learn to choose the best cameras
without stepping on the ladder!.
This Guide is not going to teach you how to install security cameras but will show you what a professional Camera installer would shop if he had to choose and hire a company to install his own surveillance system.
We’ll use very basic technical language just enough to help you catch the useful concepts and decide between your available choices.
What will learn:
- The most common mistakes first time buyers make, and how to avoid them.
- Questions to ask the cameras installers about your project, and what to expect right after they finish running the wires.
- You will get some extra tips about how camera wiring works.
After getting this professional advice you will be able to shop like an educated consumer or even like a second-time buyer that has learned from his own mistakes.
Watching Your Cameras on your Phone, is it the most important feature?
Remote viewing is the first thought that comes to our minds when thinking about security cameras, and Yes! It is important and we all want it, but is not the most important consideration you have to think about, or the one that should motivate you to take a decision.
I will explain later here what you should expect about the phone view setup of the system but keep this in mind, phone remote viewing is just a feature that you live with or without as it doesn’t affect the quality of the system or determines if your cameras are good or bad even the worst camera systems look good on the phone.
The most important component of your surveillance System along with your cameras is the DVR. Yes! It doesn’t matter if you temporarily lose your phone connection to the surveillance system as long as you have an onsite DVR recording 24/7 high-quality footage.
Can you Install the same CCTV Cameras Anywhere?
Most people think that Security Cameras are kind of a one size fits all technology type, we see them often coming in a single package that suggests it, but it is not quite that.
Field of view, light, height, angle, temperature among many other are factors that make a professional camera installer consider and determine what cameras to use, therefore the different Camera features like Variable Focus, Night Vision, Wide Ange Lenses, Ultra low light Sensors, Resolution and more make security cameras to be different from each other even when their Color, Size, and Shape can look the same.
Shopping around for the cheapest home cameras will through you in online places where you will find a huge variety of shapes, features, technical specs and of course prices that often separate them very far one from the other, the bottom reason is that CCTV Cameras don’t work like our own eyes that can adapt automatically to every light change and environment, instead their own specific features make them unique for the conditions and environments of the specific surveillance project.
- If your project is to install surveillance requires indoor cameras in an office, it is an easy and a no brainer decision, you can go with a low budget high definition camera and not to worry too much about night vision as long as the areas where they have to be placed aren’t too high, let’s say no more than 10’ high where you wouldn’t require powerful infrared.
- If what you need is Home outdoor Cameras, then it will be important to choose cameras IP66 rated for outdoor and if your house is a one floor choose cameras that will cover at least 20’ to 40’ Infrared night vision.
- When you need to install warehouse CCTV Cameras either indoor or outdoor, you might need cameras IP 66 outdoor rated, at least 50’ of night vision coverage, and at least 3 megapixels resolution.
When calling a Security Camera installation Company to have them walk through your property, tell them what areas are critical to cover and let them know clearly what you expect, that way the estimate that you will receive will work towards the real solution you are looking for.
Everybody asks for Face Recognition and Car Plate reading
Most first time CCTV users are going to point about Cameras with Face recognition or require cameras that read the plates of every vehicle surrounding their property.
If your project is not specific for a Home Community Surveillance with a Gated entrance, and instead you are working on a small budget, an honest camera installer will tell you right away the huge price differences that those two features imply and the conditions to accomplish the purpose, but if your Camera Company offer you those specific features along with a low-price camera system, it is a clear sign that you are not choose the best one.
- A good site assessment will identify all the details of your project, and the Surveillance Installation Company should advise you about where to improve the coverage with the most appropriate cameras, where standard high definition cameras are going to be enough to do the job right.
Wireless Security Cameras or Hardwire?
We all love the idea of not seeing a single cable around the house or office and I guess it is the main motive to avoid the idea of installing hardwired cameras.
Wireless cameras are the perfect solution for a cosmetic perspective, but they involve a whole world where different technologies converge to a single term “Wireless” they true is that to transport camera video signals to a surveillance system some technologies your Wi-Fi home network, some other work like the old wireless telephones, and others work through a dedicated point to point connection where they can even be connected a thousand feet away from the base.
