Advances in modern technology have finally gotten around to sweeping away old CCTV kits and the technology they embodied and replacing them with better and cheaper digital systems. It was only a matter of time really before that the convergence of digital imaging and pervasive computer networks opened up this whole field to new possibilities.
So, the first tip is to choose the right technology. Put simply, go with a modern IP digital camera system (incidentally, IP cameras are also often termed wireless and/or network cameras). Old style CCTV technology is clunky and crude by comparison and the image quality and options frankly don’t come close to what even the budget end of the domestic IP camera market offers.
Related to choosing digital technology, it’s worth bearing in mind that you are installing a home surveillance system, not something capable of spotting life on Mars. There are shed loads of digital security cameras available and many of them deliver image quality and features well beyond what you need to identify the scumbag who vandalised your property or tried to break into your house. Keep it simple and sufficient.
Tip two is setting the system up correctly. This basically involves fixing the mounting brackets to walls (or other secure surface), supplying a power cable, clipping the camera in place and installing the computer software (usually just a matter of inserting a CD and clicking a couple of prompts). Typically, wireless surveillance systems are much easier to install than wired.
However, you aren’t going to get the best pictures possible if you don’t first consider optimum locations for the camera(s). What you want is a mix between the widest and clearest field of view for capturing facial images and being in a protected yet highly visible spot, away from prying eyes and possible damage. Also consider how to utilize outdoor lighting at night or whether to choose infra red night vision as an option. This requires a bit of upfront thought coupled with experimentation – no-one ever gets it spot on first time.
Finally, consider augmenting your real functioning cameras with a number of dummy CCTV camera cases that look just like the real thing. But to get away with this you need to once again position these in such a way that they appear to be performing a useful task (i.e. not pointing randomly at some irrelevant spot) and crucially, also appear to be wired up – no power cable is a dead give away.
Wireless security cameras can be a reasonably affordable and highly effective domestic security measure and it’s not rocket science either. Just keep it simple and remember these tips.