Choosing Cameras for a Devicebook Smart Home

Cameras area a broad market with a variety of good options. When picking the devices your company supports and installs, take into account the following considerations.

Indoor vs Outdoor cameras: Cameras have designated environment ratings. When installing cameras outdoors, use ones that have an “IP67” environmental rating. The information is available in the “Hardware Specification” section in Showroom.

PoE vs Wi-Fi: PoE stands for Power-over-Ethernet. A PoE camera uses a single CAT5e or CAT6 cable for power supply and data communication.

There are several advantages of using PoE for cameras. PoE is a wired Ethernet connection, and thus communication is reliable, and not subject to Wi-Fi range or interference issues. This is especially important for cameras because streaming video requires high-bandwidth communication for a good user experience. If a camera is to be installed at a location without an AC outlet, installing an Ethernet cable will be easier and cheaper than installing an AC outlet.

We highly recommend using PoE for perimeter security cameras installed outside of home. The typical installation location of these cameras is at the perimeter of home, where signal quality is marginal and obstructed by the dense outer walls of a home. Using PoE circumnavigates the need to deal with wireless signal issues for these devices.

Wi-Fi cameras are more suitable for indoor installations, especially if the camera is not fixed to a wall e.g., placed on a bookshelf or table. Note that if all cameras are streaming video at the same time, it will put significant load on the Wi-Fi network, and may result in poor streaming quality. Due to these Wi-Fi network bandwidth constraints, we recommend no more than three Wi-Fi cameras per house.

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