If you have a business and would like to watch your employees but don’t know how – we’re here to help!

We’ve included some helpful information below in the form of an informal tutorial:

Whether you are considering covert or non-covert, or wired, or wireless, all camera surveillance systems are similar in nature. They all involve a security camera, a way to get the video signal to the monitoring station (where you watch the cameras), the means to view the camera, and often, a way to record the video taken from the camera. Which security camera and what equipment to use all depends on your particular application, the venue, your budget, and even your taste.

To see what type of security camera is best for you, please see tab on this page “How to Select the Right Cameras for your location.” It will compare wired to wireless security cameras, Black & White security cameras to Color, and Covert Security Cameras to Non-Covert Cameras. To gain a better understanding of how the entire system works, continue on below.

Wired Security Cameras & Wireless Security Cameras

Depending on your particular application and the type of structure you’re working with, you must first consider what type of surveillance camera you would like to use. In short, the options are wired or wireless. While wired cameras have always been the traditional choice of business owners and operators, wireless security cameras provide a certain level of versatility and convenience that no wired camera can offer. However, with wireless cameras, you must consider the distance the video signal must travel to reach the wireless receiver, and what type of obstructions it will encounter (walls, floors, machinery, etc.). When choosing a security camera system, pay special attention to the maximum range of the unit. Also, wireless security cameras may not work well in malls or other places where other businesses may be using similar cameras for their surveillance systems. Too many security cameras in one place may cause interference.

When using a wired camera, you must run a video cable to your monitoring/ recording station. If you’re not familiar with cabling and what to use, we recommend calling our engineers. Just tell us how far you wish to run the video cable and they will be able to recommend the proper cabling to you. Not only can they sell it to you in bulk, but they will also make sure you have the necessary attachments to hook it up to your camera. Common attachments include adapters that will allow you to attach a BNC cable to the RCA connector on your camera. Adapters and cable ends typically cost just a couple of bucks.

Switchers & Quads

When your surveillance security system involves the use of multiple cameras, you must also decide if you are going to use either a switcher, quad or a DVR with these built-in already (usually the most cost-effective, and suitable up to 16 or more cameras).

Switchers typically run for less than $100, and will cycle between all your surveillance cameras. You may either manually select a camera to watch by simply flipping a switch, or allow the switcher to automatically cycle through your security cameras. Some switchers, typically referred to as “Advanced” models, may also include alarm hook-ups that will automatically pull up a certain camera when an alarm goes off.

Quads are more expensive than switchers. Typically starting at about $250.00, quads, unlike switchers, will allow you to simultaneously record & monitor 4 cameras at a time. It does this by splitting your screen into 4 sections. Similar to switchers, you may manually select a particular camera and pull it up to a full screen view. However, only live images may be brought up to full screen view. Although some quad manufacturers have included digital technology that can bring a prerecorded camera into full screen view, we’ve found that the image is highly pixalized and does not meet our standards.


TVs & Dedicated Security Monitors

Standard Televisions are similar to video monitors, except that TVs also have a built in tuner and typically offer a lower picture resolution to that of a dedicated monitor. In many cases, you can purchase a regular VGA monitor for around the same amount of money and get a better picture.

by Allen Spears, Chief Engineer, Rugged CCTV

Leave a Reply