Components of a Cat6 IP System

In this section, we're going to discuss the basic components that make up a video surveillance system. There are just the broad strokes' basic components. Each system's going to have a different configuration and we'll get into the different configurations and how you can plug things together and the design aspect of things. But right now we're just going to go through the basic components of a video surveillance system. So we'll start with the camera. Now, this is a dome camera. There are dome cameras and there are bullet or box-style cameras. We'll get into the different types of cameras and whatnot, but they all have this basic same component. Metal housing protected from the weather, a lens, a video chip, and a pigtail for communication and power. So we start with the camera. Now cameras can be mounted flush against a wall, and then they can be articulated where you need them to be.

It can be ceiling or wall mounted. This is the sensitive part of a camera. If you can't push us back into the wall, then you need to use a back box. So this is the same camera mounted on a back box. Now the back box protects the pigtail from weather, and that's really important. If you can't mount the camera and pushes back into a wall or back into a soffit or above a drop tile ceiling, then you're going to want to use this back box because it keeps the weather out and it gives you a place where you can make the connection with the cable. The cable can come in through the side, it can come in through the back. But the point is you can mount this on brick, on concrete, on a soffit, and have the connection protected from the weather. This is the sensitive and weak spot of a security camera right there.

So we have to protect it. And to communicate the camera video signal and to power it, we use a network cable. This is a Cat6 system, so this is a Cat6 video network cable. It's got the RJ45 fittings factory put on each end. So it's as simple as plugging one end of the network cable into the camera, running it to where the video recorder's going to be located, and plugging it into the video recorder on one of the POE units or POE ports. So now we've got power transmitting from the video recorder through the cable to the camera, and the camera's transmitting data from the camera through the cable to the video recorder. That's the only wiring that's required for that camera. Very clean. That's why IP-based systems are so popular.

Now, the next thing we've got to do, we've got to put a hard drive in the video recorder. This is a SATA hard drive. It's very similar to the hard drives that are on your PC or your home computer right now. The difference is this is a server class or a hard drive made for video surveillance. What they found was that the regular SATA of hard drives would wear out and they'd give out after about a year because the workload of 4K video keeps these hard drives just constantly spinning, collecting all the data coming in from the camera. So you need a hard drive that was built for the workload. The hard drives are installed in the video recorder, we have another section to show you how simple that is. But you can put multiple hard drives in a video recorder, and what will happen is it'll fill up one hard drive. Once that's full, it'll jump to the next hard drive, and fill that up. And if programmed to do so, which most are, it'll go back to the first video recorder, delete the oldest clips, and continue to record.

So you'll always have a moving month-to-month of video that's just constantly being overwritten with the hard drives in the NVR and the video recorder. Now, for viewing, the video recorder can be connected to a monitor or a TV with an HDMI cable. You need to use HDMI because that's the only way you're going to get 4K video out of the video recorder to the monitor. From the video recorder, we then go to our internet modem, and it doesn't have to be next to the unit, but now we just use the network port on the video recorder and we plug it into one of the ports on the internet modem. And now, we have remote viewing with our phones through the wifi of the home or the business. So you can sit right from your work or home computer or from your smartphone anywhere in the world, and you can access the video recorder and you can view cameras live and you can playback.

That's the basic component of a standard video surveillance Cat6 system. Now, let's take a close look at the components of the parts that make up a surveillance camera. Now here, for example, we have a vandal dome-style camera and a bullet-style camera. This can also be called a turret camera or a box camera. They look a lot different, but they do exactly the same thing. So let's start with the vandal dome. So first we have IP67-rated housing. You can drop this camera in a bucket of water, and all you're going to get is video. It's watertight. It's made for extreme temperatures, so the elements are not a problem. That's one of the main concerns most people have. They might live in North Dakota or Wisconsin or even Alaska, and they'll be going, hey, we get harsh winters. And it's like, yeah, not a problem.

The cameras have already taken that into account. Doesn't matter. They're completely watertight. Now, this camera is like I said, a vandal dome or a turret-style camera. It can be ceiling mounted and it can be wall mounted. You simply loosen an adjustment screw here and you can articulate the camera in any direction. Now, you always have a pigtail, and again, as we've discussed, this is the sensitive part of the camera, but this is where the Cat6 or the network cable plugs into this jack right here. You'll notice there's another one right here. This is a 12-volt DC power supply. You'll see these on cameras are rarely used, but they're simply basically just another way to power the camera if you're not using power over ethernet from the video recorder or from some other connection point. So you can actually take a 12-volt DC power plug, plug it in the wall, plug it into this, and power the camera, and then just use a network cable that's not POE back to the camera.

