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Frequently Asked Questions About How Surveillance Cameras Work

May 19, 2015|

Surveillance cameras give you the ability to monitor any or all activities occurring inside or outside your business or home 24/7 using a laptop, smartphone or other Internet-enabled devices.

10 FAQs about surveillance cameras and how they work

1. How do security cameras work?

Many wonder how surveillance cameras work. For our purposes, we will use the terms “surveillance camera” and “security camera” interchangeably. To understand how security cameras work, you first need to understand the different types. Security cameras, or surveillance cameras, come in one of two types: either as an analog surveillance system, or an IP camera system (also referred to as a network camera). Analog systems are generally less expensive than the IP camera option because with an IP camera, the DVR function is included in the camera itself, whereas with an analog surveillance camera, an external DVR must be connected.

2. How well do surveillance cameras capture images at night?

Infrared surveillance cameras are equipped with detector chips sensitized to detect visible or near-infrared radiation. These cameras transmit clearly defined images directly to monitor screens whether it is completely dark or semi-dark.

3. How can surveillance cameras capture events occurring at the camera's peripheral?

Equipped with the technology to tilt capture, as well as pan and zoom, surveillance cameras work even better than a pair of human eyes because of their ability to provide real-time, factually objective images of perpetrators in the act of committing a crime. This gives law enforcement the information they need to quickly find the burglar and make an arrest.

4. What are "IP-ready” surveillance cameras?

These are wireless surveillance cameras that contain web server applications allowing you to access them from remote smartphones, laptops or computers. Depending on the amount of activity captured by an IP-ready surveillance camera (a busy shopping mall vs. an empty room), bandwidth demands will be affected and require a proactive approach.

5. Where can surveillance cameras be placed and still function optimally?

Differently sized surveillance cameras can be attached anywhere they fit — under exterior roof eaves, in ceiling corners, on shelving and even in trees, if necessary. Mounting surveillance cameras requires merely a sturdy surface on which to attach the device.

6. Can surveillance cameras store video streams for later viewing or can they only be viewed in real-time?

Video captured by many surveillance cameras can be stored on a hard drive and watched any time the user wishes to watch the video. Hours of surveillance may also be transferred to DVDs, HDD or CD-Rs for litigation purposes.

7. What is an analog surveillance camera?

Analog systems use a wired transmitter or wired configuration to send images to a receiver. Typically, operating an analog surveillance camera requires running a wire between the camera and the monitor, along with a coaxial cable to send data. Although analog surveillance systems are cheaper than digital surveillance systems, they are much less convenient because they are distance-limited and cannot be accessed remotely.

8. What are the advantages for a business to use surveillance cameras?

CCTV cameras can protect employees from criminals, quickly end employee/customer or employee/employee disputes, discourage criminal activity with their visibility and help deter employee theft/pilfering. Surveillance cameras may also increase employee productivity by discouraging unnecessary downtime.

9. Won't exterior surveillance cameras get damaged easily by climate and weather?

No. Exterior cameras are constructed of durable materials resistant to heat, snow, rain, and ice. Additionally, images transmitted during bad weather remain as clear as they are when sent during quiet weather.

10. Are surveillance cameras the same thing as "nanny cams"?

Yes! They can be used to ensure your children are being taken care of, or for monitoring an elderly relative during the day when you are at work.


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