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Why are Security Cameras Pixelated?

We’ve written recently about whether or how cameras can see license plates. While we’re on the subject, you may have wondered why so many security cameras are pixelated.

Security cameras are pixelated for a variety of reasons. The usual reasons being that they are designed for more low light or high contrast scenarios or people choose to go with a lower cost camera and recording device.

For example. If you’re like me, you may have seen footage on the news of someone breaking into a store or a car and their face looks like a nintendo game or the scrambled naughty channels from when I was in middle school. The answer is simple, yet complex.

Smart Phone Cameras Vs. Security Cameras

Smart phone cameras have gotten incredibly sharp and versatile of the last few years, with telephoto options, vivid colors and wide angle options. They incorporate multiple lenses now and are generally impressive for the small package they come in. The goals and build of security cameras however are surprisingly different. CCTV cameras aren’t trying to be small usually and they aim at something different. Versatility and low light conditions though IR technology. If someone walks up day or night, they are designed to get the best pic they can, no matter if there is a light shining into the censor or if someone is in all black. They are made to seek out detail even if the scene is high contrast or a subject is wearing all black at night, often using infrared technology.

There is often a wide angle shot to cover lots of area and then at a later date the file has to be zoomed in upon to find a face. This creates a digital zoom situation instead of an optical zoom. A smart phone can be pointed right at someone or something. Video security cameras often don’t have that luxury.

You Never Know You Need High Quality Until You Need It

In a lot of scenarios, it is more affordable to go with a lower quality camera as well, and people opt for the lower cost option. This can help deter criminals and hopefully not, but even identify if an employee or someone you know may be stealing from you. However, often times, when the footage is needed the owner is regretting the decision to cut costs on the camera quality.

Getting the Most Out of Your Cameras

The thing you can do to get the best quality is to have someone who knows what they are doing to help you establish a game plan. You may need a lower cost camera in a certain room or area and then a high quality camera in a different spot. You may have a camera that is used to deter crime just by it’s looks more than anything. Then another camera placed perfectly to get people’s faces as they come into your business. In some cases you can increase camera count to make up for the camera quality.

Possible Reasons Security Footage is Bad

The easiest thing to check is possibly the easiest answer. You may look to see if your lens is damaged or dirty. You can possibly get it repaired or replaced. Or if it is dirty, you can just clean it with a designated lens cleaner for glasses or a camera lens. The camera be over worked for the scene you have it in. The cable going to the camera may be too long. If you’re going wireless you may need to ensure you are not out of distance from the receiver or router. Last, you might check and see if your vari-focal lens is just out of focus. You can try zooming in or out or manually adjusting the focus yourself at the camera.

Security Camera Placement

A camera placed too far away is a common problem. Blind spots or cameras placed with intrusive objects in the way is common as well. Poor installation, execution or poor maintenance can also be deciding factors when it matters. If you have a lower quality camera and/or a bad lighting situation, and you want facial detail, you may want to get the camera closer to eye level. You may want to make sure it is in direct proximity to where someone would be standing or looking and make sure the camera is designed for all your lighting conditions.

For Best Camera Quality for the Best Price in Oklahoma, Contact Us. 405-605-0101

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How much Does a Commercial Alarm System Cost?

What’s the Difference

Business, commercial or enterprise level security system all vary greatly in cost, needs and factors

We will focus mostly on small or medium-sized business as that is what most people are looking for. If you have an enterprise level business your costs can be as high as $40,00 a year to maintain and can vary from state to state. If you would like to know more about enterprise level security in Oklahoma feel free to give us a call and we can come out for a quote.

Hardware for you Alarm System

$1,000 to $2,500 on average a simple plan

Installation and Setup Costs

$300 to $500 on average

Monthly Monitoring

$40 to $120 on average

For a standard system if you factor in $2,000 to get off the ground that’s a start. I would estimate and average of around $60 or so every month afterward, if you choose to have your business monitored by a professional security company. Now this of course depends on a few simple factors I will go over.

Custom Security is King

The goal of this article is to give you a ballpark figure and not an exact estimate because every system is different. We will however, do our best to give you a very general breakdown on where your costs come into play.

Knowing More Saves You Money

As with most things, knowing what you want and need can save you money. Some companies will churn and burn customers by giving out free or one size fits all packages. Knowing if you need glass break sensors, door and window contacts, fire protection and/or access control can always save you money. If you’re based in Oklahoma and you’d like to speak to one of Security Options experts that’s what we’re here for. Call 405.605.0101 to speak to one of our licensed security professionals during office hours.

PART ONE: Hardware and Parts for you Commercial Security System

The hardware portion of a security system can range between $1000 and $10,000. It can be more costly than a home security system. If you are a business with just a few up to 50 people you can expert around $3500. Again this is a rough estimate.

Base Components of a Commercial Security System

Alarm System Monitoring
Now we’re talking about professional grade talking touchscreen panels, fire detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, cctv, video surveillance cameras and various hardware components can range between $300 to $600 or more depending on the complexity of your situation.

