Important CCTV System Features

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Benefits of PTZ Cameras
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Fire Alarms, Fire Alarms Tampa, Fire Alarm Systems Tampa, Fire Alarm Company Fire Protection Tampa FL, alarm monitoring

Before looking down long lists of product specs, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do you want to be able to properly identify a person even in low light or dark conditions?
    • Be sure to look for for night vision security cameras with built-in infrared LED’s.
  • Do you want cameras that are wireless / wi-fi compatible?
    • Be sure to look for wireless IP cameras. In traditional security installations you run coaxial cable from the camera to the DVR. Running the wire isn’t too difficult if you install the cameras within 500 feet of the DVR. If the camera is more than 750 feet away from the DVR the video quality begins to degrade. The video will lose clarity and definition. Cable runs this long are common in warehouses or parking areas. IP Cameras resolve this issue by processing the images on the camera. They send a wireless digital signal instead of analog. The cameras can then be connected to a local hardwire switch using Ethernet cable. You can also connect them to a wireless router.
    • Transmitting over wi-fi or Ethernet achieves higher quality digital video. It allows shorter cable runs. It is also easier to install. For wireless IP Cameras, just plug in the wall transformer. You can assign an IP address during the camera setup. The camera can then be wall mounted or placed on a desktop. They can also be moved as your security needs change.
  • Where will you be mounting the cameras?
    • Know that if you’re going with indoor cameras, range often won’t be much of an issue. For warehouses or large storage facilities you need to know the exact range. If you need clear footage from more than 100 feet away we recommend long range cameras.
  • How far / wide can the security cameras see?
    • The answer to this question depends on your lens size and width. The larger your lens size, the farther you’ll generally be able to see. Most all of our cameras have a 2.8-12mm varifocial lens that allows it to see up to 100 feet. Our powerful Ranger PTZ comes with a 3.4-122.4mm zoom lens that lets you see up to 300 feet.
    • How wide of a viewing angle you have is dependent on the image sensor. Common sizes are 1/4” and 1/3”. Larger image sensors allow more light into the picture and give you a wider angle of view. For example, a 3.6mm lens will see almost 80 degrees wide. If you put it in the corner of a room you’ll see pretty much the entire room. A 50mm lens,will only give you a viewing angle of roughly 5 degrees wide. It’s like a camcorder, if you zoom in you can see farther away but your scene gets narrower.
  • What recording resolution do I need?
    • This is a common question when it comes to surveillance systems. Our systems range from 420 lines of resolution up to full HD 1080p resolution. 420-550 lines is enough for indoor systems monitoring a single area within 50 feet. If you are watching longer distances we recommend stepping up to 700+ resolution. 700+ provides a noticeable bump in image quality.
    • If you want the best system available on the market get an HD-SDI Complete System.
    • These systems provide recorded footage equal to your HDTV in full 1080p resolution. That is a 400%+ bump in resolution compared to standard 400-500 line cameras. The image below is a cropped version of two screenshots found here on our site. They illustrate the raw power that HD cameras have over standard definition cameras. The difference is image quality and pixels captured.

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