A fully upgraded security camera system can be the best asset available to a home or business owner.

Buying Guide for Modern Security Camera System

Buying Guide for Modern Security Camera System

A fully upgraded security camera system can be the best asset available to a home or business owner. While expensive up front, a modern security apparatus offers benefits not found in previous generations of surveillance. The system itself would be made up of advanced components like:

  • A network video recorder
  • Advanced video management software
  • Security Cameras
  • Ethernet wiring
  • Motion detection
  • Access control

Whereas in the prior posts, A1 Security Cameras has covered the general upgrades and low-cost upgrades available to system owners, this post purely focuses on bringing an apparatus to the most recent standard based on the most modern innovations that are reasonably ascertainable at the time of writing. Systems of this nature are known to:


  • Be entirely digital
  • Integrate with other security systems
  • Contain video management software
  • Have wireless functionality
  • Use a network video recorder or similar

Modern security systems, fully upgraded to the most current standard, provide the best possible quality video footage, the most flexible installation possible, and offer more features than ever before. However, the center of such an up-to-date security system comes in the form of a network video recorder.

How do I upgrade my DVR to NVR?

For the best possible performance out of a modern NVR centric security camera system, the owner will need to use entirely ethernet cabling, not coaxial, and implement internet protocol cameras. While it is possible to convert coaxial cables, such a measure will never produce as much potential as a direct ethernet connection. As covered in our previous post concerning the differences between IP cameras and CCTV, a complete overhaul of the wiring is not immediately necessary if the owner has a robust local wireless network. The NVR can be directly linked to the router and then wirelessly connected to each IP camera.

It should be noted that while a wireless security camera system is much more flexible during installation, the connection between each camera and the NVR is not as stable as a wired connection. As covered in a post comparing wired versus wireless connections, wired systems will produce a superior result over their entire lifespan and be far more secure comparatively. Wireless systems are easier to install and save on cost, but they are not as effective. The best overall result when concerning an NVR upgrade will come out of the application of Ethernet cabling and the use of IP security cameras.

How do I update NVR software?

Upgrading NVR software requires upgrading the recorder’s firmware, which is typically done partially through the manufacturing company. For Hikvision and Axis network video recorders, for example, those looking for a firmware update will need to go to the manufacturing site and input the recorder product name or serial number before looking for the correct program. For some companies, there will need to be a physical transfer of data using a flash drive in a computer, downloading the update to it, and transferring it to the NVR.

Why is NVR better than DVR?

As covered in a prior DVR vs NVR post, a network video recorder is an entirely digital recording system that stores video footage and managing software. The NVR will remain applicable with up-and-coming technology while being more capable than the DVR. Furthermore, the newer system produces far better quality video while also offering superior potential in system management through the addition of software.

Why is NVR better than DVR?

What is the best software for CCTV?

As provided by the video surveillance software page, most manufacturers implement basic managing software from the getgo. At the same time, there are also more advanced options by those same manufacturers and third-party developers. However, the level of sophistication an NVR owner requires also depends on the system and size of the hard drive or storage space. As mentioned in the post, basic software does not take up too much data and can easily manage a home or small business security system. However, that is different compared to more advanced programs, which include advanced functions at the cost of taking up more space in a storage unit. Typically, the latter will be implemented by larger businesses.

It should be noted that the more advanced software available for NVR security camera systems are limited to those with larger storage capacities. Features like face identification, license plate tracking, and artificial intelligence are typically for the larger variety. Those for homes and businesses will be restricted to a smaller scale with fewer features like remote alerts, specified video footage sifting, data backup, and others of equal size.

How does video management software work?

Each software differs by manufacturer, typically matching the corresponding hardware through the coding and designated functions presented. Furthermore, depending on the setup, intended purpose, and features of the video management software, each could work in the same way or drastically differently. For example, a VMS for a home or small business may include:

  • Bandwidth management
  • Security alerts
  • Support for camera onboarding
  • Specified recorded video search
  • User sharing

These features can typically be found in video management software programs designed for small businesses and houses. While not applicable to every software application, the elements will be shown before purchase. As can be seen, each also serves a specific purpose to make security easier and data management more efficient. For example, bandwidth management may include options like zero channel, reducing quality, and more, while security alerts will send breaks in security protocol directly to your phone. While these examples are typically available in larger-scale software options, others only applicable to much larger storage devices include:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Database integration
  • Facial recognition
  • License plate tracking

Whereas the previous list of features requires relatively little data, artificial intelligence, database integration, and features that use them like facial or license plate recognition require much more space, typically in the form of servers. In addition, whereas the prior managing software was less expensive or part of the initial package, the latter typically needs to be bought separately and implemented.