Video Surveillance
Video surveillance systems have Digital Video recording devices or DVR’s sometimes NVR’s, networking gear and computer screens as well as other parts. Depending on if you’re looking for pan, tilt zoom cameras (PTZ) which are expensive, or basic indoor/outdoor cameras you can spend from $300 to over $1000. With recent advances license plate cameras have become more affordable to the average business. For better information we ask that you please call or come into our showroom in South Oklahoma City or call your local security company.

Access Control Costs
Your number of employees can play a huge role in access control cost. But, most importantly how many doors you need to control. So, to cut costs you may want to think about if there is a specific area you need control or multiple areas. With costs in keypads, access cards, door locks and labor you can pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 for every door you want us to give you controlled access to.

PART TWO: The Install, Activation and Setup Process.

To get your system wired and installed the labor can cost anywhere between $500 and $2,500. Your average cost for a 50 person or under business is $1,200 or so.

For the install process you want to factor in the size of your building or locations. This is the single biggest indicator for estimating the cost of your job. Obviously if you’re a local business looking for a couple of cameras your will pay less than a company with multiple departments handling high security, costly gear and products or precious data that needs to be protected from outsiders. It’s fairly often that a security company will waive some of the start up costs if you’re willing to sign a longer term monitoring contract. So, aiming to stay in business and preparing to succeed can help you in the long run.

PART THREE: Business Monitoring and Video Storage

It is normal to pay anywhere between $40 and $120 for every month of alarm and security monitoring on your small business.

Potential Upgrades

Carbon monoxide detectors and fire protection are a couple of ways you can upgrade. You may actually save money by having one company handle more of your elements. As you might expect, multiple parts can drive up costs. Having 16 cameras is a lot more expensive than having 4. Sensors are cheaper, but still add up in cost.

One factor not many people know is that if you have a landline you can often save money on your monthly cost. You may need to have a GSM or global system for mobile communications network installed if you don’t have a landline. One thing you may want to consider is that intruders can potentially shut off your alarm by cutting the landline to your alarm. Using your landline can save you $10 to $15 per month.

The Option of Cloud Video Storage

Because of availability and cost most business don’t use cloud storage right now because it is relatively new to the market. The expense of cloud storage for a business can be $15 to $35 per camera per month. You can get discounts if you’re looking for a year of footage and might pay more like $100 a year of storage. So for 16 cameras the cost multiplies. Price shopping different cloud storage companies can save you money.

Bandwidth issues and potential security hacks are common worries when it comes to getting cloud storage for your business. Also a more cost effective route is to do local storage with and just incorporate several back up options. Motion events or particular periods of time can be stored in the cloud which will make it a good choice in the future.

Always Beware of the Cost of Free

Most homes need a custom solution for adequate protection. So, the free package you see from ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint or Simplisafe. It may be a couple of door contacts and a motion detector. A common deal for home security companies is to offer a free or low cost package while leaving out the fact that your home or business will likely require a variety of security tools to ensure it works properly. Whether you are looking for remote locks, whether you have landline access stay on the look out for pitfalls and traps before you sign a longterm contract. Avoiding an extremely high monthly rate by paying a little up front can save you thousands of dollars over the years.

For Exceptional Business Security at Great Prices, Call Security Options

Hundreds of Oklahoma businesses trust us to protect their business in every way possible.

We’re here at 405.605.0101 if you need some sound advice on security and alarms in Oklahoma.

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The Future Of Video Doorbell Cameras

Video doorbell cameras happen to be one of the most sought after smart home devices anyone can make use of at the moment. These cameras are designed in such a way that they notify you when someone approaches your door. With sets of cameras, this video doorbell clearly sees anyone approaching your front door and informs you. Like most of the other smart home devices, the video doorbell camera gives you peace of mind even when you are away from your home for any reason.

They have been designed to be perfect replacements for you traditional dumb doorbell. Most of the time, these video doorbell cameras are either wired or have been made to come with batteries. Aside from that, they also come with additional features like; doorbell microphone, speakers, WiFi connection, and video camera.

One of the most unique features of the video doorbell is that it alerts you when someone hits the buzzer on your front door, it then streams the live video to you wherever you are (through your smartphone), and turns on the speaker affording you the opportunity to speak to and hear your visitor. This makes this smart device system one of the best out there. Irrespective of where you are, as long as you have an active WiFi connection, you can get live videos of your home each time the buzzer is pressed.

Aside from these features mentioned, most of these video doorbell cameras also come with motion detector as we as infrared night vision, which makes them perfect for keeping your home safe while you are away. Bear in mind that the price for each video doorbell camera varies depending on the brand and type in question. Additionally, the features vary as well as.

Best Video Doorbell Cameras Of 2019

The current market is growing, and more advanced and superior video doorbell cameras are being developed to offer superior security. Before we take a look at the future of this smart home device as well as the predictions of experts, we’ll take a look at some of the best ones in the market at the moment, the best approaches for how you should install it and the whether you want a wired or not wired.

1. Skybell WiFi Video Doorbell

The Skybell HD Video doorbell has been accused of having a couple of problems, but overall delivering on a more high end than the competition. The solid video feed won’t leave you wondering who just visited your house which has been an ongoing problem for some in the industry. It can however be a bit of a hassle to install, your fears can melt away if you are working with a company who handles this aspect for you.

