Posts Tagged ‘ dome security camera ’

How to Choose a Security Camera System Based on Your Layout

Written By:
Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Many people know that they would like to have a security camera system for their home or office, but they just don’t know where to start. Here are a few things to think about when choosing your system to help ensure you get the right equipment and plan a smooth and efficient installation. This article will help you how to choose a security camera system based on your layout.

The first thing you might want to think about is the floor plan of your home or business, the areas you would like your cameras to cover, and the environment surrounding each camera. Doing this will give you a good idea of the type of equipment you will need and how many cameras are required.

Property Layout, Coverage Area and the Surrounding Conditions

Let’s use the illustration below as an example. Here is a house where we want to plan and install a security camera system. We can answer a lot of questions simply by using this example. (See Fig. 1-1)

Security Camera Layout 1-1Camera Layout Fig. 1-1

Notice we have 4 cameras setup and labeled in various locations around the house. What can we tell from this simple illustration?

Camera 1: We want camera 1 to cover our patio, front door, front walkway and front yard. For this camera we need a wide field of view, a good quality image, and we need to see at night with a low or no light source. In this case you might want to go with a 800 TVL (TV Line) high quality camera with a 3.6 fixed lens (wide field of view) and 50′ IR (can see up to 50 feet at night with the assistance of built in infrared).

Camera 2: This camera will focus on the driveway and garage door. We also want a wide field of view and good image quality as well as 100′ IR for a longer night vision distance.

Camera 3: Camera 3 has similar requirements as camera 1, so we can use the same camera.

Camera 4: On camera 4 we want to view and monitor the pool area. Unlike the fixed lens cameras used for the rest of the house we want a varifocal lens (can be zoomed and focused on a specific area). We also need a good quality picture and night vision.

Another thing we can tell by looking at our layout is there are some other areas of the home that are not covered at all. In this case we might decide that a 4 camera system is not sufficient for our needs. But for the purposes of this article we will stick with 4 cameras for now.

Note: In some cases you may want to purchase an 8 channel DVR even though you are only going to start with 4 cameras. This gives you the ability to scale your security camera system over time.

Choosing Your Camera Types

Now we need to choose the types of cameras we want use. Below are images of two popular camera styles mounted on the soffit of the house. There are a few things to consider when choosing your camera type(s).

Dome or Vandal Dome Security Camera

Dome Security Camera Mounted
Fig. 1-2

Bullet Security Camera

Bullet Security Camera Mounted 1
Fig 1-3

In this case using a bullet camera gives you the ability to drop below the obstruction or even mount the camera on the wall as seen in the photo below. (See Fig. 2-3)

Bullet Security Camera Mounted 2
Fig 2-3

Let’s assume the back of the house near the pool area has gutters that will make using a dome camera difficult. We also know that we want to be able to point the camera so that it’s looking directly at the pool. In this case we might want a bullet camera.

One more thing to note is that there are indoor and outdoor cameras. Outdoor cameras are also known as weather resistant or weather proof. We will be using all outdoor cameras for our installation.

By using our layout, taking into consideration the areas we want cover and the conditions around each camera, we have decided on the following cameras listed below:

Camera 1: (Front)
700 TVL Dome style Security Camera with a fixed wide angle lens and 50′ IR for night vision.

Camera 2: (Driveway)
700 TVL Dome style Security Camera with a fixed wide angle lens and 100′ IR for night vision.

Camera 3: (Back Yard)
700 TVL Dome style Security Camera with a fixed wide angle lens and 50′ IR for night vision.

Camera 4: (Pool)
700 TVL Bullet style Security Camera with Wall Mount, Varifocal lens and 100′ IR for night vision.

Choosing Your DVR

Now that we have picked out our cameras we need to choose the right DVR. A few questions you might ask yourself are: how many days of recording would I like to be stored on my DVR for play back? How important is the clarity and quality of the play back footage and do I want to view my cameras remotely via a computer, mobile device or phone?

In our case we want to be able to view recorded video for up to 7 days. We also want high quality playback and remote viewing.

Storage Requirements

If we want to have 1 week of recordings on 4 cameras, 24 hour a day, 7 day a week at high quality, we will need about 650 gigabytes of storage. Most DVRs today use standard hard drives as a storage device, so a 1 terabyte hard drive will do. You can determine storage requirement with a hard drive calculator like this one on


We’ve already determined that we are going to start with an 8 channel DVR even though we are only going to install 4 cameras at this time. We also want a DVR that can record the highest quality image in real time on all 8 channels. When choosing a DVR take your time and do some research. Some lower cost DVRs may not be able record at the highest quality on all channels due to processor or hardware limitations.

