Buying a new CCTV Kit?
There are many different types of CCTV kit available, so it can get a little confusing. This short blog should help you to buy the right one for your needs.
Closed circuit television (CCTV) is a system that relies on the strategic placement of cameras for surveillance and security purposes with many different types of CCTV systems and home security cameras available. From single cameras that allow you to view footage via a monitor, TV, PC or even a smartphone or tablet; to full CCTV kits which simultaneously monitors and records video footage from a number of cameras connected to a DVR recording device.
CCTV security kits include everything you need to set up a surveillance system in and around your property. A full kit includes at least one camera, a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) which simultaneously monitors and records video footage, and the video cables for connecting everything together.
The DVR allows for constant recording and dependant on the size of the hard drive will allow you to record weeks of footage to review if needed. Many DVR’s allow Wi-Fi connection which gives you the option to keep an eye on things from any location in the word via a pc, smartphone or tablet.
Cameras and channels
The amount of channels advertised indicates the amount of cameras you are able to connect to onto your recording device. For example, a kit could be supplied with 4 cameras but have up to 9 channels, meaning additional cameras can be purchased and installed with your current system.
Image quality and playback
Image quality is shown as TV Lines (TVL), for example “650 TVL”. The higher the number of CCTV lines a camera is able to produce, the better quality of image that is displayed. It is recommended that a higher TVL camera is used when filming a large space or distance.
There is also playback resolution to consider which is measured in vertical and horizontal pixel dimensions. These could be advertised as CIF, D1 or 960H for example. The difference between these is the size of image that is captured by the camera which determines the clarity of the display especially when viewed on a large TV screen or monitor.
Advances in modern technology now mean that you are able to keep an eye on your property while you are away. Many cameras and DVR’s have internet connectivity and providing your mobile device has the capability to download the software for your CCTV system, you can log in and view live steams from any location in the world.
Infrared night vison allows your CCTV camera to capture images in the dark using the infrared LED’s. The performance can vary between cameras due to the distance they are able to cover in the dark. You will need to make sure the camera you choose is suitable for your surroundings.
If a camera is weather resistant or weatherproof, this will be indicated by the camera’s IP rating. The higher the IP rating the better the camera will stand up to the elements. Cameras with a low IP rating should be sheltered from direct rain water.
IP CCTV systems
IP Cameras transmit data via the internet to a central location where they can viewed and recorded. The installation process is incredibly easy as there is no wiring to a central DVR, meaning they are more flexible and versatile than traditional analogue systems.
Smart cameras allow you to keep an eye on your property wherever you are in the world via your smartphone, tablet or PC as each camera is connected to your home Wi-Fi. You will need to download the app first, providing your mobile device supports the software. You may also be able to choose alerts via email or text message when the camera detects movement, prompting you to log in to view or save footage from your property. Smart cameras a generally not weatherproof and should be used in doors only.
There are a number of different types of cameras available which can be purchased in addition to your CCTV system including bullet cameras, dome cameras or Pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) cameras.
A bullet camera is designed to be installed inside or outside of a building, proving the cameras is weather resistant, and is fixed in one location to record footage of one specific location such as front and rear entrances to a property.
Dome cameras are designed mainly for indoor use and are a little bit more discreet than a bullet camera. It is also hard to see which direction the camera is facing.
Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) cameras
For maximum coverage a Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) camera can be rotated, moved up or down and zoomed in and out via the DVR or via the mobile app on your smart phone, tablet or PC.
Many CCTV systems now have the facility to pair with your alarm via a CCTV/Alarm adaptor. The adaptor is designed to control and monitor your alarm system through the DVR menu and mobile app once the adaptor is simply plugged into your CCTV DVR.