Why Are Security Cameras So Low Quality?

security guards reviewing cameras

Today, security cameras and surveillance are part of everyday life. Despite technological advancements, the CCTV footage always appears to be grainy and low-quality. Why does that happen? In many cases, it is because of the compression and resolution of the files. If you want to understand why security cameras produce low-quality videos, here are a few things you need to know. 

Do you want to upgrade your cameras for better quality footage? At TriStar Security Services, our technicians can help you design the right system for your business or home in the Austin, Texas, area!

Why Is My Security Camera Blurry?

person checking their home security camera

Unfortunately, there are many reasons behind the blurriness of your security footage. Camera models will affect the quality of your video. If you are using an old analog camera, then it will produce low-resolution and grainy videos. In most cases, that footage is not helpful if you need to identify small objects or people. 

Related: Home Security: Everything You Should Know

Many businesses will use standard CCTV cameras. These devices will require a video cable to connect to the monitoring station from the camera, causing grainy footage. You can record footage with the help of a DVR, but some of these cameras still produce low-quality videos. 

High-definition IP cameras will give you a superior view of your home or business. You can set up alerts directly to your smartphone or laptop. Additionally, these cameras have better quality videos than their analog counterparts.

The older analog camera and DVR combinations will need more power to process and download the videos. In most situations, they also use separate power and video cables, leading to video degradation. You should consider replacing the older equipment with new IP security cameras. With an upgrade, you will have a streamlined process to record and capture video in high resolutions. Plus, these IP cameras will be faster at encoding and compressing videos. 

Reasons for Poor Quality of Videos

The type of cameras and other equipment plays a massive role in the quality of your videos. Let’s take a closer look at other factors that affect the output of your video quality

Compression and Resolution

When a camera captures video, that footage must be transferred, recorded, and stored. All the video needs to be internally compressed to take up less space in the system. However, when that happens, it is at the expense of the video’s quality and resolution. The system will compress the footage throughout several processes. You would run out of room without compression after days maybe a week of footage. Unfortunately, that means you will lose some quality of the footage, creating poor-quality videos. You can adjust some of the settings to prevent heavy compression of the videos. 

Camera Maintenance

It is important to use up to date security systems

Most security cameras are designed to be outside and handle a variety of weather. Yet, these devices are still susceptible to wear, tear, and damage. Some camera lenses can be splashed with dirt or debris, resulting in poor image quality. You will need to have maintenance completed on these cameras throughout the year. While a dirty lens might not seem like a big issue, it can be enough to cause poor-quality footage for your security system. 

Related: Security Camera Video Loss: Reasons & Solutions

Light Sources

Unless you have an IR camera, you need the right amount of light to grab footage from your camera. Bright lights or light sources close to the camera can cause the video to capture poor images. You can adjust the settings of the light to get the best possible imagery from your camera system. 

File Format

You can only view some files on specific platforms. If you don’t use the right platform, the video might have undergone several rounds of compression to play it. With that, the resolution will be poor. Before viewing the files, make sure you use the right technology to watch them. 


You must remember that the system will crop files. This issue can occur when watching footage on a smartphone. For example, if you have a wide-angle shot, that video can be cropped when viewed on a smaller screen like a smartphone. Cropping can lead to increased pixelation and blurred edges. 

Internet Connection

Finally, a slow internet connection could be the culprit for the degraded quality of your video. With a slow connection, the videos will pixel, making it hard to see the video. You will want to make sure the router and network have high enough speed to provide a signal to your system.

How Can I Improve the Quality of My Security Camera?

If you are searching for a better way to improve your video quality, contact TriStar Security Services. Our technicians will come to your home and business to inspect the camera system’s current state. Your settings may be off, or a component is not working with the system. In many cases, the systems and devices are past their prime and may need to be replaced. With higher-tech options, you can get clearer results delivered to your laptop or smartphone. Whatever the issues, our team will find a solution that can help keep your home and business safe

1080p vs. 4mp: What’s The Difference And Does It Matter?

A Final Word

You don’t want to have grainy, low-quality video while reviewing the security footage. What’s the point of a system if the video is indistinguishable? In most cases, many factors produce these poor results, including outdated equipment, storage limitations, compression loss, poor camera maintenance, cropped video clips, and poor lighting. All of those factors lead to an unsafe system for you. Fortunately, there are ways to fix or upgrade the system to help monitor your property. 

Do you need a repair or upgrade to your current security and surveillance equipment in Austin, Texas? At TriStar Security Services, we can provide the solution to keep your home or business protected with high-resolution video. Contact us today!