CCTV help please!

26 Apr 2010
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United Kingdom
Hi all.

I need a CCTV system to use on a builder's yard. We've had a few burglaries over the years and a couple of months ago we had someone smash the locks off most of the buildings before the alarms scared him off.
I saw the vehicle involved with my own eyes but I couldn't get the registration plate; I'm hoping this is where CCTV will come in handy.

Unfortunately I have a low budget of around £200. I'd like to buy the equipment second hand and install it all myself, which should save on costs.
I don't know a great deal about CCTV technology, but I'd like a DVR constantly recording on a loop with time/date stamp and a large HDD to save at least a weeks worth of footage on each loop. The quality needs to be good enough to read numberplates from 10ft away; ideally it also needs to be good enough to use as evidence in court if needs be.

I plan to use one camera for the time being as I can always add more when I have the funds to do so. I won't be using any more than 2 or 3 cameras.

What sort of system would you recommend for this?
I was thinking about buying a used DVR like this one from Ebay:

What factors determine the quality of the footage? Is the camera more important than the DVR, or are they both equally as important?

Any help would be much appreciated.

EDIT: I forgot to add, I'd also like to be able to remotely view the CCTV via the internet -- I actually live next door to the premises, about 200 meters up the road, so I'd love to be able to see what's going on from home.
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Apart from second hand, you will struggle to get a system on your budget.

With regards quality a digital system can record each camera at differnet resolutions (sizes, just like computer monitor resolutions) and FPS (frame per second) and also quality. I have recently set up a system with a 16 camera input and with all the settings on maximum quality it would eat up the 500Gb hard drive in just over a day, but after adjusting the settings on each camera and time of day etc it now last the entire month.

With regards the remote viewing, most DVR's come with an ehternet port just for that option, just depends on the software that comes with it. You need to set up a static IP address and know the settings on the broadband router. But if you are only 200 metres away perhaps a video transmitter/reciever could be an option

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