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Surveillance cameras: non-trivial tips

We believe that for reliable operation of IP cameras, it is enough to provide power, inaccessibility of devices for physical impact on them, and protection from vandalism. But there are other features, and they must be taken into account.
In our previous article, we talked in detail about network IP cameras for video surveillance and their choice. Each of them has installation instructions. It seems that it is enough to study it and the gadget can be put into operation.

Formally, new devices should work like clockwork. But sometimes, during installation and operation, errors occur that are made out of ignorance.

We believe that for reliable operation it is enough to provide power, inaccessibility of devices for physical impact on them and protection from vandalism. But there are other features, and they must be taken into account.

Save rationally

You can choose a camera for video surveillance yourself. But usually, when a wide selection of different models is offered for sale, which vary greatly in price, many people start saving and sometimes make the mistake of purchasing an expensive IP camera, for example, for installation with a peephole, also a set of several of the cheapest IP cameras for outdoor and indoor video surveillance.

The problem that you may encounter after such a purchase is the incompatibility of the equipment. It arises because the equipment can belong to devices of different classes. And as a result, the quality of control will generally correspond to the budget segment, and not to the expensive one, as one could calculate from the smart “eye”. It is better to purchase equipment of the same class.

Proper night vision setup

It is necessary to separate IP cameras for video surveillance and IR cameras. The first ones are designed for video monitoring both during the day and at night in the presence of third-party lighting, the second ones are for video surveillance at night, including in the absence of light.

Conventional IP cameras are able to function perfectly during daylight hours, but can cause complaints during night operation. This must be taken into account in advance, especially since camera settings are usually performed during the day, and threats of criminal activity are more likely to occur at night.

You should carefully study the instructions for a particular camera and check in which modes it is recommended to use it. If reliable monitoring is required at night, more expensive cameras are preferred.

Choosing an IR camera for video surveillance

Among the cameras for video surveillance, IR cameras stand out separately. They provide control in the infrared range and allow you to see the scene well with high detail even in the complete absence of external lighting. In this they qualitatively differ from conventional IP cameras, which, due to increased light sensitivity, also provide video surveillance at night, but during operation they give a dimmer picture.

When choosing an IR camera, you should pay attention to the operating wavelength. Most IR cameras offer a choice of 850nm or 940nm.

IR video surveillance systems with a wavelength of 850 nm are more sensitive to IR light. They form a clear, detailed image at long distances. However, the resulting picture will have a bright red tint, which many do not like. In addition, its bright IR glow usually attracts a lot of bugs and spiders. This leads to frequent false alarms and frequent recording, reducing reserves.

The 940nm IR cameras use a more expensive, highly sensitive IR sensor. However, the picture in this case is more natural, although the exposure range is 50% lower.

Do not install IR lights behind glass or close to walls/ceilings

It should be noted that when placing IR lights behind glass, numerous glare occurs due to reflection. This leads to a deterioration in picture quality. A similar reaction occurs when the IR lamp is located close to the surface of the walls and ceiling, as well as when placed at an angle.

Provide full perimeter coverage

An important part of the project of installing a video surveillance system in the house is the study of possible intrusion threats. This requires the installation of cameras around the perimeter, and not just in the “front areas”.

For some reason, many people believe that a trick works on intruders when a professional video surveillance system is installed near the front door. Attackers are allegedly frightened by the complex system and leave. At the same time, other peripheral penetration points remain uncovered. Such a ploy impresses only inexperienced intruders.

As practice shows, people often spend a lot of money to install a good video surveillance system in the living room, kitchen, basement and garage. However, they completely forget to put them on window openings or on an emergency exit. There is a feeling that people are going to protect themselves by video monitoring the life of their own family, and not by creating a full-fledged security system.

If possible, use a direct network connection instead of a wireless one.

Laying network wires is one of the most difficult and “unpleasant” tasks when installing video surveillance systems. If the installation is done in a workroom or home, then you have to invade an existing design, which often did not provide for the laying of extra wires.

It should be noted that network support through a wired connection and the use of power over Ethernet (POE) provide a multiple increase in the stability of video surveillance systems compared to using a wireless network. The latter will have to be verified, taking into account the characteristics of the propagation of the radio signal, to control the absence of accidental or intentionally installed interference. The quality of the wireless connection can also be affected by weather conditions, the choice of the location of the router, signal amplifiers, and much more.

In the event of a loss of wireless signal, the most common decision is to perform a hard reset of the router or modem. During this time, the system is idle, which creates security risks.

Sensor sensitivity setting

The choice of sensor response sensitivity is of paramount importance. An intuitively inexperienced user tends to overestimate the sensitivity of the system. This leads to the fact that motion sensors begin to work on birds, rain and wind. Too frequent activations lead to fatigue and the risk of missing important events.

Many modern video surveillance systems allow you to select areas within which movement will be monitored. In this way, areas with heavy traffic can be excluded from the control area.

Use strong passwords

Security settings must be taken very seriously. But it should also be taken into account that video surveillance systems intended for home use usually have lower security settings by default. This is done to facilitate their use in everyday life, where excessive complexity is reflected in a decrease in sales and nervousness in the work of technical support.

The first rule to pay attention to is the choice of strong passwords. The second rule is to regularly check for software updates. They are not released for entertainment. Usually this is dictated by good reasons. As a rule, the manufacturer is aware that the installation of any software update is a serious difficulty for many users. Therefore, updates for the mass market are usually not released “for nothing”.

Keep equipment clean

It is necessary to periodically check the installation site of IP cameras for foreign objects or debris that interfere with the view. It can be a fallen branch, cobweb, leaves, etc. They can obstruct visibility, close areas important for control.

It is also necessary to control the settings of IP cameras and adjust the brightness and illumination according to real conditions, for example, during the transition to the winter period.

Check for “burn-in” of the light sensor

Formally, this problem seriously hampered the work at the beginning of the development of the video surveillance market. Today the situation is not so acute, but such checks allow you to optimize the installation conditions and achieve maximum sensitivity of IP cameras.

It must be taken into account that direct sunlight on the lens and exposure to low temperatures are critical for the operation of the photosensitive system. This causes the sensitivity to be coarsened during adjustment, which significantly reduces the quality of the picture during operation.

If possible, it is advisable to install IP cameras under the eaves or in the shade of the roof. This will help to avoid direct sunlight entering the lens, and will also significantly reduce the adverse effects of precipitation on the quality of the shooting.


Published on 14.02.2023

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