With the advent of digital video surveillance cameras, home and business owners can do much more with their systems.

The top-of-the-line system is the internet protocol- (IP) based system. These systems use a digital video surveillance camera and can broadcast images live over a local area network (LAN). Because the camera records the images digitally, these systems provide a clearer picture and advanced functionality, such as data encryption, the ability to enhance and zoom in on specific images, and the ability to save images to a computer or server. At this price point, some manufacturers also offer built-in web servers in their digital video surveillance systems, thereby eliminating the need for an external computer to operate the camera.

An effective but less-costly option is a hybrid system combining closed-circuit television (CCTV) technology using an analog camera with a digital video recorder (DVR) for storing images. It is important to note that these systems use analog—not digital—cameras, therefore the quality of the image is not as crisp as with an IP-based system. These systems do, however, offer the ability to convert the analog images to digital format and store them to the DVR. Shopping for these systems can be a bit confusing to consumers, because some manufacturers call their systems “digital” simply because they store images to a DVR—not because the systems include a camera that captures images in digital format. These hybrid systems prolong the life of the soon-to-be outmoded CCTV technology, but they offer none of the advanced features and flexibility of a true digital system.

Beyond-the-Studs will work with you to tailor a video surveillance system that meets your individual needs and budget.