Formerly termed “CCTV”, camera systems today are much more sophisticated. You can still get a closed circuit system, but most camera systems offer many more features. For example, if you want to view the cameras while off-site, many of the DVR’s now provide apps that can be downloaded on your phone or tablet. Unlike the cheap over-the-counter systems, all of the camera systems we provide are custom tailored to suit your needs.
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On the right side of the page, you will see some images showing just a few of the camera types available. For information on covert or wireless cameras, please click on the links to visit those pages. Keep on reading for more information about camera systems.
What are some of the uses for camera systems?
As you have probably seen from YouTube videos, cameras are quite common and fun. While the majority of what you see is the portable hand-held camera, surveillance cameras have been used for a variety of applications. Here are just a few examples of how professional camera systems are used:
- Fixed Surveillance (Security)
- Monitoring Traffic
- Document Business Activities
- Keep an eye on the Cat
- Neighborhood “watch” (not the program)
- Potential Crime Deterrence
- False Alarm Monitoring
- Medical Watch
- Babysitter/Nanny cameras
- Monitoring Swimming Pool Activity
- Report criminal activity
The list could go on for a while!
What is the difference between a professional system and the over-the-counter systems?
Recently, we researched this very question. We cannot even buy camera systems for the price that some companies sell over-the-counter. So, we set out to answer this question. Since most of the
“specs” of the over-the-counter systems are too minimal to provide a decent comparison, we reviewed academic literature on the topic. In the last couple of years, researchers have reviewed purchases of camera systems. Initially, they questioned the legitimacy and costs associated with a camera system because so few showed any return on investment. When they looked a little deeper, they found that the problem with the return on investment was actually the over-the-counter systems. Here are a few things they found:
-Many over-the-counter systems are based on technology that will not continue to be supported. In comparison, professional systems purchased from a professional company (such as us) provide equipment from companies that have been in the business for years and provide support for the products. All companies retire products, but when you have a question about your system a year down the line, you might find out the costs to get support may be very high or the company is out of business for over-the-counter systems. This often results in the need to purchase a new system (and install) due to these issues.
-Most over-the-counter systems are either very minimal on the features, or many of the features require a strong self-learning curve to figure them out. A professional company has access to the experts. Training for systems is provided, and follow-up training can be negotiated as needed. While this varies based on the company, you rarely have any options for help when installing an over-the-counter system.
-The majority of over-the-counter systems from the samples in the research were installed incorrectly, were not maintained, and resulted in exceptionally sub-par images. A professional system installed by a professional company will be correctly installed. Additionally, in the event a minor maintenance issue goes unnoticed (like cleaning the cameras), and you call us up to find out what has gone wrong, we can usually walk through some troubleshooting with you over the phone, FREE of Charge.
-Over-the-counter apps that offer viewing cameras off-site usually charge a monthly fee. Depending on your needs, there are several DVR’s in professional systems that offer this service FREE! Another consideration is the security of the app. You want to ensure that your video feed remains your video feed and not public due to a security glitch. While this is not as big of a concern for the average person, it is a vulnerability. Of course, anything that allows access via the internet has some risk of intrusion (just look at all of the regular breaches to large corporations), a cheap no-name brand can easily hide behind a LLC and just close shop when breached.
-Expanding the system later, as needed, may not be an option for an over-the-counter system. Some professional systems may need upgrading, but if you want one entire system without having to replace your cameras, professional systems usually have something available.
-Overall, research shows that the return on investment for over-the-counter systems, no matter how cheap, is just not there. You get much more “bang for your buck” with a professional system. Professional systems last longer, generally provide a better quality, and as long as you work with a company with experience (yes, like us), you will learn to use your system instead of hope it is there when you need.
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