The Golden Rules apply to most applications, but they are just rules, not indisputable laws. If there is a reason to break a rule, then break it. An effective system is designed to meet the challenges of the environment and the goals of the owner. While each video surveillance system is unique, the majority of systems should follow these rules.
The following video was taken from our Professional Consultants Training Course. It provides consumers a clear understanding of the best practices professional security consultants (dealers) follow to design an effective, value based, video security-surveillance system.
Leave Room to Grow
Nationwide, on average, video surveillance systems grow 35% after installation. This happens for two reasons: 1.) The consumer did not use an adequate number of cameras to provide the coverage they desired. 2.) They found the system to be so effective that they expanded the system to provide additional security and surveillance benefits. The lesson here is to allow the system to have expansion capabilities. You can always add cameras, but the video recorder must be able to support your future needs. Surveillance recorders are built to support four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two and sixty-four cameras. If you initially purchase four cameras with a four-channel recorder and then later find you absolutely need a fifth camera, that one camera is going to be expensive. The four-camera recorder now needs to be replaced with an eight-camera video recorder. It is wise to purchase a video recorder that is one size larger than your initial needs.
One Camera, One Job
The most common mistake consumers make is trying to get one camera to do the work of two. We all want to get the most out of each camera, but if you try to get one camera to do too much, you may end up recording nothing of value. We have all seen video of some crime being committed, but because of the lack of detail in the video, the person cannot be identified. Be conservative with the coverage you expect each camera to provide. As a general rule, each camera should not be expected to view more than 30-50 feet wide at the preferred target distance.
Select the Right Lens
Another common mistake is using the same model of camera for all locations. Some consumers have a tendency to think that if they use 4K cameras everywhere then they will see everything. That's not how it works. If you do not have the right lens for the target location, increasing the resolution can't hurt, but it's likely the lens has the wrong focal distance and the detail needed is not provided. This rule is the most important Golden Rule as it is the basis for selecting most cameras.
- If the viewing area is under 60 feet from the camera, select a camera with a wide angle lens (2.8 or 3.6mm).
- If the viewing area is 60-150 feet from the camera, select a camera with a zoom lens (2.8-12mm).
- If the area is 150-500 feet from the camera, consider using our Pro240MZ with a 5-50mm zoom lens or a PTZ camera.
Take into consideration the installation method when choosing cables. Use pre-made cables if you intend to perform the installation yourself. This eliminates the need for you to learn how to make a cable fitting. The only warning is when using pre-made cables, make sure that you measure the distance needed correctly and select the next size up from that length. Any excess cable can be spooled up and left in the attic, ceiling or behind the workstation. If the cable turns out to be short of the distance needed, you can plug two pre-made cables together, though a connector is required, and the best practice is to order a larger cable than necessary.
If you are comfortable making a network or coax fitting use our bulk easy spool boxes of cables. This allows the exact amount of cable to be pulled to each camera location, eliminating any excess cable. Professional installers prefer this approach.
Choose Value not Low Price
We have a saying around Backstreet: "Get it right the first time". The origins of this slogan came from thousands of our clients who first purchased a big box store kit (decision based on price) and soon replaced it with a designed system from Backstreet. Our job is to educate you so you make an informed decision and understand that it's value you probably are shopping for, not low price.
Value=Quality + Performance + Low Price
When a consumer understands the differences between consumer grade kits and professional grade equipment, they usually to choose value over price. This means you "get it right the first time".
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One of the most common requests our customers have is the ability to identify and capture license plates. This can be achieved if you follow the rules and recommendations we detail. It is important that you follow them, simply because capturing a license plate is one of the most challenging tasks for security cameras.
Design your home or business security system like a Pro. Locate cameras and their viewing areas to provide a visual of the effective coverage of each camera and evaluate the overall design. This surveillance system design tool covers it all.
Build a complete custom system for your home or business without any confusion or mistakes. This easy to use tool makes sure you select all the components you need for a complete system. You can even include installation!
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