How To Choose a CCTV System

Nowadays, locks and bolts are not enough to keep the bad guys away. A CCTV System can provide the security that your home or business center needs. Although, CCTV stands for "Closed Circuit Television", it also includes other security paraphernalia such as cameras, monitors, and security alarm notifications.

Before learning how to choose a CCTV system, the first logical thing to do is to consult a home security advisor. The home security advisor will provide you with pertinent information and key issues to consider in choosing your CCTV system. He may also give you cost estimates and referrals on the best shops from which to buy your CCTV system.

Now, here are the steps on how to choose a CCTV System:

  1. Take a good look around your home. Take into consideration the areas where you may want to put your camera. Think like a thief. Decide on probable areas of thief entry. Also survey the exterior of your home including the garage, backyard, gate, or adjacent alley.
  2. Decide on the number of cameras that you will install. Will you need just one, or more? You may want to have a camera in the living room, kitchen, dining room, and the hallway. This information will help you decide if you will need a switcher, multiplexer, or more monitors.
  3. How big is the area of your home that will need camera coverage? Having this information will help you decide on the type and size of camera and also the power of its lens.
  4. Consider the camera format that your CCTV system will use. Cameras are available from as small as 1/4 inch to as big as 1 inch. It is best to choose camera formats from ¼ to 1/3 inch, as you will have greater lens choice with these cameras.
  5. Decide on the type of lens that you will use. You can choose between fixed aperture, zoom, manual iris, and auto iris. Manual iris lenses are used in areas with stable lighting, while auto iris lenses adjust to light changes automatically. Zoom lenses are used for close-ups.
  6. Match the lens format to the camera format that you chose.
  7. Determine your camera to monitor ratio. If you want to have four cameras providing four different scenes in a monitor, you will need a quad switch.
  8. For recording times from four to six hours, you will need a commercial grade recorder. For recording times less than that, a standard VCR will do.
  9. Measure the distance of the camera from the subject.

You can have your CCTV system installed by a home security professional, especially if you will be installing in more than one area and will need networking. On the other hand, if you have the do-it-yourself spirit in you, you may do the installing yourself. There are already CCTV systems available in shops or online that come with handy and easy to understand set up instructions. Just make sure that you have done your research with regard to installation and troubleshooting.


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