Posts Tagged ‘ Home Security Systems ’

Home Surveillance Systems

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Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Home Surveillance Systems Many people today think about getting a surveillance system for their homes. It’s becoming an increasingly popular part of home security systems. Some people may feel like placing a bunch of security cameras around their home can become a bit overkill, but there’s a huge reason why you will find that many public buildings of commercial businesses, ATM’s and all government owned property have surveillance cameras installed. Not only do they provide the evidence needed if an event occurs, but they are a huge deterrent. There are many amateur criminals who decide against burglarizing a location that has cameras installed for the fear of getting caught. Once they see the cameras, many will turn away and decide against it. Even though home security cameras may not be for everyone, those who decide to purchase a system will have many levels of security coverage to think about. You’ll have the choice between a few different types of systems which offer a variety of options between the resolution, clarity, and cost of equipment. Here are a few different facts that may help you with choosing the right system for your home.

Standard Wired Security Camera Surveillance Equipment

Purchasing a standard residential wired security camera system is a great choice for those of you who would like to balance between being able to afford the system and having the performance you need. Wired systems will surely require that you drill some holes into the walls of your home but nowadays the equipment has become very affordable in comparison to a few years ago. Once you have everything setup, the system is pretty much good to go without the requirement for regular maintenance. The system’s we sell at are mostly built for indoor and outdoor use, as well as being able to see in the day and night with the use of Infrared LEDs. Many of the older systems would require you to change VHS tapes once they were full, but now the DVRs have been engineered to work with the same hard drives that your computer uses and will automatically overwrite all of the older footage once it becomes full. You’ll also have the option to change that setting and have the DVR notify you once the DVR is full so that you may manually save the footage and reformat it when you deem necessary. Everything is captured digitally, which can be viewed online or over your smartphone even while you are away from the location. A lot of these new systems are also great about conserving energy so you won’t have to worry about your electric bill significantly increasing even with multiple cameras.

Here are a couple examples of some of the most affordable standard wired security systems along with prices and links of where you can purchase them:

Economy DVR Security System

Starting at about $364, this system is one of the most affordable base model packages you’ll find online. It comes with everything you need and there are even 4, 8, and 16 channel DVR options available if you need more than just 4 cameras. You can find out more information about it here:

Home Surveillance Systems by Dro

Ultimate Mini DVR Security System

This system starts at around $535 and you’ll be able to also choose between a 4, 8, and 16 channel system. The benefit of having this one over the economy is that you’ll be able to add 2 hard drives instead of 1, you’ll be able to record at the highest resolution of 704px x 480px (also known as D1 resolution) on all the channels at 30 frames per second on all of the channels. This means that you’ll be able to see fluid motion on the video you capture just as if you were recording on a video camera. Many older systems had a lower frame rate which makes the motion in the video seem very jittery or slow motion-like where someone is on one place of the screen one second, and another area of the screen in the next. To find out more about this type of DVR system, go here:

Full Size Ultimate DVR security System

This DVR not only comes in a 4, 8, and 16 channel option, but there is even a 32 channel option available. All of the cameras that come with these systems can see up to at least 50ft away at night time and can even be installed outdoors. There are people who even put these cameras in areas of Canada and Alaska which have very cold nights and the cameras are still up and doing great. The Ultimate DVR will have 8 SATA ports which means you can put up to 8 Hard Disk Drives. The more hard drives you have an option of installing, the more data you’ll be able to save and the further back you’ll be able to view what’s happening. Check out this awesome system, It starts at about $880 and much more information about it can be found here:

Going Wireless

It seems like most people would rather go wireless when installing systems in their homes so that they don’t have to deal with running a bunch of cable through their attics. Some homes don’t even have access to an attic and don’t want to have ugly wires showing on their walls. This is also a bad idea anyway because someone can just come and cut your wires in order to disable your surveillance system. One of the biggest things that must be noted when looking into these systems is that you’ll be sacrificing performance and reliability by going wireless. There are certainly solutions out there that are completely wireless and easy to install, but you won’t be getting the best quality and there is always a potential of losing signal due to interference of some sort and then your whole system is disabled for that moment which leaves your home vulnerable. Long distances can also affect the quality of the video being captured and increases your chances for losing signals. Most people also do not realize that going wireless means not having a wire for the video capture but you will still need to hard-wire power to each camera. This means that each camera will have to have a power outlet near the area you are installing them. With a wired system you can run all the wires back to one location that will power all of the cameras simultaneously with the use of a power box or power splitter. There are also transmitters and receivers that can be purchased to make a wired system wireless, but I would suggest only using those as a last resort. They can become costly and may not be as effective as you would like them to be in the end. Also, please note that the DVR’s so not come wireless. They do not have a wireless card installed inside of their hardware.

