CCTV stands for closed circuit television.
It is different from normal broadcast TV in that camera signals are not publicly distributed instead video security cameras transmit their signal to a closed set of monitors.
CCTV installation systems are used primarily for surveillance and security purposes.
Benefits of having a CCTV installation in the home and business
A deterrent to potential thieves or burglars
If your house or business is protected by CCTV and the one next door isn’t there is a good chance they will choose to leave you alone
A feeling of security and peace of mind
Anyone who has had their house broken into will know how dreadful an experience it is. Normally we think of our homes as somewhere safe and secure so, knowing an intruder has invaded our personal space can be extremely distressing. Knowing that your house is being monitored 24/7 can help alleviate these feelings.
Increased chance of conviction
If your business or home has been burgled there is an increased chance of the culprits being identified and convicted if CCTV is installed
Reduced insurance premiums
Insurance companies don’t like paying out on claims. Anything that you can do to reduce the risk of a burglary occurring in your home will be seen positively by most of them. Give yours a call and ask them about this.
CCTV installation systems come in a variety of configurations. Firstly you will need one or more cameras that can produce high quality images. The type of cameras you will need depends on whether they are for outside or inside your property and whether you want them to be visible or hidden.
Visible CCTV cameras
These are very popular and are usually used externally in homes and businesses. The biggest advantage of visible CCTV is that it is a deterrent to potential burglars.
Since this type of camera is for use outside they will need to be weatherproof and positioned so that they can’t be tampered with. Vandal proof cameras are available but are more expensive.
Where you position external cameras is also important. You must comply with privacy laws which means making sure that your cameras aren’t pointed at public space or other people’s houses or gardens. The best place to put a camera is overlooking areas where someone is likely to try and
gain access to your property. This is usually the front and back doors and off street, easily accessible, windows. A security specialist is the best person to advise you on this.
Hidden CCTV Cameras
Hidden CCTV cameras are usually installed inside a property and are often more compact than external ones. They can be built into light fittings, smoke alarms, even inconspicuous objects like a child’s toy. They are generally more expensive to buy but relatively easy to install. The advantage of this type of CCTV is that it can capture and record activities without anyone being aware of their presence.
You will also need somewhere to record and store the video images.
This is usually a DVR (digital video recorder), NVR (network video recorder) or even a PC hard drive. You will need to decide how many days worth of images you want to store and ensure that you have adequate space available.
Analogue and HD CCTV Systems
Analogue CCTV systems use standard definition analogue cameras hard wired to a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) using cables.
HD CCTV systems use HD security cameras and DVRs which support resolutions of 720p and 1080p. They are also hard wired to a DVR using coaxial cables
Most people now understand the benefits of a having a HD (High Definition) television for watching programs that have been broadcast using an HD quality signal. The TV screen has more pixels and so images are much sharper and detailed even when
the screen is large. This enhanced clarity makes HD technology ideal for use in CCTV systems. Analogue systems are now often seen as an aged technology.
Can I upgrade my analogue CCTV to a HD CCTV system?
If you currently have an analogue system and want to upgrade to an HD one, a security systems expert is the best person to advise you. However as a rough guide
- DVR – if your DVR was bought before 2014, it will probably need replaced. However more modern DVRs can support more than one type of video standard and so can be re-used if upgrading
- Cables – some types of coaxial cables used with analogue cameras can also be used with HD cameras so you may be able to re-use your cable.
- Power Supply Boxes – you may be able to re-use this but it will depend on the voltage of the new HD security cameras matching the power supply i.e. 12V DC or 24V ac
- Cameras – if you want to upgrade to a fully HD surveillance system, then you will need to replace your cameras. However if you have a DVR that supports both types of video standard then you could continue to use your old cameras and add a few extra HD cameras to your system.
IP High Definition (HD) CCTV Systems
This type of CCTV uses an advanced megapixel IP (Internet protocol) camera to record footage. This footage is then sent over an IP computer network and can be viewed using computers on the local network, or remotely via the internet. IP systems are generally better suited to large organisations as they usually already have IP based computer networks with connections to the internet. Cables can be ran to the nearest network point instead of back to the NVR (network video recorder)
Benefits of IP High Definition CCTV
A significantly superior image quality
Also, IP cameras have a greater field of vision which means you may need less cameras to cover a particular installation, reducing costs
Network based systems can be easily extended and provide long term value
‘Video Analytics’ software can be integrated with CCTV
It can then be used to detect objects being moved, recognise faces, count objects, follow moving objects, notice changes in expected behaviours etc. It can transform standard CCTV systems into more effective ‘intelligent’ detection and alert systems
Relatively easy to install and low maintenance
Uses existing IT infrastructure, so cost effective
Existing analogue CCTV cameras can be utilised
Video encoders can be used to digitise the analogue signal. This can then be sent over IP networks
PoE (Power over Ethernet) HD cameras can be used
This type of camera make the whole installation process much easier. They only require one cable so this gives more flexibility in camera placement, and avoids expensive electrical work to move or install a power outlet near the camera.
Remote access using your smart phone or PC
All types of CCTV system can be networked to allow you to use your phone or PC to access the images picked up by your security cameras.
This gives you the ability to keep an eye on your property, day and night, wherever you are in the world.
CCTV Integration with your Intruder Alarm
CCTV systems can also be set up so that they can interact with your intruder alarm. On the event of an intruder tripping your alarm, a signal will be sent to your smart phone or computer. This will allow you to see exactly what is happening in your home or business and decide whether it is a false alarm or if the police need to be called. For many people who do not like leaving their home unattended this can give extra peace of mind.
It is clear that CCTV is a great first line of defence against crime. However it can and should be used in conjunction with other security measures, such as a good burglar alarm, insurance approved door and window locks and security lighting around your property.
If you would like to discuss CCTV installation systems for your home or business, or have any other security requirements you would like help with, please get in touch or give Graeme a call on 0131 531 4727