The Do’s and Don’ts of Finding Your Perfect CCTV System

If this is your first time perusing the market for a video surveillance system, you might’ve already stumbled across some confusing technical verbiage or overblown sales hype. There are many different types of surveillance systems, and lots of conflicting misinformation when it comes to brand, camera type, and quality. It can be difficult to navigate the market on your own. Consider these helpful do’s and don’ts before you purchase your choice of camera system.

Don’t base your decision solely on a camera system’s clarity and resolution. Most systems offer a selection of 1080p, 2k, 4mp, and 8mp, and record in HD video formats, so basing your decision on camera resolution doesn’t narrow your selection much anyway. Obviously, camera resolution is still an important factor, especially if you’re looking to monitor areas in low light, but it’s mainly just a distracting detail since most cameras on the market operate with the same resolution and clarity.

Don’t base your selection on viewing and recording features because, again, this won’t narrow your search much. Many CCTV surveillance systems come included with up-to-date software features that allow you to customize your surveillance operation to meet your specific goals. Some of these features might include motion activated recording, audio recording, remote viewing, remote alerts, digital zoom, pan-tilt-zoom controls, scheduled recording, multi-camera live viewing, multi-camera playback, object search, and even more. So, again, don’t choose your camera CCTV system based on a particular recording feature.

Don’t select a security camera system based on remote viewing features, either. Most CCTV surveillance systems come equipped with built-in remote viewing features, Internet accessibility, and connectivity with your computer and/or smart devices. Without monthly fees, additional equipment, or setup hassles, you should already expect any CCTV surveillance system to have remote viewing features, so, again, this isn’t an important criteria on which to base your selection.

Do steer clear of choosing security cameras advertised as “wireless” or “wire-free.” All digital video transmission should be wireless at this stage of the game. Plus, cameras that rely on battery power require frequent charging and/or battery changes, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient. The only time you should really consider a wireless CCTV system is when running a cable from the camera to the network port isn’t possible. Really, the only benefit of “wireless” is short-term convenience, not quality or reliability.

Do consider using old-fashioned coax cable (CVI) rather than IP cameras for HD video, as nowadays CVI is easy to install, inexpensive, and, with today’s tech, fully capable of transmitting HD video. Don’t discount the old wiring technology of CVI; it’s essentially an older, more reliable technology with all the new HD viewing capabilities added. Plus, it’s easier to upgrade an old analog CCTV system to CVI with HD features rather than installing an entirely new system altogether.

Do consider utilizing a power-trans-kit as a solution for any other difficult wiring problems. For example, if you’re unable to run a cable from your camera system’s location in one room of your home to your internet modem in another, simply plug one power-trans-kit into a wall outlet by the camera and connect them, then plug another unit into an outlet by the modem and connect them, and then use a network cable to connect the two units so that the power line transmits the video data signal across your home’s 110v power grid. With the power-trans-kit at your disposal, you have an easy solution for any hard wire run.

When it comes to choosing the best CCTV surveillance system for your home, the list of do’s and don’ts could be endless. There’s a myriad of advertising pitfalls and irrelevant features that sellers often deploy to attract (and distract) buyers, and it can create a haze of confusion. Hopefully, this list will get you started on the right track to finding the right surveillance system for your home or business.

At Video and Sound Services, Inc., we help companies and homeowners set up surveillance systems. We work with audio and video surveillance equipment often and can help you find the right equipment for your needs. Call us at (708) 562-6316 to upgrade your system.