or smart phone.
Uses of a Home Video System. You
can use your home video system to deter or detect criminals, keep an eye
on children, check on your pets, keep tabs on your home while at work, on
the road, or traveling, and to see who is at your front door.
CCTV Cameras. A home video system can have any number
of closed circuit TV cameras - from one to as many as needed.
Digital Video Recorder (DVR). A
DVR is a specialty computer with software, hardware, and storage for video
sent to the DVR by the cameras. When using a DVR you can
store from one week to several months of video; the more capacity you have
the more it costs. These video events can be downloaded
from the DVR onto a separate computer if needed. DVRs come in many different
sizes depending on how much video you want to store (period of storage and
number of cameras are a factor). DVRs are the most common video management
system but are seeing competition from more advanced systems such as NVRs
(supports IP cameras), HDVRs, or IP systems. You can have up to 4 TBs of
storage in a DVR.
Video Splitter. A video splitter will depict more than
one camera view on a monitor. The basic model will show four scenes; some
will show many more than four scenes. Some splitters will allow
sequencing of the video scenes.
Outdoor Lighting. Some cameras will require outdoor
lighting to enable them to film video at night. There are some cameras
that have an
infrared capability so "white lights" will not be needed but infrared
lighting will need to be installed.
E-mail and Phone Call Alerts. Some home video systems
have the capability of sending you an e-mail alert or calling / texting
your phone when something is not right and an alarm is activated.
Insurance Claims. Should your home
become victimized by crime or vandalism your home video surveillance
system may help solve the crime; and more importantly help you validate
your insurance claims with your video evidence.
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Home Video Surveillance Options
The challenge associated with purchasing a home
video surveillance system are diverse amount of options one needs to
Professional Installation or Do-It-Yourself
(DIY)? If you are handy with electricity, electronics, cameras
and gadgets then you might be able to self-install a home video system on
your own. A DIY system will save you some money. But if you go into a
panic using your DVD then a professional will save you time, ensure the
job gets done right, and provide you with the right amount of security.
Wired or Wireless? There are
several factors to consider here. First of all you need to determine the
camera coverage needed. If you don't want to see the camera's wires then
you should choose a wireless camera. If you want a camera to be mobile -
moveable from place to place the best option is wireless. If you need to
transmit a camera signal through structures (floors or walls) then
wireless should be chosen. If you are putting a camera in a fixed location
and the wires are not a problem then go with a wired camera. You can
choose to have a mix of wired and wireless cameras depending on location.
Camera Locations. In order to
determine the number of cameras needed you should decide what you need to
cover. One way of doing this is to identify important assets and entryways
into your home. A camera covering the garage door and driveway will keep
automobiles and equipment stored in the garage under view. Cameras should
cover entrances to your home to include basement bulkhead or door. You
might want a camera covering the children's play area or where your
expensive boat is stored.
Types of Cameras. There are a
couple of choices with cameras. You can decide on fixed or PTZ. PTZ is a
pan, tilt, and zoom and are very expensive - however they can cover a
larger field of view. Color cameras are the way to go unless you need to
cover areas at night with low light - then black and white are a good
option. Camera choice and placement can get complicated quickly - as in
camera viewing angles and lens focal length. This is where a professional
can apply his knowledge that you may not have.
Night Camera Capability. For
cameras to operate at night you need to choose between regular cameras
that cover a lighted area (think flood light for front and back yard) or
installing infrared cameras with IR lighting (a more expensive option).
You can use a combination of regular and IR lighting and cameras. Although
extremely expensive, thermal cameras are a high-end option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
on Home Video Surveillance
How does a Home Video System Work? Video is captured
by cameras located outside or inside of your residence. The video receiver
collects the video images and stores them - at the same time transmitting
them to a monitor (whether in the house or at a remote location). The
images can be viewed on many different types of devices by the customer
while he/she is traveling, at work, or on the road.
What Firms Offer Video Surveillance
Solutions? There are a lot of firms - both large and small - that
offer video surveillance solutions. Some of the bigger firms are
nationwide - such as
ADT. Smaller firms exist on the local or regional level such as the
systems firms found in Maine.
What about "Do It Yourself" (DIY) systems?
You can buy home video surveillance packages and self-install them. Most
of the major store chains offer these systems to include
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