The Five Outstanding Improvements in Video Surveillance and Video Entry Systems

I have been installing some very solid video surveillance systems over the years, however in the last couple years I have settled down with just one manufacturer. That is not to say that there are not different manufacturers with wonderful features, it is just that I came to like one particular company. Two of the primary reasons I applaud them is that they are on the leading edge of research and development and their technical support is second to none. Once you have all the cables installed, properly installed your connectors and mounted the equipment, they can easily tweak the settings and have you up and running with your surveillance video system.

Security Surveillance Systems

There was a time when these systems were only referred to as security surveillance systems. That time has long sense passed as many of a home’s cameras are focused in on locations dealing only with family matters. A few examples of those types of locations are:

* Front gate or front door for video entry capability

* Swimming pool area to keep an eye on children

* Monitoring the babies’ room

* Family room area

* Back yard around the BBQ pit

Typical System

So now a typical system has cameras focused in on areas of security while other cameras are there solely to enhance the family lifestyle. In any case the technology today is state-of-the-art and very reliable. In fact, the images from all the cameras on one screen, or one camera image full screen are available on a local monitor, local computer monitor, or any computer monitor in the world.

Old News

Now that I have told you what I have been doing let me just say frankly all that is old news. The technology has taken a giant leap forward in the last six months and the manufacturer I chose is out in front in my opinion. Of course, IP cameras have been around for a few years now, but many security installation companies like mine have steered away from installing digital systems for a number of technical reasons. I won’t go into all the technical challenges at this time, but the biggest one in my opinion was the difficulty in having the main equipment be able to identify the Internet address of each IP camera. This was especially true if the main frame and the camera manufacturers were different.

New Technology

Like I say, all that is old news because a new technology has been introduced into the marketplace which is an IP Video Management System that takes the hassle out of networking. It does this by automatically detecting and configuring cameras and devices, making installation and use easier than it’s ever been.

The unit includes pre-installed software that is licensed for up to 8 cameras. Each appliance has a three-year warranty that includes complete protection on all components and telephone technical support. A three-year software service plan further protects the investment by including unlimited software technical support and free feature upgrades. This new technology solution is designed to reduce installation time and maintenance costs of network video systems.

How Advanced is New Technology?

OK, I have explained that this is the latest reliable technology available in local/remote video surveillance systems, but let me go further and explain why and to what degree it is advanced. Well, first of all it is much easier to install than traditional surveillance systems. There is no more need for running additional power cables to each camera because now the technology allows for video camera power to run on the same Cat5e which carries data. These systems don’t require coaxial cable anymore.

The second, and arguably the most important degree of improvement, is the much greater clarity in the camera video image. In traditional color analog cameras about the best available was 550 lines of resolution. Now the resolution is over 1000. Not only that, now you can also purchase megapixel cameras which are out of this world in how far out they can reach to provide you a perfect picture.

Bug’s Behind at 100 Yards

So before I get too far down the road in explaining all this new technology I should interject that this is not your momma’s video surveillance system. The system is more expensive and the cameras, especially the megapixel cameras, are also costly. If I did list old style equipment and cameras, the prices would be about 20 to 25% less. However, with the difference in cable cost and labor, that 25% doesn’t seem nearly as large. The megapixel cameras are reasonably more expensive, but they can see a bug’s behind at 100 yards.

24-7 Digital Recording

In addition, the typical system these days is recording twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Each camera’s images are recorded every second, or to save on hard drive space some are set in a motion detection mode. In other words, when armed in this mode, the images are not being recorded except in the case of movement where movement is not expected. A good example of that would be an infrared camera in the garage. During the night no movement is expected in the garage. If and when the camera picks up movement the images are recorded for a specified amount of time.

Control The Cost

The keys to this and any other video entry / lifestyle & security video system are capability and cost. The absolute best way to control these issues is to install the system yourself. To install one of these security video surveillance systems you will need to purchase a book on installing a specific system. Believe it or not, it’s not all that hard to install the system. You simply need to know exactly what equipment to purchase, what connectors to install, how to mount the equipment, and how to power it up and program the main unit. If you did not understand the importance of what I said earlier, now is the time to grasp the moment. Once you physically run the cable and mount the components, the software does the configuration setup for you. That is what I am trying to say. Even though this is state-of-the-art technology, it is really easy to install.

Installing Several Systems

It has been my experience that when people are considering one technology for their new or remodeled home, they are likely considering other technologies as well. It would be in your best interest to have installation guides on each system you would like to include in your project. Read them all then procure your equipment, special tools, and cable so that they are all on the job site ahead of your proposed start date.

Installing Numerous Systems

It has been my experience that when home owners are considering one technology for their new or remodeled home, they are likely considering other systems as well. It would be in your best interest to have installation manuals on each system you would like to include in your project. Read them all then purchase your components, special tools, and cabling so that they are all on the job site in advance of your proposed start date.

My goal for this informational article was to properly explain the difference between the old and the new surveillance video technology. Hopefully I have achieved my goal so that you take away the knowledge that the new systems are easier to install and once installed provide a much higher degree of video clarity. Yes they cost a little more, but that only matters if you completely discount the value of your time.