Let’s not beat around the bush. CCTV is now one of the first things asked for when moving into a new home or when updating or renovating homes. It is now an essential part of protecting your most prized possession. But where do you start to work out what’s best for you? Let us help you decide:
IP (or Internet Protocol) cameras connect straight to your home network. This can be via your DVR or a separate network switch. AHD (Analogue HD) connect straight to the DVR.
IP cameras are generally more expensive but they give you the ability to expand the number of cameras just by connecting to the network. Also, there is the ability to apply analytics to the footage for more in depth understanding of what’s been recorded.
AHD Cameras are generally cheaper and give an almost identical end result in terms of the quality of recording. They do not require a network connection and, therefore, make them more robust than IP. AHD is real-time recording with no lag, unlike IP. As they require no basic networking knowledge, they are less technical to install.
For domestic or home systems, we recommend AHD. For commercial or business premises, we recommend IP.
This determines how clear the picture is depending on the screen size you’re watching on and the clarity when you zoom in. This is measured by Megapixel. The higher the Megapixel, the larger the image. Don’t be fooled to think that the higher megapixel, the higher the quality. It’s not true, that’s to do with the quality of the lens. For most home systems, we would recommend 2 Megapixel, or Full HD.
This is how many days of footage your system will save before it starts recording again. Generally, hard drives now start at 1TB. How much you want to store before it starts to re-record will depend on the amount of cameras you have and the resolution you’re recording at. We can work out what hard drive you need based on the system you decide on.
Most cameras come with between 10m to 60m range. This means how far the camera can see in the pitch black of night. For most houses, between 15 and 30 metres is suitable but if you have an exceptionally long drive or garden, 60 metres would be better.
This is the brains of the system. This processes and stores all the camera footage. The number of channels tell you how many cameras you can connect and view at any one time. The location of the DVR is crucial. We would recommend a loft, or a lockable cupboard in an upstairs room. This ensures that if you have a break in, then the DVR with the crucial footage is safe.
Both IP & AHD cameras can be installed with CAT5/6 cable. AHD can also be installed with shotgun cable (RG59 with power). The routing of the cabling is crucial. No cabling should be exposed at the lower level of the building as if its cut, this disables the camera. This is why it’s important to place the DVR on an upper floor or loft. This way the cabling is out of reach or completely concealed and the DVR is harder to find.
By connecting the DVR to your internet connection, you can download an app to access your cameras from anywhere in the world. The DVR can be hard wired to the router or if that’s awkward, connect it via home plugs.