4 - The Pro's Golden Rules

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The Golden Rules to CCTV Security Systems

The Golden Rules apply to most applications, but they are just rules, not indisputable laws. If there is a reason to break a rule, then break it. An effective system is designed to meet the challenges of the environment and the goals of the owner. While each video surveillance system is unique, the majority of systems should follow these rules.

The following video was taken from our Professional Consultants Training Course. It provides consumers a clear understanding of the best practices professional security consultants (dealers) follow to design an effective, value based, video security-surveillance system.

Leave Room to Grow

Nationwide, on average, video surveillance systems grow 35% after installation. This happens for two reasons: 1.) The consumer did not use an adequate number of cameras to provide the coverage they desired. 2.) They found the system to be so effective that they expanded the system to provide additional security and surveillance benefits. The lesson here is to allow the system to have expansion capabilities. You can always add cameras, but the video recorder must be able to support your future needs. Surveillance recorders are built to support four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two and sixty-four cameras. If you initially purchase four cameras with a four-channel recorder and then later find you absolutely need a fifth camera, that one camera is going to be expensive. The four-camera recorder now needs to be replaced with an eight-camera video recorder. It is wise to purchase a video recorder that is one size larger than your initial needs.

Choosing the right NVR

One Camera, One Job

The most common mistake consumers make is trying to get one camera to do the work of two. We all want to get the most out of each camera, but if you try to get one camera to do too much, you may end up recording nothing of value. We have all seen video of some crime being committed, but because of the lack of detail in the video, the person cannot be identified. Be conservative with the coverage you expect each camera to provide. As a general rule, each camera should not be expected to view more than 30-50 feet wide at the preferred target distance.

One Camera One Job

Select the Right Lens

Another common mistake is using the same model of camera for all locations. Some consumers have a tendency to think that if they use 4K cameras everywhere then they will see everything. That's not how it works. If you do not have the right lens for the target location, increasing the resolution can't hurt, but it's likely the lens has the wrong focal distance and the detail needed is not provided. This rule is the most important Golden Rule as it is the basis for selecting most cameras.

  • - If the viewing area is under 60 feet from the camera, select a camera with a wide angle lens (2.8 or 3.6mm).
  • - If the viewing area is 60-150 feet from the camera, select a camera with a zoom lens (2.8-12mm).
  • - If the area is 150-500 feet from the camera, consider using our Pro240MZ with a 5-50mm zoom lens or a PTZ camera.

Selecting the right lens

Pre-made Cables

Take into consideration the installation method when choosing cables. Use pre-made cables if you intend to perform the installation yourself. This eliminates the need for you to learn how to make a cable fitting. The only warning is when using pre-made cables, make sure that you measure the distance needed correctly and select the next size up from that length. Any excess cable can be spooled up and left in the attic, ceiling or behind the workstation. If the cable turns out to be short of the distance needed, you can plug two pre-made cables together, though a connector is required, and the best practice is to order a larger cable than necessary.

If you are comfortable making a network or coax fitting use our bulk easy spool boxes of cables. This allows the exact amount of cable to be pulled to each camera location, eliminating any excess cable. Professional installers prefer this approach.

Pre-made Cables

Choose Value not Low Price

We have a saying around Backstreet: "Get it right the first time". The origins of this slogan came from thousands of our clients who first purchased a big box store kit (decision based on price) and soon replaced it with a designed system from Backstreet. Our job is to educate you so you make an informed decision and understand that it's value you probably are shopping for, not low price.

Value=Quality + Performance + Low Price

When a consumer understands the differences between consumer grade kits and professional grade equipment, they usually to choose value over price. This means you "get it right the first time".

Base your decision on value not low price


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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