What’s the best wireless camera?
We will talk more in-depth later about wireless cameras, but our advice is that unless they home or office wiring has serious constraints for hard wiring, use indoor or outdoor wireless cameras but take it as the very last resource.
The two types of Camera Buyers.
Your Home camera system accomplishes an important security function, but also is an improvement that sometimes saves you money on insurance or gives an added value to your home at the time of selling, so why would you choose the cheapest camera system to install?
The most frequent second time camera buyers are the bargain hunters, they found super cheap cameras, installed them, and soon they are ready in the market looking for professional cameras to replace their mistake, the useless set of installed cameras they got cheap are quickly falling apart and giving them blurry images stealing any possible thought of replacing them with the many spares they were coming within the same package.
Buyers that spent the first time in a good wiring and professional camera system, normally wait from four to six years before deciding to upgrade, and when the time comes, they don’t have to spend that much as the new cameras and DVR can use the same old good quality cable
Wiring is where most of your invested money goes when installing a Surveillance System
We’ve seen many commercial and home cameras installed with pre-made or low-quality cables and poor craftsmanship generally, must be completely removed and the whole installation redone in order service or upgrade outdated surveillance equipment.
The wiring of any surveillance camera or component is the backbone of the system, and nothing more important than using high-quality cable, junction boxes, connectors, and hardware materials, with the labor of an expert wiring technician to ensure long working life.
Professional wiring and installation will assure you to maintain the surveillance investment over the years.
Determine if the Surveillance Installation Quote you have is really a good deal.
If so, far you winning beat doesn’t mention at least 80% of these descriptions in it you are tolling the dice with your project.
CCTV Cable Quality
High-Quality cable for professional CCTV installation comes in rolls, that way can run through any wall, hole, or inside the walls, and can be cut at the specific length before putting the terminals.
The most common types used are RG59 (Siamese) for analog cameras, and Cat5e or Cat6 for IP.
There is cheap and bad quality in both categories out there in the market, so make sure your provider gives you UL or ISO Certified Cable. You can read the small print in the cable itself.
RG59 connectors are used with Siamese cable and RJ45 with Cat5e and Cat6. You will not be able to see a difference in the connectors themselves, but in the way, they were terminated (Crimped).
Make sure your video feed looks good in every camera after the installation.
This is an overlooked item but the one that keeps your outdoor cameras healthy for years. If the connections of the camera are hidden inside the wall it is fine you might not need them, but outside connectors and contacts get corroded in a matter of just a few months, to keep them safe your camera installer should set them inside a water sealed box to keep them dry and safe.
Exposed outdoor connections, sealed with black tape are not safe, they are a bad installation practice.
The DVR is the central location of your wiring and where live video feed comes from every single camera. Even if you are not going to make physical changes yourself, it has to look organized and identifiable for future service. Don’t accept tangled spaghetti of wires in the back of the DVR or at the attic entrance.
Tangled rolls of cables are a clear sign of no experience and bad electrical practice.
Camera Cabling Layout
This is point A to point B run of your cables. It is understandable that not every corner of the attic or wall where cables go through are accessible to the human reach, but in general terms, the cable has to lay down nicely and secure to avoid disconnections. If the project requires it, cables might be running more protected and secured inside PVC conduit.
Don’t accept cables barely attached or hanging exposed outside.
Choosing the Security Cameras Installation Company
There are many factors that can help you choose the best vendor to install your cameras, make sure they are trustworthy, make sure that they are including all the details you were looking for included in the quote, if not make a verbal commitment, that helps later pressuring to honor what they promised to give you.
Avoid informal installers with not experience or insurance, besides from frustrating results you can get involved being responsible for an accident of a none insured worker in your property.
If you hire a State licensed and insured contractor or camera installer, that means a serious commitment with the state and the trade, besides becoming licensed is a hard process that also requires continuous education to maintain the license, so you won’t go wrong selecting from stated licensed contractors.
Get clear if the provider you are hiring complies with the basic working requirement.
- DBPR State Licensed
- Registered corporation.
- Years of experience
- Has Insurance.
Save money from the beginning and enjoy your system for a long time.