Video security technology has drastically improved over the last twenty years and we have security camera system features now that weren’t even in their infancy just 10 years ago. If you haven’t shopped for a video security system before, the laundry list of standard features can be a bit daunting at first glance and you may feel in over your head. Don’t panic. Whether you’re looking for a small, entry level system to secure your home or your security needs are a little more complex, there are 5 security system features that every location will benefit from using.
Night Vision Monitoring
Being able to clearly capture details on video at night is a crucial component of any CCTV system. With the majority of break-ins, vandalism, and thefts occurring under the cover of darkness, being able to accurately identify the criminals or their vehicle is key in recovering lost possessions and worth its weight in gold in aiding the police in their investigation.
There are various ways that you can add night vision monitoring to your security system (cameras with infrared LEDs, IR cut filters, or software for true day/night) and though the method varies, the end result is all the same. The security cameras record in full color during the day and when the lighting level drops below a set point, the camera automatically switches over to night vision mode and operates independently of ambient light so your system will be able to capture footage even in total darkness.
Browse our selection of night vision CCTV cameras.
Weatherproof Camera Housings
As security camera technology becomes more advanced, the internal components also become more sensitive to dirt, water, and fluctuations in temperature. If you need to monitor the outside of your location, you will need weatherproof cameras or camera enclosures. CCTV camera housings protect against various intensities of dust and moisture that range from zero to complete protection. That level of protection is designated by its weatherproof rating.
The standard format for a camera’s weatherproof rating is IPxx with the first ‘x’ notating the level of protection against solid objects ranging from 0 (none) to 6 (complete protection) and the second ‘x’ for moisture protection which ranges from 0 (none) to 8 (complete submersion). When you’re looking for weatherproof cameras, be sure to find out their IP rating so they have the correct level of protection.
Motion Detection Recording
Monitoring around the clock so you don’t miss a single detail sounds fantastic on paper, but doing so will quickly max out your system’s hard drive and drastically shorten the amount of video you’ll have in your archive at any one time. By switching your video security system’s recording setting from “continuous” to “motion activated”, not only will you maximize your storage space, the video you do capture will be of actual events as they unfold rather than hours upon hours of an empty hallway.
Disclaimer: Motion detection recording can be triggered by swaying trees, passing traffic, and sharp shadows, but your system can be configured to ignore specific areas of the camera’s field of view and the trigger’s sensitivity can be adjusted as well.
H.264 Video Compression
H.264 is the latest and greatest video compression codec that greatly reduces the demands on your video recorder’s storage space and transmission bandwidth. (In a nutshell, it makes smaller video files and transmits them faster over your network.) Compared to the MPEG-4 video codec, recorders with H.264 compression use half of the bandwidth while transmitting the video at the same video quality.
To get the absolute most out of your video recorder’s storage space, we strongly recommend using a DVR / NVR with the H.264 codec and motion activated recording. It’s not uncommon for systems using this setup to be able to store at least a month’s worth of video on a single hard drive.
Remote Access on Smartphones / Tablets
Plainly put, Apple revolutionized the CCTV industry with the iPhone. Back in the old dark days of yore, you had to be physically on-site to view your security system’s video feeds. With the advent of the smartphone and broadband internet, your system is quite literally at your fingertips everywhere you go. With a free app that’s available on both the iTunes and Android marketplace, you can sign in, view archived video, and manage your surveillance system on your smartphone or tablet from anywhere with an internet connection.
This security camera system feature is peace of mind in your pocket. At any time of day or night, you can check in on your family, make sure your employees are working, double check that you turned off the lights before you went on vacation, or adjust your recording schedule for an upcoming holiday.
Picking up or building a CCTV system for the first time can be overwhelming with all the choices and configurations that are available to you. However, as long as your new video security system has the five features below, your home or business will be sitting pretty with a well-rounded, efficient system.
- Night Vision Recording
- Weatherproof Camera Housings
- Motion Detection Recording
- H.264 Video Compression
- Remote Access via Smartphone / Tablet
We hope you enjoyed our article on the top 5 security camera system features that every location needs. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!