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Surveillance System & CCTV Glossary

This glossary contains a list of general terms and definitions related to surveillance systems,
security cameras, and CCTV equipment. If you find any terms on our web site that you do not
understand and cannot find in this glossary, please email or call us so that we can add it.
Auto Iris
Security cameras with auto iris, have the ability to compensate for large variations in light levels.
This is useful for security cameras that need to adjust for changes from bright sunlight to
darkness or night. Auto iris circuitry is normally linked to a motorized drive that opens and shuts
the iris on the camera lens. Closing a physical iris is a much better way to protect a camera from
being damaged by bright sunlight then simply using electronics to reduce the signal strength.
Alarm Input
Some DVRs and security cameras have alarm inputs, which can accept input from a sensor
device such as a door contact or a passive infra-red motion detection which trigger the camera or
DVR to take some action such as to begin recording.
Aperature - The opening of the CCTV lens. The size of which is controlled by the iris and is
measured in F numbers. Generally, the lower the F number, the larger the aperture is and
consequently more light can pass through the lens.
Back Light Compensation
This is a feature of security cameras that automatically adjusts the image to compensate for
bright light to give more detail on the darker areas of the image. For example, use is to focus on
the detail of a face of a person that has the sunlight shining from behind.
Balun
A Video Balun enables the transmission of video using unshielded twisted pair wire instead of
coaxial cable. The word "balun" comes from combining the terms balanced and unbalanced. The
function of a balun is to transform an unbalanced signal into a balanced signal. When video
signal is transmitted through coaxial cable, the distance traveled by the signal is limited because
the signal is in the form of an unbalanced signal that is susceptible to Radio Frequency
Interference or noise. Coax cable incorporates special shielding to minimize noise. Video Baluns
transform the video signal into a balanced form in which each wire in the twisted pair transmits
an identical signal with opposite polarized magnetic fields. Noise affects each signal equally.
When the signals are combined, the noise is cancelled out. By using a designed balun, an
unshielded twisted pair wire can transmit video for much longer distances than coax cable and
with a lower cable cost.
BNC Connector
BNC is a connector for coaxial cable that is most commonly used for CCTV installations.
CCD Charge Coupled Device
Charge Coupled Device, CCD, is one of the two main types of image sensors used in security
cameras. When a video is recorded, the CCD is struck by light coming through the camera's lens.
Each of the thousands or millions of tiny pixels that make up the CCD converts this light into
electrons. The number of electrons, usually described as the pixel's accumulated charge, is
measured, and then converted to a digital value. This last step occurs outside the CCD, in a
camera component called an analog-to-digital converter.
C Mount Lens & CS Mount Lens
There are two main types of lenses used in security cameras. The C mount lens has a flange back
distance of 17.5mm. The CS mount lens has a flange back distance of 12.5mm. C mount lenses
therefore have a longer focal distance. CS mount became widely used, because it its more
practical for many of today's more compact cameras. Lenses are often supplied with a 5mm
spacer ring (sometimes called a C ring) that allows a C mount lens to be used on a CS camera.
Most modern security cameras are CS.
Co-Axial Cable
A type of cable typically used in cctv installations that has a central conductor, surrounded by a
shield sharing the same axis. The shield can be made from a variety of materials including,
braided copper, or lapped foil. There are various standards for specific types of co-axial cable.
The cable used for normal CCTV installations is called RG59.
Composite Video
The encoded output of a surveillance camera whereby the red, green, and blue video signals are
combined with the synchronizing, blanking, and color burst signals and are transmitted
simultaneously down one cable.
Compression
Digital video pictures can be compressed with a number of techniques. These include: JPEG and
JPEG-2000 (for still images), M-JPEG and MPEG (for moving pictures).
DVR (Digital Video Recorder)
A Digital Video Recorder is a generic term for a device that is similar to a VCR but records
television data in digital on a hard drive as opposed to a VCR tape. A DVR looks like a VCR and
has all of the same functionality of VCR (recording, playback, fast forwarding, rewinding, and
pausing) plus the ability to skip to any part of the program without having to rewind or fast
forward the data stream.
Dwell Time Programming
The length of time a switcher or CCTV multiplexer displays one camera before sequencing to
the next. Multiplexers with dwell time programming capability allow you control this length of
time.
Focal Length
The distance between the center of a lens, or its secondary principal point and the imaging
sensor. Lower lengths give a greater field of view and less magnification. Longer lengths give a
narrower field of view and greater magnification. The table below gives an approximate value
for the angle of the field of view for lenses of various focal lengths and also considering the size
of the imaging device (CCD). Most CCTV cameras have one of the 3 sizes of imaging devices
listed below, 1/4", 1/3" or 1/2". Almost all of CCTV Camera Pros cameras have 1/3" Sony CCD
imaging devices.
Imaging Device Size
Focal Length
1/4" 1/3" 1/2"
2.8 mm 64 80 97
4.0 mm 45 60 74
6.0 mm 30 38 57
8.0 mm 23 30 40
12.0 mm 15 20 30
16.0 mm 11 15 22
50.0 mm 4 5 7
Gamma Correction
Gamma correction controls and adjusts the overall brightness of an image for consistency.
Geovision
A quality brand of DVR Cards made for Windows based computers. A complete line of
Geovision DVR Cards can be seen here: Geovision DVR Cards.
Impedance
The total opposition offered by a device to the flow of an alternating current. Measured in Ohms.
Internal Sync
Devices with internal sync have an internal crystal to provide sync pulses without needing
reference from any external device.
Infrared (IR)
Low frequency light below the visible spectrum. Infrared is used in surveillance cameras to
provide a light source to record images in dark and zero light conditions.
IP Waterproof Rating
IP waterproof ratings are a BSi standard measurement for how waterproof something is. Many
security cameras or camera housings are designed for outdoor use need to be waterproof. The IP
rating number has two digits, and optional letters after them. E.G IP66 and IP68. The first
number defines the protection against ingress of foreign objects. 0 is the lowest rating and means
non-protected. 6 is the highest rating and means dust tight and protects against access with a
wire. The second number defines the level of protection against ingress of water. 0 is the lowest
rating means non-protected. 8 is the higest rating and means protects against continuous
immersion in water.

