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Camera Tips

Since I'm updating my website for 2023, at this time we all know about the supply problems and the cost of everything going up by the week. We try to keep plenty of equipment on the shelf, so when you need it, we have it. But there are times when it takes a while to get something in, since most EVERYTHING in the security industry is made in China. Just letting you know we do our very best to stay stocked up.

Let's start off with some Camera Tips: Let's get right to the point! If you are here to get a "FREE" system, like you hear advertised all the time from other companies, then you came to the wrong place. Remember these three thing:

There's no free lunch
You don't get something for nothing
If it's too good to be true, it probably is


"Don't buy the cheapest you can find, get the best you can afford"


Lets talk about Cameras: Over the years cameras have gotten very cheap, very reliable, and the quality of video is awesome! From the old 240 X 360, then 720 HD, to 1080P HD, and now 5 MP and going upward!! But remember, that great video comes with a price too. If you are recording your video, those great video files are HUGE! NVR's & DVR's are usually set to record only when something moves, so you don't have to record all the time like the old VCR tapes did.

For example, on a home with a 4 camera system, and using 1080P cameras, having a 1 TB Hard Drive, record times have been as long as 2 months or more. Trees move, bugs and birds flying, shadows of clouds moving, plus the day to day recording of the people going to their cars and walking around their home, and also pets. Now when you have those nice 5 MP cameras, with a 1 TB Hard Drive, that cuts your record time down to about 2 weeks, at best. Sometime even less. So in order to have your system worth using, a 6 or 8 TB Hard Drive should be installed in your system. And if the system is installed in a store or other commerical place of business, an even bigger drive is necessary. And a bigger Hard Drive also means more money.

These systems are very reliable, and last for years. I have some systems in that have been running for over 10 years with no problems at all. If the hard drive dies, just pop in a new one and keep on going. Now the systems we put in, they are NOT top of the line government quality systems, NOT the bottom of the barrell, but in the middle afforable, even though the video is incredible. Now the systems that you buy at Costco, Sam's Club or Best Buy, well, you really need to read the box and do your research on them before you buy.

They have good quality systems, somewhat. I use to put them in for customers who would buy them and needed them installed. I did about a dozen of them, out of those, less than half worked with no problems. The other half either had a bad power supply out of the box, a dead camera, squashed connectors, and none of them had enough wire to do the whole job. They would only give you 60' of wire per camera, when you need at least 100' for some of them. Their video was good quality, but most of these systems didn't last as many years as you would think they would. But again, everyone has a different price range they can afford, and these systems have their place in the market as well, just remember the price on those systems doesn't include installation, you have to do that yourself, or pay someone to do it.

I can't tell you how many times I gave a quote on a camera system, only to have the person tell me "wow, but I can get an 8 camera system at Costco for only $400, why are you so much." I would ask them if that price included having it installed, or having someone come out and replace a camera if one died 6 months from now, at no charge like my system would come with. You get what you pay for.


To Sum It All Up

Over the last few years, a lot of companies as well as manufacturers of alarm and camera equipment, have merged or completely gone out of business. To be honest, a lot of equipment being manufactured today is all made in China, and so many products have been "sub par" at best. Everybody wants "this new wireless gadget" right now, then in a few months all the bugs are discovered and nothing works right, and now everyone is screaming for service or a replacement. Only to find out it's been discontinued because it was rushed to be put on the market, so that someone can make a load of money and everyone else pays for it. Getting the latest and greatest is not always the best way to go. We only install time tested equipment that we have in our own homes so we know it works.

Bigger companies usually just tell you they are sorry about that, because they have the deep pockets to lose a few customers over their bad experience. Little guys like us, usually bite the bullet, and do what it takes to make the customer happy. But you can only do that so many times before it takes it's toll. If we install what works the first time, you won't have a bad experience, and that's good for everyone!