Video Security Systems and Cameras FAQ
What kind of camera do I need for a video security system?
The type of camera you need is predominantly determined by whether it is for inside or outside use. Any outdoor camera needs to be weatherproof. Most outdoor cameras come with a waterproof case and some even contain a mini heater to keep them functioning well in chilly weather. Mini cameras are easy to conceal and less unsightly but are not great for outside as often they don’t contain a bifocal lens which is important in getting clear pictures when the light’s bad.
How do I view what the camera is recording?
There are a number of ways to see what’s been going on. Installing a video capture board onto your computer allows you to view a single camera, or split screen, up to 16 cameras, at the same time. Wired cameras can be up to 1000ft away from the computer, though it is possible to buy a wireless security system that uses radio frequencies to transmit pictures. The amount of film you can store will depend on how many cameras you have and how big your hard drive is. Most video security systems today operate on a motion activation system, i.e. they only begin recording when they detect motion. This saves you having to trawl through hours where nothing happens on the off chance that an intruder appears, and also saves space on your hard drive.
Should I buy a black and white or color camera?
Like TVs, the original cameras were black and white and when colored ones first came on the market they were much more expensive. Traditionally, black and white also gave better picture quality. Nowadays though, the cost and picture quality is pretty similar and given that color cameras offer a better chance of recognizing a potential intruder, color is probably the better buy.
Can I view my cameras from anywhere other than inside my home?
If your video security system is connected to your Internet connection, it is possible to view your cameras from any other web-enabled device. This means you can confirm the identity of people going to your house even when you are not at home.