For further information, see the BSi website at www.bsi-global.com or www.bsi.org.uk


Iris
The mechanical device that adjusts to vary the amount of light passing through the lens of a
camera.
JPEG
JPEG is a standard for the encoding and compression of images. JPEG is used in the video
surveillance systems to compress and store individual frames of video. JPEG was developed by
the Joint Photographic Experts Group.
LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
Technology used for flat screen displays.
Looping
Connecting an additional device in parallel with an existing video cable. For example, when
driving a video recorder as well as a monitor from the same video signal.
Lux
Unit of light illuminance used as a measure of low-light recording capacity in security cameras.
Cameras with a Lux rating of 0.2 Lux or less would be considered low-light cameras. It is not
possible to get good color definition in low light levels, so in general low light cameras are
always black and white. Day/night cameras use electronics to switch from color during the
daytime, to black/white during night or low light conditions. Many low light cameras also use
infrared, which is useful in zero light conditions. The lower the LUX rating of a camera, the
better it will see in low light.
Luminance
This refers to the part of a video signal that carries the monochrome information. i.e. brightness
information.
MPEG
The Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) released MPEG-4 encoding in 1998. The basic idea
behind MPEG is that compressed images are compared before being transmitted over the
network. The first compressed image is used as a reference and compared to the images that
follow it in the video sequence. The first image is transmitted over the network along with the
parts of the following images that differ from the initial reference image. The viewing
application on the receiving end of the transmission then reconstructs all images based on this
information and displays the result. This is a simplified description of how MPEG-4 works.
Multiplexer
This is a device that takes inputs from 2 or more video channels and combines them into one
signal. This is often done by using time division multiplexing, which interleaves frames from
each channel in such a way that they can be split out again. Frequency division multiplexing uses
different frequencies to achieve the separation of the signals.
Network Camera
This refers to a camera that is designed to record pictures and transmit them directly over a
computer network or internet connection. Network cameras normally do not have any analogue
video outputs. The images are encoded directly in one of the standard compression techniques,
such as JPEG or MPEG.
NTSC
NTSC is an abbreviation for the National Television Standards Committee. The term "NTSC
video" refers to the video standard defined by the committee, which has a specifically limited
color gamut, is interlaced, and is approximately 720 x 480 pixels, and 30 frames per second
(fps). This standard is used in North America.
OSD (On Screen Display)
A method of displaying set-up information and/or instructions on a display monitor.
PAL
PAL is an abbreviation for Phase Alternating Line. This is the television display standard that is
used mainly in Europe, China, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, parts of
Africa, and other parts of the world. PAL uses 625 lines per frame and a frame rate of 25 frames
per second.
Pinhole Lens
This is a type of lens with a very small aperture. Normally used for covert applications, where it
can easily hide behind or within another object.
Router
A device that forwards data packets along networks. Typically when referred to in CCTV
installations, a router is used to connect a surveillance DVR and a computer to a single internet
connection. A router can also be used to connect multiple IP based security cameras to a single
internet connection.
Pixel
A pixel refers to an individual area on the surface of the imaging device, normally a CCD. It is
made from photosensitive material which converts light into electrical energy. In the context of a
display monitor, a pixel is also referred to as an individual area on the surface of the screen
which converts electrical energy to visible light.
RS-232
RS-232 is a communications standard for serial communications between devices. In CCTV, this
can be communication between a contoller and a surveillance camera. The RS-232 standard
allows for the connection of two devices through a serial link, and is the protocal used for serial
connections in computers. RS-485 allows for serial connections between more than 2 devices on
a networked system and is defined below.
RS-485
RS485, also referred to as EIA-485 is a communications standard for serial communication
between devices. When talking about surveillance systems, RS-485 is typically used as the
protocal to allow computers and remote controllers to control the activity of cameras such as pan,
tilt, rotate, and zoom operations. RS485 is an updated version of the original serial protocol, RS-
232.
Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N Ratio)
This is the ratio between the signal strength and the noise levels on an audio or video signal.
Television Lines (TVL)
This is a measure of the resolution of a video device. The higher the number, the higher the
resolution is. 380 TVL is considered medium resolution. 480 TVL or greater is considered high
resolution.
Varifocal (Zoom)
This refers to a type of lens that has the capability to change the focal length. This allows
adjustment of the magnification and field of view of the security camera.
WDR Security Cameras
A WDR security camera (Wide Dynamic Range) is used for capturing clear images of objects
surrounded by a strong back light, while still keeping the background visible.
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Tips on installing CCTV to your home.

