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Which Camera System is the Best for Your Home Surveillance?

As soon as you start thinking of setting up your Home Surveillance you realize that the Camera, however important, is but one element of a System. Which is therefore the Camera System you should select?


As in so many other fields of human activity, the answer, unfortunately, is always the same. “It depends…” But this answer gives you freedom of choice and the opportunity to personalize your selection, making it the most suitable to your unique circumstances.


The simplest system permits only to monitor camera views in real time (that is without recording). Such a system is adequate for checking the entrance door (or any other fixed place), for monitoring the sleep of a baby in the cradle or the games of the kids in the yard (if they do not run out of view…).


Whenever real time monitoring is not sufficient for surveillance purposes one should select a suitable recorder. For examining recorded tape footage on the premises, that is when there is no need to view from a distance, analog technology based on one of the available types of tape recorders is adequate.


A tape recorder will be suitable if the time available between cassette changes (two to four hours) is sufficient to suit your needs. Otherwise special time-lapse recorders can be obtained that conserve tape by sampling images at pre selected intervals.


The system becomes more complex if more than one camera sends images to monitor and recorder. In this case one of the two following solutions is available. Either one can sample in sequence (using an automatic switcher) every camera in turn or, using a Multiplexer, one can examine multiple reduced views on the same monitor.


But if images must be seen at a distance using the Internet, then the analog technology is not suitable any more. One must go digital to permit manipulation of images by software as in Personal Computers or in specially designed dedicated DVR (Digital Video Recorder) hardware.


Besides allowing transmission, digital technology permits software compression of files resulting in economic use of hard disk drive memory for many hours of continuous recording.


A PC based digital video system is programmed through software while a DVR is set up with a kind of hand held remote controller.


A PC uses a digital screen while a normal analog monitor is used for hardware DVR (although images are digitized for manipulation and recording).


A PC system can easily be expanded later should the need arise, while the rigid construction of hardware DVR is not readily amenable to further additions.


To select the most suitable Camera System for home surveillance one should think about the actual needs and one should answer the following questions as correctly as possible to narrow down the search.


Is the system needed only to monitor views in real time?


Is analog video cassette recording technology adequate? (No Internet).


How many camera views should be available?


If recording is needed, will sampling of images at intervals be sufficient?


Is a multiplexer needed for monitoring at once all camera views?


Is there a need to observe the views from a distance through Internet?


Would you be comfortable with PC programming?


In conclusion the selection of the best Camera System for you depends on the answers to these questions.


Elia Levi is a retired engineer. He built a website to assist with a step-by-step Guide to understand, design, select and set up, all by yourself the best and least expensive surveillance system for your home security. Read more on the subject of this article at http://www.1st-diy-home-surveillance-guide.com/Camera-systems.html


Source: www.articlesbase.com