Security Cameras Start Guide
When building your surveillance system one of the first questions you will need to ask yourself is: what type of system technology do I want to use? There different types of surveillance systems, each with advantages and disadvantages. You will need to consider your budget and surveillance needs when deciding between the following technologies:
IP- Network IP surveillance systems are at the cutting edge of video surveillance technology. They are quickly becoming the most popular choice for surveillance needs because they offer high resolution video and easy installation. These systems offer the highest resolution on the market, sometimes exceeding 12MP+ Megapixels . Cameras connect to the NVR via CAT5 cable and connect power using the same cable with PoE (Power Over Ethernet). IP camera systems use one network cable per camera, making the installation very easy since CAT5 cable is much thinner and easier ran inside conduit.
HD Analog - HD-CVI / HD-TVI / HD-AHD- This technology rivals that of Network IP systems without costing nearly as much. HD-CVI systems typically capture and display footage in 720p, 1080p and now up to 4mp resolutions with HD-CVI. The cameras and DVR connect via Coaxial (RG59) cable. Both copper core coax cable and copper clad aluminum coax cables perform well with these systems. HD-CVI cameras MUST be used with an HD-CVI DVR, or the NEW 5in1 Universal DVR listed below. If you are looking for a surveillance system that provides HD footage at an affordable cost then CVI may be the best option for you.
Analog- These systems use an analog signal to broadcast the video signal directly back to the DVR using Coax cable. Analog has the lowest resolution images on the market, typically between 500TVL-1000TVL.This is not a high definition system but it is the most used option on the market for decades. For customers on a tight budget, who do not need to capture a great deal of detail in their security footage, Analog may be the best option. However, it is important to note that analog system are quickly being phased out and replaced with higher definition systems. If you still want to go analog but have the option to upgrade your cameras at a later date, the 5in1 system would be your best choice.
Universal XVR's. Now Worldeyecam is offering 5in1 XVR's that will handle HD-CVI, TVI / AHD, IP and analog, so ANY system you have that you want to upgrade, our new 5-in-1 system will handle it. This means that your old cameras can still be used no matter what format they are, allowing you to get a new DVR and still use your old cameras and upgrade then as needed. With the new 5-in-1 systems, you don't have to pick the format you want to use, because it does it all!
Worldeyecam also offers Universal ACT Cameras that can switch between ANALOG, AHD, CVI and TVI technologies. We also have Universal DVRs that can record footage from analog, CVI and IP cameras. These options are great for customers that want to try a few different technologies before committing. They are also great for customers that are looking to gradually transition from an analog system to a high definition system. Also, now available is the 5-in-1 DVR, making it the Ultimate Universal DVR. Want to know how much storage space is needed ? Check out our Hard Drive Calculator.
An Introduction to Security Cameras
There are many different types of security cameras out there and if you are new to the security and surveillance system world, it can be a little confusing. When determining what the best cameras are for you, it is important to understand their functions. For example, certain cameras may look nice but they might not offer the features you need. Some cameras can be controlled remotely and others cannot, some are able to pan and tilt while others are more discreet. To help you determine which security camera best fits your needs, we have compiled a short introduction for the major camera types we offer.
Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera- These cameras can be adjusted quickly, change direction, zoom and even lock in on a person or object and follow it. They can spin around and angle up and down to capture multiple angles. A motorized interior mount is what allows these cameras to move. The cameras can be controlled remotely from a PC or smartphone. Users can pre-program movement or control it moment by moment. These are often recommended for users who need to monitor a large area like a warehouse. PTZ cameras are available in multiple technologies including Analog, CVI, TVI, SDI and IP.
Dome Camera- Like the name suggests these cameras are dome shaped and are available in both indoor and outdoor models. Most of these cameras are vandal-proof and water resistant which makes them durable and long lasting. While these cameras are not considered to be “hidden cameras,” the tinted dome around the camera means that people can’t tell if the camera is pointing at them which can be a useful tool in catching theft. Many models even come with night vision and long range capabilities. This style is very popular and available across multiple technologies.
Bullet Camera- Also sometimes referred to as a lipstick camera, these cameras are cylindrical shaped. There are models for both indoor and outdoor use. This style of camera may provide options for a varifocal lens but they are not typically pan/tilt/zoom capable. These cameras are discrete due to their small size and work great for filming a fixed location.
Box Camera- These are simple, box shaped cameras. Like bullet cameras, they have fixed and varifocal lens options and are not pan/tilt/zoom capable. Box cameras work with an industry standard C/CS mount and can be used both indoors and outdoors. The most common use for these cameras is to monitor traffic and traffic lights. They are larger than bullet cameras and not very discreet but can deter crime simply by being visible to potential criminals.