The prospect of drilling a hole through the outside wall of your house to run the power and video
cable for a camera may seem a big job. With a little forethought it can be quite simple.

Positioning of cameras
Most people want to hide the camera as much as possible. The modern cctv camera can easily be
located under or on the fascia/soffit boards where the roof meets the wall. When located here it is
sheltered from wind and rain and can be shaded from most sunlight. The height of the camera
gives a good area of view and minimizes the risk of vandalism.

Another advantage of this location is cabling. It is pretty easy to run the cables into the loft from
this position. Many houses have a small ventilation gap between the roof tiles and the external
wall, or a small hole may be drilled in the fascia board to gain access to the loft.

Cabling
It is usually quite easy to pick up mains power in the loft or, if additional cabling is required it is
now internal. Wireless transmission can be used for the video signal with the receiver being
placed next to the monitor or recorder (TV, VCR, PC etc.). That's it, job done.

A 'hard-wired' system is almost as easy to install. Locate the TV aerial down-lead that may be in
the loft or run down the outside of the house, then run the CCTV camera video cable alongside
the aerial cable, which will lead directly to the TV.

A good method of connection is an RF modulator. This changes the camera's video output to an
RF output. You can pipe the CCTV images down the existing TV aerial down-lead and view on
the TV/VCR as if it were another channel. If your house is fitted with a TV distribution system,
this method will allow the pictures to be seen on all the TV sets.

Addition of Switchers etc.


Consider placing switchers, multiplexers or DVRs in the loft. This keeps all the cabling in the
loft with just one output cable to your monitor. It also hides your recording device.
NOTE
Disclaimer. CCTV Direct Sales Ltd accept no responsibility for any damage or injury caused to
or by any person or persons, building, structure etc., howsoever caused by anyone following or
attempting to follow, any of the 'tips' shown. All such occurrences shall be the sole responsibility
of the person or persons involved.

8. Installation Tips
A. Camera Power

1. Use only regulated power supplies, the tolerance should be within 5% of the required voltage.
2. Ensure at least 40% spare capacity per power supply to prevent overheating and voltage loss.
3. Use power cable of a suitable thickness
4. Beware of voltage drops over long distance runs
5. Beware of polarity when connecting the power supply to a camera
6. Ensure proper cooling or ventilation for power supplies
7. Avoid operation of CCTV equipment on the same power circuit as elevators, compressors,
generators or any large motors.
B. Cabling

1. Avoid running video cable parallel to AC power cables, especially those carrying high current.
2. RG59U Co-Ax runs should not exceed 200m for colour and 300m for B/W
3. Avoid sharp bends when cabling
4. Avoid cable joins and using BNC barrels
5. Avoid over-tightening cable-ties
6. Ensure use of proper co-ax wire-stripping and crimping tools
7. Ensure BNC Connectors are properly crimped
8. Use Rubber BNC Boots after crimping to protect crimped area and bend radius
9. Mark or label camera and data signal cables
10. Outdoor cable runs should be housed in UV-proof conduit
11. In lightning prone areas, install surge protection devices
C. Camera Installation

