Things You Should Know About Video Surveillance Systems

Things You Should Know About Video Surveillance Systems

Security Cameras in Augusta, GA & North Augusta, SC

Before investing in the right video surveillance system you should spend the time to become an informed rather than an impulse buyer. lf you don't, you will either spend more money than needed on security cameras or you will not get what you really wanted. I can safely say that when a customer calls Aiken Augusta Electric & Security and asks for advice, when that advice is given, most of the time the customer will readily admit that "l didn't know that." Sometimes the customer decides that for their particular application a video surveillance system is not even the best choice. So please take the time to call Aiken Augusta Electric & Security in Augusta, GA & North Augusta, SC before you invest in security cameras. The advice is free and will be worthwhile. The following paragraphs address some basic information everyone should know before investing in a video surveillance system.

Reasons to Invest in Security Cameras

Reasons to Invest in Security Cameras

The most common reason is that you want to remotely watch an event. Another reason would be that you want to record an event so the video information is preserved for later viewing. Lastly, you might want to provide a visible deterrent to an intruder who may wish to do you harm or steal/damage your property.

Remote watching generally involves watching people or places that are known to the observer. For example, you may want to watch the quality of care being given to a family member, children returning home from school, kids when they are home alone, work related activities, or the pool area for safety. Picture quality is probably the most important factor and a basic video surveillance system will easily and inexpensively accomplish this objective.

Video recording introduces a host of factors to be considered with the most important being that you will probably not know the person you are observing. A recording with "usable" video information will cost more to produce than most people are willing to invest. That is, of course, unless you can convince the intruder to stand in front of the security camera and smile. There are two types of CCTV recording systems. One streams video information via the internet to an off-site recording facility for storage. These systems are the ones typically seen on TV commercials run by the national burglar alarm companies. The cameras are often offered as "free" with the purchase of a security system. However, recording is usually a feature associated with an additional or higher monthly fee. The downside to anything you get for "free" is nothing is really free. The cost is always buried somewhere and in this case the cost is buried in the inflated monthly monitoring fee and the long term contract of the security system. Another downside is that should you lose the internet (loss of power to your modem or the line being cut by an intruder) there is no video streaming to the off-site recording facility for storage. The other type of recording system uses a DVR to record and retain the video data on-site and also allows for remote watching via the internet. The downside for these systems is they are more expensive depending on the storage size of the hard drive. The upside is there are no monthly fees, so the saving can be substantial over time and easily offset the cost of the DVR's hard drive.

Security cameras offer deterrence to all who see them. Outside security cameras will cause potential intruders to pass by your property and pick an easier target. lnside security cameras have a positive effect on the performance of those being watched. There are fake security cameras on the market, but l would avoid them as most are easily spotted and many are more expensive than a real security camera. If you just want deterrence, go to a professional CCTV installer and buy some defective cameras or empty camera housings. The intruder will not know that the camera does not work.

Picture Quality

Most security cameras sold today are 1080p (HD) so picture quality is generally not an issue. lf needed, better video quality is always available for an additional cost. Be aware that most security cameras offered on TV or available at your major retailer come with a fixed iris lens. This does not affect picture quality, but based upon where the camera is mounted relative to the focal point, what you want to see may appear out of focus. You will get a focused picture if your security camera comes with a variable focus lens. Most security cameras sold by a professional CCTV installer have this option.

Misconceptions

Security cameras have become very popular because of the crime shows on TV. People think l'll just buy a video surveillance system and catch the intruder. I am always hearing from customers that they were told by the police to buy security cameras. Why? Then there are the national alarm companies that want to give you a "free" security camera with the installation of a security system. Why? Hopefully the following paragraphs will clear up some of these misconceptions.

1) A video surveillance system does not prevent a crime. lt is not an alarm system. lt simply gives you recorded historical video data. That data may, but probably will not help solve a crime. First, what are the odds that an intruder will face the camera and give a mugshot photo the police can use to prosecute. Second, the intruder could steal or vandalize your system so that there is no historical data. Most recorded video will just give you a picture of an unidentifiable intruder vandalizing or stealing your property.

2) The police will always recommend YOU BUY a video surveillance system after a crime. However, the police will never say to you security cameras would have prevented your crime or if you had security cameras they could have solved your crime. The police simply know that the more video information they can gather the higher the probability of identifying an intruder and/or solving a crime. By making that recommendation they take advantage of you when you are feeling vulnerable.

3) Burglar alarm companies give you a "free" security camera and appear to empathize with you by showing your children coming home from school. They entice you with a "free" security camera because they know you will eventually want to record. The security industry is all about the monthly fee. The more features they can offer, the more than can charge in monthly fees.

MY OPINION

lf you are convinced that a video surveillance system is what you need, buy a system at your local major retailer. You get to see the picture quality before the purchase, they offer wired and wireless versions, and the systems are easily returned if you change your mind. Security cameras are easy to install, but if you can't or don't want to install the system, call a professional CCTV installer. Aiken Augusta Electric & Security has done this for numerous customers over the years and they have all been thoroughly satisfied. If you want better quality, buy a CCTV system from us. We can upgrade the security cameras and/or the DVR hard drive for a small additional charge. AVOID SECURITY CAMERAS WITH A MONTHLY FEE.