A consumer's guide to the many types of home surveillance systems
With the “Internet of Things” the choices in home surveillance have really exploded. MultiMedia Interiors has put together a brief summary of the choices we recommend and sell. All of these systems are going to require a strong internet connection with download/upload speeds of at least 100mbps/10mbps where the cameras are installed. It will also require a strong internet connection where you are trying to view the video. A camera is basically transmitting HD video and the infrastruce matters. All of our systems will include network upgrades to ensure the pipeline out is of the highest quality.
The entry level system MultiMedia Interiors likes is by Ring. Ring has doorbell cameras, plug in cameras and flood light motion cameras that all have the same basic features. This includes motion detection, lights, clip recording and two way audio available through the app. Ring uses basic motion detection logic to start a video recording or trigger a light to come on. The average video clip is about one minute and the recording starts at the time the motion detector is activated. Alerts of this motion are sent to your smart device or computer in a matter of seconds. Video quality is good but as the conditions deteriorate, the video quality rapidly declines. This system also has two way audio so you can hear what is happening and interact with someone in the area of the camera. The App is easy to use and the live view and video clips are quick to come up and play. There is a monthly charge to use the Ring cloud service that is $3/mo for one camera and $10/mo for unlimited cameras.
The next level up is an IP based surveillance system by Luma. These cameras are continuously recording to an NVR with at least 1TB of storage. We recommend at least 30 days of storage as events are not always immediately recognized. When the storage is full, the new recordings will automatically write over the oldest recording to make room for the new video. Luma has access to basic motion detection as well as smart motion detection to determine line crossing or intrusion. The system will send out an email to alert of an event. This is designed to help you find events, not have real time access to the event. The App is easy to use and the live view is quick to come up where you can easily view one, four, eight or sixteen cameras on one screen. Accessing recordings is quick and again multiple cameras can be viewed at one time. There is no monthly charge. Two way audio can be added but is not included in the cameras.
Moving up another level we get into the Visualint system. Visualint has a few big advantages over Luma. Visualint has night time color video cameras that operation down to 0.02 Lux. Color provides higher detail and even depth perspective at night. These cameras auto focus so the picture is always crystal clear. This system can be monitored by a live person on a camera by camera basis. This service is not cheap but provides a significantly higher level of security. Visualint offers super cool, high end self tracking cameras that can ID, zoom in on and follow an event automatically. Other cameras in the system can even talk to this self tracker and tell it where to focus. There is no monthly charge. Two way audio can be added but is not included in the cameras.
The top level cameras are made by Mobotix with cameras capable of recording at 6MP. This is the system when super high level of details are needed. Need to capture a license plate of a car traveling at 60 mph at 70 feet, Mobotix can do it. Mobotix makes super discreet cameras barely noticable inside and out with amazing abilities. Specific lenses for both night and day time viewing provide a clarity not seen in other systems, even in rain and snow. Beyond all of this, Mobotix has entry systems, thermal cameras, object or person statistics, access control cards and more. Mobotix provides the highest level of surveillance and access control available. There is no monthly charge. Two way audio can be added but is not included in the cameras.
Summing up the systems.
-- Ring offers the most features but falls short on video quality and providing a full picture of an event. Monthly fee.
-- Luma is great to capture the full picture of an event but falls short on night time video
-- Visualint offers great quality video day and night. Offers best video analytics that can be monitored by a live person.
-- Mobotix is the way to go when the highest level of detail is needed. Discreet cameras and access control systems are easy add ons.
Instant alerts are great for someone or something happening at your front door. Guests showing up, packages being delivered or sales people you don’t want to know you aren't home are great reasons for instant alerts. Too many instant alerts are like someone Crying Wolf. 99.999% of alerts are going to be non-events that do not require your attention and we are all distracted enough by our technology. What is important is that when something at our front door happens, we are alerted and if there is an unhappy event the whole picture is documented with high quality video.
With MultiMedia Interiors you can rely on a high level of service for all systems both in terms of operational support and video documentation in the case of an event. Our systems have documented several crimes with our video systems with that video helping to incarcerate at least 3 suspects. In these three cases, two systems were by Luma and one was Mobotix. The Mobotix camera got a license plate and a tattoo the lead police directly to the suspect. Details matter.