Are you planning to expand your business or add to your home? Are the number of cameras in your video surveillance system at home enough to completely cover all the areas in your house? Whether you are a business owner or a homeowner who wants to improve the coverage of your video surveillance system, you can install additional cameras to your system to expand the areas that it can cover and improve the security of the area you want to be secured. Adding cameras to your video surveillance system is one way to upgrade security for more peace of mind.
But before purchasing and installing additional cameras, there are things that you should ask to make sure that the cameras will operate properly when added to your existing system. Before presenting the frequently asked questions regarding adding new cameras, let us first discuss several considerations when integrating a video surveillance capability to your security system.
Five Considerations When Integrating a Video Surveillance to a Security System
- Identify your bandwidth
You should make sure that your local area network (LAN) has a bandwidth of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) or a Gigabit Ethernet connections to ensure that your system performs well. A fast Internet service and cameras with MPEG4 compression will also add to the smooth performance of your system.
- Router and Switch
An Internet router and a LAN switch or wireless access point are needed to connect the cameras of your video surveillance system. These requirements are standard in the majority of wireless camera system configurations.
- Personal computer (PC) to operate and manage the system
You should select or purchase a Windows or Apple PC with at least 1-gigabyte (GB) of random access memory (RAM) and a dedicated video graphic card to serve as a video management system that controls the security cameras. The PC will also be used for the recording, monitoring, and reviewing and storing the footage taken by the system.
- Display Monitor
The display monitor will allow you to view the footage taken by the various cameras in your system. It is recommended that the monitor is displayed at a place where every employee or family member can see it to increase the possibility of deterring a crime before it occurs. Viewing the video can also be done remotely using different mobile devices like laptop computers, tablet computers, and smartphones.
- Video Storage
A video storage device is used to record the video footage taken by the video surveillance system’s cameras. The device can be a simple secure digital (SD) card, but a digital video recorder (DVR) is usually used in a typical professional setup. The required capacity of video storage depends on several factors like how long the device will store the footages and the resolution of the videos taken. To give an example, a single camera recording and streaming high-quality MJPEG videos for 24 hours will need 112 GB of storage space. Also, the use of a network attached system allows you to centralize the video feed storage of your system.
Frequently Asked Questions When Adding New Cameras to an Existing Video Surveillance System
- Does a system’s DVR support any brand of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras?
Any brand of cameras can be connected to a DVR as long as the cameras have BNC outputs. Said output is the industry standard for CCTV cameras.
- Can I use wireless cameras (IP) or high-definition (HD) cameras as an addition to a CCTV/analog system?
Make sure that your PC-based DVR system is a hybrid system that can utilize both analog cameras and IP security cameras.
- Can I utilize the existing coaxial cable when adding HD security camera system to a CCTV/analog camera system?
Coaxial cables like RG59 and RG6 can be used to connect HD cameras to the system. However, when using HD-SDI cameras, they cannot perform well at a distance of more than 200 feet. To connect the cameras at more than 200 feet, you should use a powered HD-SDI video repeater.
- Can I use different brands of cameras in a video surveillance system?
Yes. Any brand of cameras can be used in the same system as long as they have BNC connectors, which is a standard in the industry.
- Do I have to expand the capacity of the DVR when adding several cameras?
If the capacity of your DVR will not be able to accommodate the additional footage taken by the new cameras, you should expand your DVR by adding an external hard drive or buy another DVR. There are several variables that affect the volume of video that can be recorded on your DVR’s internal hard drive. Among them are its storage capacity, recording mode, the number of cameras used, the lighting conditions, and the recording quality.
However, there are some ways to save recording space on your DVR. Among them are:
- If you are a businessman, you can schedule the recording of the cameras used to monitor your employees on their scheduled work hours and activate the camera’s motion detection capabilities after work hours.
- Reducing the resolution of the footages taken by the cameras but make sure that it will not severely lessen the quality of recorded videos. You can also select the cameras that will be adjusted based on the importance of their monitored space.
- You can also save recording space by turning off the audio of cameras positioned in areas where audio recording is not that critical like in parking lots.
- You should compress the digital video on the DVR to eliminate unnecessary image data and allow smaller file sizes like infrared light and some audios.
- Reducing the frames per second (FPS) settings of the cameras. This will lengthen the time the DVR can record footages. Recordings taken at 7.5 FPS are already admissible as police and court evidence.
Considering the above questions and concerns is essential research before making a purchase and adding additional new security cameras to your system. Do the homework and save time and money. Then, strategically add new cameras to enhance and expand your security network into a more robust and safe arrangement. Adding more cameras is an excellent way to affordably add valuable protection to your home or business.