Q&A: Understanding the Basics of Home Surveillance

Camera Types, Data Processing, Service Plans & More

Home surveillance systems have come a long way. From clunky equipment with low-resolution imaging to sleek, smart cameras that offer 4K resolution and much more, now is the best time to look for the perfect home surveillance system for your property in Ogden or the larger Utah area.

Even so, knowing what products and services to look for when upgrading your home surveillance capabilities can be daunting.

To help make the process easier, we’ve answered some of your common questions covering types of home surveillance cameras, differences in video data processing, and subscription services. Just read our answers below to get started.

SEE ALSO: Q&A: Getting Started with Home Automation

What Type of Surveillance Camera is Best?

Although it may be tempting to choose a camera type that looks most appealing to you, the camera type you choose should be based on your needs and the environment of your property. Below, we’ll discuss a few popular surveillance cameras and their characteristics:

Dome: Named after its circular shape, the dome camera encases its lens in a protective dome, making it a perfect vandal-resistant option. Typically installed under ceilings or eaves, this circular-shape camera allows for a view range of 70 to 100 degrees with a night vision of about 100 feet. Dome cameras are great for indoor or outdoor installations.

PTZ: Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras are great for covering large areas as they have an endless view range of 360 degrees, a 90-degree tilt, and a night vision of about 200 feet. Their zooming capability also enables them to see small details, such as license plate numbers, from far away. PTZ cameras are perfect for outdoor installations.

Bullet: Also known as the shoebox camera, the bullet camera is one of the most common types of surveillance cameras, known for its deterring look. The bullet camera, typically used for outdoors, is installed on the wall and has a camera view range of 70 to 100 degrees as well as a night vision of about 100 feet.

Although these are general characteristics to know when choosing a camera type, keep in mind that the specs of each camera also depend on the type of lens used, its resolution capability, its presence of sensor chips, LEDs, and more.

DVR and NVR: What’s the Difference?

DVR and NVR surveillance cameras perform the same function at their core, which is recording and storing video. The difference lies in how each type processes that data. Below, we’ll define each type and discuss their differences.

DVR: Digital Video Recorders, which work with analog cameras, process uncompressed video with coaxial cables and compress the video to digital signal with embedded hardware.

NVR: Network Video Recorders, which work with IP cameras, record video directly from the network using ethernet or Wi-Fi and need no video processing hardware.

Because they are paired with IP cameras, NVRs offer much higher resolution capability, from 2MP to 4K, which is out of the question for DVRs. Wi-Fi NVR surveillance systems are also much easier to set up as they require no complicated wiring. What’s more, NVR cameras are flexible in placement since they only need network access and are not limited to coaxial cables.

Should I Go with a Subscription Service?

Most store-bought home surveillance cameras offer a monthly fee to store recorded footage on the cloud. This can prove to be costly. Our team at AVWORX works with Luma and Lilin security camera systems that locally store recorded footage at no additional cost. We can work with you to not only design a customized surveillance camera system for your property but also expertly install those cameras and ensure every component of your system is properly installed and easy for you to use.


Have more questions about home surveillance cameras, or ready to start your home surveillance project for your property in the Ogden, Utah area? Our team at AVWORX can help.

Just contact us here or send us a live chat below to start talking with our team of professional home surveillance installers today.