If you’re installing your own video surveillance system, one thing you’ll need to watch out for is video interference. While it’s a relatively rare occurrence, if you do encounter video interference, it can quickly become a frustrating one. Luckily, there are ways to combat video interference if you are unlucky enough to encounter it; here are the two main types of interference you’re likely to run into while installing a security camera system and what you can do about managing the problem effectively.

 

Ground Loop Interference

 

In a traditional wired video surveillance system, video interference is rarely a problem. However, there is one instance where you could experience anomalies in your video feed from a wired video camera. These anomalies, which often take the form of horizontal lines running across the image, are usually caused by a phenomenon known as ground loop interference.

 

While the science behind ground loop interference is complex, fixing it is not nearly as difficult to grasp. Interference from power lines that are too close to video cables is often the culprit, which is why it’s recommended to keep at least 12 inches of space between camera lines and electrical lines. Additionally, mounting a video camera directly to the side of a metal building can sometimes cause ground loop interference; this can be remedied by placing an insulating material between the camera and the side of the building – most experts recommend a block of wood or something similar. Finally, if nothing else works, you can install a device called a ground loop isolator between the camera and the recorder. These ground loop isolators are relatively inexpensive, though if you have several wired cameras that require isolators, the cost can add up.

 

Wireless Interference

 

Many more modern video surveillance cameras don’t require you to run any wiring from the camera to the recorder. In cases like this, these cameras are considered “wireless.” While they still need a power source which may mean they need to be plugged into an outlet or wired into your building’s electrical system, wireless cameras transmit their video feed using the same technology as your home or your office’s wireless Internet router.

 

Unfortunately, there are many things that can interfere with a wireless signal. Most wireless cameras are engineered to switch wireless signal channels to find a clear one in the event of interference, but with other wireless devices designed to do the same, this can sometimes result in persistent choppiness or freezing in your video feed.

 

One way to resolve this issue is to lock your wireless router to a specific channel. With your router being the biggest source of this signal-hopping, locking it down to only broadcast on one channel is likely to reduce or even eliminate wireless signal interference. While every wireless router is different, almost every model will have a control panel that you can access through your web browser.