The new technology intertwined with Alarm.com is the Skybell can send you footage 5 to 10 seconds prior to the clip you need. This makes sure you don’t miss an important moment. It is also great because you’re not worried about running 24/7 recording and running out of space like some other doorbells.

2. Nest Hello Video Doorbell Camera
One feature that has been touted to set this video doorbell camera apart from others is its HDR capability. The only problem is it has been reported as faulty from time to time with a backlit subject rendering them hard to see. This smart device from the Nest Company has a 4.9 tall aspect ratio, which means that you can possibly get a better and brighter view of who is on your door. Unlike some of the others that come with the 16.9 shallow view, this video doorbell camera gives you a clearer view of whoever is on your door.

In addition to its HDR capability, 4.9 tall aspect video angle, the Nest video doorbell camera has motion detection and facial detection sensor accompanied by a night vision. With the facial and motion detection feature, the Nest Hello video doorbell camera starts to recognize frequent visitors over time. However this may be another situation where the technology is behind the The interesting thing about this video doorbell camera is that you can assign a name to a visitor after it has been recognized by the system. With a name assigned, each time he/she visits, the name of the individual is mentioned.

This video doorbell camera comes with a WiFi connection like most of the other ones. It connects to your WiFi network, in the process, offering you the opportunity to answer and find out who is at the door via your smartphone. Being one of the most unique video doorbell cameras out there, the Nest Hello doorbell camera lets you record messages that can be read out to your visitors when the buzzer is pressed.

3. Ring Video Doorbell Camera 2
Referred to as the most popular video doorbell camera right now, this video doorbell from Ring (owned by Amazon) can be powered either by making use of a rechargeable battery or connected to an existing doorbell wiring. This also makes it one of two doorbell cameras that can connect using battery power.

This doorbell has been designed to work without a subscription. It alerts your smartphone once the buzzer is pressed and in a matter of seconds comes up with HD live footage of your front door. If you are planning on being away for a long time, you can have the video doorbell camera act as a security system by paying a subscription fee of about $3 or more. Once you subscribe for any of the additional plans, you can save footage of motion it sees around each day. While this device is a large one, most people may find it difficult and stressful having to recharge each week, wiring to an existing power source or doorbell could just be your best option.

4. August View Video Doorbell Camera
This has been described by most people as a close rival to the Ring Video Doorbell Camera 2 mentioned above. It is a highly stylistic good looking doorbell that may get left behind when it comes to functionality. It is powered by a battery at the same time being completely wireless. In resolution it is ahead of some of the other video doorbell cameras, the August View boasts of a 1440p video recording resolution. This means that it is about 33% better than those with the regular 1080p resolution. However possibly due to a smaller censor the exposure has been reported poor on saved videos.

With a battery capacity of 6,500 mAh, this video doorbell camera happens to have a larger and longer-lasting battery life when compared to the Ring Video Doorbell Camera 2. You can pair or connect this doorbell to your smart door lock system and control them all with one application. Like most of the other doorbell cameras, it is compatible with a number of systems.

One of the main features of this video doorbell camera is that it offers users a 24-hour free video period. What this means is that within the 24-hour period, users can access recorded videos if there’s a need to. In addition, you can download the entire 24-hour recording if you need evidence for a case in court. Aside from being a doorbell, the August View Video Doorbell Camera has been designed to offer you decent protection with just a battery and no connection, but the reports of 15-20 second connection times leave us with a bad taste in our mouths. You don’t want to miss who comes to your door entirely.

Future Of Video Doorbell Cameras

While we have mentioned four doorbell cameras that you can choose from, you will find it surprising to know that there are over a hundred of these doorbell cameras available in the market at the moment. The increase in the purchase of video doorbell cameras has been said to be the main reason for the $1 billion purchase of Ring by leading online marketplace, Amazon.

With this $1 billion purchase, most experts in the industry are of the opinion that the years to come will be better for these smart home devices. Some experts have predicted that before the end of the year 2020, there will be a seven-fold increase in the value of video doorbell cameras and smart doors. Some have revealed that this predicted growth will come at the expense of security cameras.

These video doorbell cameras have the potential to take over the security camera market. With more advanced and security-focused doorbells being designed and launched, it would definitely take over the market in the years to come.

These cameras are easy to set up, can be accessed from anywhere, have facial and motion detection features, and a couple of other features that will be added before the end of the year.

Wired Vs. Wireless Video Doorbells

This is a question that begs another question. First off, are you going to be the one doing the installation. If you are looking to install everything yourself and depend on no one else for your troubleshooting and service when something inevidably happens, I would say choose a wireless camera. If are very handy it may be more enticing to go with a company who does the installation for you. The best choice overall I believe is to go through a company who does the install and handles all of your problems for you. Video doorbells have notoriously troublesome customer service and the last thing you want is a product you won’t end up using because it never works. A lot of local companies have packages where these may tie into an alarm system or you can call and ask them questions instead of the the company who makes them.

The future is bright for these video doorbell cameras.

Featured Image by Nathan Copley from Pixabay