Not so long ago, only the truly wealthy could afford a closed-circuit television (CCTV) security system. But relatively recent advances in technology have been accompanied by steep drops in price. Today, even average homeowners can afford to install an effective security surveillance system. And it’s likely to be far more sophisticated than anything the Rockefellers or Vanderbilts ever owned. Not only are cameras more sophisticated, featuring high definition and full color, but they’re also easier than ever to install. Which yields even more savings. In the past, only professional installers could be relied upon to install and service complicated, expensive surveillance systems. They were originally developed by the government for security at high-risk facilities. But today’s systems are simple enough for most homeowners to install themselves. They typically feature a few cameras, a receiver/recorder, and cables to provide power to the cameras. Some transmit image files wirelessly, but ranges are only about 100 feet, and require relatively clear line-of-sight. Nor is truly wireless practical. Although some cameras work on battery power, functional time is limited, so it makes better sense to install cables that supply power, while also allowing for the uninterrupted transmission of signals to a nearby recorder. Mounting outdoor camera is simple enough that virtually anyone can do it with a few common tools. In most cases, you’ll need little more than a ladder and a screwdriver and/or drill (a handheld power screwdriver/drill works best; it’s helpful to drill small pilot holes for screws, for best results). Cameras, DVRs/NVRs, and boxed sets from Q-See all feature detailed installation instructions. Even inexperienced handymen/women can follow these simple instructions to successfully install cameras and cables and get the system up and running quickly and relatively easily. In most instances, homeowners will want to purchase a system with enough cameras to cover all ground-floor doors and windows. Cameras should be placed high up, usually under the eaves, for best field of view.