We install security camera systems all over the Lowcountry for everyone from large local businesses and commercial properties to small homes, condos and apartments.
Though we field many questions about the commercial video surveillance systems we install, we probably get more questions regarding home security cameras in Charleston.
So why are there more questions about residential camera systems?
We most likely believe that there are more home camera system questions due to higher level of concerns over personal privacy when these systems are installed around Lowcountry homes.
Knowing what kind of system to install and who should install them to ensure your security, ensure the quality of your system performance and safeguard your personal privacy can be challenging.
To help you sort out the numerous details you’ll need to get the best security cameras for your Lowcountry home, below are a few important video surveillance aspects you should make sure you get when you install your home camera system.
While analog camera systems have come a long way over the years, if you want to make sure your system is “future-proof” and equipped to last for the long-haul, be sure to research and ask about IP (internet protocol) digital cameras.
“What’s the difference between analog cameras and IP cameras?”, you may be asking yourself.
The primary differences between those two camera types lie in the transmission and processing of their video feeds.
Analog cameras transmit their video feeds via traditional video camera cabling, with any video processing (encoding/decoding video into a digital format) done at the video recording device or DVR (digital video recorder). A separate power supply is also needed to provide power to the cameras.
With IP cameras, the digital processing is already done by the time it hits any kind of recording device or NVR (network video recorder). IP camera powering (known as Power over Ethernet or PoE) and data transmission are also done via ethernet cabling, much like connections used to connect your home computers to the internet.
As you’ll see below, installing IP cameras come with several huge advantages when it comes to video quality, recording options and access.
When it comes to capturing the actual video around your home, the more details your cameras can pick up the more likely they can capture something recognizable about any would-be intruder or event. These details will give any investigators much more to go off of when they’re trying to track down any criminals or resolve any other emergency event.
Knowing that the devil may lie in the details of your camera feed, you’ll want to make sure you get the highest video resolution you can get when you choose a video surveillance system.
Generally speaking, you’ll get much higher resolution output when you install IP cameras vs. analog (due to video processing being done before transmission of the signal) so if you go with an IP system, your video feeds should be crystal-clear.
If a break-in or emergency event occur you’ll want to be able to retrieve that footage, regardless of when it occurred. This is where recording storage amount and length of recording times are key.
With most types of professional camera systems, continuous recording can be achieved with the recording device overwriting older recorded video. So if your system is setup to record for 20 days, for example, on the 21st day your system will start overwriting the 1st day of recording, and so on. Much of this depends upon the amount of memory your DVR/NVR holds (anything from 500GB to 3TB, depending on the model), and also the recording resolutions (which can be tweaked to a lower setting to allow longer storage times).
Another option your system should have is to allow your system to only record video feeds if it detects movement in its camera’s view. Limiting your system to only recording movement can dramatically increase the amount of time it can store a captured event and number of events it can hold.
Finally the last option you should try to have for your system is cloud (online) storage — essentially an automated way of backing up your locally recorded camera feeds. With IP cameras, in fact, you can have your recorded events stored directly in the cloud if you’d like, but we’d recommend both local and cloud if possible if your local internet network goes down for any reason (so it will still record locally if/when the internet goes down).
When you’re away from your home, you’ll still want to be able to see what’s going on via your camera system, right?
That’s why you’ll want to make sure any system you get comes with a mobile app that you can use on your phone or tablet device to securely access your system. Your remote viewing app should also give you the option to not only view the live camera feeds, but also any recorded camera system events it has in its storage device. This is where cloud storage can also be handy if you want to quickly download/extract any events to give to the authorities.
While many do-it-yourself (DIY) camera system options are out there on the market, to have a system you can rely on — no matter the situation — you’ll want to have it installed by an experienced security camera installation company.
Things like safely hiding camera wiring, securing connections and setting up your recording device can be extremely difficult without the proper experienced eyes during an installation. If any of those installation aspects goes awry when you try to do it yourself, you could drastically hinder your camera systems ability to capture important events.
When everything’s said and done with your camera system, you’ll rest much better at night knowing a professional local security company has done the job right the first time.
Whichever camera system you choose and whoever you choose to install them, if you make sure they have they above listed characteristics, you can be sure you’re getting the best residential camera system for your home in Charleston.