Additionally, the software can be paired with licensing meant for each security camera. While each state differs with the specific laws, businesses are required to have such licensing paired with particular cameras.

Furthermore, some manufacturers offer a software maintenance agreement or SMA for the management software. This contract generally means the customer is provided upgrades and tech support by the selling party or manufacturer for an agreed-upon length of time. Occasionally, this contractual agreement will include temporary access to certain features or indicate the programming is on a lease agreement.

How much does a video management system cost?

The cost for each software package varies depending on the features shown above. However, the more features one includes and the better performance it provides, the higher the cost will typically be. Basic packages can range from below a hundred dollars to several hundred, while more complex options can reach several thousand dollars.

How much does a video management system cost?

What is an IP based camera?

Also referred to as an internet protocol camera or simply IP camera, an IP based camera is the next generation of security cameras. With wired and wireless capabilities, these cameras may include:

  • Adjustable resolution
  • Internal storage
  • Power over Ethernet
  • Two-way audio
  • Video processing

Unlike prior generations of CCTV cameras, the IP camera has most of its features built-in. Video data the device captures is internally processed and can be sent to a recorder, between cameras, or streamed to a cloud. The device is technologically more advanced with adjustable resolution settings that can be defined at the camera or anywhere authorized by the owner. It can have internal storage, generally in an SD card or something similar. To cut back on cabling, the device can also be powered through an industry-standard ethernet cable (Cat 5e or better) in a process called Power over Ethernet or PoE. Upgrading your cameras to internet protocol does not require purchasing an NVR, but doing so will ascertain the best result.

What protocol do IP cameras use?

Depending on the IP camera manufacturer, the device could be using one or two of several protocols. Honeywell, for example, uses RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol), PSIA (Physical Security Interoperability Alliance), or ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) in its IP cameras. Most other manufacturers use the same protocols in their cameras as well, possibly with the addition of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram Protocol). While there are more protocols used as of writing, these are considered the primary.

What protocol do IP cameras use?

How can I make my security camera better quality?

Previous generations of security cameras relied more on hardware and less on software to provide exceptional quality when recording footage. To improve the quality of old cameras, one would have to improve the surrounding environment, adjust the minimal settings available through the digital video recorder, or get a new camera with better functionality. Fortunately, that is not the case when upgrading to IP cameras.

There is a limit to quality with all cameras based on the lens, internal hardware, and the surrounding environment. However, with IP cameras, a person can configure the quality of the incoming video footage by adjusting the following:

  • Bit rate
  • Frame rate or FPS
  • Encode
  • Resolution

Whereas these cameras are limited like their predecessors, they are technologically more capable of delivering a superior quality video without much environmental adjustment. However, it will be noted that enhancing the incoming video footage will reduce the available space in the storage device used.

How much does a high quality security camera cost?

As far as IP cameras are concerned, high quality can be as low as below two hundred dollars to above fifty thousand dollars. Like the video management software, the camera’s price depends on built-in features. Security cameras only featuring high-quality capabilities will not be as expensive as those with optimal resolution, facial recognition, license plate tracking, thermal, and more. On the other hand, cameras with multiple features like those mentioned can easily cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

How much does a high quality security camera cost?

Is coax as good as Ethernet?

No, coaxial cables are not as good as Ethernet cables. While a person may not detect it, the newer cabling transfers data faster and more securely. In contrast, the older of the two has a dropoff point after some distance that causes the footage to deteriorate and delivers it at a slightly slower rate.

Should I convert to ethernet or use converters?

Converting to ethernet will be superior for the best possible quality instead of using converters. The ultimate difference between the two ethernet cabling will outlast coaxial cables using converters from the getgo. When cost is an issue, converters are a short-term solution before an entire rewiring can be done, but newer systems may not be as capable with the setup.

How to convert coaxial to ethernet?

Similar to how one would physically upgrade from an old DVR to an NVR or replace analog cameras with internet protocol cameras, so would one replace coaxial wires with ethernet. In a proper installation, buying, running, and securing the cables are the most expensive step. For residents of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, A1 Security Cameras offers excellent services for security camera system design and installation. Let our team do the work for you and contact us today!

