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Manhattan Beach Locksmith – Surveillance Video Quality – The Basics

Surveillance Video Quality

Understanding factors that affect the quality of your video surveillance is an essential part of maintaining your security system. Poor surveillance video quality will affect how efficient your security system is at protecting your home. Here are some of the basic concepts of surveillance video quality.


Resolution is a very important factor in surveillance video quality. However, the quality of your recording isn’t entirely dependent on the resolution of your security camera. Camera resolution is measured in how many lines of pixels it takes to recreate the image the camera captures. However, purchasing a high-resolution camera doesn’t necessarily ensure that you can capture recordings at that resolution. You need to make sure that all of your video equipment is the same (or higher) resolution as your surveillance camera.

For example, if you had a camera that captures video in 500 line resolution, purchasing a time-lapse security recorder that has 350 resolution will only allow you to record video in 350 line resolution, despite your camera’s ability to capture video in 500 line resolution. Be sure that all of your video surveillance equipment is around the same resolution.

Changes in Light

One of the main problems that people experience with security surveillance cameras is how the quality is affected by changes in light. To improve the quality of your recording in changing light conditions, you need to have a basic understanding of WDR (Wide Dynamic Range). WDR technology allows a camera to capture images with two separate Charge Coupled Devices (CCD’s).The variation in speeds of the CCD’s captures two images for every image frame. Essentially, a camera with WDR technology will scan each frame twice, to produce a higher quality picture in a wider range of light conditions.

Color vs. B&W

Contrary to what you may believe, color video is not always superior in quality to black & white video. This choice will depend on the placement of your camera, the time of day you wish to capture surveillance, and your budget. If you plan to capture video in low-light conditions, black and white video is the best choice. In low light conditions, color video will appear nearly grayscale. However, if you want to capture video surveillance during the day, you may want to make the extra investment in a color surveillance camera. This will allow you to differentiate between colors, which is helpful when there is a high amount of light. It’s important to remember that color surveillance cameras tend to cost about 30 – 60% more than black and white surveillance cameras.

Wired vs. Wireless

Another factor that will influence the quality of your surveillance video is how your camera transmits video signals. With a wired security camera, the video signal is transmitted directly through a hard-wired line. A wireless security camera sends a video signal through a transmitter, which is caught by a receiver and converted into video. Both of these systems have several disadvantages:

  • Wired – Restricted placement due to being hard-wired.
  • Wired – Invasive installation procedure.
  • Wireless – Can be prone to interference.
  • Wireless – Video Signal may sometimes be unstable.

Also, both of these systems have several advantages:

  • Wired – Stable signal, consistent quality.
  • Wired – Not prone to interference.
  • Wireless – Flexible camera placement.
  • Wireless – Cameras can be moved as-needed.

As you can see, it all comes down to flexibility. Wired security cameras tend to have better signal quality, since they aren’t prone to interference from moving objects, walls, weather conditions and other electronic transmitting devies. However, wireless security cameras can be useful for capturing video in areas which can’t have wiring easily installed.

Related posts:

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  3. Hidden Camera Video Surveillance – Is It Legal? This post is originally authored at the home security…
  4. An Introductory Guide to Wireless Security Cameras This post is originally authored at the home security…

This post is originally authored at the home security blog at family + home security.

Category: Home Security