CCTV Buyers Guide

CCTV Buyers Guide

When buying CCTV there are a number of factors to consider. Let’s run through a few considerations before we get to the hardware.

CCTV Topography

When referring to CCTV topography we’re talking about the area you wish to cover. This varies enormously depending on your application. A home owner might wish to protect the entrance, the garage, the backyard and perhaps another area within the house. The application there and the principles behind camera placement are reasonably simple because of environment in which these cameras are place, the home, is essentially a simple shape with a few known entry and exit points.

Consider then a body corporate manager with multiple entry and exit points, perhaps multiple garages, houses spread across a wide area. Those applications require careful consideration on how to maximize the coverage of CCTV footage in a cost-effective manner.

Regardless of the application, one thing remains true for all CCTV applications. When you are protecting against theft you need clear footage. Think about the entry and exit points and focus on them. Think about the points where you will get clearly identifiable evidence (whether face or number plate) and make sure the cameras are placed to get the evidence you need. The burden of proof in a burglary is high and you need to make sure you can clearly identify a suspect from your CCTV cameras, not just a blur, the back of a head or the side or a car.

CCTV Cameras

The type of cameras you use will impact on the quality of footage you get. One mistake is to try and cover too much, and this relates to topography discussed above. Wide angle cameras and even 360 degree cameras cover huge areas but might not always give you the quality of footage you need (for instance, to identify someone involved in a theft or assault).

Take the example of a petrol station owner we attended a few years back. He had auto-focus cameras installed but never got the vision he needed when someone failed to pay. By trying to cover too much he got no reliable footage. We advised to install a narrow focus camera aimed at a point next to the pumps where all vehicles had to stop. That way he always got a number plate.

Features of CCTV cameras to consider are:

  • resolution
  • night vision
  • lens

High resolution cameras will greatly increase your ability to zoom in and get clear footage in part of your video. If you’re mounting cameras high and far you’ll need high resolution CCTV cameras to enable you to zoom in on part of your footage.

Night vision varies greatly from one camera to the next, with good cameras now offering 50m plus night vision. Keep in mind, they use infra-red, so make sure you clear away any close branches or obstacles. The infra-red will blaze off that obstacle, making it super bright and other areas duller.

Different lenses will vary how wide the area is you’re covering. A narrow lens will give you better video within the range it covers. A wide angle lens allows you to place a camera closer (for instance, in a small room) and still cover the breadth of area you need in your CCTV footage.

IP Cameras

A side-note here is the difference between IP cameras and analogue cameras. The industry is overwhelmingly moving over to IP (digital) cameras for their ease of application and quality of video.


The NVR (Network Video Recorder) is the device that records your footage. It should hold anything from a couple of weeks up to a couple of months of footage. Results will vary widely depending on how many cameras you have and the resolution of those cameras. For example, a simple two camera system we installed recently would hold months of footage. Last week we installed a 16 camera unit and we expect a week or so from it. Hard drive sizes vary in NVRs and we can always spec more space when required. Of course, everything comes at a cost and making cost effective decisions will determine the efficacy of your CCTV application.

It’s worth nothing that these days, pretty much any half decent NVR will support mobile viewing.



Please note that we offer free no obligation quotes for all CCTV jobs. If you’re not sure about what sort of CCTV equipment you need then give us a call today. Dallas and Luke are always happy to discuss your CCTV and security concerns. Call us on the number below for some advise or to arrange a free quote.





Examples of CCTV Systems We Install

This pricing table represents examples of the CCTV systems we install. For any questions regarding these security systems call us today.
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