Fisheye Camera- These cameras are flat and discreet with a 360 wide lens that captures a panoramic image. These are often used overhead ceiling or wall mounted applications where 360 full monitoring is needed. While they are small and discreet they are still able to capture up to a 360 degree range. The fisheye lens will monitor all angles of a room. The wide lens is also known to distort images but with fisheye dewarping software this can be easily fixed.
LPR- License Plate Recognition cameras are surveillance cameras that are equipped with software that uses optical character recognition to read license plates. This can be a very useful tool for monitoring parking lots, gated entrances and traffic. For the best results we recommend using LPR cameras with infrared night vision so that clear images can be captured even in low light conditions. Also, while these cameras are available in Analog models, we recommend using high definition security cameras to make it easier to read license plate numbers and capture clear video.
Hidden Cameras-Also known as spy cameras or nanny cams. These discreet surveillance cameras are often hidden inside everyday items such as clocks or power outlets. They are especially effective for monitoring behavior of employees, nannies and pets without them knowing.We offer many different styles and options, some record footage onto an internal SD card while others would need to be connected to a DVR to record. There are hidden camera options in analog, CVI and IP technologies although typically the smaller or more hidden a camera is the lower the resolution will be.
One of the most important components of a surveillance system is the DVR. This is the device that will record and save all the footage collected by your security cameras. It is important to have a reliable DVR so you don’t lose important data. Most DVRs come in multiple channel options with internal SATA ports for hard drives. When choosing a DVR it is important to find one that is compatible with your cameras, has enough storage space for the footage you are recording and has enough channels to accommodate your cameras. Here we highlight a few of the main types of DVRs.
NVRs- Network Video Recorders are used for IP surveillance systems. They are only compatible with high definition IP security cameras. These devices operate over a network connection and can be placed anywhere, as long as they fall within the same network range as the security cameras. There are options for 4 channel systems all the way up to 128 channel systems. The multiple channel options make NVRs ideal for both small home security systems and large business security systems. Most of these systems will record footage in a 1080p resolution but there are 4K models available that record footage at an Ultra High Definition 12mp resolution.
DVRs- These are the standard devices you will use to record footage. DVRs are used mostly with Analog systems but there are models available for HD-over-Coax systems. Worldeyecam even offers Universal DVRs that are able to record footage from Analog, CVI and IP cameras all on one device. Like NVRs these devices record footage from compatible security cameras and come in multiple channel options. The DVR will need to be connected directly to the cameras via RG59 coaxial cable in order to capture and record camera footage. All security footage is stored on internal hard drives that need to be added separately.
Universal XVR's- 5in1 DVR's that will handle ADHD, CVI, TVI, IP and analog, so ANY system you have that you want to upgrade, our new 5in1 system will handle it. This means that your old cameras can still be used no matter what format they are, allowing you to get a new XVR and still use your old cameras and upgrade them as needed. With the new 5in1 systems, you don't have to pick the format you want to use, because it does it all! Allowing you to use RG-59 AND/OR Cat-5/6 for your camera connections.
HD-CVI DVR- These are a type of DVR that are compatible with only HD-CVI surveillance cameras. These systems are able to receive video and audio over Coaxial cable while also transmitting pan/tilt/zoom functions over the same cable. It can transmit up to 1500 feet which is much further than Network IP systems. The HD-CVI DVR systems record high definition video, up to a 1080p resolution. There are multiple channel options as well as options for ample HDD storage space.
GeoVision PC Based DVR- This is a custom built PC tower with GeoVision video capture cards installed for recording surveillance footage of older Analog cameras as well as new IP Cameras, createing a HYBRID IP System using Analog cameras as well as IP Cameras all on one system. Each system is designed and built to meet the customer’s exact specifications. Customize the DVR’s software, the number of channels, memory and HDD space. We have multiple options available and highly skilled technicians to walk you through the process of customizing your GeoVision DVR. These units can be made compatible with either IP or Analog based systems.
Another very important component of any NVR/DVR system is the hard drive. This is where all the surveillance footage will be stored so it is important that you have enough hard drive space in your system. Use our Hard Drive Calculator to determine just how much HDD space you will need to add to your recording system.
All of our Digital Video Recorders and Networks Video Recorders are capable of doing remote access. You can see your cameras anywhere in the world using our software and mobile applications available on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android Phones, Android Tablets, etc.
Do you really need higher megapixel cameras?
The video surveillance industry is continuing to expand into higher resolution territory with new 8mp 4K IP Cameras and 4K ultra HD systems. As the industry moves further away from traditional analog you may be wondering if it’s time for you to upgrade your camera to higher megapixel resolutions. It may not be an immediate necessity for everyone to upgrade but surveillance cameras are going to continue to increase in MP so staying ahead of the game would be a good choice.
