The primary functions of a video surveillance system are to capture, process, manage, store, and view recordings and images captured by your system. Systems can be customized with a variety of components and variations, but all of them include 3 basic components.
There are many different types and varieties of cameras available for surveillance systems. Which one is right for you depends on your specific needs and environment. Some available options are:
• Wired or wireless. Hard-wired cameras are usually less expensive, but wireless offers more flexibility.
• Single or multiple units. You can opt for a single camera or multiple cameras on your system.
• Indoor/outdoor. Indoor units aren’t impacted by the same elements as outdoor, so they can be of lesser quality. Outdoor cameras should be built sturdier, and it’s usually a good idea to have shields on them to protect from weather, and other damage.
• Day or night. Some cameras are designed for both, but you may have to choose or vary your camera selection, based on their purpose. Night vision cameras contain LEDs that transmit infrared light.
• Hidden or not. Whether to hide the cameras or not depends on the purpose. If you don’t want them readily detectable, hidden cameras are better. But openly visible cameras are also good at deterring crime, and other offenses. You can also get cameras disguised as something else.
For single-camera surveillance systems, like baby monitoring, your regular TV could be sufficient for viewing the images captured by your cameras. However, if you have a more complex system and want better quality, you will need monitors specifically designed for this purpose. Additional benefits over regular TVs include a higher resolution, and video signal capability.
Monitors come in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and/or Light Emitting Diodes (LED), with LED being the better choice for clarity and high-quality resolution.
You will need a storage device to house recordings from the cameras for future viewing. Two types of recorders are used for surveillance systems with multiple cameras: Digital Video Recorders (DVR), which use analog cameras, and Network Video Recorders (NVR), using IP cameras.
Both NVR and DVR systems offer remote video monitoring, and HD recording capability. They both record cameras and offer similar options, but they record with different transmission methods. The basic difference between an NVR and DVR is the way they are connected and how they record data.
The main differences between the two types are that an NVR records IP cameras connected by either a network switch or router and data is transmitted via a network cable, whereas a DVR records analog or coax based cameras connected by a coax cable. For analog cameras (DVR Cameras) a 12v or 24v power supply is needed that plugs into an ordinary outlet. DVR cameras need two wires; one coaxial cable for video, and one power supply cable.
NVRs use IP cameras with Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. The ports to plug in each IP camera are either on the back of the NVR, or there is a separate PoE switch that connects to cameras, which in turn plugs into the NVR. IP Cameras only need one cable (cat5e network cable) for power, and video.
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