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Surveillance Video Camera

Tips For Selecting The Best Video Surveillance Camera – Part 2

Along with considering the video surveillance camera type, it is important to also consider factors such as lighting, resolution, lux, and DVRs (Digital Video Recorders). These factors will influence how effective your security camera system will be.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Tips for Selecting the Best Video Surveillance Cameras – Part 1. As previously mentioned, it is always recommended that you consult with a security camera company to make the most of your surveillance investment. 

Importance of Lighting

The lighting available in a setting can greatly influence what kind of security camera you will need. Most crimes like break-ins generally occur at night when it is dark.

Your security cameras will need proper lighting in order to identify details clearly. Many dome cameras and bullet security cameras are designed with built-in IR illumination. 

Infrared (IR) lighting is visible to most security cameras while remaining invisible to the human eye. Because infrared is covert, the security camera can be difficult for burglars and other criminals to notice.

This allows them to capture essential evidence without alerting the criminal. IR illumination has the advantage of not producing any sort of light pollution. Although this can be a major benefit, it is also a kind of limitation. 

It is important to remember that an IR video surveillance camera does not act as a deterrent. Primarily, because it is very difficult to detect. Adding floodlighting to a property and motion detection is a great deterrent in conjunction with security cameras.

Always be generous and strategic with lighting whether it is conventional or infrared illumination.  

Surveillance Video Camera Resolution

Resolution is a measurement that determines how detailed the picture produced by the security camera will be. In traditional analog security cameras, the resolution is measured in vertical lines.

The resolution in these security cameras ranges from below 380 to 700 for some black and white cameras. Digital security cameras measure resolution in pixels. In both cases, the higher the resolution the better. 

Surveillance video camera positioning and lens are both important factors to consider, though resolution makes up the other most important factor. An extra 100 lines of resolution or pixels can make the difference between a clear picture and a blurry one.

The law enforcement community also agrees that higher resolution is essential for capturing important evidence when a crime occurs. Security camera resolution is so important that some jurisdictions across the nation have mandated that only high-resolution security cameras can be used.

Most mandate 480 lines of resolution. Fortunately, high-resolution IP network security cameras are much more common and affordable than ever before. 

Keeping Lux In Mind

Most consumers are completely unaware of the importance of the lux rating of a surveillance video camera. The best way to understand the lux rating is to remember that the lower the number, the greater the security camera will be able to see at night or low light environments.

A low lux rated camera, such as Starlight security cameras, will use all available light to identify key details. As a rule of thumb, a lux rating of 0.0 will be able to see in complete darkness and will usually be using infrared lighting. 

Best in Class IP Cameras

The Video Surveillance Camera and Video Recorders (DVR / NVR)

The heart of a video surveillance camera system is the video recorder. The digital video recorder (DVR) or network video recorder (NVR) plays a central role in the overall effectiveness of the surveillance system.

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to choosing a DVR or NVR for your system. Continue reading to learn what you should keep in mind when purchasing a DVR / NVR. 

Scalability

One of the most common mistakes most consumers make when purchasing a DVR / NVR is choosing one with too few channels (or ports for security cameras). A basic digital video recorder typically supports four channels or ports.

Four ports are usually considered enough to monitor entry points and restricted areas. Most consumers quickly discover, however, that four security cameras may not be enough. 

If your DVR does not support enough channels or ports, then you will be forced to purchase another DVR unit. It is recommended that you purchase a DVR that allows for expansion or scalability.

The term scalability can best be defined as how easy it is to add a new video surveillance camera to the existing system. The cost difference between a 4 and 8 channel DVR is not large while higher channel NVRs will be more costly, yet more versatile for network IP systems. 

Framerate 

You will want your DVR or NVR unit to have the capability of processing all real-time video recording on all the channels or ports. Most cheap video management units will only give you a few frames per second, making for a choppy video.

A low frame rate could cause you to miss important details during and after an incident. To determine if a video recorder will record in realtime, you can use the following equation.

Divide the advertised framerate by the number of channels and if the number comes to thirty you can be certain that the video recorder is capable of real-time recording. 

Memory

The storage capacity or memory of a DVR / NVR should always be maximized, especially for businesses and commercial properties. This is because businesses have to worry about violent crime, shoplifting, and most of all employee thefts.

Capturing relevant evidence may take days or longer. In order to review old footage, the DVR / NVR’s memory must be large enough to store the data. In addition to monitoring theft and other crimes, a sufficient amount of memory allows a business to review customer traffic patterns.

Savvy businesses use this information to improve store layout and customer experience. It is recommended that you invest in a DVR / NVR that has sufficient memory to match your unique security requirements. 

Video Playback 

Surprisingly, one factor that is often overlooked when choosing a DVR / NVR for a video surveillance camera system is how easy it is for the unit to playback video. The video recorder that you choose should be able to display video frame by frame.

Playback is essential for identifying important details like clothing or license plate numbers that may pass by quickly.

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