Pro Video Security offers a variety of CCTV equipment choices to our customers. Over the years, we have learned there is no such thing as “A Single Solution” when it comes to video surveillance security cameras. Our customers have different needs and budgets and we offer flexible solutions to fit your exact situation.
Analog cameras offer reliable and basic security protection. There is some confusion regarding the word analog. These devices are still high tech and record onto hard drives and not VCR tapes as they did about 10 years ago. But analog cameras have limitations. Don’t ever expect to zoom in on a recorded image with analog video No matter how high the resolution, you will get pixelation whenever you try to enlarge a recorded image. Some of the choices for cameras include: Vandal Dome Infrared Cameras, Bullet Cameras, Hidden Cameras, Box Cameras, License Plate Cameras, PTZ or Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras, Wireless Cameras and much more. These cameras have about a 1/3 megapixel definition which is why they cannot be magnified after recording without much success. The pixelation from trying to zoom in on a 1/3 megapixel image causes the security video to become distorted.
Digital IP and HD-SDI cameras offer a lot more resolution for a larger price tag. IP cameras and HD-SDI cameras both have a unique advantages over the other in different ways.
IP Cameras are high definition cameras that have the ability to be in a variety of megapixel ranges. Megapixels are the number of pixels that make up a single picture frame. Just like your digital camera, the greater number of pixels, the better the image quality will be and the more you can potentially magnify or zoom into the image after recording. IP cameras come in a variety of megapixel qualities and even in the same quality as analog cameras also called VGA quality. The range of megapixel cameras starts at 1.3 megapixel up to 10 megapixels or more. The higher than 10 megapixel cameras can get very pricey and may be well beyond what the average customer would need. We installed 3.0 megapixel cameras in a warehouse where the owners wanted to be able to see the names on boxes. One of the requirements with these cameras is that they need to be run on a network. We recommend a separate network when running IP cameras so that it does not slow down the normal traffic from your Internet or internal network needs. This also means that you should use CAT5 wiring to run from the router to the camera. Most of the high quality IP cameras have the POE option. POE means Power Over Ethernet. This means that you would use a power source between the router and the camera to send electricity down the line to the camera. The POE source is in the form of either a POE switch which come in 5, 8 or 16 port varieties or POE injector which powers a single camera. Keep in mind that the POE Switch needs one port for the network so a 5 port switch would only power 4 cameras. The power source must be within 300 feet when using CAT5 wire. A POE Repeater can extend that power another 300 feet. POE repeaters are passive and do not require power, making it more convenient to extend the power.
HD-SDI Cameras are another high definition camera choice with some pluses and minuses. On the plus side is the fact that if you already have analog cameras and want to upgrade to megapixel cameras, the wire does not have to change. Unlike IP cameras, the old RG59 or RG6 wire can stay and only the camera and DVR need to change. There are cable length limitations so it won’t work for long cable runs. Another plus is that these cameras will not be on your network. Hence; there is no need for a secondary router to run them. The cameras don’t have a delay since they don’t suffer from network lag. This is another plus. Lastly, all HD-SDI cameras are compatible without licensing issues, so there is no need to worry about compatibility. On the down side, the cameras only come in 1.3 and 2.0 megapixel varieties. If you need anything more, there is no HD-SDI option.
What we recommend? We don’t recommend any specific solution for everyone. Each of our customers have unique situations that are different. For this reason, we like to consult with you by telephone or conduct a site survey consultation by visiting your location in order to make specific recommendations. When we recommend solutions, we only use manufacturers that we trust. You typically will not find our DVRs and cameras in big box stores. This is due to the fact that our equipment costs a little more than those brands. We sell a slightly more expensive product with dramatically better quality and reliability. You could not buy a reliable car for the price of a Yugo. Nor can you spend minimal money for a security surveillance camera system and get optimal results.
IP Camera Choices: Pro Video Security specializes in IP cameras by Geovision, Sentry 360, Vivotek, Toshiba, and Hunt Electronics. You may not know these players, but all 3 are excellent, high quality yet affordable choices in the world of Network or IP Cameras. The Geovision software is very stable and easy to use.
Geovision offers a wide range of cameras including 1.3, 2, 3 and 5 megapixel varieties. They also offer a fisheye or 360 degree camera that sees in all directions at one time. It’s like a PTZ camera on steroids. With no moving parts, the fisheye 360 degree camera offers complete monitoring of a room with one camera. The software automatically dewarps the image so that you can look at the view live or in playback with the same perspective as any other camera. This is nice because looking at a 360 degree view is not easy to do. The Geovision fisheye cameras come in 1.3, 4 and 5 megapixel options for both indoors and out.
Sentry 360 also offers 360 fisheye camera options. Sentry 360 is one of the first companies to offer the 360 or full view cameras. They also offer a full line of megapixel cameras up to 10 megapixels. Almost all their cameras are made in the USA which is refreshing in this day and age. They say about 80% of their cameras are USA made. The quality of the cameras are excellent and very stable, although not as many bells and whistles as Geovision.
Hunt Electronics is a Taiwanese company that manufactures some very economical yet high quality IP cameras. Currently, we carry a limited selection of these IP cameras including 2.0 outdoor infrared megapixel vandal dome and bullet cameras. These cameras come with a free dongle that allows them to be connected to the reliable and full function software. These cameras offers a reliable and economical option to the Geovision cameras while still using the Geovision NVR software.
Vivotek, Toshiba, Brickcom, Axis and others offer solutions as well. Our experience is that these manufacturers while good, don’t give you the bang for the buck that the other IP camera companies offer. But if you are stuck or married to one of these brands, then we can offer pricing for equipment and installation.
NVR Choices are plentiful in the world of digital recording.
Again, my favorite is Geovision for their support, stable environment, bells and whistles that matter, as well as their pricing. While not the cheapest IP solution on the block, they offer professional software that really makes sense along with a very stable program and affordable pricing. The great thing about them is that you can buy the IP cameras and then install the free software onto a PC with sufficient specifications. i3, i5 or i7 Intel processors are the recommended choices. The software is already hybrid, as mentioned before, allowing you to add analog cameras to the mix if you have the PCI card for the camera connections. The card is not cheap but worth the price if you are mixing both analog cameras and digital.
Sentry 360 also has PC based software that you can install right onto the PC. This company will allow you to run as many cameras as you purchase from them by licensing the software in various configurations. If you purchase one camera, you can only use one camera to record.
Please contact us at Toll Free 888-338-1881 with questions or to set up a free consultation and quote.