5 - Understanding Resolution & Frame Rates

Huge Discounts at Checkout

Industry Era Top 10 Best of State award Google Customer Reviews


A camera's resolution is a function of the number of pixels the video chip provides. Pixel (derived from "picture element") is the basic unit of programmable color on a computer display or digital image. Pixels are arranged in formats such as 2 megapixel, which is 1600 horizontal pixels stacked with 1200 vertical pixels. A 4K image (8 megapixel) is comprised of 3840 x 2160 pixels. "4K" refers to horizontal resolutions of around 4,000 pixels.

None of it matters, lets keep it simple, the chart below is all you need to know.

HD Video Resolution Chart

For true 4K video to be viewed, there are four components that must be 4K capable. The camera must be able to record and transmit 4K video, the recording device must have 4K capability, an HDMI cable must be used to connect the recorder to the monitor, and the monitor must be a 4K monitor. If any of these devices are not 4k capable, then the video resolution will be limited to the component with the lowest resolution.

Most PC monitors are 1080p (2mp). The image looks great but does not have the crisp quality a 4K monitor provides. If you have a 4K system and a 1080p monitor, you will still get the digital zoom benefits of a 4K system, but the viewing clarity will be affected.

One of the most common mistakes a novice makes is thinking that if they use a 4K camera then they'll see all the detail they'll ever need. The reality is that the camera's lens is just as important as the video chip. You must match the resolution to the lens which depends on the application. The video below is a good example. It was made with a 3K camera equipped with a long-range zoom lens. The reason we can easily read the license plates is because the zoom lens was used to target a specific area about 40 feet wide where the vehicles plates consistently pass. Then after recording we digitally zoom into the 3K image to capture the plate. This would not be possible with a 4K camera that did not have a zoom lens that could reach the target distance.

4K Video Samples

3K Video Samples

30fps - frames per second

Frame Rates

Frame rate is how many still frame images are generated every second. Live video contains 30 frames per second. Motion pictures are filmed at 24 frames per second. We offer cameras that produce 20 and 30 frames per second. The benefit of using 20 fps cameras is that you can store 30% more video on the hard drive, simply because there are less frames to store.

Video recorders allow you to set the frames per second for each individual camera. If you reduce the fps, all future files will drop in size, allowing more video to be stored. However, the video will become choppier as the frame rate is reduced. If you are trying to capture plates, target a location where the vehicles are moving slowly, such as speed bumps, entry points, bottle necks, and turns, the best recommendation is to record at the maximum frame rate (20fps or 30fps). This will help to counter the motion blur caused by the vehicle's movement. If you reduce the recorded fps, it will not affect live viewing. The live viewing feed will be presented at the camera's maximum frame rate.

Best advice: We high recommend you stay away from 15fps cameras even if they are 4K resolution. There are many on the market that look like a good buy but they have some huge performance problems. The images are clear while objects are stationary but the instant an object moves (vehicles or individuals), the video blurs loosing all detail and producing useless video.


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

26,000 Subscribers - 10,000,000 Views - 127,000 Hours of Watch Time

Quote #

Free Quote