Frequently Asked Questions
- + - Why do I need cameras if I have an alarm system?
Alarm systems and cameras function differently, with different purposes. Alarms notify you and law enforcement when set off, and can serve as a deterrent for criminal activity. Cameras provide a live and recorded view of your home, business, and surrounding area. They are always on, record and time stamp all captured video, and deter crime. Cameras are also a great way to check in, so you know what’s going on at home or work.
- + - What do I get from OnGuard Camera Systems that other companies may not provide?
A two-year Guarantee not a Warranty! Cameras that come in box kits can have warrantees that are riddled with fine print that won’t do much for customers once the sale is made. OnGuard backs up the quality of its products and installation with a simple guarantee, “if your system isn’t working like the day we installed it, we will come back and make it right for two years after installation”. We are a locally based DFW company that understands the importance of taking pride in products and workmanship.
State of the art commercial grade cameras are used for our home and our light commercial customers. In addition to having “IR” (infra-red) night vision capabilities, now very common among all exterior cameras, all our cameras are Full HD 1080p quality, with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). WDR is an internal software feature that allows the cameras to process back lit subjects better than normal cameras.
A vari-focal (zoom) lens with every system, in addition to the standard wide-angle lens. With the zoom lens, customers can choose to focus on a driveway or street to provide the best chance of capturing a face or license plate, or point the zoom at a gate or door they want closer coverage on.
We don’t use subcontractors; everyone on our staff is a full-time employee. All our technicians are background checked, have a private security registration with the State of Texas, are pre-employment and randomly drug tested, and have passed a Level 1 Fire and Alarm Certification. They are courteous and respect customers’ property by wearing shoe covers in homes and always cleaning up after themselves.
- + - Are there any monthly fees or contracts?
No, with OnGuard Camera Systems there are no binding contracts or monthly fees. You pay once at installation and own your system, RingPro doorbell camera, or keyless secure entry lock.
- + - Do you install camera kits provided by customers?
We don’t install equipment that is not sourced and sold by us because we have great faith in the products we sell and stand behind them. We do consult with people that have purchased products that don’t work, or had poor installations, to answer questions on alternative options.
- + - Do you accept credit cards or have payment plans?
We accept all major credit cards, checks, and cash. Additionally, we have payment plans for our commercial customers to address cash flow goals
- + - Do you sell doorbell cameras, such as Ring?
We do not install any video Doorbells or Ring products. The Ring Video Doorbell is designed for DIY installation, and we no longer support Ring cameras.
- + - Do you install burglar alarms, or audio visual equipment?
We specialize in camera systems only. We focus all of our attention and expertise on providing outstanding products and service in camera systems and leave alarms, and audio visual installations to companies that do the same.
- + - If I move, can I take my cameras? If I can take them with me, will you remove and install them in my new home? If I can’t take them with me, can we delete my recordings?
Because our customers own their system and its components, they have the option to take or leave components during a move. We do not re-install systems in a second location, and because cameras and other componentry are customized to a specific location, re-installing a system in a second location is not optimal. If a decision is made to move, and provide the system for the next occupant, we can reset the system for a small fee so the new owner will also have the benefit of utilizing the existing system.
- + - Do you have tech support? Is there a service call charge?
The same technicians that install our systems also service them. They will respond to all issues with your system free of charge during the two-year guarantee period. After the two year guarantee, our technicians service our products on fee based service calls. A service call outside the guarantee period is $149 for the visit and has additional parts and work added as needed. Residential customer service calls in the two year guarantee period are addressed each Friday after they are reported. Commercial customers are addressed within 48 hours of the reported issue.
- + - Do you provide emergency support if I’ve been broken into and need help reviewing footage?
Our technicians explain how to review and export video footage after each installation is completed and instructions are then emailed as a reference (including video tutorials). We will also help to retrieve footage for law enforcement if needed and a police report has been obtained.
- + - Is there any training after a camera system is installed?
Yes, while our systems are very intuitive and user friendly, our technicians train customers on how to log on to the viewing software, and review and export video footage. We also provide a video tutorial that covers all camera system functions available through our app.
- + - Can I see the cameras from my laptop or desktop? Can I use a phone?
Video from your DVR can be sent to any phone or tablet that is compatible with our app (late model Apple and Android phones and tablets work best).
- + - Can I see the cameras on my TV?
It is possible to view a live feed of your cameras on your TV, but this requires an HDMI cable to be run from the Camera system DVR to your TV. This can usually be added at an additional cost if requested, but is not usually necessary due to the reliability of our camera systems and your ability to review video history at any time via your mobile devices.
- + - Do I get notified if my cameras detect motion?
All our cameras have motion detection but do not send push notifications to personal devices. The demand for this is low because with multiple cameras in an outdoor space, push messages would be constant. If you need motion detection notifications, we would recommend that you talk to your Burglar Alarm provider for that kind of solution, as they provide specialized motion detection/notification equipment.
- + - Will my cameras be able to see at night?
Yes, our cameras have an infrared (IR) light inside the camera housing that allows them to record in very low or zero light conditions. Because they are commercial grade, the IR distance on our cameras is significantly longer than most store-bought cameras.
*IR (infrared) light does not reflect color, so nighttime recordings will be in black & white when the IR lights are on.
- + - Will the cameras record sound?
No, adding microphones is typically considered unnecessary in our usual outdoor, warehouse, or high-traffic applications.
