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Security Camera Equipment - A Quick Introduction to Security Camera Equipment - Stationary Security Cameras, Covert Security Cameras, Variable Position Cameras

surveillance system crime technology

Looking to boost security at your home or business? A security camera is an excellent way to deter theft and other crime before it even happens. And if it does happen, you will have a way to bring the people who did it to justice. With today’s technology, a good security camera system can be surprisingly cheap to set up. With the amount of money it would have cost 15 years ago just to buy a single camera, you can now buy the entire system! Here is a guide to some of the top security camera options as well as the other equipment you need to get a solid system set up. We include links to each type of security camera to help you get an idea of the costs and styles available to you.

Stationary Security Cameras

Also known as “fixed box cameras”, these are the classic cams that you still see in many stores and on building exteriors. They are simple, cheap, and they get the job done. Just mount it facing toward a critical point, hook it to power and to your viewing station, and you are ready to go. These cameras are not covert, but that’s by design – in many situations, you want people to know that there is surveillance equipment in use. It can deter a lot of crime before it ever happens. This is a great option for gas stations, small businesses, and anywhere that wants an extra layer of security protection.

Covert Security Cameras

Over the years, engineers have come up with an amazing variety of methods to conceal a camera. Technology has come to the point where a camera can be concealed in just about anything, and still offer decent audio and video pickup. These cameras are concealed in everyday wall and ceiling fixtures that would hardly ever draw attention to them. Their uses are only limited by your own imagination (and the law, of course!), but they are usually meant to identify covert thieves, detect crime in the workplace, or stage hilarious hidden camera pranks. Just be sure to know your area’s laws on hidden surveillance before using one of these.

Variable Position Cameras

You probably recognize this type of camera from big grocery or department stores. Also called “PTZ” (point/tilt/zoom) cameras, they are usually concealed behind a black “bubble”, and the user can remotely control the direction and zoom of the camera. These cameras are great for organizations that have devoted security personnel that continually monitor a large area, especially retail operations where theft prevention is a primary goal. They offer much more flexibility than a fixed camera, yet most are not designed to be especially covert, so it still carries crime-warding properties. This variety is mostly operated by a simple joystick or special software interface, and more advanced systems hook up multiple cameras to a single control point. The domed versions also carry the handy trait of being vandal-resistant.

What Other Equipment Do I Need?

If you are starting from scratch, just about every surveillance camera provider will be able to offer you a complete package deal to get started. Basic systems need a camera, a power supply (most can just be plugged into the wall), a monitor to view the live stream, and a recording device. Flat-screen monitors are popular options for a slick viewing station, but you can still find plenty of old-fashioned CRT monitors for less money. The recording device used to be a VCR, but now DVR technology has taken over with greatly improved quality and ease of use. With it, you can record hours of real-time surveillance and transfer the data to a long-term storage device if desired.

More advanced systems can view multiple camera streams on the same monitor, either by rotating views or using a split-screen. At this level, you can use a variety of tools to customize your surveillance system to your needs, and any of the above linked providers can help with this process.

With so many great tools at such low prices, you are sure to find something that will meet your needs without breaking the bank.

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