Alarm Systems Can Do More Than Just Alert Police

Alarm systems have changed a lot over the past few decades, adding sophisticated services that can help you stay safe in the event of an intruder whether you're at home or on vacation. To add some value to your security system, consider a few ways to integrate computer monitoring, recording and Internet alerts for greater security.

Connecting Surveillance Systems To Computer Systems

At the basic level, an alarm system sends a signal to a security service and law enforcement while alerting you of danger. Alarm systems can be simple audible alarms with a notification system to the phone system, but they may include cameras as well.

These cameras can be used to send secure images to your alarm service company or to be recorded in your home. The best alarm home system will have both of those options, but you can do a bit more to be in total control of the surveillance.

With camera surveillance systems, there is a video input. Everything that your cameras can see is sent through cables—or in some cases, through wireless signals—to a recorder or out of the home. You can either connect these cables directly to your computer or use a splitter to send the video to your computer and to the original source.

A splitter is a box that takes what the camera sees and duplicates the signal, sending out multiple versions to multiple outputs. The quality becomes weaker with more splits, so try to connect only one additional device. Your computer can do all of the extra copying.

Setting Up A Computer For Receiving Surveillance Video

In order to properly receive the video, your computer needs to be able to accept the video input. A computer can be fit with a device called a video capture card (also known as a TV tuner), which is used to receive different video inputs. If your video card doesn't have the proper connection for your camera or you can't find a compatible card, converters exist to make the connection easier.

Once the camera is connected to the camera, you can use different methods to record the information. Most TV tuners or video capture cards come with recording software, but many alternatives can be found on the Internet.

There are also live streaming websites that can either save your video to a private account or made available for live, public broadcast. If you want an incident to be public knowledge as soon as possible, such as an invader with an identity that needs to be shared, public broadcast may be very useful.

For help with getting your security system connected to a computer or other methods of home alarm configuration, contact an alarm specialist (such as those from Atlas Alarm Corporation).