May, 2015

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Choosing a Security Camera System


 Electronic House

With so many different brand names, TVL’s,  camera packages, and HDD space, someone could get lost figuring out what they want in a camera system. In which case they’ll look at the dollar amount, and just settle for the cheapest one they can find at Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Costco, or whoever is nearby. Nobody shops for a doctor that way, and why not? Well when it comes to your life, you want the best there is, with the quickest recovery time so you can get back to doing what you want to do, enjoying your life. Important factors such as picture quality, brand, and warranty should play a larger role in your investment.

When choosing a camera system the quality of the picture should be considered. Don’t you want to be able to easily identify the perp trying to break into your window? Or would you settle for the pixelated “Mario” on the screen. I had a client tell me he wanted to be able to see how many bags of tile grout that was leaving his shop. There are only so many guys who work in there, so identifying people wasn’t the issue. But could you imagine trying to count how many bags were in a guys arms? What if he grabbed 4 bags for the job and 1 for himself? In this particular situation, it was obvious he needed a camera that wasn’t going to be bought at the local store. This may not be a typical situation, but certainly something to consider.

Search Google for surveillance camera and you’ll find an alphabetical list that’ll make you anxious. In doing some research some time ago, security hackers have found that more than a dozen popular brands on the net are vulnerable to internet hi-jackers. Check out forbes link here.  All due to software embedded in the DVR that comes with the system when you buy it. Would you want someone across the street accessing the camera’s above your bar cash register plotting when’s a good time to rob the place? Or for those home owners that like cameras in their living room, who else is watching your family go about their daily activities, knowing when they’re alone? Creepy, and may not even be likely, but when you put something on the internet, it’s possible.

To help narrow down your search, you’ll have warranty to deal with. Clients in the past have gone with the cheaper camera because they just wanted to be able to see their driveway, no real interest in security. Yet, 6 months later the screen is fuzzy. Now you’ll have to call the manufacturer and try to get them to send you a replacement camera, if they answer the phone. Let’s say you happen to get a camera free of charge, time to break out the ladder and swap out that camera. Sure it wasn’t hard, but who has time to worry about things like that? Shouldn’t it just work for years to come? And then the DVR goes south days after the warranty is up. Well, time to purchase a new system and swap it all out. In some cases people get lazy and have cameras mounted all over the place, making them that ugly house in the neighborhood with wires hanging everywhere. Companies like ICRealtime, and their sister company ClearViewCCTV have warranties that last 7 years or better! And aren’t on the list of internet hackable DVR’s either.

In all, choosing a system properly is important. Don’t get botched by the surveillance start-up company with the attractive $99 special. Do yourself and your family a favor by doing some research, and calling an A/V professional for advice on a system that will work best for you.