7 - Best Camera Locations

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So where should you locate your security cameras?


Below are a few of the most common viewing patterns. Each has benefits and possibly some draw backs. Your application will dictate which design is most effective.



Mid Wall Pattern

A Mid Wall Pattern means mounting a camera in the middle of a wall horizontally and adjusting its view perpendicular to the wall. This location can be useful for certain applications but is seldom used by security professionals, simply because it results in blind spots on each side of the camera. A 3.6mm lens provides the widest viewing angle without distorting the image. There are 180 degree cameras on the market but they distort the video so badly that the video is useless at distance. We do not recommend using any lens wider than a 2.8mm, which provides a viewing angle of 110 degrees. Because of the extremely wide view, we cannot expect great clarity beyond 60 feet. A 2.8mm lens should be used for up close applications - such as a porch or any location where you desire a very wide angle of view up close but do not require great detail at distance (beyond 60ft).





Back-to-Back Pattern

A Back-to-Back Pattern means placing two cameras back to back mid wall. This design eliminates the blind spots that can occur when using the mid wall method. Since the 3.6mm lens opens up at 90 degrees, it is the natural choice for this application. This is the best solution for a 180 degree field of view (two 90 degree cameras back to back).





Secret Service Pattern

The Secret Service Patterns uses two cameras that are installed on the same wall, separated by 15-20 feet and aimed towards each other. Essentially, the cameras are watching each other’s back so that neither camera can be disabled without the perpetrator being seen. This design works well with both fixed view and zoom lens cameras.





Corner-to-Corner

This design is the most common and provides several benefits. It makes the most of each camera's viewing capability and covers 100% of the perimeter. When the cameras are placed as the diagram below indicates, all blind spots are eliminated, and the cameras cannot be vandalized without the perpetrator being recorded by another camera.





Inside Corner

The Inside Corner pattern is simple and very effective. Because a 3.6mm lens provides a 90 degree field of view, it is perfect for an inside corner. When using this method, the camera cannot be vandalized, and the corner is covered from wall to wall.







Where on the structure should the camera be located?


Most cameras are installed either on or under a building's soffit. Cameras will have the same performance whether they are mounted vertically to a wall or horizontally on a soffit. However, when installed under a soffit, cameras are usually protected from harsh weather and the sun's UV rays - both of which reduce the lifetime of the camera. Mounting on or near a building's soffit is preferred. Below you will find a graphic that indicates the soffit of the house, as well as the fascia, both of which may be good choices for camera placement.




Cameras are usually mounted to the structure they are protecting. We have had clients attempt to mount cameras on trees or poles with the camera looking back at the building. This increases the installation difficulty and does not provide a security benefit. Often, such remote camera locations can actually reduce the overall security of the system as the cameras can be approached from their blind spots and disabled.


The design of the building or home will dictate where the cameras can be located. When selecting a location consider any area that has attic above or unfinished basement below. Both provide the ability to run wire. Keep in mind there are usually two possible camera locations for each camera. Select the location most likely to benefit the installation.






What height should a camera be mounted?


Often the architecture of the building dictates the height of the cameras as well as the target locations. The closer a target location is to a camera, the steeper the field of view will be. This can cause a camera to only record the top of individuals' heads if the viewing angle is too steep. To counter this problem, as the target distance to the camera reduces, the height of the camera should also be reduced so that the angel of view provides facial ID. On the other hand, PTZ cameras needing to view long distances should be placed higher to give the camera a better perspective at distance.


Standard heights that consistently provide the best field of view are listed below. Keep in mind that these heights are only guidelines. It's you job to adapt to the structure of the building with your recommendations.








