Security is a major concern with most homeowners. Video surveillance cameras can be used to help you keep an eye on your home; kids and pets even when you are not around. With dropping costs of video surveillance cameras and increasing costs of human security personnel, digital video surveillance, homeowners are increasingly using such systems for loss prevention and perimeter security.
Features such as pan, tilt and zoom as well as remote control allow for better surveillance. With the help of network camera technology, you can view live camera images over an IP network. Take a tour of various aspects of video surveillance camera systems so that you can make a more informed choice.
Video surveillance camera
A rudimentary video surveillance system would involve a single camera connected to a monitor. The vital element of any video surveillance camera is the CCD? Charge coupled device. The CCD converts the images collected from the camera into electronic impulses. CCD based cameras are expensive, but the added resolution and finer color details are well worth the additional cost. Some surveillance cameras use CMOS technology.
These CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) based cameras are comparatively cheaper and are adequate for surveillance duties. These CCD and CMOS devices have sensitivity reaching down to infra red radiation level. This can be used to our advantage in that you need not use visible light to illuminate the surroundings being monitored. You can use infra red lamps or incandescent lamps fitted with IR filter or a bank of IR LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) to illuminate the area.
As the Infra Red light is not visible to human eyes, people will not know that the area is under surveillance during the night. Typically small size cameras in the range of 1/4" or 1/3 are used for surveillance purpose. If you are looking for a surveillance video camera of good resolution, opt for one with about 500 TVL (Horizontal TV lines). Choose the light sensitivity of your video surveillance camera lens based on your security needs.
Typically a 0.5-lux surveillance camera lens can spot images even on a dim night. Advanced video surveillance cameras come with lenses of even 0.003 lux. Lenses with variable focal length allow you to adjust the field of view to suit your requirements. Expand your reach with pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) video surveillance cameras. Though they come at additional cost over manual cameras, it is worth the expense. Panning allows scanning on both sides while tilting allows you upward and downward views. Zooming allows for focussed viewing.
Such PTZ cameras can be programmed to auto-scan or move through a pre-defined range of positions and zoom variations. Many cameras can be fitted with Pan and Tilt remote controlled accessories to increase the range of vision. Coupled with a motion sensor, you have a versatile visual surveillance system. Look for weather resistant surveillance cameras or all weather casings for the camera, if you are placing them for outdoor use. Such cameras work in all weathers.
Hidden video surveillance cameras are pinhole lens cameras that are mounted in a way so as to avoid detection. Look for built-in microphones if you want audio monitoring too. While video surveillance cameras involve initial purchasing and installation, they can keep your fears of break-ins at bay. While overt surveillance cameras are obvious, covert hidden surveillance cameras can help you watch your home without your kids, nannies or housekeepers being aware of it. The latest version of a hidden surveillance camera fits on to your finger. It can easily be fixed to lamps, radios, clocks or other articles.
Network surveillance camera
Camera images from your surveillance camera can be sent as live streaming video for Internet remote monitoring. Video surveillance systems allow you to monitor geographically dispersed surveillance cameras over an IP-based network. They can be programmed to alert you of any potential threat through phone, SMS or pager.
Video can be recorded in AVI or MPEG formats. You can select video surveillance cameras that directly connect to an IP-based network so that you can save on cabling and other requirements. There are some dedicated interface available which will mate the camera to the internet along with powerful software to make remote surveillance effortless. Video images can be stored on the hard disk to archive and save for later viewing. Surveillance systems can manage different cameras attached to different locations in a single home.
You can check the live feed from each of the cameras at the flick of a switch. Again most small cameras send their video output through radio waves at around 2.4 GHz with suitable receivers at the other end. This saves on installation of lengthy cables to the camera and the monitor. The small CMOS cameras can be operated through rechargeable batteries and thus need no professional installation of power lines or other cables.