1. Test all equipment before installation. Therefore equipment can be replaced before arrival on-
site if needed.
2. Ensure the mounting brackets of outdoor speed domes are properly sealed to prevent
condensation in the camera housing.
3. Use EIA rated RS232/422/485 or CAT-5 cabling for speed dome or PTZ communication.
4. Ensure sufficient space for camera, lens and connectors when choosing a camera housing.
5. Avoid direct sunlight on equipment as it raises the temperature of the equipment.
6. Position cameras out of reach of vandals or 'curious' people.
7. Mount good quality mounting brackets in a stable location to avoid unstable or vibrating
images caused by vibration or wind.
8. CS Mount cameras placed inside, at industrial or dusty/damp installations should be placed
into outdoor camera housings.
9. Avoid installing cameras too high above the subject thus preventing 'top-of-head' video
images
10. Ensure camera mounting poles are mechanically secure to avoid vibration on camera images
11. Before connecting power, ensure the supply is 12VDC regulated.
D. Time Lapse VCR Considerations

1. Time Lapse VCR Considerations


2. Regular servicing of your VCR , will ensure continued operation and quality of recordings.
3. Use only high quality 'branded' tapes
4. Replace tapes after being used 12 times.
5. Ensure Time Lapse VCR is suitably hidden in event of a robbery
6. Before reviewing a video tape for evidence, make a copy and review the copy. This ensures
the the quality of the original is preserved, especially when starting, stopping and pausing the
tape.
E. Wireless Video Transmission

1. For outdoor use, transmitter and receiver must be in line-of-sight.


2. Determine any possible sources of interference, i.e. overhead powerlines, wireless LAN
networks, transformers, other transmitters or any other power generating system in close
proximity to the transmitter or receiver.
3. Avoid trees in the transmission path, as brances can cause interference.
4. Ensure proper alignment between transmitter and receiver.
5. Beware of lightning. Transmitters are often placed on high masts/roofs, which make them
prone to lightning.
6. Poor weather such as heavy fog and rain can affect transmission.
F. Digital Video Recorder Considerations

1. It is recommended to connect your DVR and cameras to an uninterruptable PSU (UPS)


2. Ensure 1Vp-p video input levels from cameras (not lower or higher)
3. Turn off camera AGC
4. Ensure DVR is suitably secure or hidden in event of a robbery
5. Avoid Win98/ME as an operating system, Win2K is the most stable for PC-based DVRs
6. For PC-based DVRs, regular HDD defragmentation is recommended if DVR is used for other
user applications. (Not necessary if PC is dedicated to DVR.)
7. Ensure enough RAM so that the recording does not get interrupted.
8. Recording should be on different hard drive to that of the operating system and recording
software.
6 Helpful Tips on CCTV Installation

6 Helpful Tips on CCTV Installation


For many years, the process of installing a CCTV can be a challenging task for those without tips. The following are
some of the tips that you need to know when installing a CCTV;

1. You must know the camera power


You should use only the regulated power supplies with high tolerance. You should ensure that it is 5 percent of the
needed voltage. In addition, you need to ensure that the camera capacity is 40 percent of the needed power
supply if you want to prevent voltage loss and overheating. You need also use power cable of a suitable thickness
that prevents the voltage drops that can run long distance. You should also ensure that polarity of connecting
power supply to the camera. Make sure that the camera has proper cooling or even ventilation for the power
supplies. You should also avoid operation of the CCTV equipment on same power circuit as compressors, elevators,
and generators.

2. Do proper cabling
You should avoid running the video cable parallel to the AC power cables, especially the ones with high current.
You should never allow the RG59U Co-Ax runs to exceed 200m for the colour and 350m for the B/WA. You should
also avoid any sharp bends when doing your cables. Avoid over-tightening of the cable-ties by doing a wire-
stripping using crimping tool. Make sure that you crimp the BNC Connectors properly using a Rubber BNC Boots.
You should also label data signal cables as well as camera with a UV-proof before installing surge protection
devices

3. Test before Installation


You should test all the equipment prior installation. This means that you need to ensure that you all the sub-
sections of the entire installation process works before doing a complete installation. You should ensure that all
mounting brackets of the outdoor domes are sealed properly to prevent the condensation in camera after
installation. You can also use CAT-5 or EIA rated RS232/422/485cabling for PTZ communication.

