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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does CCTV Mean?
    This means Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and is the use of a limited number of monitors in a specific place which receive a signal directly from video cameras.
  • What does DVR Mean?
    DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder and is an electronics device or software which records video straight onto one of many types of storage such as disk drives, USB flash memory, SD memory cards or mass storage devices. This can be done directly or via a network. The term can also cover set-top boxes with inbuilt recording, a variety of software which can be used for both video capture and playback via a personal computer and even certain portable media players with recording functions.
  • How long will my security camera DVR record?
    The amount of time a recording device such as a DVR can archive depends on many variables: 1) The size of the storage device ie: hard drive 2) The cameras resolution. 3) The cameras frame rate 4) The record settings such as recording only when there is motion vs all the time. Additionally there are other elements that can affect your record times as well which generally occur on a case by case basis.
  • Can I view my security cameras remotely?
    Some DVR's have the capability of being viewed remotely via the Internet. In most cases this is achieved via Internet Explorer or the DVR's proprietary software. It is important to note the speed and quality of the image via a remote connection is greatly dependent on the DVR's or Cameras compression type and the speed of the Internet connection on both ends. Additionally some IP cameras will allow you to connect via a network or Internet directly to them.
  • Are security camera DVR's MAC compatible?
    The majority of DVR's are still not MAC compatible. However there are models in the industry that are MAC compatible. Just make sure to mention this when speaking to a surveillance representative.
  • Are security camera DVR's smartphone compatible?
    The majority of DVR's are still not Smart Phone compatible. For the select few that support Smart Phone technology they are generally limited to Droid 2 or iPhone models only. In most cases this type of remote viewing is achieved via the phone browser or a downloaded application. Additionally, you will only be able to view one camera at a time. It is important to note the speed and quality of the image via a remote connection is greatly dependent on the DVR's or Cameras compression type and the speed of the Internet connection on both ends.
  • Can I record audio with my security camera DVR?
    Yes, most DVR's come with an audio option. However, the number of audio channels do not always match the number of video channels so it is important to disclose your audio during your consultation. Additionally, since most analog cameras do not come with built in audio, you will probably need to purchase a separate microphone in order to achieve this goal.
  • How many security cameras do I need?
    There are many factors that will contribute to the number of cameras that will be required in order to survey a particular area. Some of the factors are as follows: Area to be covered, Level of detail to be captured, Lighting condition, Visual obstructions, etc. The absolute best way to make this determination is to schedule an on site consultation.
  • What is lux?
    The lux is the unit of measurement for illuminance and luminous emittance, it is measured in luminous power over a particular area. When purchasing surveillance cameras they will often include the minimum lux value in the specifications which shows the light level at which the camera will record an acceptable image. The lower the lux rating the better a camera is at handling low light situations. Below is a chart containing real world examples of LUX in different environments.
    • Direct sunlight -------------------- 100,000 - 130,000 lux
    • Full daylight, indirect sunlight --- 10,000 - 20,000 lux
    • Overcast day ----------------------- 1,000 lux
    • Indoor office ---------------------- 200 - 400 lux
    • Very dark day ---------------------- 100 lux
    • Twilight --------------------------- 10 lux
    • Deep twilight ---------------------- 1 lux
    • Full moon -------------------------- 0.1 lux
    • Quarter moon ----------------------- 0.01 lux
    • Moonless clear night sky ----------- 0.001 lux
    • Moonless overcast night sky -------- 0.0001 lux
  • What happens to my security camera DVR if I lose my power?
    Most security camera DVR's are set up to automatically continue recording when power is restored. We highly recommend the addition of an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) which functions as temporary backup power and usually provides effective surge protection as an additional benefit.
  • Can I zoom in with my security camera?
    In most cases only Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) type cameras will allow the user to zoom in and out. This type of camera is usually controlled with an optional joy stick controller. However there are cameras that have a motorized zoom lens installed. With these camera types you may have the ability to zoom in and out only.
  • What are the best security cameras for home?
    Selecting the “best” security camera for your home depends on where you want to place the security camera, the environment where it will reside and what the camera will need to focus on from its location. There are many styles, resolutions, lenses and types of night vision available on the market today, so first identify your needs, then look for a camera that will fit those needs.
  • What is the best outdoor wireless security camera?
    Outdoor wireless security cameras are not generally recommended because their resolution is usually no greater than 1080P, their night vision capabilities are limited and the wireless signal can be lost or compromised, causing the cameras to stop recording your footage.
  • Do you need Internet for security cameras?
    For traditional wired IP or CCTV systems, you only need an internet connection to remotely view the cameras, both for live feed or recorded footage.
  • Do you need WiFi for security cameras?
    No, if you use a traditional surveillance system. The cameras are hard wired directly connected to the recorders.
  • What's the difference between surveillance cameras and security cameras?
    Nothing, they are exactly the same thing with two different names. For example, car or vehicle.
  • Which is better, wired or wireless security cameras?
    A wired security camera solution is always the best way to go because wireless cameras can often lose their wireless connection, thus losing the ability to be viewed or to record footage.
  • Which is better, wired or wireless CCTV?
    A wired CCTV security camera solution is the more reliable option. Wireless cameras rely on a wireless signal and can often lose their wireless connection, thus losing the ability to record or view footage.
  • Are home security cameras worth it?
    Yes, security cameras are a great crime deterrent. Most criminals know it will take the police some time to get to your home once an alarm is triggered. Conversely, your security cameras start to record instantly when a person enters its field of view and criminals know they can be caught on camera before they have even entered your home.
  • What is the best home security camera system without a monthly fee?
    Commercial grade security camera systems have better quality cameras and recorders, without a monthly recurring fee.
  • How long do batteries last in wireless security cameras?
    The battery life will depend on how often motion is triggered, the resolution of the camera, the amount of night vision and the battery size / capacity.
  • What security camera works without WiFi?
    Both traditional CCTV and IP types of security cameras work without WiFi. Only wireless security cameras require WiFi.
  • Does CCTV work without Internet?
    Yes, the internet is only required if remote access to the security camera system is desired.
  • How do you power a wireless security camera?
    There are only three ways to power a wireless security camera: battery power, solar panel with a battery pack or a traditional 110v power outlet.
  • Can I mix and match security cameras?
    Yes, the type of camera should be determined by its location, the environment it will be placed in and the desired focal point of the camera.
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