Choosing a Home CCTV System
What Drives a Great CCTV System?
This is simple (according to us anyway), the CCTV system must provide clear evidence level recording that is easily extracted to ensure user sees exactly what happened and has evidence to prove it.
The system should also provide easy access for live viewing from smart phones, tablets and PCs anywhere in the world without needing a network engineer.
Choosing a CCTV System
There are several areas that need to be covered, so we will discuss each area below.
You will see terms like 960h to 720p, 600TVL to 480p, 1200TVL to 1mp, 2mp, 3mp, 4mp, etc. etc., it’s like the whole story was made to the highest level of confusing.
If you feel this then you are probably right.
The naming of the resolutions are done by specification and age. Meaning a High Resolution camera of 5 years ago does not mean it is HD now as high resolution several years ago was definitely not what we call full HD now.
When talking resolution, we follow these simple rules.
Small offices and front door close up, use a minimum of 1MP, although if you beleive it may be used as evidence we recommend 1080P (2MP) or above.
Front yards and larger retail/office areas, use a minimum of 2MP
Larger yards, industrial areas and other large spaces, use a minimum of 4MP
If you do not follow this formula, you are unlikely to get the results you need when something bad happens.
If the camera you are looking at has a H, like 960h or TVL like 1200 TVL then it probably IS NOT HD.
Always ask about the “p” rating, like 720p, 1080p, etc. or talk in Megapixels like 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP etc.
As per the resolution section above you will be presented with all the different technologies available like Analogue, CVBS, CVI, TVI, AHD, HD-SDI, IP, etc., the list goes on and on.
What does it all mean you may ask?
Well, not that much in some areas.
Firstly if it is Analogue or CVBS then stay clear as these are obsolete technologies.
If it is CVI, TVI, AHD, HD-SDI or IP then the technology is current and mainstream, although HD-SDI is now an ageing technology and is becoming more expensive and is a little harder to install correctly.
Selecting a Camera Shape
There are many descriptions, like pig nose, eyeball, bullet, lipstick, dome, full body, etc. etc.
In actual fact there is only two things to consider when selecting the shape of the camera.
If it is under a few meters high then select a camera type/shape that a crim cannot grab and point away or easily throw a rope over and rip down.
Secondly, select a style that looks aesthetically pleasing as it will be there for years.
It is expected that the average quality CCTV system should last up to five years and the industry is moving at an extremely fast pace. Please do not trust this investment to a company without a solid long term reputation.
An ineffective CCTV system is actually a false sense of security and represents a waste of money.
With all CCTV ask your installer to offer at minimum a 2 year warranty. With most OzSpy CCTV systems you have the option for up to or over four years warranty.
Always get your equipment installed by a licensed security installer. Failing to do this at very least may void your warranty and at most may end with you facing penalties.
IP vs COAX
For 1MP, 2MP, 3MP, 4MP we recommend coax systems as they do not have the latency and dropped frames that equivelent IP systems. You can run a coax based system on Cat5/6, but you will need baluns to convert the cable and you should expect to lose about 5% or so in quality of image/recording.
If you are going 5 megapixel or over then we recommend Cat6 (IP), otherwise for all systems under 5 megapixel there is little difference between high quality coax and high quality Cat5 or Cat6.
In the average home CCTV camera system OzSpy would not recommend wireless now that the frequencies are flooded and it is difficult to gurantee a reliable image using domestic grade systems.
Cheaper wireless systems flicker causing false recordings 24/7 for the particular channel causing a painful increase of effort in finding a relevant recording.
OzSpy does do wireless systems, but please know that professions wireless CCTV systems are custom built and a larger investment because we know that unreliable wireless CCTV systems make an average system unusable.