Please ensure that you have sufficient space for the camera, connectors and lens when choosing camera housing.
You should also avoid direct sunlight to the equipment since this might raise the temperature thus reducing its
lifespan. You need to position cameras in places where they cannot be reached by the thieves or even the frauds.
You should also avoid installing the cameras too high above in preventing the images of 'top-of-head' video. Never
forget to have a connecting power by ensure supply is a 12VDC regulator.

4. You should take in time lapse VCR considerations


You should time lapse VCR considerations by servicing of the VCR and this will ensure a continued operation to give
you quality recordings. This will enable you record quality pictures that enables you to improve the security of your
home. This will also ensure that you preserve of the original content especially in starting, stopping or even pausing
the tape.

5. You must do proper wireless video transmission


A wireless video transmission is important if you want to do a proper installation in your transmitter and receiver.
You also need to determine a possible source of any interference such as overhead powerlines, transformers,
wireless LAN networks, or any other transmitters that will affect your power generating system. You should also
avoid trees in transmission path, since this may cause interference and you can do this by ensuring proper
alignment in between transmitter and the receiver. Make sure you are aware of the lightning. This will definitely
help you have a perfect installation that ultimately improves the security of your home.

6. You need to do digital video recorder consideration


It is important to connect cameras and DVR to an uninterruptable PSU by ensuring levels of 1Vp-p video input for
the cameras. You need to avoid the Win98/ME operating system since this will make you have the best times.
Recording should also be on the different hard drive especially to that of operating system as well as recording
software. This will enable you to enjoy your security better than what other offer in the market. In addition, never
forget the cost when doing your installation and this means that you have to do market research.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Install a Surveillance System for your


Home
By Chris

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Install a Surveillance System for your Home, 3.8 out
of 5 based on 53 ratings
Rating: 3.8/5 (53 votes cast)

1. Preliminary Guide to installing a surveillance


system

Prepare your home for a painless and stress-free surveillance system install by
following a few preliminary steps.

1.1. Prepare a diagram

Monitoring every inch of your home is an impractical endeavor. Hence, plan and draft a
chart of camera placement to ensure you cover the most important areas with your
cameras.

Make a rough sketch of the layout of your house, or ideally, print out its blueprint to
serve as a useful starting point. Identify the areas you wish to monitor and decide the
viability of camera placement in those locations. A few areas you might want to watch:

1. Doors (front and back)


2. Driveways
3. Stairways
4. Lawns
5. Off-street windows

1.2. Camera Placement

Once you have identified the areas you want to monitor, it is time to decide the exact
location for camera placement.

Here are some tips for homeowners who want to set up their surveillance systems:

TIPS TO FOLLOW
Always remember to watch your front and back doors, as statistically, most miscreants
use them as points of forced entry.
Read all surveillance laws in your state and country. Check for legislation governing
video monitoring equipment usage, detailing illegal or restricted locations. Also, find out
whether appropriate signage is mandatory.

Did you know that your neighbors could sue you if they find your surveillance invading
their privacy? Hence, ensure your cameras point only toward your property at all times.

Although placing cameras at the highest point of an area gives you the best view range,
consider the loss of detail on even nearby objects. If you want to get a detailed look at
any subjects, consider splurging on a high-resolution camera or lowering the camera
placement location.

Place all cameras in strategic locations to avoid people tampering or vandalizing them.

Plan all your wiring (depending on the type of security system) to conceal as much
cabling as possible inside shafts, running them through walls and attics.

2. MPX Analog Camera System


Although it is one of the oldest camera types, Analog cameras are widely used to this
day. This broad adoption is attributed to the advancement in technology in all sectors,
analog cameras included.

For example, the latest technology in analog cameras MPX or Megapixels over Coax
Cable Analog is a reliable method of transmitting a Full HD (1080p) video stream over
coaxial cables.

Now how do we go about installing these systems?

2.1. Components Required:

First, ensure that you have all the equipment required to install an analog security
camera system successfully:

DVR (Digital Video Recorder) The receiver responsible for storing and processing the
video feed from your surveillance cameras. They are available in 4, 8, 16 and 32
channel variants. Each extra channel can connect one additional camera to your DVR.
Hard Disk Although some DVRs come bundled with a hard disk, several models do
not have one preinstalled. The required capacity of the hard drive depends on the
number of cameras you have, the quality of the feed, and duration of footage to be
stored.

