This CCTV Buying Guide is a helpful tool if you are thinking of purchasing camera surveillance for your home but not sure where to start.


CCTV Buying Guide

A CCTV or a close circuit television is one of the easiest types of home security tools consumers can buy today. If you are planning to get a full home security system installed, you can opt to have a professional do it. But with the advancement of modern technology, CCTVs are now more affordable and easy to fit. Many DIY stores sell them off the shelf. There are hundreds of types, models and brands of CCTVs, most consumers who are buying a CCTV for the first time are not sure with what type to buy. This CCTV Buying Guide may be helpful for you.


CCTV Buying Guide


The Camera

  • Location. Determine if you need your CCTV indoors or outdoors. Outdoor security cameras help deter burglars, trespassers and thieves. They will need to be weather resistant to withstand rain, snow, sun-glare, low light etc. Indoor security cameras provide additional precaution in case an outdoor camera was not available or did not capture the images of the burglar. You can choose to get a network camera that includes indoor / outdoor functions.
  • Light Levels. Considering the amount of light available where you will position the CCTV is crucial. Ordinary cameras – whether color or monochrome – will provide low quality pictures if there is not sufficient light. Ordinary monochrome cameras will give a better output though compared to its color counterpart. Day / night cameras provide great visibility even in low light conditions. They can provide colored pictures during the day or when there is ample light, and black and white pictures when the light drops a certain level. It will still continue to provide high quality pictures even in the dark.
  • Wired or Wireless. Wireless CCTVs are generally easier to install with no cables required. Wired cameras, on the other hand, usually requires one cable to provide power and to take signal to the recording device. They can be positioned at a farther distance from the monitor or recording device and virtually has no interference.
  • Resolution. The two common types of CCTV cameras are CMOS and CCD. CMOS based cameras are usually cheaper but produce pictures with low quality. On the other hand, CCD cameras provide pin-point clarity and you can easily identify the person or things in the picture. The resolution of a typical entry level camera is 330 TV lines.Typical entry level camera resolution is 330 TV line. A high resolution camera can produce more than 400 lines.


The Recording

Recording options are usually neglected in a CCTV buying guide. If you want to record the footage from your CCTV camera, consider the following:

  • maximum length of recording time required
  • quality of recording
  • method of recording – continuous, manual or event led
  • recording equipment – domestic VCR, domestic DVD recorder, standalone digital video recorder
  • storage capability, retrieval and transfer of data


Motion Detectors

Motion activated recording is the most efficient type of video recording for CCTV footage. Motion can be detected by:

  • PIR Movement Detectors
  • Video Motion Detection


Date and Time Stamps

Superimposing the date and time on the video can make it easy for your to identify when an even occurred and was recorded.



The camera can be connected to the recorder in various ways depending on the type of system being used.


Camera Protection

Consider protecting your camera if it is an easy target for vandalism and / or if it is exposed to the elements if located outside.


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