CCTV Security Camera Buyer's Guide
CCTV Security Camera
Up to date, the most effective and thus most popular surveillance method is the usage of a CCTV security camera. In the last few years, the size and the cost of these CCTV cameras have decreased, encouraging more and more home and business owners to use them. Their application hasn't changed much though, except that the smaller cameras can be used discreetly in areas where the older, bigger ones would ruin the looks of the place.
With the raising popularity of such systems came the huge diversification of these tools. Unfortunately, most customers are easily confused by this (unnecessary?) variety.
Which one should I buy? What's the difference between camera types? How much should I pay for these? What's PZT? Color or black and white? Do I need a camera with nightvision?
- these are the most common questions that buyers have in mind. In this article, I'll introduce you to the world of surveillance cameras and will try to answer the most important questions.
Do I need a CCTV Security Camera?
This is the first question you should consider. If you have a small business, a shop, a nice house, a FAMILY, you must get some type of security equipment to protect them. The simplest, basic security equipment is a sturdy door with a reliable lock. It will stop kids from the street stealing ice cream from your fridge, but it won't stop any burglar.
The next step is some kind of alarm system. The basic, cheap alarms just start some kind of siren when they go off. These are worthless. No one cares about sound alarms anymore, actually it's just a very good way to piss off your neighbors. The other type of alarms are those with a connection to a police station. When such an alarm goes off, it sends a signal to a local police station. Unfortunately, these are only good if you live near a police station, as 5-10 minutes are more than enough for experienced burglars to run away - with your $10,000 plasma tv.
Same goes with motion detectors. They do what you expect from them: detect motion and send a signal to a security board which might forward it to a police station - or not.
Actually, applying all the security equipment mentioned above is less effective in preventing a burglary than having an angry rottweiler in your backyard. Not to mention the fact, that if the burglars get away, there will be no way to identify them later.
CCTV Security Cameras are the solution
You're gonna need something that:
- prevents crime
- helps with the identification of the criminals
- is reliable
- won't produce false alarms
Fortunately, security surveillance systems have all these features. For a complete video surveillance security, you'll need the following pieces of equipment:
- One or more CCTV cameras
- Security monitors or some kind of display
- Security video recorder (digital or analog)
- Cables and wires
These can be purchased separately or in one package. A complete system with 4 high-res, nightvision, indoor & outdoor cameras costs less than $1000. It's a quite cheap way of protecting your shop or your family.
There are two more things to mention: first, security cameras and more generally the thought of being watched prevents many crimes. Second, there's no need for someone to always keep an eye on the monitor, watching the camera's feed. Most digital cctv systems are capable of detecting motion and alerting the owner.
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How to choose the right security camera?
As I mentioned in the beginning, the huge variety of surveillance cameras can be confusing for most buyers. Your choice depends on several factors:
Fake or real cameras?
You shouldn't buy fake cameras. Sure, they are cheap and can act as deterrant. But they won't record anything and dedicated burglars WILL find out that they're just fake.
Wired or wireless CCTV?
The only advantage of the (more expensive) wireless cameras is the easier setup. However, their feed can be accessed and even 'hijacked' by hackers with a laptop from as far as 100 meters. If you plan on using the surveillance camera in the same place for more than a year, I recommend installing a wired one.
Color cameras, night vision cameras
A color security camera will make identification of the criminal easier. You have to decide if the price difference is worth it for you. Night vision capability is recommended though. Crimes usually happen at night, in the dark. Night vision security cameras provide a black and white picture even in complete darkness.
Panning, zooming and tilting capabilities (PZT)
Zooming might be useful. Setting up more cameras that view the whole area continuously is way better than panning and turning. Shoplifters apply many tricks to get the attention of the camera, and while it's 'looking away', another member can do whatever he wants in the other corner of the shop. Apply more static cameras instead.
So this concludes the basic decisions you have to make before investing in a surveillance security system. I hope I could help you make a good choice.
Finally, let me provide you some links to CCTV security camera deals and information.
The bestselling CCTV security camera
A complete, cheap CCTV security system.
- Closed-circuit television - Wikipedia
- Shop Security
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- Home Security Information
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- Home Security Guru
Home Security Guru is the web's largest Home Security resource, featuring articles, guides and reviews on security systems, burglar alarms, security cameras, CCTV, security services and much, much more.