Welcome back for part two of CCTV Myths.  We didn't mention it in part one, but if you have any ideas or myths of your own, leave them in the comments section below.  For those of you who may have missed part one, be sure to check it out.  We said it once but we'll say it again; this is all in good fun so enjoy and let us know what you think.

1. If the Infrared distance on your camera is        feet, you’ll be able to see someone’s face at that distance

In almost all cases, the answer is simply no.  This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions most first time buyers have.  Infrared distance has almost no bearing on facial clarity.  Your camera’s resolution and lens is far more relevant.  Infrared distance just dictates how far the IR LEDs will reach in complete darkness.  It is in no way any reflection of the facial clarity capabilities of the camera.  If you’re wondering what the exception might be, it’s PTZ cameras or box cameras with an extraordinary amount of zoom.

2. You need a wireless DVR to view your cameras on your Smartphone or Tablet

First of all, there is no such thing as a factory made wireless DVR.  You can hard wire access points to DVRs to give them the capability of connecting wirelessly to your network, but this still doesn't mean that your phone is directly connecting to the DVR.  Having said that, you do not need a wireless DVR to have this feature.  Your ability to do this is determined by whether or not your DVR is capable of being connected to your network as that is how you’re able to access it; through your network.  If the answer is yes, then it’s a simple matter of some basic networking and you’re in.  If the answer is no, then you can spend all the money in the world and still not have this feature available to you.


3. You need power outlets next to locations where you want to place cameras

This is another very common thought.  The problem here is that most people aren't familiar with the various types of cable.  Siamese cable is what is most often used with CCTV cameras.  A specific portion of that cable is designated for power.  It can be run to any length you may need.  When it comes to attaching it to your cameras and/or your power source, there are simple connectors to attach to the bare ends of the cable.  There’s no electrical engineering degree needed here.  If you can figure out how to strip a few inches of cable and use a screw driver, you have all the knowledge you need.  Cat5 and Cat6 are also popular choices for cable and ultimately work very similarly.  It’ll help to think of this process like making your own extension cord instead of something scary that lives under your bed.


4. Remote viewing of cameras requires a monthly service plan

While this might be true with companies like AT&T and other companies whose mouths are constantly watering every time you open your wallet, it’s absolutely false for almost any other system you purchase.  When purchasing a system from a retailer instead of companies who specialize in month by month plans, the system is yours to do with as you please instead of technically being on lease.  Most of the Smartphone and tablet applications are free with the option to purchase a more advanced version for a onetime fee.  The rest of your access is done through internet browsers and software provided to you by the company you’re purchasing from.  The worst case scenario is you find a company that charges for the networking assistance that you’ll need to make this feature available to you.

5. You need motion detection capable cameras in order to detect motion

This subject is kind of touchy because it’s case by case but for anyone who has a complete CCTV system, to include a video recorder, it doesn't matter whether your cameras have this feature or not.  Your video recorder (DVR, NVR, Hybrid, etc…) will do the job for you either way.  Whether your video recorder is set to record or not, it will notify you of motion if you tell it to.  For people who do not have or need a video recorder, you will need to shop for a camera with this feature built in.  This almost exclusively applies to IP/network cameras and their included software.  You may find yourself in this situation with single camera setups overlooking entryways, or even baby monitoring cameras.

Don Stephens is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading Security Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. His area of expertise is in designing professional security camera systems for medium and large scale businesses, schools, and government projects.

Connect with Don via: Email  |  YouTube