adequate lighting: a camera essentially works like your eye. for best viewing results, a camera needs to have as much light as possible in order to provide a clear picture.
infrared: stand alone illuminators can be used to flood an area with invisible light if no natural or electrical light source is available. infrared illumination can only be used with a black-and-white camera, or with a day/night camera that changes from color mode to black-and-white mode as the light levels decline.
dvr (digital video recorder): probably the most important component of the system, the recording device determines how the video is stored (at what quality and for how long). either a pc-based recorder or dvrs with an embedded operating system are the most typical. 8, 9, or 10-channel (channels are camera inputs) are common starting points with most manufacturers, with 16 channel units being available as well. hard drive space can range from 200gb to 1 tb or more. usb ports or dvd-burners are used to back up events. remote viewing of the dvr is possible over most computer networks with high-speed (cable or dsl) access. esm will assist you in selecting the right dvr after assessing your needs.
protection from the environment: provide an environmental housing that will protect the camera electronics from dust and dirt, moisture and heat. a quality housing and mount will have an integrated blower and/or heater.
conduit: video cable installed on the exterior of a building should be run in conduit to provide protection from tampering and ensure a long operating life.
cable: any video system should use coaxial cable with a solid copper conductor (instead of copper-coated aluminum conductor) for video signal transmission. 95% bare copper braiding in the cable shields the video signal from interference. quality cable means a quality picture that will last for the life of the system.
camera power: a cabinet-style, multiple output power supply (12vdc or 24ac) provides a cleaner installation and makes future service easier.
dvr power conditioner: uninterruptible power supplies/power conditioners protect the dvr (the “brain” of the system) from power surges or spikes, and contribute to a long life for your system.
vendor: no one manufacturer has the correct solution for everyone. it is important to select a cctv vendor that represents many manufacturers and can therefore make the specific recommendation to meet your needs. camera superstore represents some of the largest and most well recognized names in the industry: pelco, ge security, sony, toshiba, sanyo, samsung, and many others.
experience is also a key consideration. this may likely be the first cctv system your facility has installed. it is important that you select a vendor that has designed and installed hundreds of systems with successful, happy customers. camera superstore has been focusing our business on cctv since 1972.