Example of some wireless transmitters:

2.4Ghz Transmitter and Receiver
Starts at around $290 and you would need to purchase one for each camera that you’re trying to make wireless.

Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Access Point/Bridge for IP Cameras and DVRs

These are great if you can afford them, and you’ll more than likely need one for each end. You would have to purchase one as a transmitter and then another as a receiver. They are currently being offered at the price of about $125 and you can find out more information about them here:

Self-Contained and Hidden Security Camera Systems

There are many people who may not want to put up a full surveillance system in their homes. You may simply want to capture the events in one location of your home. It’s becoming popular to have at least a nanny cam in a home to watch the room that gets occupied the most. These systems can come in the form of many different types of hidden security camera systems and will blend in with the other items in your home. These are great for capturing an event that may be happening only when someone thinks they’re not being watched. Some of these cameras come in the form of radios, wall clocks, mirrors, lamps, stuffed animals, motion sensors, smoke detectors, and many more items that you would commonly find in a home. These are usually easier to install since they run on their own without the need for a Digital Video Recorder. They mainly come with an internal flash hard drive where you can pull the data from the device with a USB cable. They may not record for as long as a full security system, but it may be just enough to capture exactly what you need! If you’re looking for a wired hidden camera solution, those are available as well.

Here are some examples of hidden security camera systems:

Wall clock camera

If you’re looking for a camera that looks like a common item in your home, this wall clock security camera may be the right system for your home. There are different ones that you can purchase but here’s one that starts at $471 and includes an 8GB SD card for video storage. If you want to find out more information check out the products’ page here:

Alarm Clock Camera

This alarm clock can be placed a bit lower than the wall clock if needed. This way you’ll be able to place it somewhere like a nightstand or desk in your home. Most people would never think that this is a recording device. This particular alarm clock camera system starts at $492 and also comes with an 8GB SD card for storage. Click on the following link to find out more information about this alarm clock camera:

In conclusion, there are many different choices of security systems when you’re looking for a way to protect your home. I would suggest contacting the company you’re planning on purchasing a system from and they can help guide you in the right direction if you’re still a bit confused about what to purchase. Think about all of the locations of your home that you’d like to cover and the duration of time you’d like to be able to go back and view and that will help you get started in choosing the right system. The type of location you live in also comes into play. For example, if you’re in a home with an attic, it’ll be a lot easier to run a wired system than in an apartment building where you may have some restrictions on the type of surveillance system you are allowed to install. Either way, having a home security system can help deter as well as prove any negative events that may occur to your property.


Batteries for Home Security Systems

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

There are many different types of batteries for home security systems. The following articles describes some basic battery facts and will help you to choose the right batteries for your home security system.

A typical “wired” security system consists of cameras, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor.

The DVR and monitor normally operate off of normal house current and have standard Alternating Current (AC) cords and plugs. Standard digital video cameras however, operate on Direct Current (DC) and normally operate off a power distribution box, a plug-in transformer/adapter, and or batteries. The plug-in transformer plugs into a common household outlet and transforms the AC power into DC electricity and a reduced voltage (usually around 12 volts DC or less as compared to 115 volts AC) and a reduced amperage (ranging from 400 to 2400 milliamps (mA) or more DC as compared to 5 to 30 amps AC). A power line carrying the lower voltage DC power is run from the power distribution center (or plug-in transformer) to each camera.

Some cameras, usually wireless types, allow the use of batteries for home security systems instead of power distribution centers or plug-in transformers. This eliminates the need to run a power line to the camera. If the camera is a wireless camera, this features makes the camera a truly wireless camera as there are no external wire connections needed for the camera.

