Wired vs. Wireless
There are two main types of connections for CCTV cameras to the monitor or recording device, they consist of either a fixed cable or a wireless connection.
Fixed Cable Connection
Fixed cable connection means that your camera will be physically connected to your monitor or recording device via a cable. Usually coaxial cables are used, most of the time they are similar to your normal home TV cables. Lengths come in 25, 35, 50, 100 or 500 feet. As the distance increases, you may see degradation in signal quality.
For distances longer than 100 or 200 feet, you can purchase higher quality coaxial cables such as RG59 coaxial cable for distances up to 600 feet and for distances more than 600 feet, but less than 2,000 feet, you can purchase CAT5 cable.
Most wireless CCTV cameras use the 2.4 Gigahertz frequencies to transmit their video images to a monitor or DVR (digital video recorder). Usually, frequencies can be slightly changed to have more than one group of cameras in a specific space. Wireless CCTV cameras used at this frequency can easily transmit through most walls and obstacles; however each individual location will have its own operating limits. Expect most wireless CCTV cameras to send data to a range of about 200 feet, however many will more likely work well when transmitting less than 150 feet. A clear line of sight transmission will always work the best.
Obviously a wireless connection allows you greater freedom to place your CCTV camera almost anywhere. While wireless CCTV cameras transmit their video images to a digital video recorder or monitor, many of these types of cameras must be plugged into an electrical outlet. There is however some CCTV cameras that are battery operated.
Dome Security Cameras
These are named for their dome shaped protective cover. Dome Cameras are manufactured in both interior and exterior versions. The dome camera also provides a few additional advantages over some of the other commonly used camera types. The exterior versions are very tough and extremely tamper resistant. Additionally, in both versions a dome camera can hide which direction the lens is facing making it very difficult for a would-be perpetrator to see if they are in the dome camera’s field of view. Dome Security Cameras can also utilize a variety of technologies such as: Fixed or Varifocal Lens, Day / Night vs. Infrared and even Mega Pixel.
Bullet Style Night Vision
Infrared Bullet Cameras are small CCTV Night Vision Cameras that are cylindrical in shape. The main advantage of IR Bullet Cameras is their low cost and small size. These IR cameras generally mount directly to a wall or ceiling and offer a good picture at a reasonable price. A Bullet Security Night Vision Camera is generally mounted in higher out of reach locations as they are not the most tamper resistant. Bullet security cameras generally come with a fixed or Varifocal lens and the most common IR emission ranges are 30’, 60’, 90’, or 120’.
PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom)
In some situations the use of fixed position cameras will not be enough to achieve adequate surveillance for a specific area or areas. Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) Cameras have the capability of being controlled remotely, change zoom level (typically 10X up to 36X) and moved in any direction via a keyboard or PTZ Joystick Controller. Other ways of controlling the PTZ Camera are through the DVR Software using a mouse or even via an Infrared remote control.
Pan, Tilt, Zoom Security Cameras are often used to visually patrol a wide area with pre-sets to switch between certain areas in a loop. It is also possible to connect a motion PIR (passive infrared sensor) to the Pan, Tilt, and Zoom to the Camera so when a person comes within the motion detection range the camera will automatically spin round to face that point. These PTZ cameras are ideal for any application where a large area needs to be monitored.
Types of Images
CCTV cameras generally take both black and white or colour video images. In addition, many CCTV cameras can even have night vision capabilities which allow a CCTV camera to view and record low light images using special technology. IP cameras are becoming more and more popular as their price decreases, as they can have mega-pixel super-sharp clarity and can be connected to a standard computer CAT5 network, most have POE (Power over Ethernet) capabilities, meaning the cable from the camera can also carry power to the camera. This reduces the installation cost as no power supply units are needed.
Frames per Second
Frames per second means the amounts of full frames that a video camera captures and sends to a recording device or monitor per second. While most CCTV camera systems are easily able to capture 30 or more frames per second (30 fps is considered real time), the amount of digital storage would be enormous to record every moment of everyday. For most shops, speeds of 1 to 6 frames per second are more than enough to catch and record a perpetrator committing a crime.
DVR(Digital Video Recorder)
A DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is the recording device, which stores all the images onto an internal hard drive for up to 32 cameras and view on a display. Recordings can be played back from all cameras or one at a time. A user can go back to any time in the recording and playback a recording in a matter of seconds.
The recorded images can be stored to hard drives or CDs and archived for as long as necessary. The DVRs can be controlled, viewed to recording can be played back over the internet using an internet browser or a client software. This allows you to view your premises from anywhere in the world, additionally, any optional PTZ cameras can be controlled remotely, over the internet.
Please note: When viewing on any smart phone you cannot use the play back option on this type of device, only viewing can be displayed.