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Features of Surveillance Systems

dvrThere are many features that are available with different DVR home and small business surveillance systems. Some features come as standard with many surveillance systems, while other features can cost extra. The following table provides a list of the most valuable features of any DVR home and small business surveillance system for those who want to stick to a tight budget.

Motion Detection – These pick up movement within the home and small business, when the alarm is set; strategically placed throughout the home and small business to cover all entrances and exits

Interactive Monitoring – Allows home and small business owner to access system via cell phone and Internet; system can be turned on or off and settings changed remotely; also offers email and text alerts

There are many features offered with various DVR home and small business surveillance systems. The more expensive the system, the more features it should offer. For those who don’t want to spend excessive amounts of money, but still want ultimate protection, the above features are a good selection.

What to Consider When on a Budget

DVR home and small business surveillance systems can be very expensive, but they don’t have to be. There are a few aspects of any surveillance systems that, if carefully considered, can help the buyer get the most out of even the smallest of budgets.

Size of the Hard Drive

A DVR system can record onto a hard drive. The size of the hard drive determines the length of recording time the system is capable of. There are various hard drive sizes, with the most common being , 500 GB to 750 GB, and 1 TB to 2 TB, Naturally, the smaller the hard drive, the less expensive the unit. A unit that offers up to 500 GB is normally more than sufficient for most home and small business surveillance needs, making it unnecessary to spend more money purchasing a larger hard drive.

Number of Channels

The number of channels a surveillance system offers determines the number of different cameras that can be used with the system. Buyers generally have the option of 4, 8, 16, or 32 channels. For most residential home and small business surveillance needs, a four or eight channel system is sufficient. This means the user has up to a maximum of eight cameras to use.

Camera Resolution

The term resolution refers to the number of the smallest picture elements or pixels that make up a video image. The more picture elements, the better the detail of the picture. Resolution for analog cameras is typically measured in Television Lines or TVL where resolution in digital cameras is typically measured in pixels and communicated by either the number of pixels both horizontally and vertical (such as 640 x 480) or as a total number of pixels in the image (such as 1.4 megapixels).

In a camera system, resolution is typically the balancing factor. Depending on the purpose of your system, you may need a large resolution in order to recognize faces or licenses plates. Under other circumstances, you don’t need a high resolution at all because your field of view is so large you only want a general idea of what is happening. Typically adjustments to a camera system are made to get the most resolution with the lowest storage and bandwidth requirements.

Self-installed Systems

Many DVR home and small business surveillance systems require an experienced professional to install. This can end up being very expensive. For those who want to buy a surveillance system on a budget, a self- installed system can be a good option. These systems are designed to be simple to install with minimal knowledge required. These products tend to come with step-by-step installation instructions.

Preferred Specification Minimums:

CCTV Digital/Analog Systems:
Camera Resolution and IR : Minimum of 600 tvl. The higher resolution the clearer. With IR minimum of 35 feet. Weatherproof if installing outside. DVR: Recording capacity of at least 20 days. Online calculator below. H.264 video compression is preferred compression

If you want to be able to view system remotely, make sure it has mobile phone viewing Apps for your type of phone. IE… Android, Windows or iphone.


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