How to kill a video surveillance system during installation? 6 common mistakes

How to kill a video surveillance system during installation? 6 common mistakes

Practice shows that the availability of expensive, innovative video surveillance equipment is not a 100% security guarantee. For example, in 2015, the country house of a Russian football player V. Bystrov was robbed, although video surveillance cameras were installed in the house. The intruders took not only the money and jewellery of the football player’s wife, but also the recorder, which was a storage device for video recordings.

It is the wrong installation of the system that is the most common reason why video surveillance becomes useless. Our article is about 6 common installation mistakes.

Why does incorrectly installed video surveillance equal to its absence?

Security measures for cameras are growing, but criminals are also improving their methods. This endless circle is almost impossible to be stopped, but it is precisely the improper installation of video surveillance that greatly simplifies the work of intruders. Yes, improperly installed video monitoring equipment can be equated with its absence.

It is also worth knowing about the bad practices of video surveillance sellers. Read the article “How are video surveillance buyers scammed? Seller methods“.

What are the typical mistakes made during installation?

It is not so difficult to install video surveillance as it is difficult to install it correctly, efficiently and in accordance with the needs of the customer.

Typical incorrect installation does not take into account equipment compatibility, number of cameras, and conditions of use. In addition, poor quality installation and the use of low-quality or outdated equipment are popular mistakes of inexperienced specialists. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Poor installation quality

Our editors include the following possible aspects of the installation in the concept of “poor quality of installation”:

  • inaccuracy and negligence, leading to a decrease in the quality of video surveillance. The installer must wear gloves to avoid contaminating the camera lenses. Careless work with electrical tape, carelessly dressed connectors, poorly fastened equipment are the main reasons for the appearance of interference during the system operation;
  • unnecessarily long cables. The optimal cable run length is from 100 to 300 meters. Longer distances result in signal loss. In addition, the cable for video monitoring is quite heavy and it is absolutely inadvisable to hang several cables on one suspension. The influence of weather conditions (wind, icing) leads to cable tears;
  • ignoring casings for cables or using inappropriate protection. We are talking about a regular gray corrugation that is not intended for outdoor use. It is recommended to use black HDP corrugation for outdoor cabling;
  • installation of video cameras in places with falling icicles. Initially, you need to pay attention to this nuance and mount cameras under roofs and other protective elements of buildings;
  • ignoring junction boxes, in which you need to hide all connectors. This leads to oxidation and rapid interferences.

2. Incompatible hardware

The mistake in selection of equipment is, in fact, one of the most popular. It is made by young professionals and those users who install video surveillance by themselves. Find out all about DIY video surveillance here.

Most often, the following incompatibilities occur:

  • network cameras and analog video recorder;
  • AHD cameras and old recorders;
  • inconsistencies in technical parameters;
  • cable length violations.

SOLUTION: Do not open the original packaging of all cameras. Start with one. If you understand that the equipment is not compatible, then try to keep the packaging intact and return it to the store (or exchange it).

3. Substandard or outdated equipment

Experts understand low-quality equipment as cheap equipment, noname brands, uncertified models (without warranty and technical support) purchased on Aliexpress. Whether such equipment will be able to be used, updated and integrated is always an open question.

Obsolete equipment should be understood as analog equipment. The future belongs to remote video monitoring via the Internet. In particular, the use of an analogue recorder in the house of football player Bystrov and its improper location (with noticeable cables) became the reason for an unpunished offense.

4. Errors when placing cameras

There are several of such errors: too many cameras, too few, or they are placed incorrectly.

There are too few cameras: one camera for outdoor video monitoring is money down the drain. You need to provide surveillance around the perimeter.

There are too many cameras: this also happens. In particular, we are talking about panoramic cameras. One correctly installed PTZ camera can replace up to 20 conventional cameras.

Incorrectly placed cameras: too low, too close to the gate/exit, vegetation interferes (for example, if the cameras were installed in autumn/winter and trees have blossomed in spring).

5. Inappropriate conditions

Equipment has special operating conditions (temperature conditions, moisture and dust resistance, voltage surges, etc.). Indoor cameras cannot be used for outdoor surveillance, some are not suitable for night monitoring, and still others cannot withstand the influence of the environment. And video recorders should not overheat, and require clean, dust-free rooms with ventilation.

When installing, take into account the operating conditions, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

6. Non-compliance with customer requirements

More and more often we encounter unjustified expectations and requirements of customers.

For example, many users want to install a video surveillance system for the following purposes:

  • collection of information about the paranormal. Here it is necessary to be aware that many of the alleged phenomena are fantasies, and conventional video surveillance equipment may be insensitive to paranormal events;
  • obtaining evidence for the court. In most cases, the court of the Russian Federation does not accept video recordings from private surveillance cameras. In addition, there is a high probability that the recordings may turn against their owners (if the recording was carried out secretly);
  • obtaining information for the analysis of conflict situations and investigations. Read more in the article “Investigation of events using video surveillance“.

CONCLUSION: for a specific type of surveillance, special equipment is required. This factor must be taken into account when selecting equipment and installing it.

How to protect a video surveillance system? Practical advice

You can install video surveillance in different ways (quickly, inexpensively/expensively, on your own or with the help of specialists), but it is a competent installation that guarantees protection. Where do you start?

First, the design phase cannot be ignored to protect the video monitoring system. Even when it comes to home monitoring, you need to draw up the simplest linear diagram.

Secondly, discard outdated, low-quality equipment. Opt for cloud video surveillance. The cloud storage method is as reliable as possible.

Thirdly, if you use video recorders for data storage, then:

  • install 2 devices in different places;
  • rooms should be locked, the keys should be in the possession of only one person responsible for the safety of data;
  • mask the cables so that it is impossible to locate the recorders along the routes.


It is necessary to install a video surveillance camera in such a way that it is protected from human factors, weather events and other influences. At the same time, it is important to pay attention to the quality of installation work, location of the cameras and method of data storage. We recommend using cloud platforms, IP cameras and smart software from Faceter.

Александр Вебер

Alexander Weber

Specialist in video surveillance, video analytics, cloud storage systems. Consultant on the integration of video surveillance systems and tools in various business sectors. Over 10 years of industry experience.

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