How to convert coaxial to ethernet?

What does motion detection do?

When concerning security cameras, motion detection can improve the system across the board. Activating when an object or body comes within view of the lens, the camera activates and records. Such a setting on a camera saves room within a hard drive by cutting back on the overall intake of recorded data. Furthermore, depending on the software within the security camera system, a camera can be upgraded to notify the owner upon activation. Lastly, this function can work in tandem with an alarm system connected to the security apparatus. The security system can activate audio alarms when previously set parameters are met.

When concerning other aspects of a security system, motion detection comes in devices that use either ultrasonic or infrared signals to detect nearby movement. The systems are included for high-value rooms and can be installed into windows and doors. When installed correctly, these devices are an excellent addition to any security camera system.

What is the device that detects motion?

These devices are simply referred to as motion detectors or motion sensors. As mentioned above, these devices typically use ultrasonic or infrared signals to detect movement. While they are most commonly recognized in security systems, they are also widely used in modern cellular phones, safety equipment, and more popular devices.

Do motion sensors work in the dark?

Yes, most motion sensors work in low light or completely dark conditions. Pyroelectric or PIR sensors work by detecting the level of infrared radiation it receives either by an interruption by a corresponding stream or by detecting high or low levels naturally put out by an approaching disturbance. However, this also means that specific outputs of light or heat may accidentally set off specific motion detectors.

Do motion sensors work in the dark?

How many motion sensors do I need?

The amount of motion detectors a facility, area, or home will need depends on the model used. For example, entrances, exits, and windows can be outfitted with individual sensors or can be covered with specific alarm systems. Furthermore, many devices detect motion or disturbances in broader areas, meaning too many motion detectors might make a security system malfunction.

How can access control be improved?

On top of the options already mentioned, A1 Security Cameras has multiple physical systems that can upgrade access control for homes and businesses. Homeowners, for example, have a variety of devices available to them through home automation. Such an addition to the security apparatus of a household might include:

  • Door stations
  • Keypads
  • Remote activation or deactivation
  • Wall-mounted touch screen

Such devices allow the homeowner to restrict access to their property to those with the correct information. The systems can also be integrated with the overall security apparatus, activating or deactivating all at once if necessary. These options and more are also available for businesses, with additional examples including:

  • Fingerprint readers
  • Keycards or ID tags
  • Turnstiles

Whereas keycards and ID tags can be distributed to staff when the appropriate readers are installed, a more expensive yet practical option for businesses comes in the form of turnstiles. Used throughout society in public transit, event halls, and private companies, these installations hold multiple benefits beyond restricting access to certain areas. Advantages of turnstiles can include:

  • Allows for attendance monitoring
  • Benefits perimeter control
  • Incoming and outgoing foot traffic can be directed
  • Less personnel is needed for entrances

As written in a previous blog post, many turnstiles sold by A1 Security Cameras can work hand in hand with keycards or ID tags distributed by a managing party. After installation, these systems are easy to integrate into the overall security camera system!

What are the benefits of intercom?

An intercom system allows for convenient communication between two parties for either personalized access restriction or remote instruction. For example, homeowners can benefit their safety by remotely turning away or allowing access to prospective visitors. Landlords can add an edge of safety to their complex by installing an intercom system to the entrance of each apartment or other leasable accommodation. Businesses can implement an intercom system to provide voice support to prospective customers or employees while also adding another layer of access control to applicable entrances.

What are the benefits of intercom?

What is a door access reader?

A door access reader “reads” correlating keycards, ID tags, or FOBs. These devices are commonly found in hotels, vehicles, apartment complexes, and more. There are two types of card readers: magnetic and proximity-based. The former activates through a specific type of magnet while the latter responds to a matching code.

Why are turnstiles so expensive?

The price of turnstiles is defined by the materials they are made up of, the systems that they include, and the labor included during installation. A key determiner of price is also the number of units included in a purchase. For further information on A1 Security Cameras sales policy concerning turnstiles, give our sales team a call today.

When looking to design your modern security system, A1 Security Cameras provides design help services for clients in the United States and across the globe. Our team is ready to help you keep your home or business far safer with a top-of-the-line modern security camera system. So give our experts a call today and see what we can do for you!

Dec 22nd 2021 Wayne Hahne

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