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Investing in a CCTV system can be quite daunting as there is a lot to consider. Whether you’re purchasing a kit to protect your home or business, you want to be safe in the knowledge that you’ve chosen a set-up that best suits your needs.
We’ve created a guide to help you understand the differences between the various CCTV systems available and to help you feel more confident in your purchase.
If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0871 244 0934.
Up to 70% reduction for peace of mind
Monitor your property 24 hours a day with constant recording
View several angles of your property simultaneously
Visible cameras can put potential thieves off
Monitor precious targets such as your car or business stock
Monitor staff arrival times, breaks and time away from their desks
Who’s visiting when you’re not there, delivery men, tradesmen, intruders?
CCTV set up can make some feel more at ease in their own home
Some kits provide instant alerts to your phone or smart device
Visual evidence strengthens your case when it comes to legal matters
There are a variety of camera models available and with all the different features they have to offer it can be hard to decide which type best suits your requirements.
These cameras are more compact, making them more inconspicuous, they are also less easy to tamper with if reached. Due to their size they are often not as feature-rich as general CCTV cameras. These cameras are ideal for monitoring staff or home as they are small and can be fixed in place, making them less obtrusive.
Encased within a dome these cameras are harder to tamper with and less subsequent to vandalism. They are not exactly hidden however they are less obtrusive. They are installed on ceilings, and prove ideal for retail settings or outdoors.
These cameras are ideal for monitoring larger areas as they have the ability to cover all angles with 360° rotation. They aren’t covert yet they offer flexible surveillance, ideal for monitoring warehouses, gardens or carparks.
These cameras tend to be insight but out of reach. People will know they are there yet they won’t know exactly how far the camera can see or what angles, a good choice for deterring thieves. They are usually feature-rich and a more affordable choice. These cameras are best installed on high ceilings, tall exterior walls and places out of reach, as they can be easily tampered with if reached.
Resolution is an important factor to consider. Higher resolution captures more detail. How detailed do you need your footage to be? If simply recording motion a lower spec and more affordable camera will suffice, however if recording to protect valuable items you will benefit from higher resolution, as in the event of theft or crime you will be able to identify details such as faces and number plates.
Analogue CCTV is the oldest option on the market and can be beaten in image quality by IP CCTV. Analogue CCTV requires wiring to the digital video recorder to make recordings. Although producing lower quality images it is a more cost effective route and can still provide useful footage. Analogue recording is best suited for situations where detail is not key, such as motion sensor recording.
Analogue CCTV resolution is measured in television lines (TVL). The higher the number the clearer the image quality, ranging from 320-800 TVL.
There is also a special type of analogue recording available, HD analogue which records in 720p or 1080p high definition, previously only available from IP CCTV. HD analogue cameras are ideal for situations where you need clear footage but do not need all the features which come with IP CCTV, making them a more cost effective choice. To use HD analogue cameras you must also use a HD DVR.
IP CCTV produces superior image quality and makes recordings via your home network, these cameras will not require wiring to the network video recorder but do need to wire to your home router. The higher the megapixel count the sharper picture quality you will get. IP CCTV is generally a more expensive choice, however as popularity grows it is becoming more accessible. IP CCTV is ideal for capturing detail such as faces and licence plates.
IP CCTV resolution is measured in pixels. IP cameras can fit more pixels into an image than analogue cameras can fit television lines, thus IP CCTV delivers higher image quality.
It is important to remember when choosing your camera resolution it must match up with your DVR or NVR’s recording resolution. High resolution cameras are not compatible with low resolution DVR and NVR’s.
Both are video recording devices which run 24 hours a day recording all the footage your cameras capture.
Digital video recorders are used with analogue CCTV. The cameras are wired in to the digital video recording device.
Network video recorders are used with IP CCTV. The cameras send footage via your home network and do not need to be wired into the network video recording device. However the cameras and NVR do need to be connected to your home router.
Some people think a PC can be used over DVR or NVR, we would not recommend this. A video recording device records footage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, sending footage to the hard drive. A computer is designed to run intermittently with relatively long rest periods, what if you missed an important section of footage?
In the case of a break in often a computer is a prime target, and you would instantly lose your recordings if the computer was stolen, where as a video recording device can be set up in a secure or discreet location.
The video recording device is specially designed to handle the large processing power video data takes up, where as a computer may experience performance issues. Software and capture card equipment required for CCTV on a computer can also be very costly.
The recording device continuously records and when the hard drive is full it will go back to the beginning and record over the earliest footage.
For more efficient recording motion sensor recording can be set up, recording only when the cameras senses movement.
You can specify what type of recording takes place at various times throughout the day and on particular days of the week.
Recordings are stored on a hard drive, making them easily accessible. Transferring footage via USB can be easily achieved to share or backup recordings.
Storage requirements vary per customer, there are a few factors you need to consider before selecting your hard drive size.
When the hard drive is full recordings will begin to overwrite the earliest footage.
The more cameras you set up the less recording time capacity you will have.
The higher the quality reduces the hard drives recording time.
Some of our CCTV kits have pre-installed hard drives to make it easier for you, others have the option for you to choose your hard drive size to suit your needs. Many recording devices also have the capability of expanding storage space if you find you require more.
As each CCTV kit is different for each customer’s requirements it is hard to generalise how long a hard drive size can record for. Here are some examples to give you an overview of hard drive capabilities when recording is set to motion detection.
Analogue CCTV with 2 cameras & a DVR with 500GB hard drive – allows for 30 days worth of footage.
IP CCTV with 4 cameras & an NVR with 1TB hard drive – allows for 48 days worth of footage.
IP CCTV with 8 cameras & an NVR with 2TB hard drive – allows for 48 days worth of footage.
DVR and NVR’s have different recording resolutions. It’s important you select cameras and recording devices that are compatible. There’s no point in producing high quality footage with high resolution cameras if the recording device records at a low quality.
320, 400, 420 TVL - Give little detail, ideal for monitoring motion
480, 540, 600 TVL – Offer better clarity for short to medium distances only
650, 700, 800 TVL – Deliver higher quality images for longer distances
Setting the recording device to record in real time increase the captured frames per second, this can decrease your recording time capability. We recommend 3-6 frames per second, real time recording averages as 24 frames per second.
Example – IP CCTV with 4 1080P cameras and a DVR with a 1TB hard drive recording at 6 frames per second can cover 12 days of footage whereas setting it to record at real time will cut the footage down to 3 days.
CCTV kits have different channel capabilities. The number of channels specifies the number of cameras that can be set up and record simultaneously with your DVR or NVR.
Example – 4 channels allows you to set up 4 cameras around your property.
The term wireless with CCTV can be misleading. Cameras that are classified as wireless are not connected to a DVR or NVR, however they still require connection to a power source.
It all depends on what your situation is as to what kit will be right for you. For example, If you already have network cabling installed, an IP CCTV kit would be the easiest system for you to fit.
If you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0871 244 0934