With an overwhelming number of choices regarding what camera system to pick for your surveillance needs, the task of choosing a system thatís right for you can seem like an impossible one. With a little knowledge, however, that task becomes bearable. A basic decision that needs to be made by anyone interested in purchasing a surveillance system is whether or not to invest in a wireless system. Unlike their hardwired counterparts, wireless systems use a transmitter and receiver to send data from the camera to a monitor or DVR. The distance between the transmitter and receiver keeps growing with newer models and now a distance of a thousand feet is not farfetched. Wireless cameras come in a variety of options, such as monochrome or color and battery powered or makes use of a plug in adapter. They can even be housed covertly in such items as a teddy bear or a functional clock radio.
One advantage of a wireless camera is flexible placement. A wireless camera can be moved to different locations so long as a line of sight relationship remains between the transmitter and the receiver. In other words, the transmitter and receiver must be able to see each other. This is the only stipulation besides the actual range of the equipment. In order to move a hardwired camera, power and video cables must be run to the new location. A second advantage related to the first is that wireless cameras are perfect for seasonal or temporary applications. Once the application or season has ended, the camera can be removed from the location. A third advantage is the appearance of the system. With no messy cabling to install, a wireless system is more aesthetic than a hardwired system. Relative to this is the fact that there are no wires that can be tampered with or cut in a wireless system. When purchasing a wireless system, pay attention to extra features, as they are advantageous. One such feature is the ability of the camera to send an email to the operator if activity is detected.
The main drawback to wireless systems has already been mentioned. It is that the transmitter must maintain a line of sight relationship with the receiver. No walls or trees, for example, can be between the two components. Another disadvantage is that it is possible in rare instances for a Digital Video Recorder to pick up the signals from a wireless camera, thereby compromising the security of the transmission. Another device that could pick up signals is a third party wireless receiver. A fix for this problem is to use an encrypted transmitter and receiver, though these cost much more. Also, if the frequency of the transmission is known, it can be blocked by a tech-savvy individual. Some wireless cameras allow for a change in frequency by the user in order to prevent transmission blocking. Furthermore, wireless cameras require a great deal of power to transmit signals so if batteries are used, it is important that their charge is monitored. External factors, such as a new source of interference (like an antenna), can develop at any time and cause your transmission to fail. Last but definitely not least is the cost of a wireless system. At two to three times more expensive than a hardwired system, potential buyers of a wireless system should factor in all these disadvantages.
So what should a potential buyer do when faced with the decision of choosing a hardwired or wireless system? We at surveillance video recommend hardwired systems to our customers. With an extremely lower chance of interference and a lower cost, it simply makes sense unless a customer absolutely needs their application to be wireless.