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Using digital video surveillance systems

As computer technology becomes more common, specialized machinery becomes more available.At one time digital video surveillance was something reserved for big companies and members of the CIA.Today, video surveillance equipment is widespread and available for things like monitoring the baby's room and home security.Furthermore, the digital video technology enables you to check your cameras from any computer with a web connection.That means that if you want to check on your kids and the nanny from your laptop in Cancun, you just log on and see what's happening.

If you are considering a video surveillance system for any reason there are a few things that you should know about choosing and installing the system to make sure that you get the best use out of your camera.

Hidden or obvious?
Depending on your intended use of the camera, you might want to hide it or you might want it out in the open.If you want the camera to be a deterrence to possible covert activity, the camera should be in plain sight.Often knowing they are on camera will prevent a person from criminal actions.Then again, you might want to "catch" somebody doing something.If you are trying to video an unfaithful lover, you will not want the camera in plain sight.The hidden camera has recently been called the "nanny camera" because of several televised films of nannies acting badly and caught on tape.

How fast do you want it?You will also need to decide how good you want the pictures to look.If you have ever seen surveillance tapes of robberies played on the news you will have noticed the poor quality of pictures.The picture quality is directly related to how many frames per second (fps) are photographed.The more frames per second the better the quality of the picture. The price you pay for this better quality picture is file size.If you are familiar with digital photography will have noticed that pictures taken with more pixels per inch are much bigger files than those with fewer pixels per inch.The same is true for digital recording and frames per second.To save memory space, especially if you will be recording for long periods, you will want to record less frames per second.

What kind of lens should you choose?
The lenses are typically sold separately from the surveillance camera.When choosing a lens you will choose between cheaper versions that have one focus and more expensive versions that have zooming features.You will also need to decide if you want an automatic iris or a manual iris.You would need a fixed focus lens with a manual iris when monitoring a scene where the lighting and the focus will not change.Again, this is a decision that will be based on the intended use of the equipment.

How do I install and use the equipment?Video surveillance equipment is getting more user friendly.You may need to mount the camera, which will require some tools but everything else is straightforward.The software will come with the camera and can be installed on your personal computer, just like any other software.Once the software is installed, the security cameras will either plug into outlets or run on batteries.Either way, the video will stream directly to your pc.When deciding on your system, check to make sure that there are not a lot of wires and that the software doesn't include complicated network configurations.With the number of options available, you should be able to find a simple wireless system at whatever price range you are interested in.

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