Guest Blog Contributed by Chamber Member
Chris Mason, President and CEO Integration Engineers, LLC
A decade ago, smartphones (by todays’ standards) didn’t exist. Thirty years earlier, the only computers that existed were large mainframe machines occupying entire buildings. Today we have as much computing power in the phone we carry in our pocket.
Computer chips have become increasingly powerful while costing less. That’s because over the last five decades the number of transistors—or the tiny electrical components that perform basic operations—on a single chip have been doubling regularly. The doubling of computer processing speed every 18 months, known as Moore’s Law, is just one manifestation of the greater trend that all technological change occurs at an exponential rate.
Today, taking advantage of technology to provide a watchful eye on your home has never been easier or cheaper. If you are considering investing in a closed-circuit camera surveillance system, or CCTV, whether “smart,” or not, there is a wide range of options available. Consumers can pick from do-it-yourself options purchased from Home Depot and Amazon to more inconspicuous, or design-forward, higher functioning options.
Several important things to consider when looking into a home surveillance system are the value of your time relative to the installation, necessary system upkeep, and programming requirements of your system. If you are like many, you want to protect your home and family, but you have little free time and place great value on the peace of mind knowing that what you have selected will just work and will not need constant attention. Let’s take a look at some of the options available today.
There are literally thousands of options for inexpensive security camera set-ups available at the click of a mouse. We will call this first group the do it yourself category. If price is your main objective you are probably planning on designing, installing, and maintain your own system. Starting at around $500, you will be able to find a system that records to DVR, with apps available in many cases to enable you to monitor your home from afar. The price of equipment is a draw for many households, but you are usually looking at a clunky design that is unlikely to blend into your home’s overall look, not to mention the many hours you will spend installing, programming, and maintaining your system.
The next category is what we will call the mid-price group. For a few hundred dollars, more than the do it yourself option, you can find a full selection of camera systems with higher functionality, better picture quality and system capabilities, and a greater emphasis on design and aesthetics.
A good example of this type of system is the Revo America system listed on Houzz for just over $1,000. This system features hemispheric lenses. It has a greater range of visibility, as well as a sleeker design, and 8 (4)-megapixel cameras. This system should be professionally installed and the customer should plan on spending about a $1500 on a standard instillation.
Lastly, we have Professional Grade systems. Here we have a clear favorite. Mobotix is a German company with a full range of German designed and manufactured camera systems. All Mobotix systems offer industry-leading quality regarding the video captured, even in the extremely low light. Mobotix units almost all come with two-way audio capabilities so that whether you have an expected or unexpected guest at a door or window, you can talk to them via your smartphone and let them know how to get in or that you will be alerting authorities accordingly.
We also greatly appreciate the level of service that comes with each Mobotix unit. Unlike many notable higher-end models, they do not charge licensing or software fees, transforming their product into a “future proof” investment. All units are fully weather-proofed, and have no restrictions in terms of number of users, or number of units on your system, so even if you have multiple homes and family members around the globe, you will all be able to access any of your properties’ cameras easily and securely without having to share limited log-in capabilities.
Mobotix units are each equipped with video analysis & event detection capabilities, as well as encrypted recording, so their operation necessitates much less energy, server space, or risk of a data breach vs the competition. The brand also has a wide range of units that feature extremely low-profile design, thus minimally impacting your home or office’s aesthetics with maximal functionality.
While an investment in a Mobotix system is more than the other examples we’ve given regarding the up-front cost of the product, and installation it will seamlessly operate in concert with other home automation systems you may have. Additionally, most of the maintenance on this system can be done remotely and at a fraction of the cost of other systems.
In summary, let me leave you with a dozen questions to consider if you are in the market for a home security/surveillance system. Are you looking for commercial grade or consumer grade cameras? What is the quality of the picture you want and what are the lighting conditions? Will the cameras be used at night? Do you want to integrate your cameras with other home automation systems? Do you want to store the camera video locally or remotely? What cameras offer the best security and are least likely to get hacked? How large is the field of view that each camera will cover? Do you want to be able to search the video? How many users will have access to your system? Do you plan on installing yourself or bringing in a professional installer? How good is your internet connection and bandwidth? What is your timeframe for doing the project? Technology is changing every day. And remember, a little piece of mind goes a long way.
For more info on this topic contact Chris Mason, President and CEO of Integration Engineers, LLC. Website www.ie-pdx.com | Phone 844- 367-7629 x700 | 25260 SW Parkway, Wilsonville, OR 97070