But this is called the pigtail, and it's usually about 10 to 12 inches long like you're seeing here, and that's pretty standard what it looks like. Now the camera is shipped with an outdoor weather-rated boot, and that's what this is doing here. The cable would come in, the boot comes over and you secure it. It's designed to keep it watertight, but we discuss the back boxes. This is not a guaranteed watertight connection. Every, probably one in five looks like it's installed right but it may leak. So we don't recommend using those outdoors. We recommend using a back box so that you can protect the pigtail. Now on the camera, we have the lens and the lens can be a wide-angle lens just fixed. When you mount it, that's all you see, or it can be motorized.

You can't really tell the difference. This camera and a motorized camera look exactly the same. The only difference is when you get back to the video recorder, you can optically adjust the camera with a motorized zoom right from your mouse. With a fixed view camera, you just plug it in, you aim the camera in the direction you want, and that's all you do. This camera has a microphone built-in, so it feeds audio to the video recorder, which you can hear live and which you can record. But it's missing a speaker, and a lot of people will say, I want two-way communication. Well, that takes a camera with a microphone and somewhere else they've got to embed a speaker. But on top of that, the speaker's got to be weathertight and it's got to be loud enough so you can hear somebody 15, 20 feet away.

So we do have cameras like that, but that's not normal for standard surveillance cameras. Two-way communication is used usually for porch cams. If you're replacing the ring video doorbell, things like that. Now, there's a night vision system in here. This particular camera has a night vision system. If the light level goes to zero, like a hand in front of your face, you can't see anything. That's how black it is. It will turn on its night vision system that casts out infrared light that illuminates the area that the camera can see, but the human eye can't. But this particular camera is called 24-hour color. The video chip inside is so sensitive that it almost never goes into black-and-white IR mode, or infrared light mode because it just needs the smallest amount of light to stay in color and provide a crisp, clear picture. That's a function of the video chip that's in the camera, and this happens to be a 4K very low-light video chip.

When you're talking low light, you might hear terms like the LUX. A standard surveillance camera now might have a 0.1 LUX. This has a 0.001 LUX, so it's a hundred times more sensitive to light than the standard surveillance camera, and that's why this particular one can stay in color mode all night long. Now, let's take a look at the bullet-style cameras, the same thing. We've got our night vision systems here. We've got our motorized zoom lens here. We've got a IP67-rated housing here. We've got an arm here that we can articulate so that we can mount it on the ceiling or wall. We have a pigtail that does a whole bunch of other things here, and we're not going to get into these. Really, the only thing that you're going to use on even a high-end camera like this is your network connection, and that's about it.

We can drive some other things, some other devices with us, sirens and lights and things like that right off the camera. Now, one of the smarter things that have kind of helped cameras evolve is the ability to put a memory card in the cameras. This particular one has a little door right back here, you can't see it. But we can open that up or you can open it up and you slide a micro SD memory card. It's the same memory card you buy at Best Buy or anywhere else, but by putting it in the camera, the camera automatically transmits the video to the video recorder, but at the same time, when it sees movement, it's recording to the memory chip in the camera. Now, why would we want to do that? We've already discussed that a little bit. It's pretty brilliant. If you're putting a video recorder where it might be stolen and you're concerned about that, put memory cards in the cameras.

If the video recorder is stolen, all you do is access the camera with your smartphone, and playback the video of them stealing the video recorder. Now, obviously, the memory card and the cameras aren't going to store as much time as a video recorder because they have full-blown hard drives in them. But you can get a week of storage out of a memory card in a standard camera. The bullet-style cameras have the same thing. Here's the door right here, and you take this off and you're able to put the memory card right in there. Those are the main components of a surveillance camera. Pan-tilt-zoom cameras, we'll talk about a little more in detail in the next video. They're different animals. They're more expensive, and we'll explain why.

Now, when we're discussing whether a camera's going indoors or outdoors and what camera you should use, this is an outdoor camera, but it looks nice indoors. It's a little large because it is made for outdoors, but a lot of times when we're trying to put some surveillance in a home or in a business, we can go to a small vandal dome. They look really nice, mounted up in the corner, you don't notice them. But even though it's an IP67-rated outdoor camera, we're using it because it has a small footprint, and that's really what we want. We don't want an obnoxious or large camera inside an office or inside a home. But this little guy here mounted up in a corner, looks really nice. No one pays attention to it, and you've got good surveillance. Just because it's sealed weather-tight, it's even going to be better indoors. It's just going to last twice as long. It doesn't hurt that it's an outdoor-rated camera. The only reason we're using it again is because of the small footprint and it looks nice indoors.

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