How to select a CCTV System

1. How to choose a CCTV kit for home use.

Analog security camera

An analog security camera generates analog signals that are sent to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) for digital conversion and recording. This type of camera uses a coaxial cable which is also known as coax cable. (see the picture below).

The picture shows an analog security camera using a coaxial cable to send the signal to a Digital Video Recorder note that at first, the signal it's analog and later it becomes digital, there's also a power supply for the camera.   

IP security camera

A digital security camera generates a digital signals that are sent to a Network Video Recorder (NVR) for recording. This type of camera uses a UTP cable which is also known as network cable. (see the picture below).

The picture shows an IP camera using a UTP cable to send signals to a Network Video Recorder (NVR), there's no need for signals conversion since the IP camera already generates digital signal. There's also a power supply for the camera.

It's also possible to have the IP camera recording into a micro SD card or directly to a server on the Internet (cloud recording), all depends on the security camera model you are purchasing. You can also use the PoE standard to send power directly to the camera using the UTP cable (see the picture below). 

PoE stands for Power Over Ethernet and it's a popular way of sending power to a network device. If you are interested in learning more about this technology, please read the article: PoE switch for IP cameras.

See the picture below with an example of a PoE Home Security Camera System kit with 4 IP cameras and a Network Video Recorder.

If you don't want to have a local Network Video Recorder (NVR) just purchase a security camera system that can record the video into a micro SD card

Wired or wireless security camera system?

When purchasing IP security cameras it's possible to choose a wired or wireless systems, in the previous examples you saw some of the wired ones with and without the option PoE standard. Now let's take a look at a wireless system.  

This is an example of a wireless security camera system. This type of system is very easy to install and setup.

People usually prefer to install a wireless security camera system because it's easy to get it working fast without the hassle of running cables everywhere.

Here are 10 questions that every business should ask itself before investing in a high-quality CCTV kit .

  1. Do You Need To Hide The Camera Or Should It Act As A Visual Deterrent?

In fact, the location you choose to install the camera and what you plan to monitor will determine if you need to hide the camera or let it be visible. If you want to keep the camera visible and let your employees know that they are being monitored, you should choose a big bullet camera. 

They are quite large and obvious – which will help reduce the chances of theft. On the other hand, a dome camera is ultra-compact and is great to use for discretion. These cameras have a small half-spherical shape and could easily fit in the palm of your hand.

  2. Are You Going To Use The CCTV Set Indoors Or Outdoors?

The latest security cameras are made to be used indoors and outdoors. But you need to consider important features such as housing and mounting when investing in a quality CCTV set. The camera should have a durable design and inbuilt heater when using it in extremely cold environments. On the other hand, if you are engaged in a transport business, you should invest in a robust CCTV kit that can operate in harsh environments with a high level of vibration.

In fact, both indoor and outdoor cameras need a quality housing to protect them from harsh environmental conditions.

 3. The Area That You Need To Cover?

The area you plan to cover plays an important part when choosing the best security camera system for your business. In fact, you need to draw a blueprint of the floor area that you need to cover before shopping for the best security camera for your business. Pan Tilt Zoom or PTZ cameras work best for large areas given their large view range. They have the ability to zoom in on particular activities.

If you have a smaller range to cover, you can buy a static camera for the job. A small area requires a LAN network while large areas require a WAN network.

4.The Image Clarity You Require

The area you want to monitor plays an important part when choosing the best camera system for your business. In fact, wide retail spaces need high-resolution cameras – which ensures that the image isn’t affected when zooming. Small spaces need low-resolution cameras for best results.

 5. The Lighting Conditions On Your Premises

You may have to test several cameras to see which model works best in the lighting conditions at your workplace. Check if there is a strong backlight that creates a glare. For example, strobe lighting in nightclubs can have an effect on the security cameras placed there.

 6. The Importance Of Audio

You should decide if you need to integrate audio with the security camera system. It can help you speak to possible perpetrators and hear what they say. Audio can be integrated with video management systems quite easily.

 7. Will You Need To Add More Cameras To The Network In The Future?

Scalability is important when investing in a security camera system for your business. In fact, closed circuit or traditional security cameras are difficult to scale since everything is hard-wired in the system.

That is why you need to invest in IP cameras that connect to a wireless network if you want to add more cameras in the future.

 8. What Parts Of Your Business Could Benefit From Such A Security System?

Security cameras are important to prevent theft. But they have other advantages such as improving the safety of your staff and confirming incidents.

When employees know that they are protected, they are more likely to feel safe.

 9. The Challenges You Plan To Overcome With Video Management Systems (VMS)

VMS or in-built analysis is important to alert you to various suspicious activity in your organization. This can improve the way you run your business.

 1. How To Choose The Best VMS?

It is important that you invest in the best VMS system for your business. You should decide how you plan to use it before shopping for the best system on the market. 
The aforementioned read offers information on what you should look for when choosing the best CCTV kit on the market. 

Wired: a standard wired color security camera. Most wired security cameras today are indoor/outdoor and have an IR (infrared) cut-filter for night vision (the night vision image will be in black & white for improved contrast and image detail). Wired cameras are available in BNC  terminations (connection ports) and will require video extension cables. 

wireless: More and more people are turning to wireless cameras as a cost-effective way of building a comprehensive surveillance system in their home or business. The latest digital wireless cameras are secure, free of interference from household devices, and offer crystal clear video and audio.

Decide whether you want wired or wireless cameras CCTV system. Wired cameras offer a larger selection of cameras and more importantly, much better video quality than wireless cameras. Wireless cameras can somewhat be misleading as they need to be powered at the camera location. In addition, they require a line of sight with no obstacles, which often poses an issue.

  • Reliability and video quality are the main reasons that you should use a wired camera. Wired cameras are powered back at the Recorder location and only a single cable (18.3 meters coax power/video in one) needs to be run from the DVR to each individual camera. You can run cameras up to 800 feet (243.8 m) away with this particular cable (Need to purchase longer cables elsewhere). If going over 800 feet (243.8 m) you will need to use CAT5 cable with video baluns and/or amplifier. The PoE IP cameras NVR Kits are also a type of wired cameras NVR Kit, use CAT5 or CAT6 cable to connect the POE IP cameras to POE NVR, the CAT5 or CAT6 Cable sends both power and signal.
  • Expect a much longer lifespan and much higher quality with wired cameras.
  • Obstacles are not an issue with wired cameras. With that in mind, occasionally you may have a location of two that absolutely need it. In that case, you can plug the transmitter to the back of the DVR.

Select black and white or color: If you are going to use the cameras in an environment where the light conditions are very low, it is recommended to buy a black and white CCTV camera system. Color should only be considered for inside use with good lighting conditions. For consumer-grade CCTV cameras, color cameras are suitable for indoor or outdoor applications. Many high resolution color cameras now use an IR cut-filter for built-in night vision. Sony 307 sensor full color night vision cameras with white light LED are suitable for indoor application.

Select a monitor that will match the resolution of your CCTV camera system.

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