Selecting A CCTV Camera System – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Today, businesses have realized the benefit of installing business CCTV systems in their premises. They have been able to protect their staff members as well as their premises. With a CCTV system, business owners are able to identify shoplifters and even robbers. Furthermore, it helps to keep an eye on the employees as it provides a central monitoring location.
To ensure that CCTV systems are more useful, they have been designed to be smaller and more sophisticated with many features. For a business, this is great, as they have a wide range of choices to select from. The problem comes when selecting the right type of CCTV system suitable for the business. This is quite a daunting task especially when confronted with different models and use of technical terms.
Here is a CCTV buying guide that should help you find the right system for your business!
What To Consider When Buying A CCTV Camera System
There are several factors that have to be considered by a business looking to buy a CCTV system for their premises. It is important to have a basic understanding of what components are needed and how the setup will appear.
Selecting the right output resolution
CCTV camera systems capture images and videos and one thing every business owner needs to know is about TVL. TVL refers to the resolution it can output and it’s counted by the number of horizontal lines. You can find systems that have a range between 380TVL and 700TVL.
When looking for the right output resolution for your CCTV camera system, look for one that offers 420 TVL at minimum level. Having a high resolution is great but this again depends on the input. So, if the lens and the sensor cannot match the output resolution, then the extra resolution is wasted. The output resolution is determined by the DSP. When looking for a CCTV system for your business, consider one with enough resolution to provide a clear display.
Selecting the right sensor
When looking for the right CCTV camera system, the sensor specifications are an important factor to consider. Two things have to be looked at when it comes to sensors – size and type. Two types are available – CMOS and CCD. CMOS is less expensive and utilizes less power. It is less sensitive and does not generate clear images. This can be problematic if the cameras are being used for identification purposes. Another thing about CMOS cameras is that they need more signal processing in order to generate a clear image.
When it comes to sensor size, the larger it is the more light it can process and the higher the image quality. Two sizes are available – ¼ inch and 1/3 inch. Larger sensors gather more light and provide the DSP with more data.
Selecting the right lens
The lens is located at the front of the camera and it helps to gather light from the environment. It controls focus which helps in identifying objects easily. A better lens is more helpful than having a higher output resolution as the lens determines the input.
When buying CCTV camera systems for your business, look for a zoom lens. There are several for example digital and optical. Digital is handled by the software while optical is handled by the camera. Digital zoom can be problematic as it provides no more information than was available in the original image. So, optical zoom is the best.
When shopping for CCTV camera systems, you will find IP, HD and analog CCTVs. Analog have been around for a long time and they are the predecessor when it comes to CCTV technology. They have the widest cross compatibility, they use less storage when recording and they are affordable.
IP CCTV systems have become the replacement for analog together with HD cameras. They have a superior image quality and provide access via the internet. Their downside is that they are expensive and have issues when it comes to cross compatibility.
HD CCTV cameras are the latest in the market and you are bound to the find HDSDI, HDCVI and HDTVI variations. HDSDI suffer from interference from strong RF signals so not suitable to install close to Wi-Fi routers. HDCVI uses low-frequency modulation so it avoids RF interference. It has a transmission range of 500 meters via coaxial cable.
HDTVI has all the benefits of HDCVI and has great cross brand compatibility. This would be the best choice for a large business.
As a business, it is important to invest in CCTV as this helps to monitor the business, the staff members and prevent internal and external robberies. Furthermore, it gives the business owner peace of mind as they have a system monitoring the business 24/7. When buying a CCTV camera system, there are factors that have to be considered.
The right lens, right sensor, output resolution, camera type, recording compression and network capability are some a few of the factors. The most successful purchases are those that are well informed and that is how this buying guide helps.
This guest post was written by Simon Parker who works on High definition (HD) CCTV cameras.