CCTV Buying Guide for Beginners

CCTV is the most popular method used to keep a property safe and secure, whilst offering complete peace of mind. Whether it is a commercial or domestic property you wish to secure, there is an abundance of CCTV systems available on the market to suit all types of property’s.

However, with such a huge choice comes the problem of making the right decisions as to which product will suit your individual requirements. CCTV need not be confusing if you keep in mind a few important pointers before making that final purchase.

Indoor or Outdoor CCTV

Outdoor CCTV is a great visual deterrent. If you decide to place CCTV outside of your property, you need to make sure your chosen cameras can withstand a multitude of weather, especially the temperamental British weather!

Outdoor cameras also need to be placed at a certain height to guarantee they will not be tampered with. This means ensuring a camera will be placed high enough to deter vandals but, at the same time, also at the correct positioning to allow a good quality picture.

It is also worth looking at purchasing more than one camera for entire coverage. You may find that one camera isn’t enough to adequately cover specific spots of your property, and this may mean investing in a few cameras to ensure your whole property is covered. Luckily, many CCTV products provide more than one camera, allowing you to network them all to the one main system.

There are also several cameras that can protect the inside of your property. These types of systems may not be as big and obvious as outdoor CCTV, but they can be just as effective. Most indoor cameras can be simply plugged into an electrical socket like any other electrical device. Indoor cameras are best placed out of view to ensure they aren’t easily knocked, or possibly removed when detected. Best positioned to capture doorways and windows, these types of cameras are quick and easy indoor solutions.

Formats, Resolutions and Storage

Once you have decided on where you are going to position your CCTV, you then need to look at the quality of the images produced by your preferred camera. It is advisable to see what images each camera produces before you buy, because finding out afterwards that your captured images are grainy, leaving you unable to identify potential intruder’s facial features, renders your data completely useless when you may need it the most.

For many, CCTV protection during the darker hours is often more of a priority. Many cameras will claim to offer night time vision as standard but, once again, the only way to determine the effectiveness of night time images is to see it in action beforehand. In the dark, movement and action is harder to pick up on than it is during daylight, so it is crucial your chosen camera offers a strong infrared night vision element.

Lastly, does your chosen system allow sufficient storage of images? If you are away for a week or two, will the system keep its data until you get back, for you to review, or will it override it within a few days?

Mobile CCTV

The best CCTV systems allow images to be checked from a mobile or other device such as a tab or PC. This allows you to keep an eye on your property even when you are not there. A good product will alert you to any signs of movement and activity at any time of the day, as well as showing feeds in live time.