Security Cameras These are the eyes of the Analog Surveillance system. Analog
cameras are responsible for capturing video from your premises and transmitting them
to a receiver, usually a DVR. There are multitudes of options available in the market.
Hence, base your decision on the quality of video feed required, your brand preference,
and intended install location.

Power Supply Since each power output point on a power supply will power one
camera, buy one that can power all the cameras in your system. However, refer to the
input voltage and current requirements of your devices as well, before buying the
camera.

Cables Cables act as bridges between your cameras and the rest of the surveillance
system. One of the most popular kinds of cables is the Siamese Cable, deriving its name
from its thick outer cover, which encases two kinds of wires: The RG-59 cable inside it
transmits video and the 18/2 cable delivers power.

Connectors Another essential component that acts as a bridge between the different
parts of the security systems. Each camera you want to install requires two PT-3s, one
PT-4, and two Twist-On BNC connectors. In addition to these, you will need several B-
gel connectors and wire-strippers.

2.2. Installation and Setup

Once you have completed all the preliminary checks and gathered all the necessary
components, please follow the steps given below to get your system up and running:

Set up the power supply box. Please note that the location of the power supply should
be as close to the DVR point. Since the Siamese cables from the cameras divide to go
into the DVR and electricity supply, make sure that you do not have to cover too much
ground with a split wire. Also, ensure the accessibility of the power supply box from the
nearest power outlet.

Set up necessary cabling to camera locations. Now, starting with the places you
identified for camera placement in the preliminary guide, run the Siamese cables to the
DVR and power outlet site. Consider hiding these cables as much as possible, for a
more attractive and professional look to your installation.

Ready the Siamese cables (camera-end) for connection.

Split the cable to separate the two wires (18/2 power and RG-59) present in the Siamese
cable.

Strip the outer insulation from the 18/2 power cord, removing about one and a half
inches of the outer covering.
Strip the red and black insulation on the wires inside the 18/2 cable, to around half an
inch.

Repeat the previous step with the red and black cables on the PT-3 connector as well.

Now, slide all 4 open ends of the connectors (stripped down PT-3 and the 18/2 power
cord) into the B-gel connector one-by-one (in pairs of red and black) and crimp down on
them. Please ensure that you use just enough force, so you do not cut through the
wiring in the process.

Next, strip back the insulation on the RG-59 side of the Siamese cable, removing about
half an inch.

Trim away the outer copper mesh, exposing a smaller white insulation.

Remove this white insulation as well, stripping it back to a quarter of an inch, revealing
the copper wire inside.

Attach the BNC connector to the RG-59 cable by inserting the copper wire into the small
hole of the connector completely. Twist firmly to reinforce the connection.

Repeat the above steps (i. to ix.) with all the Siamese cables meant to connect the
various cameras.

Mount your cameras. Once the cables are set up and ready to connect, install the
cameras in your chosen locations.

Connect the cables to the camera. The PT-3 connector connects to the power supply,
while the BNC connector goes into the video output port of the camera.

Ready the Siamese cables (DVR-side) for connection.

Split the Siamese cables to separate the 18/2 power and RG-59 wires to reach the DVR
and electricity supply comfortably.

Expose the copper wire inside the RG-59 and attach the BNC connector (detailed in
Step C, vi to ix, above).

Connect the freshly attached BNC connector to one of the video input channels of the
DVR.

Strip back the 18/2 power cable side of the Siamese cable, exposing the red and black
wires inside to about one and a half (1.5) inches.

Remove half an inch of insulation from the red and black wires as well.

Expose the inner wire of the red and black connectors of the PT-4 and PT-3 connector.
Connect the PT-3 cable to the bare red and black wires of the Siamese cables. Slide the
two pairs of wire ends (red and black) into the B-gel connector and crimp down to secure
the connection.

Connect the exposed end of the red wire from the PT-4 to the positive terminal of the
power supply. Next, connect the black wire to the negative, using the screw provided in
the box. Please double check the polarity of your connections as a misstep here could
damage your camera.

Connect the PT-3 connector to the PT-4 connector to complete the circuit.

Make sure you repeat the above steps for all cables coming from each of your cameras.

If your DVR does not have a hard disk, install one now. In most DVRs, simply slide
one into the indicated slot to install a hard drive.

Connect the video output port of the DVR to a monitor. Depending on your
preference and requirements, connect the DVR to a monitor using standard video output
cables (HDMI or VGA).

Final step. Turn on the power supply and the DVR to check for a steady and live video
feed from the connected cameras. However, if you do not see any video, go over all the
above steps again, double-checking every connection.

