7 Great Christmas Ideas for 2017 (continued)
#1: Surveillance System
We live in a world that is increasingly captured on video. At the bank, at the store, driving past traffic lights, even some Churches are streaming their services live on the web. In a world that is keeping track of everything going on around it, why would you NOT want to know what (or more importantly who) is going on around your house? While security is one of the most important reasons to record the events going on around your house, there are a plethora of others. Homeowner’s insurance claims for instance require a lot less paperwork when your have evidence of how that tree fell on your roof. Maybe you’d like to know if your school age kids are coming home from School on time, or just making sure they get there before you get home from work! Then again, maybe you’d like to archive your dog running from window to window in anticipation when you roll into the driveway, or see if that kid that picked your daughter up for prom bothered to open the car door for her.
Whatever reason does it for your, recent market evolutions have made this previously “unique” home technology much more common. When evaluating the options on the market, there is a dizzying array op competitors to consider. Fortunately for you, AV Enthusiast has already done the research, and settled on two phenomenal technology providers in this area that can meet all your needs.
IC Realtime may have gotten a bit too “clever” with their name (try explaining how that is spelled on a radio commercial!), but their implementation is also quite clever. We will focus on their IP Systems, as they have the best application for this subject. The components of such an IP system include a server of some sort, some IP cameras, and a network video recorder.
While the video server options are numerous, including many pay-per-month service options, IC Realtime offers an exceptionally well designed dedicated video management system appliance. Their standalone (no monthly payments) is a hardware server located in the home, or anywhere with an internet connection if you prefer to separate the recorder from the location being recorded. It is called the ICM-7100SE. While the appliance title may not exactly be the easy-to-brand name you might expect from a company called IC Realtime, it is nevertheless very effective for this application. The server contains a terabyte HDD hard drive and runs on a dedicated embedded linux server with a 4 core 64 bit CPU. It sports 4x gigabit ethernet connections and can handle up to 256 cameras running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
A great server is a good start, but you still have to collect the video you want to store, and in this area IC Realtime truly excels. They have a complete line of IP cameras which can be placed to cover every area you would like to record. If you have a large area to cover, you might think you will need a lot of cameras, and you are most likely right. However, to minimize this issue, IC Realtime has developed IP cameras with very wide ranges of view. How wide a rage? How about 360 degrees? Not good enough? How about 360 degrees x 360 degrees? That’s right, IC Realtime boasts an integrated camera emplacement called the Beam720-24-W-1K which can capture the entire 360 degree environment, at EVERY angle. Using 2 panoramic cameras to stitch together a single spherical view with no blind spots. The use of one of these cameras can do the job of 3 or 4 cameras relatively easily, cutting down on your total costs.
As for the network video recorder, they offer a more-than-full line of such devices that can be matched to your system based on your desired resolution. These range from WiFi network recorders all the way up to 4K Network recorders. Your installation advisor can help you select the appropriate resolution based on what your needs are for the eventual footage.
Luma is a more balanced, end user accessible option for full home surveillance. Like IC Realtime, the Luma system operates with IP control, has several IP cameras, and a network recorder. Luma’s options are plentiful, particularly in the camera area, though not quite as numerous as those available with IC Realtime.
The recorders available with the Luma system are intense - perhaps even overkill for the application with 1TB and 2TB options, offering 8 and 16 channel options. Speedy, and reliable, with large capacities - the Luma 500 series NVR recorders are a great option.
The cameras come in 4 series, each with several options for both bullet and turret cameras. These are solid, hi-resolution options, and although they don’t have the technological marvel represented by the spherical camera IC Realtime offers, they will more than do the job.
Perhaps the best thing about the Luma systems - even better than their insanely overpowered recorders - is their easy to use interface that is consistent across multiple platforms (iPhone, iPad, Droid, Windows, Mac - you name it). This makes operating your system once it is installed a “snap”, which is probably what their parent company SnapAV was going for.
As a side note, either the Luma or IC Realtime systems can integrate seamlessly and directly with the DoorBird Video Doorbell mentioned earlier on this list. All in all, you can’t go wrong with either choice, and your best bet is to request advice from your integration specialist before making your final selection.