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Tips on Buying a CCTV System

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  • #16
    response to the post

    Hello shuiinfo,
    I am now looking for the cheapest CCTV for my new job. You have a good tips. But did you know how will it cost? Please email me here, [email protected].... Thanks much! And thanks for your time. God bless you.

    Security Guards Brisbane


    • #17
      Important reading before you make your purchase

      Is the CCTV DVR Package or camera, to be located indoors or outdoors? If outdoors then you need to ensure that it is appropriate for the environmental conditions that are likely to be encountered such as rain, snow, sun-glare, low light etc.

      Outdoor CCTV cameras should either be classed as weather resistant or mounted in a special enclosure to provide protection.

      All our surveillance kit cameras are weather resistant and the cable entry points are sealed. The leads are of sufficient length to enable connections to be made inside the building.
      Camera Light Levels

      Choosing the right CCTV camera based on the amount of available light is very important for an effective security system. An ordinary cctv camera will not give very good pictures in low light conditions although the monochrome will perform better than colour at night.

      For low light conditions can include:

      * B&W cameras with built in IR illumination
      * Colour Day / Night cameras
      * Use of additional security lighting
      * Use of a separate IR illuminator in conjunction with a monochrome camera. When using IR cctv cameras ensure that the range of the illuminators is adequate for your needs.

      Light levels are usually measured in lux and although full daylight can be around 10,000 lux, dusk can be as low as 1-10 lux, complete darkness is 0 lux and side street lighting can also be less than 1 lux . The closer a camera is rated to 0 lux the better its performance in low light levels.
      Day Night Cameras

      B&W bullet cameras generally provide much better image quality than colour ones at lower light levels. They are also usually cheaper than colour ones of equivalent specification.

      Color bullet cameras require the availability of good lighting and will generally provide better recognition capability.

      Day Night bullet cameras provide the best of both worlds in an external environment. They operate as color cameras during the day (or in good light conditions) and automatically change to B&W when the light levels drop. All our cameras supplied with our surveillance camera kit cameras are supplied with built-in Infra-red which enable the cameras to operate to a degree of darkness.
      Wired Cameras or Wireless

      Wireless CCTV cameras are easier to install. There is no cabling to run from the camera to the receiver and they are ideal for temporary applications, rapid deployment or where running cable is not desirable.

      The cameras do however require a power source and whilst most will have the capability to be powered by batteries these do not have a very long life - a matter of hours in some cases. Wherever possible the cameras should be powered by the mains.

      Typical range for wireless CCTV camera systems is 100m free-space but this can reduce significantly to around 22 meters in a small household environment.

      In some cases there is also the potential for interference when using wireless systems.
      Visible Deterrence or Covert / Discreet Monitoring

      For visible deterrence the use of larger cameras housed in traditional enclosures are ideal.

      For covert or discreet applications CCS imports can supply cameras that are:

      * Very small and can be installed in covert locations, or
      * In enclosures designed to disguise the presence of a camera.

      Many of the cameras manufactured by Yoko International are both stylish and discreet in the design of their enclosures and this makes them very suitable for domestic applications.
      cameras with Audio

      If the ability to monitor or record sound is important then the CCTV cameras needs to have a built-in microphone. This enables one-way audio monitoring.
      Camera Viewing Quality

      The resolution, size and type of a CCTV camera sensor will influence the quality of the viewable image.

      Resolution – This is expressed as the number of television lines tvl that the camera is capable of producing. The higher the tvl value the greater the resolution and hence the quality of the images. A typical entry-level camera will be around 300 tvl with higher resolution cameras having a value of 540+ tvl.

      Size – A larger image sensor will give a better image definition than a smaller sensor. For example, a 1/3” image sensor will produce a better image than a 1/4 ” sensor.

      Type – There are 2 types of image sensor. CMOS sensors are mass-produced and used in entry-level cameras to provide cost savings. CCD sensors are used in professional CCTV cameras and provide a higher quality image.

      It is important to remember that the quality of the video recorder also influences the quality of the CCTV footage. For example, if you use a high-resolution camera but a low-resolution recorder then the CCTV footage that is captured will still be of low resolution.
      Single Camera or Multiple Camera Systems

      Do you need to protect and view a single area or multiple areas? If you are likely to require protection of additional areas at a future date then consider buying a system that can be expanded as and when required.

      CCS has a range of products that will allow you to connect and use up to 4, 8 or even 16 cameras. These include:

      Standalone DVR - Use of digital video recorders allows single or multi-camera systems to be viewed and / or recorded simultaneously.

