2 - Choosing the Right Technology

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Network Cable & PoE Systems

Cat 5 and Cat6e are the most common network cables used for video surveillance systems and they both exceed any data requirements that the equipment may have. Each system requires one cable to be ran from the camera location back to the video recorder. One single cable transmits video from the camera to the recorder. The recorder transmits power back to the camera using the same cable. We offer the following versions of Cat6e cable: indoor, outdoor, direct burial, premade cables and 500 or 1000ft easy spool boxes. The maximum distances for each technology are show below:

Wireless - WiFi Systems

We at Backstreet are not big fans of WiFi cameras. They do have their uses but keep in mind that wireless cameras are used for convenience rather than performance. Wiring a camera is always preferred. Only use wireless when wiring a camera is not an option. We do, however, offer our own professional WiFi solutions. The following video provides an example of its application:

POE - Power Over Ethernet Systems

The most convenient way to power IP camera(s) is to purchase a video recorder with PoE (Power over Ethernet) built-in.

PoE units can also be strategically placed to add cameras to a system. All it needs is one network cable that runs from the video recorder or PoE unit to the camera. We'll return to this topic later.

You can also power the camera locally with a plug in power supply. This requires a power outlet to be nearby. You can then transmit the video over the Cat5 or Cat6 network cable. This design is seldom used but always an option.

Battery Powered

Battery powered cameras and systems are a very poor surveillance option. Battery powered cameras are always consumer grade devices. They often do not live up to their marketing and as a consultant you will likely be replacing these systems frequently. For example, the Amazon owned Blink Cameras claim two years of operation on one charge. They do not mention that a two year device lifespan can only be achieved if the camera is operating for a maximum of 3 minutes per day. These cameras die in a few weeks. You have to take each one down, charge it, put it back up and then readjust the view. The truth is that these types of cameras will die on the wall and will eventually stay that way.

Solar Systems

Solar systems are not a cost-effective option. There are indeed cheap consumer grade products with integrated solar panels on the market, but they have a similar reputation to battery operated devices. There are solar solutions that will work but each has to be engineered with consideration for the power draw, how much sun the location receives, as well as battery calculations. It is expensive and is a service we do not offer at this time. The bottom line is, if there is not an existing power source onsite, then we should suggest to the client that they contact a professional solar company for a power solution.

Cloud Services

Cloud Cameras and services are new to the industry and the concept is undeniably popular. However, the reality is that the companies that are providing cloud services are benefiting far more than the customers. They are similar to consumer grade products in that the price was chosen to create a monthly revenue stream for the company, then the technology and performance capabilities were selected to fit that price. All Cloud services degrade the video signal so that the bandwidth and storage requirements can meet the limits of the technology. For example, if you send a 4K camera's video to the cloud, it will not be recorded in 4K. The cloud service is likely to record it in 1080p - 1/4th of the resolution that the camera is capable of. They may also drop video frame rates to take pressure off of the bandwidth, resulting in choppy video. There's also the monthly fee based on the number of cameras and the days of storage you require. It can get very expensive.

The main reason people believe they want a Cloud system is because they are concerned about their video recorder being stolen. Luckily, there are better ways to address this concern. One option is to use memory cards in the cameras, in tandem with the NVR. Memory cards are a one-time purchase, not a monthly fee. Should the NVR be stolen, the video leading up to its theft will also be stored in the cameras themselves. The video stored in the camera can be accessed via smart phone. Our systems also provide the option to create your own private Cloud backup systems which has no monthly fees and will not degrade the video. We will further discuss these options in the "Video Storage" chapter.


Dome & Book


1 - The Smart Way to Shop for Security Cameras

Many consumers are more confused at the end of shopping for a security solution than when they started. (video)



2 - Choosing the Right Technology

There are so many different technologies on the market: solar, battery, wireless, wired as well as Consumer Grade and Professional Grade versions of these products. How do you know which is right for you? (video)



3 - Industry Warranty's Indicate Quality

A security camera's warranty is a good indication of its quality and how long you should expect it to last. Industry warranties range from 1 to 10 years. Know the warranty before you buy! (video)


PTZ & Book


4 - The Pro's Golden Rules

There are golden rules that should be considered when designing or purchasing any security camera system. We explain each rule so you "Get It Right the First Time"! (video)



5 - Understanding Resolution & Frame Rates

Let's cut through the confusion and keep things simple when it comes to video clarity and resolution. Which resolution is right for your application? (video)



6 - Camera System Components

It's important to learn the basic parts that are used in all video security camera systems: camera components, cable, recorders, monitors and internet connection. This video covers it all. (video)


360 & Book


7 - Best Camera Locations & Heights

Learn recommended camera fields of view, installation locations and heights for best coverage. Your design should be flexible while following these best practices.



