5 Lies And Surprising Facts About Security Cameras

You’ve been told some pretty tall tales about security cameras. Because of slick marketing and Hollywood movies, we’ve all been brainwashed into believing some incredible misinformation about them. You’ll even be surprised about what security cameras can really do that has never been discussed in public or in the media. The following are 5 lies and surprising facts about security cameras you weren’t aware of.

Misinformation #1  Law Enforcement can Enhance An Image From Security Video

The only image that can be enhanced are images of numbers and alphabets. This technology works great for trying to figure out a license plate number on a vehicle but it can not be used effectively to enhance a face or zoom into a picture taken from previously recorded video footage. Even though we see this technique used in TV shows and movies every night, it’s really a plot tool to keep a story moving along. The first time it was used to move a story along was in the 1987 movie No Way Out with Kevin Kostner. In this film, there is a fuzzy photo Polaroid picture that is slowly enhanced by a computer throughout the movie to show the face of the possible killer (I don’t want to give away too much about the movie because it’s still one of my favorite spy thrillers that you’ll have to see). This plot tool was ingenious.  It was taken from an actual computer program that existed at the time and is still used today in a newer form with particular types of algorithms that could figure out fuzzy or pixelated pictures of letters and numbers of passing license plates on vehicles. The program’s algorithm took calculated guesses with impressive results. The writers and directors used the premise of this computer, showing it slowly working on the image to build around the main story. Ever since then, other writers and directors have used this plot device to show a video picture being enhanced but in reality, it would be difficult for any advanced computer today to accomplish this when you consider that pixels are well defined and it would only be making a calculated guess of what a face would look like.

Misinformation #2  A Place Of Business Can Not Record Audio Of Their Customers Or Employees

I was even surprised by this one. As a security camera specialist, I have installed security cameras in several states. I already knew that audio was a grey area and I further believed that any audio recording would be inadmissible in court if it was recorded without the subjects knowledge. What I didn’t realize is that I was basing my assumptions on what I saw on television shows and movies (yes, I’m guilty of believing misinformation too).

Recording audio is the grey area of all gray areas. Federal and most state laws around the country actually give you the right to record audio with security video as long as you are not using the audio recording for financial or personal gain. This leaves a gray and vague interpretation of the law because audio recordings would normally fall under the laws of wiretapping to record a person’s conversation without their permission in most states but even though the law is vague it does allow for a loophole to have the audio presented if it was needed to investigate a crime that was previously recorded. Even if your town, county or state law prohibits the audio, Federal mandate only allows these municipalities to charge you a small fine and/or charge you with a misdemeanor if they find you in possession of audio with your security video. If the audio is needed to determine a criminal act, these charges would be null and voided and the recording will actually be admissible in local and federal courts.

Misinformation #3  Wireless Cameras

How can a security camera be wireless if you still have to connect the security camera to a power source?  Just about every wireless security camera or camera system on the market has a power plug to operate. If you’re looking for completely wireless security cameras, keep in mind that most battery-operated security cameras are only for indoor use and only work for a couple of days before you have to change the batteries. The only security camera system, out in the market that can satisfy customer’s need for indoor/ outdoor, weatherproof security cameras that are completely wireless is from Netgear known as the Arlo Smart Home System with night vision and several months of battery life. Learn more about the surprising things the Arlo camera system can do here.

ChangingFaceSurprising Fact #1  Night Vision Security Cameras Can Pick Up Hidden Messages

I found this fact by complete accident. A few years back, I was testing security cameras which included infrared night vision with another security camera installer. When I passed one of the security cameras in front of him with the night vision infrared activated we saw messages scrolled all over his sweater on our security camera monitor.  Unfortunately, I can’t repeat what we saw on his sweater from on the security camera monitor but we can definitely tell it was a jilted girlfriend. Apparently, she used either a citrus pen or another type of marker to make her point but after so many washes it wasn’t viewable with the naked eye. Ever since then we’ve noticed everything from hidden graffiti that have been removed or painted over on buildings and garages to watching infrared trails from neighbors using their remote controls through their windows to affect other neighbors TVs and devices.

Surprising Fact #2  The Cost of Security Cameras Have Dropped In Price By Over 60% In The Last 3 Years

There is no reason to buy inferior security cameras when you can afford high definition security cameras with built-in zoom capabilities that will allow you to see faces, license plates and other details that you couldn’t get on a cheap security camera system. Competition is fierce in this market, that’s why manufacturers and vendors are offering long warranties and free apps that allow you to play back video as well as live video from your mobile phone or tablet. You can even get replacement cameras that can triple the video resolution of your existing camera system. Click Here to see our prices on affordable HD and HD-TVI security camera systems.

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About Armand Lucas 82 Articles

I’ve installed security cameras and home automation systems for over 15 years. Now as a consultant, I Investigate and write about new technology as they emerge to help all of us to become more secure, independent and productive in our homes, businesses and vehicles.