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Playback Vs. Playback

So you found some hot new deal on a security system? Great! But did you take the time to check out the specs on the system?

Dome Camera System

The Bad News

Not all security systems are created equal. In fact, if you walk into a store and see a live view of an image that looks great, you would be shocked at how the image may seem to degrade in playback.

I’m going to keep things simple. Transferring an image for a live view is relatively easy. You are basically taking an image and relaying that information to a screen. Most of the time, this is going to give you a phenomenal image during the live view. However, saving video runs on an entirely different process. While the live image may look great, it may only save a degraded view that actually looks like total garbage.

Why is this a problem? Unless you are planning on spending every minute of your life looking at your recorder and later expecting to pass on what you saw to a professional sketch artist, you are 100% wasting your money. What may seem great in the live view will only provide you with a sub-quality image when it’s needed most.

The Good News

There are high-quality systems on the market and 03 Security Systems carries them.

Higher quality security recording systems do provide better playback. Because if you are out one day and someone jacks your package off your front porch you definitely want to be able to give the police a quality image rather than some blurry blob.

We actually had an instance with a customer in Monroe, Louisiana that had his truck broken into in his carport. At the time, he had a quick DIY system and was not able to capture any valuable information to pass on to the local police department. After the fact, we installed a higher quality system and he was broken into AGAIN. The image quality ended up leading to the arrest of the criminal as well as returning the stolen possessions to the rightful owner.

What to Look For

Do not buy a system based on price. However, check out the specs and see how much the system can process. If a system is posted utilizing phrases or words such as “HD Cameras” but lacks to give the information regarding the actual recording frame rates you should stay away.

Ask your local security professional for details as well as examples of playback. If you are dealing with a reputable company, they will be able to provide examples.


I got super excited and jumped on this new brand that came out offering 4K over coax for a great price. The image was stellar in live view but the playback was absolutely horrific. Check out the image.

4k Camera Video Footage Replay Test

It’s almost like I am a ghosting streak across the screen. This would provide zero help to a police department.

The next example is the same camera on a different recorder. This recorder provided a higher rate of recording.

4K Camera Video Footage Replay Test 2

I’d say it was a pretty stellar difference. Yes, I got lazy and didn’t provide the same environment but it is pretty clear what is better and what is garbage.

Jimmy’s Final Notes

Don’t buy cheap crap

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