Eye spy with my little eye

Some one came knocking

At my wee, small door;

Someone came knocking;

I'm sure-sure-sure;

I listened, I opened,

I looked to left and right,

But nought there was a stirring

In the still dark night;

Only the busy beetle

Tap-tapping in the wall,

Only from the forest

The screech-owl's call,

Only the cricket whistling

While the dewdrops fall,

So I know not who came knocking,

At all, at all, at all.

Walter de la Mare

This famous children’s poem by Walter de la Mare comes to mind every time we install a residential closed circuit video camera.  There was a time when those that came a knocking were just nuisance peddlers. Unfortunately these days a caller at your front door may just as easily be someone casing your home for a daytime break and enter. Closed circuit cameras around the home also serve to alert us to much less nefarious events. Your children arriving home from school, the landscaper arriving to mow the lawn or a courier package being dropped can all be great reasons to get a modern camera system.

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The proliferation of smart phones and the introduction of IP (internet protocol) video cameras has completely changed the landscape in the closed circuit camera industry.  Traditional analogue cameras required a video and power cable be home run back to a central location for connection to a multiplex video processor and recorder. Originally tape based and then hard drive based video recorders have now been rendered obsolete.

Modern security cameras connect to your computer network enabling you to connect remotely with your computer, tablet or phone to view them live or for playback.  Since cameras are now intelligent computers of their own, they can actually reach out and contact you.  If someone walks up to your front door while you are not home, your camera can email you a still or video image. You’ll know if your package arrived or your kids got home from school just by checking your phone.

The price range for modern video technology can vary dramatically. Entry level cameras under $250.00 are typically low resolution “VGA” cameras designed to record still images or short video clips of ten seconds or so.   For quick verification during an alarm or to let you know the gardener showed up they work just fine.  The image quality is on par with conventional video cameras but you are not going to be wowing anyone with CSI-style video enhancements.  The low hardware cost however is offset by the need to pay a monthly subscription fee for services like Rogers Smart Home to host the video stream and manage the email notification services.

For a few extra dollars spent on hardware you can cut the chord from a service provider and host your own video feed. For about $350.00 you can monitor your home in hi-definition and record the footage to an internal SD memory card just like the kind you have in your digital camcorder.  The cameras can be equipped with motion detection, electronic trip wires and other features that could allow you to monitor a back yard pool and alert you if your kids jump into the pool unattended.

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The Axi P3367VE camera offers state of the art, NSA grade surveillance for your home.For those looking for the ultimate in home security, the best IP cameras can provide auto tracking and auto zoom. When they detect motion of a person in their field of view they can automatically zoom in and will track a person as long as they are in the field of view. With multiple subjects it will automatically zoom out to cover all the subjects. The cameras are smart enough to differentiate between people and  random motion in the background to insure you are always getting the shot you need.

The next time someone comes knocking at your wee small door you’ll be able to see who it is... even if you aren’t home.