A cable security camera system represents a significant investment of time, money and effort. However, if you have a large property to ensure you need plenty of cameras for proper coverage, it is the best long-term option.
Getting started with a cable security camera system may seem daunting, but once you know how cable security camera systems work, it will make perfect sense.
Both types of wired security camera systems
The first order of work is to cover the two main types of cable security camera systems.
The traditional wired camera system uses analog coaxial cables and offers a relatively lower image quality. Most modern systems use cameras that transmit data digitally Ethernet wiring.
Both camera types receive power on their respective cable types, so you don’t have to worry about supplying power to the installation point.
Typical components of a wired security camera system
Regardless of the type of cable security camera system you choose, the basic components are the same:
- Real cameras and their montages.
- The cables running from the individual cameras.
- A concentrating device that connects all the cameras.
- A recording system, often integrated into the concentrating device.
- A hard drive for storing recordings.
- A monitor to watch the live stream from the camera system.
- Sometimes, a computer is needed to manage and control the system.
Although most wired camera security systems have these components, the individual capabilities of each component can vary significantly. For example, the hub device may be able to connect to the Internet or it may be a simple video switch.
A closer look at wired cameras
Cameras may vary. Most wiring security camera starter kits it will provide you with a few identical cameras, but it’s important to match different camera types to the environments in which they are expected to work.
For example, if you use an outdoor camera, you should definitely look for a model designed to work with rain, sleet, snow, and other environmental hazards.
The same goes for low light environments. In these cases, you want cameras that look good when there is not much light. Some cameras are sold with “night vision”, which usually means they are sensitive to infrared light.
Cameras can have different fields of view and focal lengths. Therefore, you should also keep this in mind when choosing which cameras will be used for the different surveillance points.
Overview of cable security camera installation
So what does it take to install a cable security camera system? It can be quite complicated, but the basic work involved includes:
- Mounting the cameras in their correct location. Usually drilling holes and screwing the assembly into place.
- Holes through which to route the wiring. This can be a challenge because you may need to drill a wide variety of materials.
- Extraction and routing of the cable between the cameras and the concentrating device.
- Placement of the connectors of each respective cable type.
- Connecting the cameras to the concentrating device.
- Connecting the hub device to a monitor.
- Installing a hard drive in the hub device or connecting the video output to a computer with a capture card.
While mounting the cameras and setting up the video receiver hub, video recorder, computer, and monitor are relatively easy, it is the wiring that is a real challenge.
Connecting the connectors to the ends of the routed cable can be particularly tricky. Coaxial cables are not that difficult to connect, although care must be taken with insulation and waterproofing, if necessary. Ethernet cables require a special pressing tool and knowledge of the correct wiring order according to a wiring diagram.
Of course, you can purchase cable lengths with connectors already connected, but this can mean having cables in excess or too short. If you pay to make long wires, make sure your measurements are accurate.
The pros and cons of wired cameras
The main drawback to a wired camera security system is, without a doubt, the pain of installing it. Once you have it installed, you will find that it is the most reliable and foolproof solution.
Because all cameras take power from the video receiver, it is easy to keep the system running in the event of a power outage, especially deliberate. All you have to do is connect the main system to a suitable uninterruptible power supply.
A disadvantage of using a wired camera system is that a nefarious criminal can simply cut the cable of a particular camera. This means that you really have to do a good job of routing the cables, so that they are not obvious. They must be installed in such a way that they are resistant to detection and manipulation. Especially when it comes to outdoor cameras.
Wired camera systems can also be a drawback when something is not working with the wiring. If a malicious rat decides to gnaw on one of your wires, it can be difficult to find or access the break to repair it.
Finally, another great advantage of a wired system like this is that you can keep it completely offline if you want. Assuming you don’t mind losing remote access to the feed. This means you don’t have to worry about someone hacking your cameras, which really worries camera devices connected to the Internet.
The pros and cons of wireless cameras
The biggest advantage that wireless cameras have over cable systems is the ease of installation. As long as the camera is within range of WiFi, all you have to do is make sure it has power.
Which brings us to the first disadvantage of a wireless camera: power. Each camera must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Which means you have to limit the location of the camera to where there is power or do additional wiring, which rather exceeds the point. Battery-powered wireless cameras are also an option, but as you can imagine, it brings a whole new set of problems.
Another limitation of wireless cameras is that they cannot be run too much at the same time. Not just because of WiFi congestion, but because the apps that operate them generally only support about four cameras at a time. This is not a big problem for small apartments or houses, but anyone with larger spaces to cover is unlucky.
These cameras can also suffer from the same type of interference as any other WiFi device. Unless you connect them to a router that has no internet connection, they are always at risk of being hacked.
Who are cable systems for?
Wired camera systems are best for people on larger budgets. Especially budgets that include professional installation. If you want a solid surveillance system with lots of cameras, solid recording and the option to go offline, the way is to do it by cable.
Wireless cameras are best for small homes where you want to spend as little as possible, that have an easy installation process, or perhaps in situations where you are not allowed to drill extensively. The choice is up to you.