Common Queries

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section we try to answer some of the more common questions we get asked.

A CCTV system will be based around a DVR or digital video recorder. CCTV cameras are connected to the DVR using cables and there will be some ancillary items such as a power supply for the cameras.

DVR or digital video recorder

The DVR is the heart of the CCTV system. It takes all the camera inputs, arranges them on screen for live viewing and also stores footage onto a hard drive for viewing at a later date. Our DVRs record all the cameras regardless of what you are viewing live on your monitor. It is possible to view 1 camera at a time or several camera in various combinations depending on how many channels the DVR supports. We sell 4, 8 and 16 channel DVRs which are suitable for 4, 8 or 16 cameras respectively. They can be combined, so 2 16 channel DVRs could host a 32 camera CCTV system.

Our DVR recorders also support remote access over the internet. You need to connect the DVR to your internet router. This can be done either with a cable, a power bridge adapter which uses your electrical wiring or a wireless network point. Then wherever you are in the world you can view live footage from your cameras, see previously recorded footage, make back ups of important events and even make settings changes to the DVR.

The cameras

CCTV cameras are the most important thing to get right and we have devoted quite a bit of space on our website to helping you make the right choice. We are always glad to offer help and advice if you are planning a CCTV system so pick up the phone and give us a call. We can have a look at your property using aerial images whilst talking through your specific requirements and select which cameras will best suit your requirements.

Cables

The cable from the DVR to the camera does 2 jobs. It transfers video from the camera back to the DVR and it supplies 12 volt power to the camera. Video connection is via a BNC connector. If you are using CAT5 cable then the BNC connector will be part of the video balun.  12 volt power connections are 5.5mm jack plugs. At the camera end there is a DC plug, at the DVR end a DC socket into which the 12 volt power supply for the camera connects. For this reason you would normally locate the camera power supply next to the DVR unit. The DVR will be supplied with it’s own 12 volt power supply.

The length of the recorded footage on a DVR or NVR is impacted by many variables. Firstly the number of cameras and how they are setup to record can greatly increase or reduce the recording duration. If the cameras are setup to record just on motion detection without audio, you will get most efficiency out of your DVR. Frame Rate also plays a huge role in video storage, a frame rate of 6 frames per second will make recorded video look jumpy, whereas 15 frames per second will smooth out the movement but double the storage space required. Most cctv cameras can record at a maximum of 30 frames per second, you would use this to capture number plates of extremely fast moving vehicles, the storage for video at 30 fps will be considerably higher than 6 and 15 fps video streams
When it comes down to image quality, digital cameras will always surpass analog cameras. Similar to analog TV’s versus digital TV’s the image clarity and sharpness is much better. In addition, the recording resolution (the amount of information displayed on the screen) is much higher. On the news nearly every day we see terrible CCTV footage, you’re not able to make out the face of a suspect or their number plate or any distinguishable features for that matter. Digital CCTV cameras dramatically improve the ability to recognize detail which can lead to identification and if the suspect is guilty, conviction.
Knowing which CCTV Camera to use for which application can be tricky. The majority of our cameras (not including the NPR cameras) can be used in most common scenarios. We would recommend fixed lens cameras as standard as you do not need to adjust the zoom and focus of these. If you do want to adjust the zoom and focus of a camera we would recommend the auto focus cameras as these cameras will automatically focus if installed on an SPRO system, you can even adjust the zoom and focus from your mobile phone. All of the external cameras we sell have IR built-in as standard so they will work with no light with differing ranges in IR distance depending on the camera model.
When viewing remotely it is important to have good upload speed as you will be streaming footage from the NVR/DVR. For this reason we would say that 2mb should be the minimum upload speed required in order to view remotely.

FAQ