So we want to make sure we get an 8 channel DVR that is capable of the highest quality, real-time recording on all channels.

Remote Viewing

Many DVRs today have the ability to view your cameras or play back video remotely via computer, mobile device or phone. This capability depends on having an Internet connection at both the location where the DVR is located and the remote location from where you will be viewing. It is important that you make sure the DVR that you purchase has remote viewing capabilities and the software or App that supports your phone or mobile device.


Have a look at our layout below (See Fig. 3-1). Video and power cables will have to be run from the area of the home where the DVR will be located to each of the cameras. In order to do this some tools may be required. You should be comfortable running wire and you will most likely need to get into your attic. Here is where you make your next decision. Is this a Do-It-Yourself project or do you prefer Professional Installation?

DVR Placement
Fig. 3-1

If you decide to have a professional come to do your installation you probably will not have to be concerned with most of what we will cover next.

Common Types of Cable

Have a look at our layout below (See Fig. 3-1). Video and power cables will have to be run from the area of the home where the DVR will be located to each of the cameras. In order to do this some tools may be required. You should be comfortable running wire and you will most likely need to get into your attic. Here is where you make your next decision. Is this a Do-It-Yourself project or do you prefer Professional Installation?

Siamese Cable

Siamese Cable has video and power both in one cable. It usually comes on a spool or in a box and can be cut to the exact length needed for each camera. The power leads and BNC video ends need to be attached. Tools may be required. The option of using “cut your own cable” is very popular with professional installers.

Siamese Cable Connection

Cat 5

Cat 5 Cable may also be used. For newer Network IP cameras CAT 5 may even be a requirement. Cat 5 also has the ability to transmit video and power. Even if you are not using IP Network cameras, you may want to use Cat 5 with Baluns (converters) for your analog cameras. This is a benefit if you know you will upgrade to IP cameras in the future and do not want to re-wire at that time.

Cat 5 Cable

Plug and Play

Plug and Play Cable may be the best option for those who do not want to cut cable or splice ends. It is pre-made in various lengths and has the correct connectors on both ends. This is a popular choice for Do-It-Yourself installations.

Plug and Play Cable


The last thing we need to decide is how we want to power the cameras. We will talk about two common power options. Option one is a plug and play power supply (See Fig. 4-1) and option two is a power distribution box. (See Fig. 4-2).

Power Supply
Fig. 4-1

Power Distribution Box
Fig. 4-2

Plug and Play Power Supply

Similar to the pre-made plug and play cables, the plug and play power supply is a very popular option for home owners and self-installers. You simply plug the power supply into a standard 110 outlet then plug the end of your cameras power cable in to one of the power leads. That’s it! You are done. (See Fig. 4-3)

Power Supply end
Fig. 4-3

Power Distribution Box

A distribution box is a good choice for delivering power to multiple cameras from a central location. This is generally a cleaner more professional installation option, providing better power distribution and surge protection. When using this option it is not necessary to use power leads, the end of each power cable is attached directly to the terminal block inside the power distribution box. (See Fig. 4-4)

Power Distribution Box Connection
Fig. 4-4


Although there are many equipment and installation options not covered in this article, understanding your layout, surrounding environment and knowing your installation options will help you select the best equipment and plan a smooth installation in any scenario.


3 Megapixel IP Dome Security Camera

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

In this video I’m going to show you our brand new vandal dome model number IPVD-ELMPIR.

This is a vandal dome 3 megapixel camera that just arrived.  It’s very good, it has an amazing picture and I’m going to show you how to open it and show you what you’ll see inside the camera when you do open it.

First you will notice that the camera has three screws and it has an Allen key that is provided in the package so you just basically unscrew the three screws right here.

This comes off:

and here is the inside of the camera:

It has the IRs, the sensor, it has a lens, a 4.5 to 10mm varifocal lens.  It has a heater/blower inside and it is capable of recording directly at the camera.  It has a slot for a micro SD card up to 32 gigs and the SD card will look something like this:

You can just insert it there and put it on your network, configure some of the features and you will be good to go in no time.   The camera has a pigtail which includes the RJ435 connecter or the Ethernet port where you are going to connect it into your router.

