Smarten Up – video surveillance at home
Video-based security in the home is a topic that has grown rapidly in recent years. More and more people want to protect their homes with modern surveillance systems and thus protect themselves against burglaries and thefts. But what exactly is video-based security and how does it work? We have with René Lausenhammer (SmartHomes.at) an expert questioned.
What is video surveillance at home used for?
Especially for the purpose of security against burglary or vandalism. But often resonates with the theme of being able to look into other rooms or the garden and driveway at home. This also refers to access – more and more customers are turning to digital doorbell systems with built-in cameras. These can be used not only to see who rang the bell, but also for surveillance.
What can surveillance camera do everything?
Technically, almost anything is possible. The latest features are probably that objects can be detected and thus trigger an alarm. If a weapon or knife is to be searched for, this can be set and also detected quite reliably. The distinction between humans, animals, cars, bikes, etc. is already quite broad. Even quite inexpensive cameras can often display this reliably. Features like an intercom are completely useless and are a mere sales gimmick. Increasingly, cameras with text recognition are offered and are also no longer very expensive. They can be used to identify a license plate. If the stored number matches the license plate number of the vehicle sighted by the camera, an action is triggered – barriers open, lights on, alarm or just recording. Everything is possible. Standard features include night vision with internal IR LEDs, microphone, 2-4K resolution, high data rates/repeat rates without judder, W-LAN and PoE (Power over Ethernet).
Does indoor and outdoor monitoring at the house make sense?
In certain areas, the answer is “yes.” In this regard, there are the following considerations: Burglary, pets, elderly people with restrictions, babies, technical equipment – these can be monitored very well with it. Now, many may be thinking “No, I don’t want others, such as a spouse, to be able to monitor me all the time.” That’s why slightly better cameras can use smart home controls to pixelate or black out areas or the entire image when someone is present. So if someone is in the house, a camera can easily pixelate and mute. Thus, privacy is also protected from roommates. So there is no reason not to mount cameras in the home. The data, of course, remains in the house and is NEVER carried outside in good systems.
A great novelty is the video house drone. A small autonomous drone with video surveillance and IDLA (known from IPhone 12 upwards) that scans all rooms with lasers. The drone patrols the entire house and becomes active at defined intervals, by alarm or noise. This is likely to be used in many high-end homes very quickly, with market research predicting huge potential. The price is said to be under 1,000€.
What are currently the most suitable monitoring systems?
Hybrid systems are ideal. Such systems can handle everything from entry to video surveillance, they are all compatible with each other and can be connected to third-party systems. Remote maintenance and much more is mandatory.
Disadvantages of video surveillance?
Basically, there are only advantages. The fear of total surveillance is unfounded. If a good system is installed, all cameras can be turned off when someone is home. The data remains in-house. However, it should be noted that the purchase, of course, costs money, but the cost can be greatly reduced in combination with network technology. And a video system does not require imperceptible power and thus electricity costs. You should think very carefully about where a camera is really necessary. Thus, you can save a lot of work, trouble and also money.
Are there any restrictions to allowing a video surveillance installation of one’s own property?
Data protection or privacy is a very hot topic and this question is not easy to answer, as there is a lot of change going on here right now. Which is basically allowed: as long as I’m just monitoring my property, I can do whatever I want. However, if the sidewalk or the neighboring house in the background is also in the picture, it becomes difficult – even WITHOUT recording. What is recommended is not to use moving PTZ cameras. The exception, according to a German court ruling, is for digital door peepholes or doorbells that look into the stairwell or entrance. Here, no conventional monitoring is assumed – i.e. a movement does not trigger a recording. In most cases, there is no recording at all, only the live image is transmitted after a ring. Thus, permanent monitoring is to be prevented.
Can you install monitoring equipment yourself?
If you dare to do this project, you should know something about camera angles, i.e. lens calculation. Network technology should not be a foreign concept and W-LAN should be avoided wherever possible. When recording, a hardware recorder or a PC can be used. There are many systems on the market that are already good and cheap. But unfortunately also many that then massively overload the network – you should not forget that if you still want to have a fast network.
The price of a video surveillance system?
Since you can get started with just one camera, it’s very affordable – depending on your needs and existing infrastructure, of course. Basically, with about 50€ you can start an IP camera with good image and WITHOUT cloud system. As a general rule, it is recommended not to buy cameras for less than €50, but rather in the direction of €70 and up. From experience, however, a system without installation for an apartment can already cost up to 1,500€.
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