Are you considering installing a home security camera or other kind of recording device? Unless you have someone constantly keeping an eye on a live feed, odds are you will want a device that can record the area you want under surveillance so that you can review the footage or listen to the recording later. Here are a few tips that may help you as you’re choosing which kind of device or camera to install, and where.
When to Record
When is it a smart idea to have an audio or video recording device installed on your property? The reasons can be many and varying, and they are often specific to each homeowner’s needs. As a parent, a home security camera may be a great option to help you keep an eye on your children while you are away from home or an infant while out of the room. The bonus of having a security camera with recording capabilities is that you can look over the feed when you return home. This is especially useful to keep an eye on babysitters or nannies so that you can know for sure they are people you can trust with your children. With a camera outfitted with both video and audio recording capabilities, you can doubly ensure that they are treating your children fairly and aren’t teaching or telling them things contrary to the rules you have set.
Video recording can also provide a great safeguard against potential threats to your home and family. Many surveillance cameras can be programmed to start recording only once motion is detected, which not only saves viewing time and recording space, but also ensures that you capture the most important moments for later viewing. This means that, in the event of a break-in or home invasion, your recording device can automatically capture the criminal in the act, which increases your chances of bringing them to justice and regaining whatever was stolen or lost.
How to Record
Unfortunately, while all security camera systems come with the ability to view live feeds, not all of them are automatically set up to record. If you are purchasing your security system through a professional home security company, then odds are they can set up that capability for you. Whether you are choosing to install it in this way or on your own time, it may be useful for you to know the different ways your cameras can provide you with recorded feed.
VCR’s, DVR’s, and computer equipment are all different ways you can choose to have your camera system record feed, but before you decide on which would be best for you, you may want to decide whether or not you want motion detection that can trigger recording. Again, this can save a great deal of viewing time and recording space while still ensuring that critical moments are recorded and saved. If you decide that this is the option you want, then VCR’s will automatically be out. The real benefit of VCR recording is that it is so cheap because the technology is more outdated. It can still provide decent recording for a simple home security system, but it holds far less memory than its more modern counterparts and is unable to utilize motion detection, meaning it can only constantly record the live feed.
DVR’s work particularly well with modern security cameras, and they do have motion detection capabilities. The feed will continually stream to the DVR either through cables or through Wi-Fi, but the DVR will only record when the motion detector is signaled. A DVR can record sometimes up to 100 hours at a time, and it can provide multiple channels of recording so that each security camera can have its own channel.
Computer equipment can work just as well as DVR’s, and it can sometimes offer a greater number of recording channels. One important thing to remember with computers, however, is that constant video streaming can be hard on a hard drive. If you are going to have your feed going through a computer and recording onto a hard drive, it is best to have a computer solely dedicated to this task.
What is Worth Keeping?
When it comes to which recordings are of value and which are not, it is totally up to the discretion of the homeowner. As you use and maintain your home surveillance system, you will come to find which recordings are most useful to you, and you may find ways to fine-tune your system better as time wears on. As with any type of surveillance, and particularly recorded surveillance, there are legalities involved that may limit which cameras or recording devices you can use around your home and property. If you are working with a professional company, they should be fully aware of these legalities and be able to inform you of them and ensure that your system is perfectly legal and safe to use. Video recording around your home is, for the most part, perfectly within your rights as the property owner, but most surveillance laws get more touchy when it comes to audio recording. Make sure that you aren’t going to be installing audio recording devices in areas of your home or property where you may unintentionally record private conversations or telephone conversations of guests, as this is usually illegal without the consent of one or more of the parties involved.