After coming out of a hard lockdown and the festive season fast approaching, Wiltronics is bracing for an increase in criminal activity in Ballarat and surrounds. We are advising homeowners to assess their property safety using the following home security tips and considerations in this simple
Homeowner’s Guide to CCTV Security.
If you’ve ever browsed through CCTV surveillance camera brochures with their dozens of options, product shots, specifications and varying prices, you may have been tempted to just throw the brochure in the bin and leave the purchasing of a security system or upgrading an existing security system for another day.
The vast array of CCTV surveillance cameras and recorders on the market can be daunting, making it difficult to decide which system would be best suited to your home or business environment.
We’ve unpacked some of the basics of CCTV surveillance cameras to shed light on a few factors to consider before investing in a security camera system.
1. Cheap is expensive
Try to buy the best value for money CCTV surveillance camera system within your personal or business budget. It’s always wiser to invest in a good quality, small, entry level system that allows you to add more cameras later on. At Wiltronics, we can offer you a range of camera and recorder options made by reliable manufacturers, including brands such as Dahua and Uniview along with the Jaycar backed brands such as Concord.
2. Check the warranty
Some small retailers selling unbranded cameras may only offer a statutory six month product guarantee at best, which you might find yourself fighting for, if the camera fails within that time frame. The Concord CCTV surveillance cameras and recorders have a two year warranty and the professional Dahua & Uniview systems have a 3 year warranty.
3. Understand basic camera capabilities
When selecting CCTV cameras/systems, it is important to consider lens size (focal length), wide-angle degrees and data storage capacity. For high-quality systems, as a very general rule of thumb, for each millimetre of lens focal length multiplied by 2, then that is how far away in metres the camera will be able to show a relatively clear image of its subject.
For example a basic 90 degree wide angle, 2.8 mm lens will effectively identify a human target at up to 5.6 meters, but it will not have enough range to read a car’s licence plate at 10 metres.
Camera systems come with a range of data storage sizes from 1TB. The storage capacity can be increased by installing larger capacity and/or additional hard drives (up to 16TB), or network attached storage devices (QNAP & Synology NASes available from Wiltronics) to provide an unlimited capacity.
4. Clarify camera type
There are two types of CCTV surveillance cameras on the market, from the most affordable entry level analogue cameras (CVBS, and can incorporate High Definition such as AHD, CVI, TVI) and Internet Protocol (IP) cameras at the top end of the market. Fortunately, camera prices have dropped significantly with the advancement of technology. This has brought entry level HD-analogue and IP cameras into the realm of the home and small to medium sized business budget.
5. Comparing Analogue, HD or IP cameras
Deciding whether to buy more affordable entry level analogue cameras, or if you should go with HD or IP cameras instead, depends on the quality of the image you desire and your present and long term security needs. A basic analogue camera offers a low resolution image suitable for detection of people and to monitor areas. A HD camera may provide a crisp high resolution image suitable for identifying numbers and characters, or for evidential recording for legal purposes.
A higher resolution offers a far more enhanced picture, which makes it possible to zoom in digitally and retain image quality to help identify subjects and details such as vehicle number plates (YMMV-reading number plates is NOT guaranteed).
6. Decide what you want the camera to see
Do you want the camera to be able to see a vehicle outside the front driveway gate (longer focal length) or a pedestrian ringing the bell (shorter focal length)? What priority do you place on good night vision? You may need to consider starlight-low-lux cameras. Do you need a camera that can detect and auto-track an intruder? Then perhaps a PTZ camera needs to be considered.
7. Consider need for support lighting
CCTV surveillance cameras can record colour during the day but at night, unless sufficient support lighting has been set up, they switch to black and white. It’s important to provide support outdoor lighting, such as an LED floodlight, for colour definition, so that a meaningful intelligence report can be written up describing, for example, the colour of vehicles and clothing of intruders. New technology, ultra-low-light cameras that don’t need support lighting are available but it may be still may be more cost effective to use support lighting.
Grasping the wide range of camera technology on the market can take some time and there is so much more the latest cameras can do to enhance security. Would you like to know more about advanced capabilities or do you have any questions regarding how CCTV surveillance cameras can enhance your home or business’s security system?
Call Wiltronics on 5334 2513 to arrange an in-store demo of the different types of camera systems available.