CCTV, and especially analytic CCTV, is a worthwhile investment for your business IF done properly.
It’s got to be thought-through and carefully considered; it’s not just about bunging some cameras on the wall, there’s a lot to it!
Here are 7 essential questions you should consider to help you decide what you’re really looking to get out of your CCTV system before you buy
If you’re not sure about any of them, don’t fret – we’re here to help!
1 – Do you want your CCTV cameras to be discreet or a visual deterrent?
Dome cameras are the most discrete as their dark, semi-circled design doesn’t easily give away the direction the camera’s actually pointing towards.
Box cameras are the most obvious. The name itself hints at the shape of it and you’ll definitely know it’s there.
So, what are you looking for – to blend in and observe or to be a noticeable deterrent?
2 – Would you like your CCTV cameras to be indoors or outdoors?
Most modern cameras can be used both indoors and outdoors, however, being specific with your choice could lead to you having a clearer picture and many other benefits.
As well as this, factors such as temperature come into play. And longevity. You’re much better getting cameras specifically designed and tailored for being outside if that’s what you want than getting one which can do both.
So, be mindful if you’re setting your cameras up to brave the cold outside, a durable design and inbuilt heater may be necessary in certain conditions.
3 – What level of coverage are you seeking?
If each camera needs to cover a large area, you may want to look at dynamic and wide-angle view cameras.
If the coverage area is fairly small, a static camera can be the most efficient use of your resources.
Knowing what kind of coverage you’re looking for will also help answer other questions for us as your CCTV designers and installers, like what distance/zoom you want (i.e. how far away is your focal point?) and whether optical or digital lenses will be preferable (optical lenses move to increase or decrease the image whereas digital lenses don’t do this via the lens itself but electronically).
4 – How clear do you need your images to be?
Higher resolution cameras will be needed for larger coverage areas and therefore should have a clearer image.
However, small rooms typically require low-resolution cameras.
If you need to, for instance, be able to read number plates, when you look back at your footage, then you’ll need to consider the clarity of your images.
5 – What are the lighting conditions of the environment you’re seeking to place your CCTV cameras?
Indoor and outdoor lighting will impact the image and therefore must be considered when setting up.
While most cameras are adjustable, some specific cameras are not, so you need to consider lighting and how this may distort the quality of the playback images.
6 – Do you also need audio to accompany your CCTV?
Is sound just as important as the visuals? Some system set-ups enable you to even speak with potential perpetrators. In addition to this, audio detection can be used to trigger recordings and alarms when audio passes a certain threshold.
7 – Do you need to consider scalability?
It is likely that over time you’ll need to add more cameras? If so, having a flexible and scalable surveillance system is important, so make sure to include this within your considerations before investing in CCTV.
8 – What about playback?
Playback footage may not come out as clear as your live images. This is because when the footage is recorded, the system compresses the footage to save the data, therefore what you are seeing on playback will be a compressed image of what is picked up.
However, with the right Video Management System (VMS), the footage doesn’t have to be compressed, which means your video playback will be as clear as the live footage.
Our customer’s favourite and our recommendation would be to use Avigilon systems, cameras and VMS. The software and systems offer more than just high quality surveillance footage, but also analytical processes as explained earlier on in this article.