An increase in theft and break-ins have increased the need for security camera systems in recent years. A lot of these are NVRs or network video recorders which operate through wireless systems so that videos can be easily accessed and controlled from just about anywhere. With the many models coming out though, how can you possibly know which are the good ones and which are the lemons?
Things to Consider
Power – PoE v. the others
Security cameras used to be powered through wires separate from cables that were used to transmit images from the camera to a connected video recorder. Coaxial cables were used in the past to connect each camera in order for images to be transmitted to the video recorder.
Nowadays, security cameras make use of PoE (Power over Ethernet) to connect the camera to a wireless network for easier transmission of images. The PoE can also serve as a power source for the camera lessening the need for extra wires. Another advantage of PoE is that images transmitted appear to be more clear with lessened distortion.
Resolution, Quality and Field of Vision
A security camera that cannot produce or transmit clear images will definitely not be worth the investment. Luckily, most of the cameras that are coming out now have a resolution of at least 1080 p which, more or less, will produce satisfactory results. There are cameras that offer as much as 5 to 12 MP resolution as well although do expect these to be on the pricey end.
Besides the resolution, another thing that you should consider is the field of view that the camera can cover. There are those that can cover as much as a 360-degrees view of the area, although most will offer only a 110-degree view.
Wired or wireless?
Older cameras use to have a wire for a specific purpose. A specific wire would be dedicated for the power supply while another wire would be used for connecting one camera to the recorder. These days though are seeing a rise in the popularity of wireless camera systems. Wireless systems are more pleasant to look at after all and they lessen the chances of accidents that are often caused by hanging wires. The downside though with wireless systems is that they can cover only a limited area. Wireless systems can cover a maximum area of 100 feet. For larger areas, wired systems are still the better choice.
Number of channels
An area, especially a large one, will usually require more than one camera for you to able to monitor as wide an area as possible. Channels actually refer to the cameras that can be connected to the video recorder. The more channels, the more cameras, the better coverage. Smaller areas usually need a maximum of two channels. Larger areas, such as huge houses, will need more than two channels so that all areas are properly covered and monitored. All channels should be managed through just one NVR for convenience.
Videos usually take a lot of space and you will certainly need to store these videos for a certain amount of time. For this reason, a large amount of storage space is necessary. Storage may be provided either by the use of cloud storage or local storage.
While SD cards may be used to store videos from just a few cameras, as much as 1TB of storage space provided by an SDD hard drive or an HDD may be needed if more cameras are used.
Smart integration and remote access
Videos from older cameras used to need a lot of processing before you could actually view a video footage recorded by the security camera. Recent technological advancements, however, have allowed for users to immediately view video footage right off the bat. Advancements have gone to the point where video footage can be viewed practically from anywhere through a web browser or through a provided app.
Technological advancements also make it possible for you to control the camera and the settings even in remote locations for added convenience.
With the advent of smart home systems, most of these security cameras can now be integrated with smart home systems as well so that they can seamlessly connect to other smart gadgets in your home such as a smart alarm system, smart lights and other smart utilities.
Motion Detection and Alarm Connectivity
Motion detection is a given in any security camera since motion is what triggers the camera to go on recording mode. This lessens the need to cover unnecessary footage that may take up much needed storage space.
Newer security cameras have gone beyond motion sensors though. These new cameras now come with heat detection and face recognition. This becomes even better than an ordinary motion sensor since these kinds of camera will only start recording when it detects motion accompanied by a slight increase in temperature from a living object. It goes even further since not only will these security cameras start recording, but they will also trigger the alarm system to work and send out alerts.
Security cameras add peace of mind not only for business owners who want to protect their place of business, but also for homeowners who just want to feel safe in their own homes. Investing in good quality cameras and NVRs will surely help you achieve this added level of security, especially if those that you invest in are of good quality that can meet your needs and purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is an NVR?
NVR stand for Network Video Recorder. As the name implies, an NVR is simply a video recorder. What makes an NVR different from a DVR though? Unlike DVRs which record videos through a video recorder, NVRs record the videos by using the camera itself as the recorder. Another difference is that DVRs make use of analog/CCV cameras while NVR are used together with IP and other more technologically advanced types of cameras.
Do NVRs make use of wires? What kind of wires do they use?
NVRs are known for being wireless cameras, but some do make use of wires as well. If they do use wiring, they make use of PoE cables such as the Cat5 and Cat6. PoE cables serve a double purpose for security cameras. They provide a source of power for NVR cameras and they also transmit data from the cameras to the recorder.