Large Format High Definition Flatscreen Monitors May Not Be the Best for Security Monitoring

February 28th, 2018

Before you go out and buy one of those impressive 42" high definition monitors so your Houston TX customers know you have a first class security system monitoring your Houston premises, think again. Large format HD monitors are able to deliver spectacular imagery, and with prices going down, they are quite popular. However, before you expend close to a thousand dollars on an impressive means of displaying your CCTV cameras, look at the facts.

Multiplexers, the devices that allow images from numerous cameras to be displayed on a single monitor, do not have high definition output. It is inevitable that this will change. But as of this writing, mulitplexers such as Bosch's LTC2682/90 and Pelco's Genex multiplexers that will allow up to 16 cameras to be displayed on one screen do not have the capability to display these images with enough resolution on a large screen. It is best to stay with a 20" screen, more or less, for the best viewing quality.

If you wish, you can drive a large format flatscreen monitor through the VGA out port on a DVR. The VGA output provides a reasonably decent image on up to a 32" screen. Any screen size larger, and the image starts to degrade. Another downside to having to drive the large format monitor from the VGA port of a DVR is that the screen becomes the monitor for the DVR's configurations and maintenance. Most DVRs have at least one separate monitor output that only passes the video images through. Using the VGA output should not be used for a public monitor unless you want everyone to be able to see a technician working on the configuration settings, or a manager reviewing video of a theft in Houston, TX. Of course, a video switch can be used to turn off the public monitor while work is being done on the DVR, but it's certainly not the best solution.

What is the best answer? Keeping in mind that CCTV monitors are specifically designed to receive the video signal from cameras, they should have at least one BNC input. So far, the large format HD monitors are not designed to CCTV specifications. As with most electronic technology, it's best to wait for high definition outputs on DVRs and multiplexers, designed for large HD screen sizes. A few are becoming available, like the Samsung STM-42L, but it's expensive at $3500. This writer will remain skeptical until he's seen it tested. In the meantime, use a 19" LCD flatscreen, or slightly larger, and if you need to keep 16 or more images viewable in a large enough window to provide monitoring, sequence the images using settings within the DVR or multiplexer. Use quads, if the images need to remain visible. The quad multiplexers split up to 4 cameras' views onto one monitor, and they are one-fourth the cost of a larger multiplexer. Then use as many monitors as necessary to display all the cameras.

For the time being, it is best to continue using smaller screen sizes for monitoring security cameras in Houston, TX. But it won't be very long before the prices come down on the large security camera monitors: notice how HDTVs have dropped recently. Of course, if you have more money than you know what to do with, go ahead. Just be sure the equipment driving the images can provide what the HD monitor can take. This writer is sticking with the smaller monitor sizes.

"Steve I just wanted to thank you and your partner Ray Kindsfather for the fine work you men did installing the security cameras around my home. The quality of the pictures is excellent, the clarity in day or infrared mode is exactly what I was looking for. What good is a camera if you can't identify the person and these cameras will greatly assist the police in identifying a perpetrator. The computer side of the job is easy and fast with very little adjustment time for me in finding what I want to see. Software and hardware get A+++++ no doubt about. The Ring is equally easy to use and the quality of the camera is equally strong. The installation was clean and fast. You maintain a clean site, it’s like you were never here. You answered all my questions with pin point accuracy. Integrity suits you well. Your answers were honest and to the point. Refreshing in today’s world. All and all you and Ray make a strong team at DWS Technology LLC. I have no problem recommending you to friend or family, home or business. God bless you both with your business. I will call you for future installations. "

Cliff Mulvaney


"Ray, in reviewing several different security cameras there were many good products, but none met my criteria of clarity and no long-term contract. Raymond, you showed me one product that caught my attention with the clarity and distance viewing that I could not get with other systems. The zoom after a few feet became distorted with the other systems but with the Alibi NVR package you demoed, we could zoom in and out with clarity which made this product stand out from all the rest. The NVR system is so simple, in fact, anyone can configure the system to suit their needs. You can monitor your home from your smartphone or tablet and having security cameras makes it a great deterrent for criminal activity. DWS Technology delivered as promised! Your installation crew worked clean and treated my home as if it was their own. Great attention to detail! I will recommend DWS Technology to anyone! Great job guys!"

Eli R.

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John Schreiber

Building Superintendent, Catholic Charities

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