3. PoE Camera Systems


One of the relatively newer camera systems, the PoE or Power over Ethernet system
lessens the number of connections required to set up a video surveillance system.

Hence, compared to the effort involved in setting up an Analog camera system, PoE
systems are easier to install.

3.1. Components Required

Before proceeding to the installation phase, we need to ready all the parts of a PoE
system:

NVR An NVR or a Network Video Recorder is the component responsible for receiving
a video feed from a PoE video camera while supplying the camera with power using an
Ethernet cable. Please ensure that your NVR is capable of delivering power over
Ethernet. However, if you have an NVR incapable of PoE, purchase the following in
addition to the components listed:

PoE Injector A small device that adds voltage to the Ethernet output, providing a
reliable PoE connection that can power the camera and receive data successfully.

An additional Cat5E cable. One additional Ethernet cable is needed to deliver the
power-imbued signal from the injector to the camera.

Injector Power Adapter Although this element should be provided with the PoE
injector, please double check to make sure you have one; it is responsible for delivering
power to the PoE injector.

Ethernet Cable (Cat5E) This cable acts as the delivery method for both power and
video. Note cheaper Cat5E variants might deliver significantly lower voltage, so ensure
that the cable you purchase supports PoE. One cable (10, 20, 50 or 100 ft., according to
the distance between the camera and NVR) per camera to be connected to the NVR.

Hard Disk Most NVRs in the market are sold with preinstalled hard drives, typically of
one terabyte. First, consider the number of cameras that you are installing and the
amount of time you want to store your video feed. If the preinstalled disk is sufficient,
leave this component out. However, if your assessment indicates the need for more
storage, purchase a hard drive of higher capacity.

PoE capable IP cameras Depending on the planned size of your surveillance


system, purchase as many IP cameras as you need. Ensure that all of them support
power over Ethernet for power input using a Cat5E cable.

3.2. Installation

The installation of a PoE based surveillance system entails fewer wiring procedures,
compared to its analog counterpart. Follow the steps below for installing your system:

Select suitable locations to place your IP camera. Try to cover minimal ground as
obstacles, hallways, and walls tend to complicate the wiring process.

Select a location to place your NVR. Keep two factors in mind while choosing a
location for the NVR.

Towards the center of the system. Try to place the NVR as close to the center of your
various camera locations, ensuring that it remains almost equidistant from all the
cameras. However, if you have a bulk of cameras installed in a certain portion of your
home, placing the NVR near this area reduces cabling significantly.

Near a functioning power outlet. Since the NVR requires a steady power supply, make
sure that a fully functional power source is available near the location.
Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the NVR. Plug the Ethernet cable into the
back of the NVR using one of the Ethernet ports provided.

Now, if your NVR supports delivering power over Ethernet, skip this
step. Otherwise, plug in the PoE Injector, near the NVR. Now, connect the other end of
the Cat5E (Ethernet) cable attached to the NVR, to the injector. Plug the second
Ethernet wire to the output side of the injector, which carries the PoE signal to your
camera.

Connect the IP camera.Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable to your PoE supported
IP camera. Please note that if you are using the injector, detailed in step D, connect the
output Ethernet from the injector to the IP camera. On the other hand, if your NVR does
support PoE, then simply connect your camera using the other end of the cable attached
to the NVR.

Power on the NVR and your cameras (and injector, if your NVR does not support
PoE).A few blinking lights should indicate when the NVR turns on. Wait for a couple of
minutes, as the initial configuration may take a while.

Attach the NVR to a monitor.Connect your NVR to a monitor/TV using a traditional


VGA or HDMI cable. Now turn the monitor on as well.

Check video feed. If the installation is successful, all the cameras should be delivering
live video feed to your monitor.

If you cannot see a feed, revisit all the above steps to ensure that the connections and
devices are set up correctly.

Some might want to set up an IP camera surveillance system without using an NVR.
Although an NVR makes the system easier to use and control, you can use a PoE-
enabled network switch to connect all your cameras as well. Follow the steps below:

1. Connect all the cameras to the network switch of your choice (PoE enabled).
2. Attach this switch to a wired or wireless router.
3. Connect the output device (PC, laptop, etc.) to the same network as the switch
mentioned in step B.
4. Install the software provided with the cameras or directly access them by entering their
network address into a web browser on your computer (the user manual should specify
the ideal method).

4. Wireless Security Camera Systems


Although the only truly wireless part of the Wireless Security Camera systems is the
connection from the camera to the NVR, it does reduce cabling by a significant margin.
They are perfect for homes outfitted with several power outlets in various locations.