Batteries for home security systems come in a range of sizes and types. Some cameras utilize typical battery sizes such as AA, AAA, C, or D cells while others require the use of a “battery pack.” A battery pack is usually a certain number of rechargeable batteries that are connected to each other and are held together by a plastic heat-shrink wrap. Before you stock up on a great internet bulk sale of batteries, there are a few things that you need to know to make sure you purchase the right batteries so you do not destroy your cameras.

First, your camera is rated to be powered by a certain number of Volts (V). The voltage of electricity can be thought of as the pressure of the electricity. Just like the pressure of water in a pipe determines how fast the water travels through the pipe, the voltage of electricity determines how fast the electrons travel through the camera’s electronic circuit. DO NOT attempt to use batteries that result in a different total voltage than what the camera specifies. When purchasing replacement batteries whether they are one-time use or rechargeable, the total voltage must be identical to that specified by the camera. (For example, if the original battery pack that came with the camera is 12 volts you must use a replacement battery pack that is 12 volts).

The second rating for the batteries for home security systems is the Ampere or Amp Hour (Ah). The rating for camera batteries is usually very small so instead of Amp Hours it is more common to see milliampere hours or (mAh). The milliamp hour is one thousandth of an Ah. Where voltage is the pressure of electricity, the mAh is basically the strength or capacity of the battery. Normally, the greater the mAh rating of the battery, the longer it will provide electricity per charge.

You should NOT use batteries with lower mAh ratings than specified by the camera manufacturer. You can use batteries with the same voltage but greater mAh to increase the run time of the camera between charges.

Finally, if your camera uses a battery pack, be certain that you purchase the proper battery pack connector. These connectors vary between battery pack types and manufacturer so it is important to make sure that you have the right size and type connector that will match your camera.

Using batteries for home security systems has it’s advantages and disadvantages. The biggest benefit of battery operated cameras is that there is no need to run any cable or wire to the camera which greatly reduces the installation time and cost. In addition, cameras may be mounted in strategic areas that offer the greatest possible surveillance that may not otherwise be possible if the camera required a power supply wire or transformer.

The biggest disadvantage of using batteries for home security systems is that there is a limited run time before the battery “runs out” of current. There is also an added expense of purchasing replacement batteries as even rechargeable batteries do not last forever.


How Do I Compare Home Security Systems?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Many people ask “How do I compare home security systems?” There are as many ways of comparing home security systems as there are home security systems available for use, but in this article we will attempt to identify some key characteristics that can help you compare home security systems, specifically home security camera systems.

If you are planning on upgrading an existing system or purchasing a new system, than the answer to “How do I compare home security systems?” should prove to be a useful tool for you.

First, before beginning any comparison of home security systems, it is important that you perform a needs assessment. A needs assessment will help you to determine exactly what kind of equipment or system you need to fulfill your own personal home security requirements. The best way to accomplish this to talk to one of our security experts by telephone or on-line live chat. Simply click on the “Live Chat” button at the top of the page or call 1-866-573-8878 anytime Monday thru Friday between 9AM and 6PM EST.

Here are just a few sample questions you can ask yourself as part of a needs assessment:

• Where do I need camera surveillance monitoring?
• Do I need audio recording as well as video?
• Do I need a wireless security system?
• Do I need professional 24/7 monitoring?
• Do I need to monitor my cameras when I am away from home?
• Do I need special lighting cameras, such as day/night vision or night vision infrared cameras?
• If I use a Digital Video Recorder or DVR, how long do I need to record the monitoring before it is re-written over again?
• Will I need to copy video monitoring stored on my DVR to another medium, such as CD, DVD, or a Flash drive?
• Will my video recording be covert (hidden) or overt (out in the open)?
• How much money have I budgeted for this expense?

Once you have determined exactly what equipment you need, you can go to work comparing components and systems. It’s usually best to “break down” your system into it’s components and compare them individually. If the systems you are comparing have the same like/kind of components then you can compare the entire systems.

For the sake of comparison, the system can be broken down into three basic components, the digital video cameras, the DVR, and the monitor(s). There are features, options, or characteristics of each that you may want to compare. Once again, here is a partial list for consideration by component.

