So you are thinking about getting a security camera system for your home or business, but you just don’t know where to start? I recommend you first brush up on the basics of CCTV. If you have installed a security camera system before then this is probably not the article for you, but if on the other hand you feel like you have no idea where to begin, then consider this an introduction to the very basics of security cameras.
A surveillance system is comprised of several items. First, you have the security cameras. These are available in many different styles. They consist of bullet security cameras which a shaped like a cylinder and are often weatherproof, dome security cameras which are available as indoor models (usually in plastic) and outdoor models (usually housed in metal). When a dome camera is enclosed in a metal housing, it is often refered to as a Vandalproof Dome. There are also box security cameras which can accomodate various lenses and can be mounted either indoors or outdoors if placed in an outdoor weatherproof housing . There are many other types of cameras, but we can go over them in another article.
The second item in your surveillance system is the digital video recorder (DVR). The DVR is the heart of the system. The recorder is usually available in 4,8 or 16 channel configurations. The number of channels refers to how many cameras can be recorded by the DVR. Each camera will be connected to the DVR and the video will be transmited via a cable to the recorder. The DVR will then convert the video into digital format, compress it and store it onto the hard drive. You can then review the video at a later time. Some DVRs are networkable, meaning you can connect them to your existing network and then log in to the DVR remotely from anywhere that you have an internet connection.
Between the DVR and cameras are your cables and power supplies. Typically the cable will be coax such as RG6 or RG59, “plug and plays” which are prefabricated cables with the connectors already installed and carry both the video and power on one cable, or the cable most often used by security professionals is “Siamese Cable” which combines both RG59 and 18/2 in one cable and can provide both video and power together. Siamese cable is usually available in 500’ft and 1000’ft spools and can be cut to size.
A basic security camera system will include all of these items, the security cameras, the DVR, cables and power supply.