Hence, the installation procedure for this security system is straightforward and does
not require any extensive cabling effort.

4.1. Components Required

Before beginning the installation phase, please ensure that you have all the following
elements ready:

NVR The Network Video Recorder is a device that can process video feed over the
network. Wireless NVRs capable of receiving a wireless video feed are usually bundled
with a few cameras. These NVR should automatically detect those cameras after
powering on all devices.

Wireless Camera If you purchase a bundle, i.e. cameras and NVR, then the cameras
should work automatically. However, any additional cameras should come bundled with
a receiver unit. Please follow the instructions provided with those cameras.

Extension Cord (Only if power outlets are farther away than the camera cable can
cover) Purchase as many as required to connect all your wireless cameras to a power
outlet comfortably. A steady power supply is a pre-requisite for wireless camera
installation.

4.2. Installation

Now to install your wireless camera system successfully, follow the steps below:

1. Place the cameras in your chosen locations. Ensure the cameras are installed as
close to a power supply point as possible, without compromising their field of view and
degree of concealment.
2. Place the NVR at a strategic location. As the connectivity from your cameras is
wireless, the NVR should be within range of all your cameras. Although the signal range
of wireless cameras varies depending on their quality and specifications, walls and solid
obstructions significantly lower signal strength.
3. Plug the NVR into a power outlet. Connect your NVR to a power supply and turn it on.
A few blinking lights should indicate when it successfully starts up.
4. Connect your NVR to a monitor. Since most NVRs available in the market support
VGA and HDMI connectivity for video output, simply attach one end of the cable to the
back of the NVR and the other to your monitor or TV.
5. Switch on all the wireless cameras.Once you turn on all the cameras, you should see
your NVR automatically detecting them one by one. However, depending on the number
of cameras and their signal strengths, this process may take a while. Hence, give the
NVR some time to try and detect all your cameras.
6. Final step.Turn on the TV or monitor and attach a mouse to the NVR (if supported) or
simply control your video feed using the remote bundled with the device. You should see
a high-resolution video feed from all your cameras if the above setup process was
successful.
7. In case step F results in a few undetected cameras. Shift those cameras closer to the
NVR location, without losing constant surveillance over the area you wish to cover. If you
still do not see a feed, recheck the power supplies used by those cameras.

Note A few wireless capable NVRs are also capable of supporting mobile devices, i.e.
you can access your video feed on your Android/iOS device by using a mobile
application (usually mentioned in the user manual of your device).

5. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


I have a lone wireless IP camera. How do I set it up?

A: You should find receiver units in the wireless camera bundle you purchase.
Depending on the model of the camera, this receiver can plug into the NVR or directly
into the USB port of a computer. The video feed from the camera directly transmits to
the receiver unit and a CD bundled with the camera should provide all necessary
software and drivers to install and view the live footage.
Are there wireless cameras that do not require a wall outlet and instead are
battery powered?

A: Although battery powered wireless camera models are available in the market, we
recommend buying a camera which needs a steady power supply. Battery powered
models usually compromise on video quality and clarity, while delivering spotty or
unreliable surveillance over your premises. Add to this the problems faced when the
battery runs out, the upkeep of these cameras turns out to be more work than installing
a power supply in your camera location.

How far away can you place a wireless camera from its NVR?

A: The exact distance varies from model to model. However, a decent wireless camera
system should reliably connect to a receiver placed up to 150 feet away. Over large
open areas with no obstructions, this range can extend to even 300 feet.

Do you recommend getting a surveillance system installed professionally?

A: Depending on the size of your system, the complications in your premises, you
should assess whether a professional installation will save you valuable time. However,
in small to medium sized households, the installations tend to be relatively
straightforward, allowing even a single person to install the desired system successfully.

Do I need an internet connection to access my video feed?

A: No, you can view your feed on your local network, without connecting it to an active
internet connection. However, if you want to access your feed remotely (outside your
home network, over the web), a working internet connection is required.

Is surveillance-warning signage mandatory?

A: Maybe. This varies depending on your state and national laws that govern the use of
surveillance equipment in residential areas. Check with your local law enforcement to
get a clearer picture about the laws involved in setting up your system safely and
legally.

6. Summary
Even though a surveillance system install seems like a complicated task at first, taking a
step back, mapping and planning your system diligently saves you from wasting
significant time and effort. Moreover, tackling the imposing installation procedure one
step at a time, simplifies this process further.
Installing a video surveillance system discreetly and efficiently gives you a steady
stream of valuable information. After all, we just want to feel comforted and safe in our
homes.

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