A home camera system DVR or Digital Video Recorder is a standalone digital video security camera system suitable fur residential use. Recent advances in computer and electronic technology have provided the home camera system DVR user with an abundance of optional features, making the system versatile enough to be used just about anywhere.
A home cameras system DVR is basically a component system. There are different parts that make up the entire system and each individual part can differ to provide a specific function. These “parts” are the components and when put together create the system.
A typical home camera system DVR consists of the following components:
• Camera or cameras;
• Power supply;
• Processor/Digital Video Recorder with CODEC utility; and,
Cameras used in a home camera system DVR may be indoor or outdoor types. Outdoor cameras have a protective cover that keeps dust, water, weather and other environmental elements from penetrating it and harming the camera. These cameras are often rated based on a standard called an Ingress Protection or IP rating. When shopping for an outdoor camera, make sure it has a rating of either IP66 or IP67. Both ratings indicate complete protection from dust and water.
When creating your own custom home camera system DVR, you generally will require both outdoor and indoor cameras. Outdoor cameras may be used for monitoring the perimeter of your residence or for specific outdoor areas. Indoor cameras are generally used for monitoring rooms, doors, and areas inside the home.
Regardless if the camera is an indoor or outdoor model, each camera will need to be connected to a power supply, and a coaxial cable will need to be run from each camera to the processor/DVR. However, the coaxial cable can be eliminated by using wireless cameras instead.
A wireless home camera system DVR differs from a standard home camera system DVR in that each camera has its own transmitter and antenna. The camera transmits its video signal using the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz radio band to a corresponding receiver. The receiver is usually in the same location as the DVR. The receiver passes the radio signal in electronic form to the processor/DVR. Wireless cameras are quick and easy to install.
The digital video cameras used in a home camera system DVR are state-of-the-art electronic devices. They create a digital video image by capturing light from the lens on a special electronic sensor chip. There are two types of sensor chips; Charged Coupled Devices or CCDs and Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductors or CMOSs. These chips range in size from less than ¼ inch to about 1 inch. Generally, the larger the chip, the greater the resolution of the video image that is produced.
Cameras may contain special highly sensitive chips to produce digital video under different lighting conditions. Day/night vision cameras produce high quality color video with very little available visible light. Night vision infrared cameras produce high quality color video under normal lighting conditions and high quality monochrome or black and white video under infrared conditions.
Night vision infrared cameras contain Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs that project infrared light onto the target area of the camera. This illuminates the target area like a spot light or flood light; however the human eye cannot see this light. On the other hand, the camera can see the infrared illumination and indeed uses it to produce a clear, high quality video,
Day/night vision cameras require at least some sort of visible light; night vision infrared cameras can produce an image in total darkness. However, infrared cameras are limited to how far they can “see” in total darkness based on the LEDs used to illuminate the target area. If your home camera system DVR requires infrared cameras, be sure to check the range of the camera before purchasing to make sure you have one that will fulfill your needs.
Other available options for cameras include audio recording, and Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) functions. A PTZ camera with motion detection can be programmed to track moving objects.
The DVR of a home camera system DVR is like the hard disk drive on a personal computer. Its main function is to store the digital video files. Raw digital video files are extremely large which makes them difficult to store and handle. The DVR uses a CODEC utility to shrink file size but retain video clarity. DVRs can be purchased in a variety of storage sizes ranging up to several Tera bytes.