8 - Selecting the Right Camera & Mount

One size does NOT fit all! Learn how to select the right camera for each location. Optical Zoom vs Digital Zoom, how to capture license plates, color night vision & more. Follow the Pro's tips and get it right the first time. (video)



9 - Video Recorders & Best Locations

How to select the right security NVR (network video recorder) for your application. Click through to learn the best locations for video surveillance recorders.



10 - Video Storage, Hard Drives & Cloud

Use our storage calculator to easily calculate what size hard drive need. Learn how to expand storage, protect against theft and what cloud options we offer. (video)


Phone & Book


11 - PoE Units & How to Use Them

PoE units make installation more cost-effective and provide flexible system design options. Learn what they are and how to use them.



12 - Wire & Cable - Alternative Transmission Options

Learn how to wire a system, plan cable runs and design efficiently. If the camera installation is difficult, our wireless transmission options will solve the problem. (video)



13 - Business System Design

Learn how to design an effective business security camera system. Effectively secure your assets and employees while managing your business operations from anywhere. (video)


Cable & Book


14 - Home System Design

Learn how to design an effective home security camera system to secure your home, assets, and family. Monitor your home remotely from anywhere. (video)



15 - Interior Camera Placement

Learn how to effectively locate security cameras inside of your home or business for the best coverage while maintaining privacy.



16 - DIY Installation or Pro Install - You Choose!

Most of our customers install the system themselves with our expert factory support, but you may want that clean professional installation completed by a pro. We support both options nationwide and you choose which you prefer. (video)


Plate & Book


17 - Live & Remote Viewing with Alerts

You choose how you interface with our state-of-the-art-systems. All options are available and any combination of viewing options can be used: direct connect monitors, personal computers, tablets, and smartphones - Super fast, clear, and no monthly fees.



18 - Capturing License Plates

One of the most common requests our customers have is the ability to identify and capture license plates. This can be achieved if you follow the rules and recommendations we detail. It is important that you follow them, simply because capturing a license plate is one of the most challenging tasks for security cameras.



19 - Customizing Kits - Sending Quotes - Financing

Learn how to customize any of our kits to meet your exact needs, then send a line-item PDF quote to any email you choose. Use our instant financing option during checkout to fit the budget. (video)



20 - ProVue vs. Cyber Secure - Feature Comparison

We offer two high performance series. Both are cutting-edge 4K solutions. Which series is right for you?



21 - Become Certified Design Consultant

Help secure your community and earn a great income on your schedule. Backstreet University offers a professional consultant training course.


Design Tools & Resources

Design & Book


Expert System Design Service

Let one of our experts design your system. Its the sure way to get it right the first time at the lowest price. Book a 30-minute design appointment using our online calendar. You'll be glad you did!



Do-it-yourself System Designer

Design your home or business security system like a Pro. Locate cameras and their viewing areas to provide a visual of the effective coverage of each camera and evaluate the overall design. This surveillance system design tool covers it all.


HDD & Book


Custom Kit Builder

Build a complete custom system for your home or business without any confusion or mistakes. This easy to use tool makes sure you select all the components you need for a complete system. You can even include installation!



Hard Drive Calculator

Use our video storage calculator to determine the size of the hard drive you need based on the number of cameras and the desired storage days.



Security Industry Terms

Not sure what Cat6 is? Would you like to know the difference between a DVR and an NVR? Here are simple and clear explanations of the industry terms.


How to Troubleshoot Security Cameras & Systems

CCTV Security systems consist of several electronic parts. The system requires all of them to be operating flawlessly for reliable operation. When one item fails it can be difficult to find the issues because each part relies on the other for system-wide operation. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions and you'll quickly identify the part causing the problem.

Industry News & Events

Surveillance Trailers

What is a Surveillance Trailer?

Why are these strange, purpose built, surveillance trailers popping up all over the country? Are they the only reliable and cost-effective solutions available for crime deterrence and response? How do they work? Are they Effective? What do they Cost?

Banned Security Brands

US government banned the use of Dahua, Lorex, Hikvision and other security cameras in federal facilities due to hidden backdoors. In June 2021, the FCC unanimously voted to start procedures to ban the sale of these brands to the general public by denying new products FCC approval.

What is NDAA & Why It Matters

The NDAA law banned the use of electronic equipment provided by specific companies. What’s interesting about the law is that it bans companies rather than countries. It ignores borders and focuses on individual entities.


Fun & Interesting How-to Videos

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