It is capable of PoE power over the Ethernet, meaning that you don’t need a power supply so you can just power on the camera if you have a PoE switch.  You can also plug it in to a regular 12 VDC or 24VAC power adaptor, i. e. it’s a dual voltage camera.  This camera is capable of having audio recording but you have to put a microphone in.  It’s able to plug into a regular DVR through the BNC but you won’t really get the 3 megapixel resolution.  And this pigtail over here this connector has more features this is the other end of the cable you can connect an RS45,

you can connect alarms, like you know it has alarm inputs and outputs.  Also it comes with the pattern for installation if you want to mount it.  It’s a very, very good camera good quality, vandal proof, its capable of recording at 3 megapixel or 1080p which is 2 megapixel.  You can use this camera on our brand new Hybrid DVR.  Our Hybrid DVR is capable of handling this camera up to 1080 p resolution.  This camera is a tri-ax camera meaning it can move in three different planes.  I will be making some more videos showing the configurations and how to plug it into the network and how to configure it.  I hope this has been informative for you and I would like to thank you for viewing.


Dome Security Camera

Friday, April 1st, 2011

The dome security camera is one of the most popular types of digital video security camera in use today.  Thanks to modern technological advances a lot of electronic power can be packaged inside a small 3.5 inch diameter dome camera.  Not only are they small and powerful, but the average dome security camera is light weight as well (in most cases weighing just under one pound), which makes it easy to mount just about anywhere.

Today, there are three standard types of digital video camera based on shape; the box type, bullet type, and dome security camera.  How, what, and where the camera is used usually dictates the type, although user preference is also a factor.

Dome cameras originated from their older analog ancestors.  These cameras were often big and bulky and required a great deal more depth than today’s dome security camera.  Often, the older cameras were actually box cameras placed behind a wall or ceiling with the body of the camera extending into the wall space ith just the lens extending through a pre-cut opening.   A glass dome was then fixed over the lens to make it more aesthetically pleasing.  Blackened glass or two-way mirror glass was often used to conceal the lens, so that potential shoplifters, intruders, etc. would not know in what direction the lens was aimed.

Current dome security cameras are nothing like what is described in the previous paragraph.  Considering that the main components of a digital video camera are the lens, the sensor chip, and the Integrated Circuit (IC) electronics the largest part of the camera is often the lens which on the average is about 3.6mm in diameter.

A digital video dome security camera is a compact, highly sophisticated electronic piece of equipment.   The sole purpose of the camera is to transfer light images into electronic images that can be seen on an electronic display device such as a monitor.

It does this by first using a lens to focus the field of view onto a tiny sensor chip.  These chips range from 1/3 inch to about 1/2 inch square.  One of two different sensor ships is used.  Although the chips go about the process differently, both yield the same result; transferring light into electronic impulses that can be measured (and therefore used to create an electronic image).

The sensor chips are either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  After the sensor chip converts the light image into an electronic impulse, the IC chips take over processing and digitizing the electronic information and passing it along to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR.

There are several types of dome security cameras based on how they function or where they are intended to be used.  Dome security cameras can be classified as indoor, outdoor, or indoor/outdoor types although most outdoor types today are the combination indoor/outdoor.  Indoor dome cameras are intended to be used inside, under protective cover from the weather and other elements.

Outdoor dome security cameras are protected by an outer shell or case that prevents water, snow, hail, or other damage to the camera itself.   These cameras are often rated according to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC’s) Ingress Protection or IP standard.   An IP rating of IP55 or higher is usually considered good.

Dome security cameras are usually flush mounted on a ceiling or wall, but may be mounted on special mounts that can range from peduncle type to horizontal extensions.  They require very little surface area for mounting, and can usually be mounted easily using from two to four screws.  The video transmission cable and the power supply cable usually attach from the underside of the mount or there are extensions exiting from under the mount such that the wires remain hidden and protected by the structure the camera is mounted on.

Dome security cameras may also work in InfraRed (IR) modes and the IR Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are normally clustered right around the camera lens.   This provides directed IR illumination in the exact field of vision of the camera lens.

Security Camera King offers a wide selection of indoor and outdoor (as well as indoor/outdoor) dome security cameras.  Our cameras are of the highest quality and offer the best performance at the most economical price in the industry.