First, I would NOT recommend concealed cameras, as you want to do everything you can to deter crime in the first place. Considering your location, and assuming that you will want a camera that can see well at night, I would recommend a color vandal-resistant camera such as the KG-602IR
, which features a 1/3" full-chip Sony SuperHAD CCD.
When shopping for a CCTV camera, it is important that you select one that features a full chip Sony CCD. Unlike what is commonly found at Sam's Club and online shops, surveillance cameras with full-chip Sony CCDs are rated to last over 11 years before the picture fails, will provide a superior picture in adverse lighting conditions, and will continue to function well even after the IR emitters on the camera fail.
On to the DVR...
For as little as around $500 (including hard drive), you can purchase a high-end stand-alone DVR, such as the Aver 1304SATA
. Be careful when shopping, as most stand-alone DVRs on the market are VERY cheaply built, poorly supported, and do not provide superior picture quality. You want to make sure that the DVR is name-brand, records at full screen (640x480 or larger... if the second number is less than 480 then DON'T BUY IT), offers Internet viewing of both live AND recorded video, and features MPEG4 or H264 recording algorithms.
If you want a system that can call you, beep you, email you, instant message you, or sound an alarm should motion be detected in a certain area at a certain time of day, something be stolen, someone begin to tag your building with graffiti, or if someone tries to defeat your CCTV cameras or DVR, then you would want an intelligent DVR such as the $999 PC-Witness Pro LT
When comparing intelligent DVR systems, it is very important that the DVR is custom built server, and is not a converted Dell-style PC. Make sure that the DVR includes free lifetime tech support and free lifetime software upgrades, and that the company has a good support department that can preform remote diagnostics & support via the Internet.
Installation of a CCTV system has become very easy, as camera cable is now typically very thin plug and play, and combines power and video in one package. In the case of equipment purchased from Cctvwholesalers.com (my company in Harahan), we have some very special arrangements with certain local installation companies, that offer below-wholesale installation rates to our clients due to the high volume of jobs we send them.
Please let me know of any other questions you may have, or how else I can help you.
*** Side note - Obviously, Cctvwholesalers.com is the creator of ProjectNOLA.com. However, we invite other local CCTV merchants to give expert advice via the ProjectNOLA.com forums. ***