With so many affordable security cameras available these days, many of which are wireless, you maybe tempted to install your own system. We’d love to advise you on a quality system but if you want to self install here’s a few things to think about.
Be realistic and remember you get what you pay for. Cheaper brands will often mean you won’t be able to integrate the equipment with other brands, limiting what you can do with it. They also tempt you in with cheap upfront costs and then tie you in with un-avoidable monthly network storage fees after installation. Do your research before you buy and look at the long term costs, not the just the upfront costs.
Number of Cameras
Too many is better than too few. You could go for a PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) camera which provides a wide view, but it probably won’t cover all the areas of your home. Every time you zoom in, the image will get a bit more pixelated. Instead of squinting, make sure you have enough cameras to scope out the different areas in and around the home. Also remember that because you are choosing this type of setup versus a monitoring service, you will be the one doing the monitoring. You can’t rely on one zoomed out camera to deliver an accurate (or easy-to-view) peek at a large space.
Just like when you take photos, you need to make sure your security cameras are pointed at the proper angle in order to get the best images. Don’t point the camera at the ground, think about obstructions, and make sure it isn’t exposed to too much light (which causes the images to get washed out). Consider drawing a floor layout of your property and try drawing camera angles on it to see coverage and potential blind spots. It’s also really important to make sure you put wireless cameras in an area that has access to a reliable WiFi signal.
Our advice is always to wire where possible, WiFi is just not reliable enough. Quite often wireless security camera aren’t wireless! They may connect to your router wirelessly but they may need power from the mains. Is there a mains socket close by? Can you hide the power cables? Some work on batteries but they’ll only have a short life span. You’ll need to not only constantly check battery levels but change them as well. When we design a system we always wire it. We can then provide power through the same connection as the video signal leaving no visible cables for intruders to disconnect.
You may already have a lot of passwords to remember but you really should ensure the system is secure with access given to authorised users only. If you’re installing wireless security cameras, you may want to add one for each of the cameras.
Most likely, if you’re installing wireless security cameras yourself, you want the option to view them remotely. Not all cameras provide remote control. It’s easy enough to make sure that you are buying a camera that includes remote access. However, one thing you should look into is how you’re going to actually access that camera. Looking to view real-time video from a web browser? Make sure that’s an option. Even more importantly, check to see if that camera supports your smartphone/tablet platform. Some cameras work with iOS devices, some work with Android, and some work with both. Unfortunately, not as many work with BlackBerry and the Windows Phone.
Where are these images going to be stored? Are you going to buy a Network Video Recorder (NVR). What size should it be, how many TB’s? How long do you want to keep recordings and in what quality? Will you go down the route of external data storage on the equipment providers own storage facilities? What’s the annual cost? Will the capacity be large enough? Is your upload bandwidth with your ISP large enough to handle this new traffic?
Can we help?
I hope this has given you a few things to think about when self installing a home CCTV system.
Lastly if we can be of any help or you would just like to have a chat about any of the above please feel free to call on 0800 878 6168 or email email@example.com.