Chapters



Dome & Book

1 - The Smart Way to Shop for Security Cameras
Many consumers are more confused at the end of shopping for a security solution than when they started. (video)



2 - Choosing the Right Technology
There are so many different technologies on the market: solar, battery, wireless, wired as well as Consumer Grade and Professional Grade versions of these products. How do you know which is right for you? (video)



3 - Industry Warranty's Indicate Quality
A security camera's warranty is a good indication of its quality and how long you should expect it to last. Industry warranties range from 1 to 10 years. Know the warranty before you buy! (video)



PTZ & Book

4 - The Pro's Golden Rules
There are golden rules that should be considered when designing or purchasing any security camera system. We explain each rule so you "Get It Right the First Time"! (video)



5 - Understanding Resolution & Frame Rates
Let's cut through the confusion and keep things simple when it comes to video clarity and resolution. Which resolution is right for your application? (video)



6 - Camera System Components
It's important to learn the basic parts that are used in all video security camera systems: camera components, cable, recorders, monitors and internet connection. This video covers it all. (video)



360 & Book

7 - Best Camera Locations & Heights
Learn recommended camera fields of view, installation locations and heights for best coverage. Your design should be flexible while following these best practices.



8 - Selecting the Right Camera & Mount
One size does NOT fit all! Learn how to select the right camera for each location. Optical Zoom vs Digital Zoom, how to capture license plates, color night vision & more. Follow the Pro's tips and get it right the first time. (video)



9 - Video Recorders & Best Locations
How to select the right security NVR (network video recorder) for your application. Click through to learn the best locations for video surveillance recorders.



10 - Video Storage, Hard Drives & Cloud
Use our storage calculator to easily calculate what size hard drive need. Learn how to expand storage, protect against theft and what cloud options we offer. (video)

Phone & Book

11 - PoE Units & How to Use Them
PoE units make installation more cost effective and provide flexible system design options. Learn what they are and how to use them.



12 - Wire & Cable - Alternative Transmission Options
Learn how to wire a system, plan cable runs and design efficiently. If the camera installation is difficult, our wireless transmission options will solve the problem. (video)



13 - Business System Design
Learn how to design an effective business security camera system. Effectively secure your assets and employees while managing your business operations from anywhere. (video)

Plate & Book

14 - Home System Design
Learn how to design an effective home security camera system to secure your home, assets and family. Monitor your home remotely from anywhere. (video)



15 - Interior Camera Placement
Learn how to effectively locate security cameras inside of your home or business for the best coverage while maintaining privacy.



16 - DIY Installation or Pro Install - You Choose!
Most of our customers install the system themselves with our expert factory support, but you may want that clean professional installation completed by a pro. We support both options nationwide and you choose which you prefer. (video)

Cable & Book

17 - Live & Remote Viewing with Alerts
You choose how you interface with our state-of-the-art-systems. All options are available and any combination of viewing options can be used: direct connect monitors, personal computers, tablets and smart phones - Super fast, clear and no monthly fees.



18 - Customizing Kits - Sending Quotes - Financing
Learn how to customize any of our kits to meet your exact needs, then send a line-item PDF quote to any email you choose. Use our instant financing option during checkout to fit the budget. (video)



19 - ProVue vs. Cyber Secure - Feature Comparison
We offer two high performance series. Both are cutting edge 4K solutions. Which series is right for you?



20 - Become Certified Design Consultant
Help secure your community and earn a great income on your schedule. Backstreet University offers a professional consultant's training course.




Design Tools & Resources



Design & Book

Expert System Design Service
Let one of our experts design your system. Its the sure way to get it right the first time at the lowest price. Book a 30 minute design appointment using our online calendar. You'll be glad you did!



Do-it-yourself System Designer
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.



HDD & Book

Custom Kit Builder
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!



Hard Drive Calculator
Use our video storage calculator to determine the size of the hard drive you need based on the number of cameras and the desired storage days.



Security Industry Terms
Not sure what Cat6 is? Would you like to know the difference between a DVR and an NVR? Here are simple and clear explanations of the industry terms.




Industry News & Events




Banned Security Brands
US government banned the use of Dahua, Lorex, Hikvision and other security cameras in federal facilities due to hidden backdoors. In June 2021, the FCC unanimously voted to start procedures to ban the sale of these brands to the general public by denying new products FCC approval.


What is NDAA & Why It Matters
The NDAA law banned the use of electronic equipment provided by specific companies. What’s interesting about the law is that it bans companies rather than countries. It ignores borders and focuses on individual entities.





Fun & Interesting How-to Videos




















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