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Surveillance Systems for Home Security--Video and Alarms

Video Surveillance Cameras and Residential Burglar Alarms Minimize Home Break-Ins

© 2012 by Kelly R. Smith

Photo of Kelly R. Smith

Home Security Camera

A rustic ceramic tile countertop; photo courtesy Gryffindor

This article was updated on 07/02/21.

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The use of video cameras, along with a DVR or VCR recording device, helps homeowners avoid to deter home break-ins or solve crimes that have been committed.

The bad economy, the COVID-19 lockdown, and rising joblessness has had many side effects. One of these is crime, which makes a convincing argument for pro-active home security and family protection.

Using surveillance cameras for security around the home allows the homeowner to monitor what’s going on outside the home while remaining safely indoors. These video cameras are effective. One of the cameras that I have installed recently is actually incorporated into the Ring doorbell.

More homeowners than ever use cameras to complement their residential burglar alarms. The technology involved has taken major strides forward and the prices are within an affordable range. Coupled to a recording device, the camera becomes part of the homeowner’s crime prevention/solving solution. Of course, the Ring doorbell incorporates recorded video plus intercom.

A Variety of Video Surveillance Cameras to Choose From

The specific application and circumstance dictates the type of surveillance camera the homeowner should use. Digital surveillance security device manufacturers have responded to consumer demand with a variety of options. Many surveillance cameras are so well disguised that a crook has no idea his movements are being monitored. That's the best idea; remember the movies and TV shows where the crook spray-paints the camera lens?

The homeowner is presented with two choices for video camera connectivity, either wired or wireless. If the camera is too far away from the display or recording device, or wires would reveal the presence of the camera, then a wireless connection is the way to go. They are becoming relatively inexpensive so price is not the issue that it once was.

Indoor Home Security is Critical

Security cameras aren’t limited to outdoor usage. Stopping theft doesn’t end at your entry door. They should be utilized inside your home as well, disguised inside normal-looking items like boom boxes and transistor radios. This one doubles as a functional USB charging port:

A Variety of Recording Methods Choices with Security Devices

Your choice of a recording device communicating with a video camera depends on several factors such as cost, viewing quality, and recording time. commonly, a VCR will receive and record digital video data up to 10 hours. This is now considered a vintage solution still popular with small convenience stores, for example.

However, recently the Digital Video Recorder (DVR)has found a prime spot in home security. It is not just for recording reality shows like The Biggest Loser and baseball games from a satellite TV link; it can store an unbelievable amount of digital video data. Double duty is a good thing, yes?

The data is recorded on a hard drive, exactly like one inside a PC or Mac. Since available storage size is rising while the price is falling, it’s only logical to use a DVR with a lot of retrievable memory available.

If your security camera won’t be monitored in real time by a human being (unlikely in a home situation) and the security DVR will be left alone for an extended period of time, this is an ideal situation.

Putting it all into perspective, a 960 Gig external hard drive will capture thirty fps (frames per second) and record for a walloping 3,840 hours at minimal video quality! Recording time vs video quality is where the compromise is made. When the identical camera is rigged to capture 480 fps, time tops out at 240 hours, which works out to 10 days, plenty of time for a short vacation or business trip.

Using a Surveillance Camera at Night

An evenly distributed light source outdoors is an ideal situation but unfortunately this is at times quite impossible, especially if the intruder snips your wires. An obvious solution in low-light conditions is to employ a camera with a digital night vision option. For homes that need to be monitored both day and night, buy a surveillance camera that operates in both night vision and daylight/spotlight modes.

Security cameras that employ infrared technology are ideal in low-light situations, particularly with a watchdog system rigged for a closed circuit television. The video quality won’t be as high-quality as daylight color images, but bottom-feeding, scum-sucking burglars prefer to perform their dastardly deeds in the dark.

Bottom line? Employing surveillance devices for home security, both inside and out, gives homeowners an added sense of security and safety. With the numerous video camera and recording choices, there’s something there for everyone.

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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.

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