Posts Tagged ‘ how to choose a dvr’



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 SecurityCameraKing.com

Performance

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.

Installation

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

Power

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

Conclusion

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.

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Security Camera DVR’s – Which one is right for you?

Written By:
Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Here at SecurityCameraKing.com, customers always want to know how to pick the best Security DVR to suit their needs and handle their analog security cameras.
Resolution is very important in viewing detail. For example, if you have an office building and you are robbed and need to see the details in the intruder’s face, then the higher the resolution the better. When you turn in your surveillance video to the authorities, you will want to give them the best recording possible. In addition to Security Camera DVR resolution, the frame rate is important for smooth viewing. The lower the frame rate in a recording, the fewer images per second are viewed and the viewing might be a little jumpy and erratic. The higher the frame rate in a recording, the more images per second are viewed creating a smoother view.

It’s all about the resolution and frame rates:

• Our Elite Series Security DVR records in D1@7fps on all channels
• Our Ultimate Series Security DVR records in D1@30fps on all channels
• Our Federal Series Security DVR records in 960H@30fps on all channels
• Our HD-SDI Series Security DVR records in 1080p@30fps on all channels

The Elite Series Security DVR

The Elite Series Security DVR is by far our most economical series in the Analog Security Camera DVR arena that we sell. Here is an example recorded video in D1@7fps shot with our 700TVL Weatherproof Varifocal IR Bullet Security Camera at the widest setting and recorded on our 4-Channel Elite Mini DVR . I am standing 25 feet from the camera:
Which one is 4-Channel Elite

As you can see, the Elite Series DVR records a decent video for this affordable solution. You can make out that I am indeed in the parking lot, but you cannot see the detail of my face or the sign that I am holding. For those with a bigger budget can step up to our Ultimate Series DVR for even better resolution.

The Ultimate Series Security DVR

The Ultimate Series Security DVR records at a full 30 frames per second on all channels giving the D1 resolution an amazing quality recorded video. Here is an example of a recorded video in D1@30fps shot with our 700TVL Weatherproof Varifocal IR Bullet Security Camera at the widest setting and recorded on our 4-Channel Ultimate Mini DVR . I am standing 25 feet from the camera:.
Which one is right Ultimate Series Security DVR

From the above video, you can see that there is definitely a difference in the quality of the recording as opposed to our Elite Series DVR. There are over 4 times the images per second in the Ultimate Series than in our Elite Series Security DVR. You will notice as I am walking, it looks smoother at 30fps vs 7fps. Now, for an even better recording, you will want to take a look at our Federal Series Security DVR’s

The Federal Series Security DVR

The Federal Series Security DVR records at a whopping 960H at 30 frames per second, while giving you the ability to record in wide screen. Basically, it’s the same resolution as the D1 with the ability to capture a wider area, so that when you view the recording on a wide screen monitor, there is no loss in viewing are or distortion (which could occur with viewing D1 on a wide screen monitor. Here is an example recording from The Federal Series DVR in 960H@30fps shot with our 700TVL Weatherproof Varifocal IR Bullet Security Camera at the widest setting and recorded on our 4-Channel Federal DVR. I am standing at 25 feet from the camera:
Which one is right Federal Series Security DVR

The above video clearly shows that the Federal Series Security DVR can give you a great resolution recoding in a wide screen format without stretching or distortion. And, just because this DVR is called the federal does not mean it is only for the government. All different kinds of companies use these such as office buildings, schools and hospitals as well as government buildings. For the best that you can get with an analog cable system, it’s time to take a look at our HD-SDI Security DVR.

The HD-SDI Series Security DVR

The HD-SDI Series Security DVR records at a full 30 frames per second on all channels at a whopping 1080P! Now for the first time in the analog security camera DVR arena, you now can record in true High Definition Megapixel resolution without changing any of your old analog wires. All you have to do is attach HD-SDI cameras to this system…and keep your old wiring system! Here is an example of a recorded video from our HD-SDI Series in 1080p@30fps shot with our HD-SDI Box Camera and recorded on to our 4 Channel HDSDI DVR. I am standing at 25 feet. (Be sure to view at full screen and click on the gear icon and change the setting to 1080P).
Which one is right HD-SDI Series Security DVR
From the above video, you can see how recording in True HD produces an amazing quality video recording. Imagine (hopefully this will never happen) that you experience a vandal or intruder and wanted to see every feature of the assailant so that you can help the police in their investigation. The more detail in the recording, the more you can zoom in and see the detail. A tattoo, eye, color, scars are just some of the details that come to mind.
Here is another video at the same specs with the same system, and this time I am standing 50 feet away! (Be sure to view at full screen and click on the gear icon and change the setting to 1080P).
Which one is right Elite
In Conclusion:
To sum it up which Security DVR is best for you really depends on your budget and your security needs. If you have a bigger budget, the higher the resolution the greater detail in your recording. If you need an economical solution, you can still get away with a lower resolution and still be rest assured that even the lower resolution still has great features.
All of our Security DVRs have the benefits of being a stand-alone unit (meaning you don’t need to connect it to a computer and worry about viruses and people hacking into your system). The Linux system that runs our security DVRs is easy to use with the On Screen Display (OSD). Most of our DVRs come in 4, 8, 16 or 32 channels and can be equipped with 2-8 internal hard drives in addition to the capability in adding more devices through USB 2.0 and E-SATA.
If you would like more information on any of our Security Camera DVRs take a look at our product pages at SecurityCameraKing.com or call us at 866-573-8878.

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