With the higher megapixel security cameras you are getting a greater resolution which means greater coverage and fewer cameras are needed to survey a given area. Basically, the better resolution of the cameras, the less you need. With a 3 or 4 megapixel camera you are able to identify objects at greater distances. Also you can use a wide angle overview with multiple focal points as opposed to the single focal point you get with low resolution cameras.
To get detailed images for facial recognition you need at least a 2mp surveillance camera. This means that high resolution cameras are especially critical in applications where identification is key such as banks, city surveillance and retail. If your needs include facial recognition for security and license plate reading then we recommend the highest resolution cameras possible.
While higher resolution cameras are more expensive, they typically require less cabling and they cover a larger area which will save you money in the long run. IP HD security cameras require only one cable and connect over an existing network so installation is a breeze. In the end megapixel cameras will save you money and installation time. When it comes to the safety and security of your home or business you don’t want to sacrifice quality.
Reasons to consider IP Cameras
While the surveillance industry has widely adopted IP technology many users are still reluctant to embrace it. We hear many concerns about cost, installation and ease of use of these new systems. Most of these concerns are unnecessary and the reasons for upgrading to IP are far too numerous to ignore. Here we highlight just a few of the top reasons to upgrade to IP today:
High resolution- IP surveillance systems offer the highest resolution video footage on the market. While HD-over-Coax systems cap at around 2mp, IP systems can do up to 4K 12mp. The higher the resolution the clearer the images will be when zoomed in. This will help to capture greater detail such as faces and license plate numbers.
Lower cable cost- Only one network cable is needed to transmit video, audio, and power which can save you a ton on cable costs. You may even already have Cat5/Network cable at your location so you don’t have to purchase new cabling at all.
Future proof- The CCTV industry will continue to expand into IP territory as they move away from analog systems. IP surveillance systems can be easily updated for new capabilities and compatibility as technology advances.
Easy installation- These systems require few cables and with new updates they are easier than ever to get setup. There are many options available that are “plug and play” meaning all you need to do is plug the cameras and NVR in and you will be ready to start recording.
Easy to use- the simple Wizard interface menu will guide you through the process of changing camera settings and accessing recorded footage. It’s as simple as clicking your mouse.
IP Terms Glossary
While installing and maintaining your IP surveillance system there will be a few terms you will hear quite often. This IP Terms Glossary explains the commonly used terms you will need to understand.
Network IP - This would be one of the most advanced surveillance systems and is becoming the most widely used. IP stands for Internet Protocol. These systems transmit video wirelessly via an internet connection. Video quality is high at up to 12mp and can generally be transmitted up to about 330 feet. Since this system requires only PoE cables, it is easy to install.
Power Over Ethernet (PoE) - This is a system that transmitselectrical power and a network connection over an Ethernet cable. A single cable can provide both power and a network connection to IP cameras if it is PoE. It works with standard network cabling such as Cat 5.
Cat-5 - An Ethernet cable, Cat 5 is a twisted pair cable that transmits signals. This is a standard network cable used for most IP video systems. Cat 5 cables have a 100 meter range but can be extended with LAN and Power over Ethernet extenders. Cat 5e and Cat 6 cables are enhanced versions of Cat 5 that allow for a higher network speed.
LAN - Local Area Network is a set of devices or computers in a small area that communicate on a private network. Your security cameras and NVR should be on the same LAN to ensure fast communication.
IP Address - An IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies a network device. The IP address identifies where the network should be sending data. A device can be assigned a Static IP Address which requires the IP address be manually entered and can only be changed manually. It can also be assigned a Dynamic IP Address where another device on the network will assign the IP address. With a Dynamic IP Address, the IP address will be often changing so we recommend that security cameras be set up with a Static IP Address.
Subnet Mask - This is a number that divides traffic within a network. Having the correct Subnet Mask will help to maintain effective network connectivity.
Default Gateway - This is basically a router. It determines where network traffic will be sent. It receives network data then determines which device it should be sent to. All devices on your LAN will share a Default Gateway.
Designing a unique surveillance system for your home or business is as easy as clicking your mouse with our new Custom Kit Builder. With intuitive prompts that guide you along the way, you are in control of your camera styles, NVR or DVR size, power accessories and hard drive space. Still have questions, give us a call, our expert technicians are here to help. Your brand new system is only a few clicks away.
All of our products come with FREE lifetime technical support by phone, email or chat. Our technicians are here to help with whatever questions you might have. We can help guide you through the step-by-step process of building the best surveillance system with tips on the best cameras, recorders and accessories for your needs and budget. Our team will make sure you have everything you need for the most affordable cost. When building your security system there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
What should I expect to pay?
What should I look for?
Why do I need a security system?
Should I get a Hardware-based DVR or a PC-based DVR?
About Security Cameras