Security News & Tips

How does a CCTV camera work?

CCTV technology has improved significantly over the years. The first CCTV camera was very large and bulky with very low resolution imaging and an analogue based signal transmission however, with great advancements in technology cameras are now much smaller, neater and more discreet with even pinhole sized lens now available to the security industry. Modern cameras such as IP, HD and digital boast high resolution, with faster and sharper colour footage. With these high resolution cameras it is easy to zoom and track people, objects and incidents. Nowadays there is a large selection of excellent signal transmissions available including IP (internet protocol), digital, wireless line of sight and wi-fi.

A CCTV works by recording a still or moving object or an incident and relays the image to a digital video recorder (DVR) plus a TV / PC screen or monitor. The footage is then stored on the DVR hard drive to enable the user to view the streaming footage at a later date.

The technology: CCTV v Standard TV

Most people will be familiar with standard TV broadcasting from using their multi – channel digital box receivers to watch and record their favourite programmes and shows. The signals are transmitted to each property wirelessly through satellite dishes or through cables underground. The major difference between the two is that standard TV broadcasts signals to the public whereas CCTV systems do not.

CCTV is more site specific as not every household or premises has it. The scale of the system is determined by the nature of the problem at each individual site. For example, a small house may require a two camera system with one TV / PC monitor while a large premises may require 16+ cameras with multiple monitors. In all cases the live CCTVfootage can be relayed to a professional monitoring centre who will report incidents to the Gardai and emergency services.

Wired or wireless CCTV?

The choice between installing a wired or wireless system in Ireland will depend on where you plan to install the cameras and how visible you want them to be. If there is a long distance between the cameras and the DVR (located inside the property) such as a camera mounted on a gate at the end of a long driveway then it would be easier and cheaper to install a wireless system. If you opt for a wired option you may have to consider civil engineering works to run cabling outside of your property.

Nowadays the wireless range of camera systems are more cost effective to install and the latest range of cameras produce very clear audio and video recording and footage. While these systems are becoming more popular with home and business owners they are also perfect for temporary sites, fast developing sites and sites where running wiring is not desirable.

Wired camera systems offer the exact same features as wireless systems, however it is necessary to install wiring from each individual camera with the wiring terminating in the property at the video recording equipment. You must ensure that the wiring is of sufficient length to enable connections from each camera to the recording equipment.

In terms of quality between the two systems this very much depends on the type of cameras you choose i.e. IP, HD, digital, high end megapixel, close range, covert, fully functional pan, tilt and zoom with automatic motorised lens plus many more.

CCTV installation

The installation process varies accordingly to each individual application. Typically the average home will require a small CCTV system with short distances between the cameras and the position of the DVR and monitor. The cameras most commonly used in this scenario are fixed lens as all subjects are in close range. You can allow for a system of this size to be installed within one day.

A bigger premises will often require a much larger scale system with long range variable adjusting lens cameras, allowing focus to change as the focal length changes depending on the subject or incident the cameras are concentrated on. Larger systems can take a number of days to complete with the installation time also dependant on whether it is a wired or wireless system being installed.

It is always advisable to install some cameras outside of your property in full view to act as a deterrent to criminals and reduce the risk of a crime taking place.

Whether you need a digital video recorder (DVR)?

In some cases CCTV systems are installed without a recorder with the cameras alone simply being used as a deterrent to criminals and an extra layer of security. However, should an incident take place there is no factual video evidence available to help your case.

The decision to record the surveillance is entirely up to you, however in all cases any qualified security professional will recommend installing a DVR. Whether you want to monitor your children at home while you are at work, prevent theft, burglaries or kidnapping, identify staff theft in your business, prevent financial loss etc having a DVR to capture recordings is a must!

If you are looking to reduce costs it may be useful to note that a CCTV system can work just as effectively without the need for a TV / PC monitor. Once there is a broadband network available in your property remote viewing can be set up allowing you to view and operate the system from smart phones, laptops, I-pads and other hand held media devices.

Why you need a CCTV system

1. It will act as a silent witness in your absence. Video footage can be used to identify suspects and in prosecution cases.

2. Garda services and neighbourhood watch groups worldwide strongly recommend installing CCTV systems as it is the best deterrent against attacks on your property.

3. It is a valuable tool in litigation where staff or visitors to your property take a liable action against you.

4. Your system can be linked to your intruder alarm system to give advanced warning of prowlers and potential burglars at your property.

5. For businesses it can be used for training staff, monitoring misconduct, identifying staff theft,reducing financial loss, improving productivity and time management, , investigating sexual harassment allegations and / or assaults plus preventing bogus insurance claims.

6. It allows you to monitor your property while away on holidays.

Contact ESP Security today for more information and a quote for CCTV today

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