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To Wireless Or Not To Wireless, That Is The Question
I hear talk about the disadvantages of wireless cameras and their use in the home. The disadvantages of wireless cameras can be easily overcome with some very simple steps. The first thing I keep hearing about is the interference with other wireless devices. If you have cordless phones or wireless routers in your home or office they will interfere with transmitters that are on the same frequency so when choosing a wireless cameras system simply avoid buying cameras that are on the same frequency as those devices. For example if you have a 900 MHz cordless phone, go with a 2.4 GHz wireless camera. If you have a 2.4 GHz device at your home go with a 900 MHz transmitter. If you happen to have a 900 MHz cordless phone and a 2.4 GHz router then try the 5.4 or 5.8 GHz transmitter as you're not likely to find 5.4 or 5.8 GHz devices in your home or office, and there are still other frequencies you can use if all else fails. So as long as you are willing to do a little research in your home or office, before you buy, you should be ok.
I hear about weather being a factor, well you probably don't have too much rough weather in your office or home, and if the camera is outside and you have a good system with enough range (which equates to power) you should be alright. Really horrendous weather that may affect your cameras would probably limit the activity of things to film anyway.
There is a lot of talk about line of sight and terrain being a factor, and it is, but again there is not going to be a lot of terrain in your home, if you lucky, or unless you happen to live in a cave. I have a friend who…, well that's a story for another time. When dealing with line of sight, things like walls and floors will affect the transmission range of a wireless system, but if you take into account where the cameras is going to be, or might end up to be, and where the receiver will be, you can purchase a system with enough 'line of sight' to compensate. For example if your camera and recorder are going to be 100 foot apart but there are two walls in between, then you want to add about 200 to 300 feet to the range (300 to 400 feet for an exterior wall). So if the camera and recorder are 100 feet apart with two walls then get a system with 700 feet line of sight range. If you are going building to building and you are 500 feet apart with two exterior walls to deal with, then go with a system with 1000 foot range, and so on, and you should be ok. There are readily assessable transmitters with 100 feet to 30 miles 'line of sight' range.
So now we come to the lens. I hear people say that wireless cameras usually come with a wide angle lens which makes everything in the picture smaller and harder to make out faces and such. While that is true, it is very easy to get the camera you want, with the lens you want and pair it up with a transmitter/receiver with the right range (power) for your situation. The two plug together with a simple snap. There is no rule that says you have to buy the two already put together and it is just as easy to but the two items separate as it is to buy them assembled.
The biggest problem I hear about is people 'stealing the signal'. While that is a valid concern, it can be dealt with without too much effort. You can encrypt the signal, which involves more equipment or you could take steps such as putting 'blinders' on the transmitter. You have seen blinders on a horse, so the horses eyes won't wander while pulling a plow or wagon, well you can do the same thing with a transmitter. Most people trying to steal a video signal will be outside in a car driving through the neighborhood with a wireless scanner. So set your 'blinders' up so the transmitter is aiming at the receiver and the blinders, which must be made of metal, are blocking the signal from the street or other areas of that may be a potential risk. You can also take into account the range, and set up a system that will not reach the street. Set the wireless camera, if possible in an area where it has to go through more walls to reach the street than it does to reach the receiver, keeping in mind that the transmitter does not have to be right next to the camera but can be anywhere within say 50 feet and connected by an extended RCA cable. So there are ways around possible signal theft.
Those 5 topics listed about are the most talked about concerns with a wireless system. I am not trying to downplay the advantages of a hardwired system but sometimes stringing a cable from the camera in the nursery upstairs to the recorder in the office downstairs is just not feasible. So wireless or hardwire you're in good shape, as long as you access the situation before you purchase. Most dealers will be willing to go over your individual needs before you make your purchase. Talk to a professional and then decide for yourself, whether you want wireless or hardwire, and then go catch the bad guys.
For more information on the author, William Buckley.
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