this includes a very complete home security system that dials both on land and through cellular link to a security firm,
One problem I've read of with these systems (Medic-Alert and the like) is that the company pays for another firm to respond to alarms from these monitors and call police. But if A doesn't keep paying B to do this, B eventually stops and without telling you. When the alarm goes off there's no one there to call police. I hope home security isn't the same way.
Actually, I don't have a security system. The company X10 makes a lot more than just cameras and security stuff. They also make lighting control components which what I have installed. Basically, with either a hand held remote or a computer add-on combined with a program that I have I can send signals to special switches that come from X10 and turn on/off or dim the lights in any room. Its cheap to buy directly from them and even cheaper on eBay. For well under $100 and a little wiring knowledge you can easily make all the lights in a 2 bedroom home remote controlled (although it obviously cost quite a bit more to make it all work throughout heaven).
Oddly enough, X10 is a protocol that can be used by any manufacturer who chooses to. Its a way for remote controls to send signals over your power lines to switches so you can turn them on and off and was developed back in the 70's. The company X10 hasn't quite been around that long and hasn't even been doing their whole camera or security bit for the entire time either.
Like I said to Derrick, his system does sound pretty competent to protect him from stoners who need some money to get their fix but if you know what you're doing you could really turn it against him, badly. Lights are computer controlled and so are the cameras. Think about it, someone gets into your computer. That means they can control all that stuff. If two or more people work together one could be sitting at home on a cell phone with an intruder telling him what Derrick is doing and could even turn the lights out on him so that the intruder could attack. Even if his computer isn't hacked someone with a laptop and antenna could easily pick up the video camera's unencrypted signal and relay what they see via cell phone or hand-held radio to a person on the inside. In other words, don't let a false sense of security lull you into complacencey.