Unbeatable prices | unparalleled value | Since 1984


What to Look for in a Video Surveillance System

3 Essential Features You Want for Better Home Protection

Are all video surveillance systems alike? On the surface, they might share many of the same features. But there are significant differences that you should know about. Considering that many DIY surveillance cameras are available, you might be tempted to purchase one of these relatively low-cost solutions. 

But professionally configured and installed surveillance systems have some significant advantages. Keep reading so you can make an informed decision for your Saratoga, NY, home. 


Networked, Always-On Cameras

Many DIY camera solutions are battery-powered. While that may be convenient for installation, batteries need to be changed periodically. Also, battery-powered cameras are poor choices for cameras that record continuous footage as the batteries will deplete quickly. In outdoor locations, cameras may be mounted in high spots, which makes it difficult to change batteries. In contrast, professional surveillance solutions use IP-connected cameras that can operate with a single network cable that provides power and connectivity. These cameras have continuous power and a robust wired data connection for a more secure and reliable system. 

Local Recording 

Recording and storage are critical parts of a surveillance system. You want ample space to record footage and view an incident when a camera detects activity. DIY systems typically rely on cloud-based recording, which may have several disadvantages. 

First, recording beyond several seconds or minutes might incur monthly subscription fees. Second, you might not be entirely sure of how your recorded footage is being used in the cloud. Third, cloud recording may be slower than local, and the system might miss key activity as it uploads video to the cloud. Professional systems use network video recorders (NVR) that can hold terabytes of video footage for continuous monitoring. Local recording stays private on your premises, but internet connectivity allows you to be notified of activity and review footage remotely. 

Smart Home Integration

Another piece you want to have in a surveillance system is integration with other smart home functions. For example, if your cameras detect activity in your backyard, they can turn on your spotlights and all your landscape lighting to immediately illuminate the area. Similarly, you can use geo-location or occupancy sensors to detect when you are home and manage lighting, motorized shades, your security alarm, smart door locks, and turning your surveillance system on and off as appropriate. Integration with the rest of your smart home gives you an integrated, holistic approach to keeping your home safer. 

Want to learn more about smart, integrated video surveillance systems for your Saratoga home? Let the experts at Hippo’s show you all the possibilities. We can design and install the right solution that fits your needs and lifestyle. Visit us, call us, or complete our online form to learn more!