• Do my cameras use a CMOS or CCD chip (CMOS chips are usually a little cheaper and may produce a lower quality picture) and what size is it (Generally, the larger the size of the chip, the higher quality of picture.)? Don’t compare a camera with a 3/4″ CCD to a camera with a 1/4″ CMOS.
• What type of lens is being used?
• If it is an “outdoor” camera, what is its IP Rating (How well does it protect the camera from the elements)?
• Do the cameras have wireless technology?
• Are the cameras IP ready (i.e., can they be connected directly to the internet)?
• Do the cameras have any other special features such as infrared technology or Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ)? For example, don’t compare a wireless PTZ camera to a non-wireless non-PTZ camera.


• What is the storage capacity of the DVR?
• What COmpression/DECompression (CODEC) does it use to create the digital video file?
• How many channels/camera inputs does it have?
• Is it IP ready to connect to the internet?
• Does it have additional back-up media options?
• What is its maximum recording resolution and frame rate?
• How many audio inputs does it have?
• Can it send email notifications?
• What kind of output (VGA or HDMI for example) does it have?

• What is the size of the monitors you are comparing?
• What is the maximum display resolution of the monitors you are comparing?
• What type of inputs are accepted (VGA, HDMI, BNC, etc.)?
• What type of stand or mounting does the monitor have?

Although the question, “How do I compare home security systems?” cannot be answered in just one short article, this should give you a good foundation from which to proceed. Remember when comparing systems to compare like/kind components for the fairest and most accurate comparison.


Home Video Security Systems

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Versatility, economic pricing, and Innovative technology are making home video security systems the number one choice for residential security and surveillance. Home video systems are no longer just for the extremely wealthy; and, their abundance of features and options makes them suitable for use in almost every environment and for any need.

Today’s home video security systems are basically component systems. There are several benefits to component systems, but the greatest is the ability to customize each component to suit your needs.

Thanks to great advances in the electronics industry, especially with semiconductors and integrated circuits, cameras can perform a variety of functions that 15 years ago would have been extremely expensive or simply unavailable. Processors and DVRs are becoming exponentially more powerful with each new design.

Typical home video security systems usually have from one to several cameras, a processor/Digital Video Recorder or DVR, and a monitor. The digital video cameras send their digital video signal to the processor/DVR. The processor converts the cameras’ signals into digital video files that can be viewed on the monitor and/or stored on the DVR for later viewing and/or archiving purposes.

The cameras used for home video security systems are usually digital video cameras. These cameras produce high quality color video under normal lighting conditions. Cameras can be purchased with extremely high resolutions that create extremely high quality video.

Cameras are also available for special lighting conditions. There are cameras that can produce high quality video under conditions of very little visible light or cameras that can produce high quality monochromatic or black and white video under conditions of total darkness. These “low light condition cameras” may be useful for perimeter coverage of the home and yard and other outdoor applications.

Night vision infrared cameras are useful for monitoring areas outside or inside the house that are normally not illuminated at night. They are also great for use as a baby monitor camera, nanny cam, and monitor for rooms that are normally not lit such as closets, storage areas, garages, stairwells, etc. These cameras use infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to illuminate their target area with infrared light. This “light” is invisible to the human eye but can be seen with the camera’s special sensor.

Another useful camera option is a camera with a motion detector. These cameras have small infrared sensors that detect a change in infrared radiation from moving objects. These motion detectors are connected to a relay that can turn the cameras on and off. These can be used to record video only when motion is detected saving DVR storage space. They can also be used to alert you when someone or something is present.

Other available options for cameras include:
• Indoor or Outdoor use
• Wireless transmission technology
• Audio recording in addition to video
• Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ functions that allow the camera’s position or field of view to change
• Hidden or disguised cameras (often used as nanny cams)
• IP or Internet Protocol ready cameras can transmit their images over the internet to anywhere in the world there is internet access

This is the heart and brains of the system. It normally contains the utility that compresses the digital video files to make them smaller. There are many different options for different types of compression utilities. DVRs can also be purchased in a variety of storage capacity options. In addition, other “peripheral” items such as CD, DVD, or Flash card writers can be added to the units.

There are also home video security systems that eliminate the need for a processor/DVR and monitor. These systems utilize your personal computer for these functions instead, making the system all the more affordable.

IP camera home video security systems can be used to monitor the home when you are at work, on travel, or away for extended periods. They are also great for 24/7 monitoring by professional companies. They can eliminate the added expense of a proprietary camera system that would otherwise be required.

If you are interested in protecting your home with a home video security system talk with one our experts today.