What Are the Components of a Quality Security Camera System and How Do They Work Together?

By jeffkleffs on January 20, 2011 In Home Security

Whenever I tell people we well and install security cameras people always express interest. I think almost everyone at some time or another has felt the need to record what happens on their property. It is comforting to know that you can capture everything that happens at your home or business on a hard drive and play it back whenever the need may arise. You can also view your cameras remotely over the internet, allowing you access to what is going on at your property anywhere in the world. This ability is probably what people find most exciting, now you can go anywhere and not be out of touch. As long as you have your system connected to the internet, it will send video to you anywhere is in the world that is connected to the internet. You now have the ability to watch over your valuables, no matter where you are. No more wondering if you left the oven on and the house is burning down…

There are many components to good quality security system, let’s break them down. First is the DVR that will display and record your video. Many systems these days come with a stand alone DVR, this is a unit designed just for the purpose of viewing and recording video. While these are cheaper than the solution we recommend, a PC DVR, they are very limited in their functionality. The software installed on them is rarely if ever updated, and there are very few if any compatible devices that you can hook up to it. A PC based DVR will give you maximum flexibility as you can run any software compatible with Windows 7, as well as hook up any Windows 7 compatible device.

Next you will want to look at your cabling. Many systems include short thin premade cables that have the connectors already on them. These cables keep the cost of your system down, but are very much prone to interference due to the poor insulation and low amount of copper in them. We would recommend using cat5e cables, these cables have twisted pairs, and the twisted pairs cancel out any interference. You can spend a fortune on very high quality cameras and then end up with poor picture quality if you use cheap cables. It will be a lot of money basically down the drain…

Many people wonder about how the cameras are powered. The nice thing is that the cables included with almost all systems will carry power, video, and sometimes even audio. The cables have connectors on each end for power and video (and again optionally audio), on the camera side these connectors go directly into the camera. On the DVR side of the connection the video (and audio) connect to the DVR, the power connector connects to the power supply box. This power supply box plugs into a standard 120V outlet. This makes for a nice clean installation and you don’t have to worry about powering the cameras where they are mounted. Having to locate cameras so that they are near a power outlet would definitely be a nightmare.

So now that you are educated, go ahead a purchase a security camera system and some surveillance cameras. Peace of mind awaits you.

Jeff Kleffs is an expert on surveillance systems. He has many years of experience selling and installing security cameras.