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HD Resolution Doesn't Matter, Unless...

9 reasons you need more than high definition
for effective video surveillance

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Extreme top-down angle

Problem: You wanted to monitor customers in your store, but this camera is mounted so high that all you can see are the tops of their head and won't help identify suspects.

Solution: Mount the camera lower on the wall or doorway. Recommended camera height for facial recognition is 7-8 feet.

Backlighting/shadows

Problem: Large windows are great for allowing natural light into your building, but they can cause objects to be so strongly backlit that all you can see is the outline.

Solution: Wide dynamic range, or WDR, technology works to balance the light in the brightest and darkest parts of your images to create a balanced light level throughout.

Environmental lighting

Problem: Headlights from cars driving on the road can cause false motion alerts, and light can reflect off fast-moving rain or snow in a storm. Even lightning can cause false motion alerts!

Solution: After installing your camera, spend several nights reviewing the video to identify environmental lighting issues. Can you point the camera in a slightly different direction? Can you adjust the motion settings for sensitivity? Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about rain, snow, wind, and lightning.

Camera out of focus

Problem: Your camera wasn't focused properly, so now your video is blurry. This makes it hard to identify people or objects in the video, or capture license plates.

Solution: If your camera must be manually focused during the installation process, spend extra time on this step to ensure the video is as clear and focused as possible. If your camera has a remote focus lens, regularly log into your system to check that your camera is focused.

Field of view too wide

Problem: The wide angle shot of this looks great in HD, but it isn't focused on any one thing well enough to see it in detail.

Solution: Can upgrade to a higher resolution camera that will capture more details? Tighten your field of view? Can add a second camera that focuses on one specific area to compliment the complete view you get with a wide field of view.

Camera tampered with

Problem: If vandals, thieves, and other criminals don't want to be caught on video, they may tamper with your camera by hitting it or blocking the view.

Solution: If your camera has tamper alerts, set them up to notify you by email or text when the camera is hit or moved, or when the view is blocked. Regularly logging into your system will also help you notice if the camera has been tampered with even if an alarm wasn't set.

Obstacles blocking camera

Problem: If you installed your surveillance cameras in the winter, have you checked that a blossoming tree does not block your view in the spring? Does a newly constructed building now obstruct what was once a clear view of your parking lot?

Solution: Think about the future when you install your surveillance system, and what may become a problem. You should also be checking your system regularly, and make any necessary updates in camera placement or field of view.

Insects & dirt on the camera

Problem: For cameras installed outside, dirt and bugs can pose serious problems. Spider webs will reflect the IR light like they have in this video, making it difficult to see anything else in the shot.

Solution: Start by cleaning your cameras of dust and debris on a regular basis. For spiders and other bugs, you can spray an insecticide on waterproof cameras and the area around the camera to deter bugs from building webs and nests on/around the camera.

System not recording

Problem: Of course none of these other problems matter if your system isn't recording any video at all. If a crime or suspicious activity happened, you won't have surveillance video.

Solution: Regularly log into your system to check that it is still working properly, ideally at least once per month if not more. If there is a problem, you will hopefully discover it before a crime happens and you need the surveillance video.

What Next?

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Want to learn more? Download our Insider's Guide for a look at the benefits of IP video, tips for designing a system, and more.