Q: Can I use my current cameras with newer DVRs?
Q: What is the maximum distance I can run a camera cable?
Q: Do I need to have power at every single camera?
Q: What is an Infrared Camera and how does it work?
Q: How many hours will a DVR record?
Q: How do hidden cameras work?
Q: What is the difference between a wired and a wireless camera?
Q: How far can a wireless hidden camera transmit?
Q: How many wireless cameras can you have in one location?
Q: Do color cameras work with Infrared lighting?
Q: How do I record what the camera sees?
Q: Can I plug one of your cameras into my computer for watching and/ or recording?
Q: How many cameras can I hook up to one DVR?
Q: What is a varifocal lens?
Q: What is a fixed lens?


Q: Can I use my current cameras with newer DVRs?
A: Yes all of our HD Security DVRs are backwards compatible with older analog cameras. So you can mix and match old cameras with newer HD cameras and use your existing cables.

Q: What is the maximum distance I can run a camera cable?
A: That depends on the type of cable and cameras that are used. With newer HD analog cameras you can transmit video up to 1500 ft. using RG59 or 2000 ft. using RG6. However using standard RG59 or RG6 Siamese cable you can only send power up to 250 ft. before voltage drop will be an issue. So if your camera is further away than 250 ft. you will need to power the camera separately from a nearby power source. IP network cameras using Cat5e or Cat6 cables the maximum video and power distance is 300 feet. Further distances are possible with PoE extenders.

Q: Do I need to have power at every single camera?
A: Each camera will require power but there doesn't need to be power at the camera location. You can use Siamese cables which have both video and power connections to send power out to the camera from an individual power supply or power box at the DVRs location.

Q: What is an Infrared Security Camera and how does it work?
A: An infrared camera uses infrared light instead of the regular lighting spectrum in order to produce better images in complete darkness or low light conditions. The infrared LED illuminators on a camera work much like a flashlight but the light produced is invisible to the human eye. However with most infrared cameras you will see a slight red glow if you look directly at the LED array. How far you can see in darkness is dependent on the number, size and nanometer (nm) rating of the LED's. Most infrared security cameras use LED's in the 840nm range since they are the most effective. Some use the 940nm LED's which are completely invisible but produce far less light than the 840nm type so they require a lot more LED's to light up the same distance. When choosing a camera keep in mind that the light given off by the LED's is similar to a flashlight in that the closer the object the brighter they will appear on you monitor. So if you want to be able to see someone or something clearly at 30 feet it's best to go with a camera that has an IR illumination of 40 feet or more.

Q: How many hours will a DVR record?
A: The amount of time a DVR will record for is based on a number of factors. The size of the DVR hard drive, the number of cameras recording, the quality setting (highest, high, medium...), the compression method and the number of frames per second it is recording at. For Stand Alone DVR's a frame of 1080p video will be approximately 12kb to 15kb in size so one camera recording in Real Time (30fps) continuously will use about 30 to 35 GB per day. This usage can be considerably less by adjusting frame rate, quality and using motion detection recording.

Q: How do hidden cameras work?
A: A small board camera is built into an everyday item. The camera can be wired which means it is connected to the DVR or VCR using a cable for viewing and recording. The camera can also be wireless or WiFi. The difference is that standard wireless signals are usually 2.4GHz and sent to a receiver that is connected to the DVR or monitor. While many newer wireless cameras have built-in SD card recorders and use WiFi to transmit video to your wireless router for easy smartphone or computer viewing. Hidden cameras with built-in recorders; more commonly referred to as DVR cameras and are available with or without WiFi.

Q: What is the difference between a wired and a wireless camera?
A: Wired cameras have a video cable that runs from the camera to your recording or viewing device such as a DVR, VCR or monitor. Wireless cameras have a built-in transmitter that sends the video signal to a receiver or in the case of WiFi cameras to your wireless router. You can also make most of our standard security cameras wireless by using one of our transmitter and receiver kits. You simply plug the output of the camera into the transmitter which will then send the signal wirelessly to the receiver. The receiver connects to your recording or viewing device. Keep in mind a wireless camera still needs power at the camera/transmitter location. Wireless only means there is no video and/or audio wires running to the TV, DVR or Router.

Q: How far can a wireless hidden camera transmit?
A: Most wireless hidden cameras including WiFi cameras can transmit up to 300 feet line of sight. Longer distances can be achieved by using higher powered transmitters or high gain antennas. We offer a number of wireless transmitters that can be used to make a wired camera wireless for longer distances.

Q: How many wireless cameras can you have in one location?
A: When using wireless transmitter and receiver sets you can generally have up to 8 cameras in the same location. When using WiFi cameras it is usually a matter of the wireless frequencies used and much bandwidth is available but again 8 cameras is about the limit.

Q: Do color cameras work with Infrared lighting?
A: No, color cameras have image sensors which are designed specifically for the visible light spectrum. When you see a camera which is described as Color Infrared Camera it has a dual imaging chipset which will automatically turn B/W at night or low light conditions. This allows the camera to provide a full color picture in daylight or adequate light conditions and switch to B/W to make use of the infrared illuminators to give you a usable B/W picture in low or no light conditions.

Q: How do I record what the camera sees?
A: To be able to record what your camera sees you will need some type of video recorder. Security DVR's are available in a variety of recording resolutions and channel inputs. They record the video from the cameras to a hard drive and can have many security features such as motion recording, facial recognition, smart search, event tagging, email and push notification to name a few. Most all DVRs today also allow remote viewing and playback from PCs and mobile devices.

Q: Can I plug one of your cameras into my computer for watching and/ or recording?
A: Most cameras produce composite video for use with analog monitoring and recording equipment. Therefore to use your computer you will need a PCI video capture card or similar USB device to view the images. Most capture cards come with software which will allow you to view, record and playback images on your computer screen as well as over the internet.

Q: How many cameras can I hook up to one DVR?
A: It depends on how many input channels your Security DVRs has. Generally they come with 4, 8, or 16 channel inputs. However 24 and 32 channel DVRs are available. You can also use CMS software and combine individual DVR outputs to view up to 64 channels provided each DVR is connected to the internet.

Q: What is a varifocal lens?
A: A varifocal lens is one where the focal length of the lens can be varied. This lens may be effectively used as a wide angle, standard, or telephoto lens by varying the focal length of the lens. Varifocal lenses can be either manual or motorized. Manual lenses are changed by physically turning separate zoom and focus screws on the camera while motorized ones have auto focus and can be zoomed in and out through a DVR or NVR that supports the type of motorized lens camera used.

Q: What is a fixed lens?
A: A fixed focal length lens cannot zoom. The focus is fixed. A fixed focal length lens usually allows more light to pass through the lens at a given focal length than a varifocal, or zoom lens. This can be important in low light situations.

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