      Ccs supplies a range of 4, 8 and 16 channel DVRs allowing you to install a very comprehensive cctv system.

      PC-Based Systems - These make use of a PCI card that is fitted inside your computer. They will allow connection of up to 4, 8 or 16 cameras and help turn your existing PC into a sophisticated cctv system.
      Recording Options

      If you want to be able to record your CCTV footage then the following factors need to be taken into account:

      * Maximum length of recording time required
      * Quality of recording
      * Method of recording:
      * Continuous
      * Manual

      Stand Alone Video Recorders

      These are rapidly becoming the most popular method of recording CCTV footage. Essentially a DVR is a standalone piece of hardware that is designed exclusively for recording CCTV footage. It has a number of clear advantages over the traditional analogue systems and these include:

      * Storage Capacity – Days, weeks and even months of high resolution recording is possible through use of large capacity hard drives
      * Consistent Quality Recording – No deterioration of image quality no matter how many you overwrite onto the recording device or how long you store the images for
      * Viewing and Retrieval – Quick and easy access of footage due to digital format
      * Transfer and Storage – The digital format allows ease of transfer and storage of footage. Transfer and storage capability is further enhanced by DVRs with built-in CD writers and USB ports.
      * Remote Access – Many DVRs have the capability for remote access from anywhere in the world through use of a remote PC
      * Multiplexed Recording – Capability to view and record multiple CCTV cameras simultaneously.

      PCI Cards

      These are digital video capture cards that can be fitted inside your existing PC to allow the connection of multiple CCTV cameras. The functionality and benefits of PCI cards is very similar to that of DVRs.

      Even with systems that have a very long recording capacity, it is not always desirable to record continuously. Event-led recording is a more efficient means of capturing relevant footage and can be achieved by:
      PIR Movement Detectors

      Some cameras have PIR detectors built-in and for those that don’t it is possible to install a separate PIR as part of the overall system. In multiple camera systems with PIRs the footage that is being displayed on screen will automatically change to the area that has detected movement.
      Video Motion Detection

      This is used in digital CCTV systems and works by analysing the video signal from a camera. Changes in signal are recognised as movement and subsequently used to trigger recording if required.

      All CCS digital systems allow users to mark one or more rectangular areas within the display screen and only when motion is detected within these areas will the system begin recording.

      Where possible, use of PIR movement sensor is preferable rather than video motion detection, as it more reliable particularly for external use.
      Time and Date Stamping

      This feature superimposes the time and date onto your CCTV footage. Having this feature can be really useful to identify when an event occurred and was recorded, particularly if the footage is to be used for evidence purposes.


      • #18
        For now tedeers


        • #19
          Originally posted by shuiinfo View Post
          There are many types of CCTV systems on the market. The traditional analog systems consist of a recording device like VCR. Nowadays, new cameras are IP based and are networked together so that any camera’s images can be viewed from anywhere on the network and digital storage is used to record the images.
          Consider the following to help you decide on buying a CCTV System:

          •Decide what you want to monitor.
          •How many cameras do you need, 1, 2, 4, or 8, or even more?
          •Black and white or color?
          •Consider your image storage.
          •Select a monitor that is compatible with the resolution of your CCTV camera system.
          Great tips presented, its really helpful for deciding on which CCTV system to choose. I also consider the quality of the image, thats also important.


          • #20
            Tips for buying cctv camera

            The best CCTV camera that you can purchase will be the one best suited for its environment and application. If it is necessary for you to record fine details, you should consider purchasing a camera with a high TVL. For recording images at night or in low-light environments, an infrared camera is mandatory. If you need to record a large area at once, your top priority in choosing a camera should be one with a large FOV.

            Security Advisor | Security Audit | security consultant
            Last edited by MarvinLamont; 03-10-2012, 07:35 AM.


            • #21
              Tips on buying a CCTV system.

              Thanks for sharing these great tips. It is very difficult to find the best security system but with the help of this post we can easily purchase best security camera.


              • #22
                I completely agree with Smart Guardian opinion. he provide good information..
                That is really very important to have knowledge about CCTV cameras before buying this. The features, resolution, capture quality, vision are very important.


                • #23
                  Esky, that's a good point. Many times lenses are left out of the equation when configuring a new video surveillance system, but they can make or break the clarity of the shot, which is the point of having a camera in the first place. Of course pixel and sensor size matter too, but it's good to not forget the lenses and what role they play.
                  Safe Small Towns


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by gaylordsecury36
                    Thanks to all sharing good tips!
                    Thank-you for this interesting post.
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                      Thank-you for this interesting post.
                      Just stop answering his posts.
                      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
                      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

                      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference