We have talked a lot about the importance and utility of home security systems. They really are the simplest, most cost effective, and most foundational home technologies. However, a burglary alarm system alone does not tell you necessarily what’s happening at home. It may only tell you that something is happening at home. Home security camera systems provide visual verification of what is happening in your home. With these systems, you do not need a house sitter. You can view your home any time from anywhere. However, not all home security camera systems are created equal.
Wireless security camera kits are the systems-in-a-box that you will find at Costco or Home Depot. These systems are very inexpensive and provide the very basic utility of surveillance, and in some cases, these wireless camera kits even provide remote viewing. However, these systems typically have much lower resolution than what is required of evidence-grade camera systems. These kits are not as robust as fully integrated security camera systems. Also, bear in mind, these systems are really wireless in name only. While the video feed is transmitted wirelessly to the receiver, a DVR or wireless monitor, every camera still needs power, so these systems are not quite as do-it-yourself as the marketing would lead you to believe.
Until the last few years, home security camera systems were analog. These cameras required two different types of cables for video and power. They had at best 570 lines of resolution, which is equivalent to standard definition. Remember standard definition television? Have you looked at standard definition since upgrading to high definition a decade ago? It’s pretty abysmal. While analog home security camera systems are still available and hit a lower price point, most home security camera systems installed today are IP camera systems. IP cameras typically have a higher resolution and require only a single category cable for both video and power.
Megapixel security cameras take IP camera systems to the next level. Megapixel cameras can have resolutions exceeding that of today’s high definition televisions, providing an evidence-grade solution. The images from these cameras are crisp, bright, and full of color, not the blurry grey images you might think of when you think of security cameras. With megapixel security cameras you can make out details like faces or backpacks at some distance.
Whether analog, IP, or megapixel IP, we are not talking about kits; we are talking about fully integrated home security camera systems. While kits typically include obtrusive cameras, the cameras specified in custom security systems come in myriad options: bullet cameras, dome cameras, recessed dome cameras, covert cameras, and so on. Install small dome cameras under the eaves. Install covert cameras in the nursery to monitor the nanny or in the kitchen to monitor the housekeeper. The cameras can be tailored to the specific application.
The anatomy of the fully integrated home security camera system is fairly simple. You have cameras, which are wired back to a power-over-ethernet (POE) switch via a single
category cable. The network video recorder (NVR) connects to the POE switch via a network cable. The POE switch connects to your home network, which give the NVR the ability to serve up camera feeds to your smart phone. You can view your home anywhere in the world over a secure network connection. If connected to your burglary alarm system, when the system goes into alarm, the central monitoring center can access the camera system to verify the alarm is legitimate, which eliminates false alarms. With a robust integrated home security camera system, you will have peace of mind.