How to Pick the Right CCTV/DVR Security Camera Kit
If you’re reading this article, it’s highly probable that you are looking to buy aCCTV/DVR Security Camera Kit. Fortunately, this buying guide will give you thorough information and useful tips to help guide you in purchasing a security camera that best fits your needs.
As in all purchases, the main things to consider when buying are your resources and your needs. What is your purpose for buying this item, and how much are you willing to spend to achieve this objective? If you have clearly answered these two questions, then you will have an easier time finding the right set of security cameras for you.
But first, you should learn the basics. CCTV stands for Closed Circuit Television, while DVR means Digital Video Recorder. A DVR is connected by analog cables to a CCTV camera and records the images captured by the camera. A security camera kit is usually composed of these two devices.
From the name itself, closed circuit, CCTV footages are intended to stay inside a security system and are not allowed to be viewed by the public. Although that is highly uncommon these days, since CCTV recordings are now shown in newscasts and online streaming.
A CCTV/DVR security system is most commonly used to monitor homes, offices, and other properties to prevent theft and other malicious behaviors. In the case of offices, they are sometimes used to maximize employees’ productivity and control inventory. This system is effective either for constant monitoring or for observing a particular event only.
Some advantages of having this security system are:
1. To provide continuous traffic monitoring and make it easier to examine vehicular accidents.
2. To provide protection in public places such as malls, hotels, train stations, bus stations, and airports.
3. To check and control a company’s inventory and operations.
4. To make it easier for law enforcement agencies to pursue and identify robbers.
5. To have regular and continuous watch over places that needed it most.
If you are thinking about the cost to operate such a system, then you may look at it this way. Setting up a security camera system in your home or business may cost you a sufficient amount, but the fact that you are not only protecting your properties but also your life and those that you care for is absolutely priceless.
Now that you are ready to buy a CCTV/DVR Security Camera Kit, here are some factors that you need to consider.
1. Image Quality – CCTV cameras are mainly analog, and the image quality of analog recording devices is measured in terms of TV Lines of resolution or TVL. TVL is the number of horizontal lines a camera sensor chip can provide. The higher the TVL, the better the quality of the image produced.
- Standard Quality: 380 TVL to 420 TVL
- High Quality: 480 TVL to 520 TVL
- Very high Quality: 540 TVL to 700 TVL
2. Infrared LEDs – These types of LEDs emit infrared light and saturate dark areas, allowing the camera to capture images as if there was visible light. The more LEDs a camera has, the better it can see in low light environments.
3. Wire Configuration –CCTV cameras can be wired or wireless. A standard wired CCTV camera is available in BNC or DIN terminations and will need video extension cables. Meanwhile, wireless cameras are digital and offer high definition video and audio.
4. DVR or NVR – There are clear differences between DVRs (Digital Video Recorder) and NVRs (Network Video Recorder). Although the image quality is basically the same, the connections are different. DVRs are connected to the CCTV cameras, while NVRs are connected to the network or IP cameras. DVRs connect using analog cables, while NVRs use Ethernet cables. Typically, both systems have 4, 8, 12, or 32 channels. However, DVRs can only connect up to 128 CCTV cameras (128 channels), as opposed to NVRs which can connect over 1,000 IP cameras (over 1,000 channels).
Maybe you are thinking that NVRs are the better choice when buying because of its advanced technology and more flexible storing of data. But you should know that DVRs have more consistent recording quality and they outperform NVRs when it comes to recording in low light conditions. Again, think of your purpose before purchasing. Is it to cover a larger area that needs a lot of channels, or monitor places that have limited light?
5. Camera Imaging Chip –CCTV cameras produce images with CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) or CCD (Charge Couple Device) imaging chips. CMOS-aided cameras give poor quality video and have weak light sensitivity. On the other hand, cameras using CCD technology have better video quality. The larger the CCD chip, the higher is the quality of the video produced, and of course, the higher is the price. CCD chips come in 1/4″, 1/3”, or 1/2″ sizes.
6. Indoor or Outdoor cameras – Security cameras have electronic parts that are sensitive to the environment. Rain or dust can damage a camera if it is continually exposed. If you plan to use it outdoors, check if the camera you are going to buy has a weatherproof casing. It will help keep these harsh elements from entering your camera.
7. Colored or Black and White – Most people prefer colored cameras, but black and white ones are slightly cheaper and can see better in darkness. If you are going to use it indoors in good lighting conditions, such as an office, then you should consider a coloredone. However, recent developments made many colored cameras use an IR cut-filter for built-in night vision. Be sure to first check a camera’s specifications before buying.
8. Other features – Consider buying a DVR that has a large storage space. Since it records video into digital media, a higher storage capacity means longer hours of recording capability. Usually, when a DVR’s hard drive reaches its maximum capacity, it will overwrite the existing videos.
A DVR’s frames per second rate should also be considered. A higher frame rate produces smoother playback footages. Also check if the DVR has an HDMI port that can connect to an HD TV for real time playback in high resolution. Make sure that a remote control comes with yourCCTV/DVR Security Camera Kit, as it will make it easier for you to control the DVR from a distance.