9 - Video Recorders & Locations

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Selecting a Recorder

Remember the Pro's Golden Rule: Leave room to grow. Surveillance recorders (also called NVRs or DVRs) are built to support four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, and sixty-four cameras. It is wise to recommend a video recorder that is one size larger than the number of cameras needed. If the price exceeds the budget, you can always reduce the video recorder to the next smaller unit.

All our recorders support 4K so you don't have to worry about resolution. The only two variables you need to consider are number of video channels and hard drive bays needed.

POE Ports

Not all video recorders have built-in PoE. For example, the ProVue 32-channel NVR has 16 PoE ports. The other 16 camera channels are supported by adding a 16-channel PoE unit to the design. The 32-channel Cyber Secure NVR has no PoE ports. All the cameras are supported by adding a PoE units to the design.

The reason the NVRs do not have the same number of PoE ports as they do channels is simple. Few customers need 32 cameras within 300ft of the video recorder. Distributive design using PoE units adds the other PoE ports needed to support all the cameras.

It's standard in the industry that all 4, 8 and 16 channel NVRs have the same number of PoE ports. It's the bigger systems that require added PoE units.

Large Systems

The largest NVR we offer supports 64 video channels. There are 128-channel NVRs on the market, but they are not a good idea. First, if you have a hardware failure, all 128 cameras are down. Second, they do not equip these units with enough processing power to record all channels live in 4K. Instead, you are forced to drop resolution and frame rates, to as low as 7.5fps recording.

A much better solution is to use two 64-channel NVRs. This provides hardware redundancy so if one of the NVRs has a failure only half the cameras are down instead of all of them. Second, there is no data processing bottleneck, because our 64-channel systems can record all cameras live in 4K.

To provide the client a seamless management platform, we install our Video Management Software(VMS), also called Client Application, on their computers so they can view any combination of cameras from both NVRs on one screen. The app gives the experience of managing one singular large system even though your system consists of multiple NVRs in different locations.

Recorder Locations

The easy rule for selecting the location of the video recorder is "don't put it anywhere you would not put a computer." It is basically a computer; it has a case, a motherboard, memory chips, and hard drives. Heat will kill a video recorder. They cannot be located in attics or garages. The location must have a controlled environment with temperature ranges 50-82 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not the case with PoE units, they can be located in the attic or garage.

If the recorder is put into an elevated temperature environment (82 degrees plus), it will work for a while, but the heat will greatly reduce the life of the unit; client's can expect a complete failure within a year or less.

The location for the video recorder should be secure. In businesses, the NVR is usually located in an IT room or a manager's office. In residential applications the location varies. They can be located near the internet modem, or in an electronics cabinet, a bedroom, or even a furnace room. We have had clients locate their recorders hidden behind furniture, in closets, and even inside a safe, though a safe is not recommended.

If the you want to secure the recorder from tampering or theft, we recommend you use a lock box. They are made of metal, have venting, and can be secured to concrete floors, foundations, steel beams, or walls. The venting in a Lock Box makes it the viable version of a safe: similar safety measures without the added risk of overheating.


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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