CCTV (closed circuit television) security kits can include everything you will need to set up a video surveillance system in and around your property.
A basic CCTV kit includes at least one CCTV camera, a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or NVR (Network video recorder) which simultaneously monitors and records video footage and occasionally audio too. Along with all of the video cables and power supplies for running and connecting everything together.
The DVR or NVR allows for recording of the camera images and dependant on the size of the hard drive (HDD) will allow you to record days, weeks or even months of footage to playback should the need arise.
Almost all DVR’s / NVR’s allow internet connection via a network port which gives you the option to keep an eye on things remotely from any location via a smartphone App or on a PC but this is optional and the CCTV system will
always run as a standalone security device independently.
Cameras and channels
The amount of DVR or NVR channels advertised indicates the amount of cameras you are able to connect to your recording device. For instance a kit could be supplied with 4 cameras but have an 8 channel DVR, meaning additional cameras can be purchased and installed with your current system up to a maximum of 8.
Image quality and playback
Camera image quality is generally referred to as MP (mega Pixels). The higher the number of MP the better quality of image that is displayed. A standard resolution for cameras these days is around 2 to 3 MP which gives a resolution of 1080P, this is the same as most HD television channels and perfectly good for most situations. Next step up in resolution is around the 5MP range which will give a clearer image at a greater distance than the standard 2mp cameras.
The higher end resolution is the 8MP range which can also be referred to as 4K resolution. These produce very sharp image but you will need a 4k monitor to be able to notice the difference from the lower resolutions.
One of the main benefits of having the higher megapixel cameras is that you can use a digital zoom feature when playing back any recorded footage and the image is less prone to blur and pixelate as it will with the lower resolutions.
This leads us on to the playback DVR/NVR resolution to consider which is also measured in MP as are the Cameras.
When selecting Recorders and cameras you need to ensure the Camera and recorder resolutions match so generally if selecting a range of 5mp cameras you should also check that you select a 5mp recorder to suit.
Having said that you can run 5mp cameras or 2MP cameras on a 4k DVR but a 2mp DVR/NVR wont run 5MP or 8MP cameras. So recorders are backwards compatible with lower resolution cameras.
Night Vision options
Infrared (IR) LED in the cameras giving night vison allows your CCTV camera to capture images in the dark.
The performance of this feature can vary between cameras due to the distance they are able to cover generally referred to as IR distance in meters.
The other choice for night vision is “Full Colour” which utilises white LED on the cameras instead of the IR which are bright enough to allow near normal light and colour up to a given range in meters.
These are effective but should be considered carefully due to light pollution and increased energy usage.