Security Camera Range: Factors to Consider
Having your security cameras in the right place is just as important as having them. If your cameras are in the wrong place, you may lose out on getting evidence of important events. When you are determining camera placement, you should think about how far they will be able to see. Placing them too far from the area of interest will prevent you from capturing clear footage, but you will not be able to cover a lot of area if you place them too close. A typical home security camera can see within a range of 0-70 feet, but there are other factors that can affect this range. In this post, we will go over some things that affect security camera range so that you can figure out the optimal placement.
Factors That Affect Security Camera Range
Focal Length & Field of View
Focal length refers to the size of the security camera lens and this affects your camera’s field of view. Field of view and range are often confused with each other, but range is how far a camera can see while field of view is how much, or how wide, it can see. A smaller focal length will cause a wider field of view, but objects will appear smaller and more distant from the camera. So, you will be able to capture more, but what is captured will be less detailed and fuzzy. A bigger focal length will cause a narrower field of view, but objects will look bigger and closer to the camera.
A wider field of view does allow you to see more things, but it sacrifices image quality. That is why resolution is another deciding factor in the range of your security camera. Resolution refers to how many pixels make up your image. The higher the resolution, the more pixels that are in an image. More pixels means that your images will be clearer and more detailed. A low-resolution camera will produce images that appear blurry or pixelated. Having a higher resolution means that you will be able to see more details, even if the object is far away.
Location & Distance
This one seems obvious, but where you place your security cameras will affect their range. The further away you place your camera from the area of interest, the harder it will be to capture details. Additionally, you want to make sure that nothing is blocking the camera’s line of sight. If there is any obstructions, like a tree or wall, the camera won’t really be monitoring anything of interest. But besides that, obstructions will make a wireless camera’s signal strength weaker and affect the image quality.
Benefits of IP Over Analog CCTV Systems
There are two different types of CCTV systems: IP and analog. Even though analog systems are older, advances in technology have greatly improved their performance over the years. Now, you can get high-quality analog systems for about the same price as IP systems. But despite the improvements, there are still areas where IP prevails over analog CCTV systems.
Difference Between IP and Analog
It is a common misconception that the difference between IP and analog systems is that IP systems are connected to the internet while analog systems are not. This results in a lot of people falsely claiming that analog systems are not capable of remote access since they are not connected to a network. While it is true that IP systems depend on a network connection, newer analog systems can be connected to the internet for remote access as well.
The real difference between these two CCTV systems is the way data is converted and transferred. Analog systems depend on the DVR to convert the video signals into digital video. With IP systems, the IP camera has an internal sensor that already records images in digital video, so a DVR is not needed. Additionally, the data transmission is done through the network instead of over coaxial cables.
Using IP Over Analog CCTV Systems PoE
One special advantage of using IP over analog CCTV systems is their ability to use PoE (Power over Ethernet). With analog systems, each camera needs to have 2 different cables that are connected to 2 separate things. 1 cable is a coaxial cable that is connected to the DVR for data transmission while the other is a power cable that is connected to a power supply to send power to the camera. IP cameras have the option of using PoE. This means that each camera will only need to be connected to one device via Ethernet cables that can transmit both power and data. Using PoE offers more flexibility when it comes to installation because there is less cables to handle.
Video Recorder Independence
Analog systems rely on the connected DVR to convert the video signals into digital video and for storage. IP cameras can be connected to a video recorder called an NVR, but the sole purpose of the NVR is to just store footage, not to convert signals. All the digitization occurs on the IP camera before the data even reaches the NVR. Unlike analog cameras, IP cameras are independent from the video recorder so they can work by themselves. Using IP over analog CCTV systems means more options when it comes to storage. If the user does not want to use an on-site NVR, then the IP camera can send digitized footage directly to the internet instead.
Another important advantage of using IP over analog CCTV systems is that they can support intelligent video analytics. Since IP cameras already record images in digital video, it is easier for footage to be analysed and manipulated. Analog cameras can use video analytics as well, but they have more limitations; analog cameras need a separate device to convert video signals to digital which means that it is more difficult to manipulate footage without causing image distortion.
Analog systems are simple to configure when it comes to setup, but they are limited when it comes to expansion. Analog systems require each analog camera to be directly wired to both a power supply and the DVR. This means that the number of cameras you can connect is limited by how many ports on the DVR you have. Additionally, you would have to make sure that all the devices are connected to each other and in the same vicinity, meaning less installation options. IP cameras will only need one cable if you use PoE and you have more flexibility when it comes to setting up. IP cameras can be connected to single switch with additional ports and do not need to be directly connected to an NVR.
Analog systems have come a long way since they were first introduced, but there are still a lot of advantages of using IP over analog CCTV systems. IP systems can use video analytics and they offer more flexibility in terms of expansion and installation. Analog systems are still good if you want a simple setup without any fancy features but going with an IP system would be the ideal choice for those who want more out of a security system.
Another deciding factor in the range of your security camera is the quality. A camera’s specifications may be like another camera, but that does not mean that they are the same quality and will perform the same way. If you are looking for security cameras that will give you the best performance, you should aim to purchase from reputable and reliable dealers. Not only will they provide you with the highest quality products, but they will also be there to assist you on your CCTV installation every step of the way. If you are ready to get started on your new CCTV system, give us a call today, Comnet Sales Team would be happy to help you out.