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Audio Surveillance, CCTV Microphones, and Audio Monitoring with Security Systems

cctv microphone

Adding an Audio dimension to your security application can be a significant upgrade for a number of reasons. CCTV Microphones or Microphone Kits are popular in a variety of industries, and for a multitude of reasons. We have received multiple calls with both residential and commercial customers that ask “How can I add audio to my Security Camera System?” Most systems support audio surveillance in some capacity. However, it is necessary to take note of individual State and Local laws and statutes regarding audio surveillance and make sure you are in compliance before implementing your strategy.

Audio Surveillance is commonly used in retail and food service applications to promote, and monitor good customer service practices. Owners and Managers can monitor interactions between customers and employees to make sure the staff is providing courteous service as well as offering all the sale details, or pertinent information, etc. Recordings of these interactions are sometimes used as a training tool as well. Since many Security DVR’s and NVR’s will support audio over the web, Owners and Managers can monitor audio from other locations. This comes in handy when a business has multiple locations.

Body Worn Camera
Body Worn Camera

CCTV Audio is commonly used in Law Enforcement as well. In interview rooms as well as with Body Worn Cameras, Audio surveillance and recording can provide important evidence and documentation. Audio surveillance can also be used to pinpoint problem areas in active situations, especially over large areas such as college campuses or stadiums.

Stand Alone CCTV Microphone

 

CCTV Microphone kits, or Stand Alone Microphones, are generally ‘One Way’ Audio. In other words, you can hear and record what is being said from the location of the microphone. Many IP Cameras, however, have built-in, two-way audio. Two way audio allows for two way communication as the camera actually has a built in speaker as well. This can also be used for training or communicating in instances that need video support. It takes a little setting up for the talk back feature but can be very useful in the right application.

Microphone kits can be used indoors or outdoors as well. Outdoor applications require weather resistant microphones, or even weatherproof microphones, depending on the application. There are different issues that affect usage for indoor and/or outdoor audio. Since there is more ambient noise in outdoor applications, placement of the microphone becomes extremely important. Covering a large area may require several microphones. Background noise such as traffic sounds or wind blowing may affect audio quality. Similar issues may arise indoors if your application is in a busy, noisy restaurant for example. Familiarize yourself with the features and/or limitations of your Microphone and Equipment, as well as the environment it will be used in. Other issues to watch out for include installation issues including placement of cables. There are some guidelines to follow when installing Audio, or Microphone Kits and we have listed some of the main ones below.

Outdoor Microphone
Weatherproof Microphone: MICO-MIC

 

Here are some General Guidelines for Installing CCTV Microphones:

1. Never run your microphone cable next to, or across an electrical line. This will cause ‘noise’ in your line. Instead of hearing what you intended, you will hear static or just a loud hum. It’s not a pretty sound.

2. Do not install microphones next to noisy appliances. Due to proximity, you will hear unwanted noise in your feed. Even if you can’t hear the appliance very well, the microphone may pick up the noise enough to make important information hard to hear.

3. Do not install your microphone next to or too close to fluorescent lighting. This will also cause noise issues.

4. Installing a Microphone too close to a speaker may cause feedback issues (A loud pitched, gosh-awful, screeching noise).

5. Some applications require Stand-Alone Microphone Kits as opposed to Security Cameras with Built-In Mic’s. Placement of a Camera for optimal Video may not necessarily correspond to optimal placement for audio.

6. Make sure your Security DVR or NVR has the proper Audio Inputs before running your cables!

7. Consider the specifications and limitations of your equipment relative to the environment where they will be deployed.

And of course, if you need assistance, please feel free to call us for assistance. We love to talk to people about security cameras! And Microphones also!

View Audio Surveillance Equipment Here!

See Security Cameras with Built-In Audio Here!

 

Please also see our post, “How to install a CCTV Microphone to your Security Camera System”

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IS IT COMPATIBLE?

With advances in CCTV technology, there come some challenges. If you purchased a home or business system more than a couple of years ago, you may have to consider compatibility when thinking about an upgrade. This may seem daunting, but in fact, might be a little easier than you think. Many of the security DVRs that we offer are actually backwards compatible, for the most part. This may not be the case if you’re using an older CAT5 system (don’t worry, there’s a solution for this as well!), but if your aging system uses BNC cable, we’ve got you covered! STOiC, TruView, Watchman, and Samsung are compatible with your existing cameras. So, what does this mean for the consumer? In a word, choice. In a few more words, choice, and an affordable way to upgrade your system in stages. You’re able to upgrade your DVR now, keeping your existing cameras, and over time upgrade cameras to get the full potential out of your CCTV system.

Something else to keep in mind is that if you’re using a system that is utilizing BNC cables, you won’t have to run new cable. This can keep costs way down, and turn it from a job needing a contrator, to something that can be done by many people on their own.

So, what about those who aren’t ready to upgrade their whole system? Yep, there’s a solution there, too! We offer one of the few security cameras on the market that is specifically designed to be a replacement for older SD Analog systems. Not only that, with its 4-in-1 capability, it’ll upgrade with you when you’re ready. The STH-B7300W is a wonderfully rounded camera. Capable of 720p in AHD, TVI, and CVI, as well as CVBS (SD Analog), this can replace everything from Samsung’s SDC-5340 and SDC-7340, to Night Owl, LOREX, and even Samsung’s SDC-8440. What’s better than that? Well… STOiC’s two-year warranty is pretty great, too.

Well… given my long-winded introduction, let’s get to the whole point of this entry. Below I’ve compiled a small compatibility chart. This will be updated from time to time, so check back periodically. One more bit of information for you to think about: the STOiC cameras that we offer are compatible with most systems. Not just the STH-B7300W, but all of our STOiC cameras. When you order, just let us know which system you have (or, using the handy chart below, just let us know which video type your DVR uses). We’ll take care of the rest for you!

 

 

 

DVR COMPATIBILITY CHART

STOiC –  AHD+

TruView – TVI (5MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 1080p; 2MP DVRs will support TVI, as well as AHD up to 720p)

Watchman – AHD

Samsung – AHD

LOREX – CVI

Swan – TVI (Proprietary)

Q-See – TVI

Annke – AHD

Nightowl – AHD

Bolide – AHD

Speco – TVI

Super Circuits – TVI

 

Now, let me finish by saying that if you have any CCTV needs that need to be addressed, just let us know. We offer free consultations on system building, free technical support for any product purchased through us, AND you’re able to talk to a real person. If you’re an integrator or installer, we’d LOVE to hear from you. Give us an opportunity to show you why we love talking to people about security cameras!