Frequently Asked Questions About Security Cameras

Author: Pro Video Security | | Categories: CCTV , DVR , FAQ , HD Cameras , home security , Maintenance , Motion Sensors , Remote access , Remote View Cameras , Security Cameras , Surveillance Cameras , Video Surveillance Systems , view cameras on phone


If you are planning on investing in a security camera, ideally, you want one that possesses advanced functions, is easy to operate and will serve you well for years to come. However, while trying to pick a surveillance camera that fits your needs, you may have a ton of questions about the types of cameras available, their features, its lifespan, etc., but finding answers to these questions are difficult to come by. To ensure you have all your doubts cleared and are armed with the most accurate information available, Pro Video Security has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about security cameras. 

1. Can I view my cameras remotely?
Yes, but you need internet at the location of the cameras and the viewing location. You also need to configure the router’s firewall and the DVR or NVR to make sure the settings work. Usually, this remote access setup service is done by our technicians as it gets a little tricky setting it up initially.

2. Can I view a license plate from my security cameras?
In order to view license plates, there are several things to consider. You need a special license plate camera for this to work consistently. There are no guarantees for a license plate to get captured, but you can get a camera that was engineered specifically for this. Frame rate, anti-glare compensation for the head and rear lights, as well as the installation angle and height, are all factors that play into this. Depending on where the camera will be mounted and where the cars will pass will determine the likelihood of having the best success.

3. Are your cameras wireless?
Usually no, but they can be. Wireless cameras should be used when you cannot wire them. Wireless cameras need power so by the time you get a power source wired, it makes more sense to run that power wire a little further and opt for a wired camera.

You can also use a wired camera with an access point to extend the camera for a long distance. We currently have customers with a wireless camera of over one mile using access point extenders.

4. Can I have one camera cover 180 or 360 degrees?
Usually yes but it requires a special camera. Sometimes, the cost of three cameras will be less expensive than one of the 180 or 360-degree cameras. Also, these wider angle or fisheye cameras use several cameras in one body or may use fisheye technology to capture the wide-angle. However, this technology has repercussions, including warping of the camera signal or the image looking very small compared to normal cameras.

5. Can I buy cameras from a big box store and then hire professionals to install them?
Yes, people try to save a few dollars by doing this but end up spending more in the long run. Our cameras are warranted three to five years, depending on the manufacturer. Many times, there are lower warranties, lower quality components, lack of support, lower quality wires that cannot be used outside as well as many other functionality issues.

6. Is the camera motion activated?
The DVR or NVR is the device that detects motion and records whenever it is sensed. The camera sends a signal to the recorder for it to save. If there is no pixel movement in the camera signal, the recorder allows that information to flow through it and not be saved. Once any pixel movement is detected, the recorder can then grab time before the motion, and the recording will be continued after the motion is stopped, after a designated number of seconds.

7. Why is my five-year-old DVR no longer recording?
Security Grade Hard Drives are strongly recommended for DVRs and NVRs. These hard drives are engineered to last for a long time under the constant use by these recorders. Remember that even though the recorder may not be recording, the hard drive is moving. In fact, the security recorder hard drive never stops moving. These security grade hard drive are warranted for three years, although they will likely last longer. Any hard drive that is older than four years, we recommend you to replace them. Remember, how valuable will a security camera recorder be without a functioning hard drive?

8. Can I watch my cameras from a smartphone?
Most recorders today have excellent viewing and playback capabilities from a smartphone. Android, iPhone, and even Blackberry phones can use applications that are free on the internet. We love the Hikvision and Dahua brands as they are very reliable and easy to use. These brands also have the longest warranty in the business.

If you have any more questions about security cameras or need information about the types of cameras we offer, get in touch with the experts at Pro Video Security. With over twenty years of experience, we specialize in providing security system installation and maintenance in Chicago, Morton Grove, IL. We offer HD video security cameras that allow you to view your property from any location and at any time with the highest clarity and definition. All our cameras also come with a three to five-year warranty!

To learn more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us by clicking here.