- + - Is the video stored in the cloud? And how much history does my system keep?
The ‘Cloud’ is actually just a hard drive in another place, but no – your camera’s history will only be saved locally in the hard drive installed inside your camera system. All of our systems are set up to have enough hard drive space to store about 30-45 days of history. More HDD storage and therefore more camera history is available as an add-on if desired.
- + - Can I zoom in?
Our fixed-lens cameras do not have optical zoom capability..
- + - Is there a monitor screen for the system?
Monitor screens are not included with the system because video can already be seen on any computer monitor or laptop that can access the free app. A hardwired monitor can be added at the customer’s request at an additional cost.
- + - Will I need to upgrade my lighting to see more?
In most cases you will not need to change any of your property’s lighting to be able to achieve great camera views at night, but having more light will greatly increase image clarity.
- + - What is infrared lighting on the camera?
Infrared security cameras have the capability to capture video in low light and no light (0 Lux) areas. Infrared cameras have IR LEDs positioned around the outer edges of the camera lens which gives the camera its ability to ‘see’ at night.
- + - What is the range for each camera?
Each camera has a specific lens that determines the use of the camera and its range of coverage.
- + - How do I get video from the DVR?
After every installation is complete, our technicians provide training on how to use the system. Additional instructions can be emailed as reference material as well.
- + - Can I put cameras inside my home?
Yes, we install cameras inside and outside homes and businesses. The use of cameras is generally acceptable in common areas of a home or business, but not acceptable where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms and bedrooms in homes, and exam rooms in physician’s offices.
- + - Are the cameras High Definition?
Yes, we only install 1080p Full HD High Resolution cameras.
- + - What kind of cameras do you use?
Our system packages come with specific cameras (see products and pricing page on this site). For certain commercial installations, the type of camera depends on the application, use, and coverage needed. Technology today provides us with multiple options from general coverage wide angle lenses, to varifocal, fish eye, license plate reading, pan/tilt/zoom, IP (internet protocol) and analog cameras.
- + - What is the difference between normal cameras and High Definition cameras?
This question is as easy as remembering the days of the old, big, and clunky Standard Definition TVs compared to our modern flat screen High Definition TVs. TVs and cameras are measured by how many horizontal lines they use to make up the picture. High Definition is made up of 1,080 lines compared to normal, or Standard Definition, that use less than half at 480 lines. This difference is one of the main features that makes High Definition cameras produce a very clear picture.
- + - What kind of internet connection do I need?
This depends on how many cameras are installed. Internet has upload and download speeds. The DVR is connected to your network and will be sending you a live feed or playback of your footage from the DVR to your remote device for viewing. The DVR isn’t downloading from the internet but is uploading so your remote device can view the live feed, this will require upload speed from your internet connection at the DVR’s location. Even with a low internet upload speed you can still view the cameras but will experience disconnections and increased lag time from the DVR to your remote device (due to the upload speed of your network). Our technicians can assess all of these factors once they arrive and let you know what is needed.
- + - Do I need WiFi to view cameras on my phone?
If your phone has internet access you will be able to view your cameras either on wifi or on a cellular network.
- + - How much bandwidth do I need to view it on my phone?
Most newer model smartphones should be able to view the live feed without significant interruptions. Issues arise if your cellular network has coverage problems. If you can stream a YouTube video at HD resolution without buffering, you should have enough bandwidth to view your cameras.
- + - How much memory is stored on the DVR?
Typically, we install 1, 2, or 4TB surveillance hard drives in our DVRs depending on the system and number of cameras installed. By default, we expand the storage amount to give you on average 30 days of playback. Additional storage can be installed for an additional fee depending on customer needs.
- + - Will it slow down my internet?
To remotely view your camera system, the DVR will be using the internet; however, to know if you’ll notice a change in your internet speed depends on your current internet services. If you have an upload speed of less than 1mb, you may notice your internet slow down. Most recent internet service providers’ packages give more than 1mb upload speed. If you don’t know your download and upload speeds, you can visit SpeedTest.net
- + - Will multiple people be able to see the cameras at the same time?
Yes, multiple people can view the cameras remotely and simultaneously. Depending on your home internet speeds, you may notice a slowdown in your home internet if too many people are viewing the cameras simultaneously.
- + - Will my doorbell chime still work with Ring?
Yes. There is an audible chime at the doorbell by your door, and another from the chime mechanism inside your home.
- + - Who do I call if I have any problems?
We stand behind our products and services, and encourage people to call us if they have problems. Our central number, and the number to call for help is 1-844-314-2233. Residential service calls in the two-year guarantee period are addressed each Friday after they are reported. Commercial customers are addressed within 48 hours (and preferably sooner) of the reported issue. A service call outside the guarantee period is $149 for the visit, and has additional parts and work added as needed.
- + - Will having cameras reduce crime?
No one device can guarantee an end to crime, however most statistics on surveillance cameras reaffirm their usefulness and impact. While most of the data today is around surveillance cameras in commercial and public areas, one University of North Carolina at Charlotte study titled “Understanding the Decision to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective” indicated that would-be burglars take outdoor security cameras in to high consideration when casing a home. It’s hard to think that seeing cameras and yard signs isn’t a deterrent for crime. There is no question that providing usable video to law enforcement can help solve crimes and recover stolen property. The key is to prevent crimes in the first place, and provide a way for people to keep an eye on their homes and businesses.
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