How To Choose a Video Security System
Choosing a video security system can be confusing. There are indoor and outdoor cameras, spy cameras and surveillance cameras, closed circuit cameras and PC based closed circuit systems, and various recording methods. Ordinarily, video security is part of a comprehensive home security system.
Video security system technology becomes better and more affordable every year. But you still need to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The least expensive security camera choices might not be good enough to do what you need and capture the picture quality you want.
The question you will need to answer first is “What do I need to monitor?” Do you want to know what is happening outside your home, or inside? Do you want to record an intruder? Are you trying to prevent vandalism or break-ins? Do you want a record of what happens between a babysitter and your children or a caregiver and your parent? Answering these questions will determine the type of video security system you need.
The next question is whether it matters if the camera(s) in your video security system is visible. Do you want an exterior surveillance camera that will be a deterrent to potential intruders? If this is what you need, you can find one for as little as $100 to $150. On the other end of the scale, a high-end wireless exterior camera could cost as much as $1500. These will probably be closed circuit TV cameras (CCTV). As is true of any camera, the quality of the pictures is determined by the quality of the lens. Some will be fixed at a single angle. Others will be movable.
The images captured by the cameras in your video security system will be captured on video tape (VCR) or on a DVD (DVR technology). Some systems are equipped with sensors that actually record images only when a sensor is activated (by motion, for example). This saves recording time and wasted recording. The system might connect cameras to a DVR device or it might connect them to your PC’s hard drive.
Interior video security systems can be motion activated or sound activated. They can be set on timers or they can run 24/7. These cameras can be visible or they can be spy cameras that are virtually undetectable. The camera might be hidden in a anything from a clock to a tiny pinhole in the wall or ceiling. Cameras can be hidden in sensors and monitors that provide other functions in your security system.
Choosing a video security system will need to consider your needs, your budget, and installation and connection issues. Keep in mind that the system as a whole is only as good as the lowest quality component.
Then consult with a professional in choosing the system that is right for you. If your video security system will be part of a more comprehensive security system, you will certainly want to have it professionally installed. This might also be the case if you are installing exterior cameras. For a single spy camera, however – especially if the system is wireless – you might be able to handle installation on your own.