New CCTV Purchase advise

9 Sep 2011
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United Kingdom
Looking to purchase a 3 or 4 camera HD CCTV system. Installed a swannview 960h for elderly dad a while back but looking for something a tad more robust as swann quality not too good.
Question for the masses is, can I get something decent (HD, WITH RECORDER ETC) for around £250 - £300) Been looking at Hikvision this for example.. Requirements are outdoor cameras (wall/under eaves mounted), HD Quality, recorder (not too fussed on drive being overwritten every couple of weeks) Remote access via apps, (preferably port forwarding direct to recorder) .Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers J
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Yes HIK can do the above, but your description is vague, you still need your cabling for the cameras and to select the harddrive size, there harddrives didn't say if they were surveillance grade or not spoke on there live chat and said sata same as on your pc is required.

as for mounting, there is a whole array of mounting brackets for each camera, so your cameras have there own fixing points, plus you can get brackets to add the cameras to those brackets.

The company you posted isn't based in the UK.

depends on what resolution/ frame rate your recording at and how many cameras to how long you will get recording on certain size harddrive.
I was under impression the site selected was a kit, Recorder 4 cameras, cabling and camera mounts.. maybe i need to go back to them and ask the question.. I have 1TB sata drive ready, presume that would be sufficiant for 4 cameras over 2 week period. Mainly going to use setup for my residence with motion alerts on specific areas.
with the HQ version of the DVR you can add 4 Turbo cameras, and 2 ip cameras, the ip cameras have there own intelligence built in and can do VCA which is better than motion detection and also will allow of the 4 turbo/ analogue cameras for 2 of those to have basic VCA (done at the DVR end).

the video analyticals allow up to 4 lines to be crossed in a direction or both directions and 4 intrusion box's so if you have a particular area you want to know if someone has entered you can get notifications to your mobile phone and email alerts. You can also intelligently search for events, which mean you don't have hows trailing through recordings.
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Just found this forum and hoping I can add some value with a bit of advice from time to time.

The short answer to your question is no, you will have to spend a bit more than that I suspect. So what's wrong with the package you linked to?

Strip away all the "Turbo HD" jargon and what you have are fixed lens wide angle cameras. This immediately causes a problem because it means the pixels spread apart rapidly as you move away from the camera. You need cameras which you can zoom in and out during installation to make best use of the available pixels. The more you zoom in the more detail you capture. Wide angle camera images deteriorate rapidly as you move away. A 2.8mm lens camera gives about 90 degree angle of view but in standard definition can only identify someone up to about 1.5 metres away. Even at 1080P this only increases to about 3 metres.

Using a wide angle camera is a bit like heating your house with the doors and windows wide open. You can chuck a load of heat out of your boiler but the house is still going to be cold.

You need to choose a camera with the correct lens range for the distances involved. The smaller the focal number of the lens the wider the angle of view, the larger the number the more telephoto. Typical lens ranges would be 2.8-12mm, 6-22mm and 5-50mm or thereabouts. In 1080P HD you can identify someone about 3 metres away with a 2.8mm lens, 75 metres away with a 50mm lens.

There's some useful information about cameras here:

Aside from the fixed lens wide angle cameras the "Turbo HD" cameras are only 720P rather than 1080P so not as "HD" as you might expect. 1080P is effectively twice as good as standard definition D1 or 960H resolution, 720P isn't.

Finally I wouldn't fit your cameras under the eaves. You end up filming the top of people's heads and to cover any area you have to open the camera up to a wide angle which, as we've already seen means poor image quality. Fit them lower down and try to film across the ground.

Hope that all makes sense and is of use.

its been pointed out that the cameras are 720p

Nice link to YOUR site .... Just a selling ploy !
I have purposely not linked to somewhere with anything for sale. I believe the information will help the OP and anyone else looking to fit CCTV. There is a lot of information contained within the link, far too much to copy and paste on here.

Ultimately yes, I own a company which supplies CCTV equipment but I hope that means my advice is all the more useful.

Aside from repeating the fact that it is a 720P system I couldn't see any of the other advice contained within the thread and I think it is vital that these points are covered. It is the foundation which dictates whether a system will work well or not.

Henry :)

you may find useful can only use one camera at a time, but you should be able to select a camera and get an idea of the pixel density at a distance X.

you need to make sure that when the camera is selected that the lens option used is a valid one available for that camera.
Note if your cameras are low down you may want to consider vandal proof.

You have to decide what you want the camera to do and under what conditions and select the best fit within your budget.

By the way thats £60 a camera, no cables and no DVR?
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Thanks secure, I know, priced 4 of quoted cameras running over cat 6 with baluns and dvr for £293 delivered which didn't seem to bad
The problem is they are still fixed lens wide angle cameras. Forget the 20 metre range, realistically I would suggest a 1080P 3.6mm camera has an effective optical range of up to about 6 metres or so. BUT, and it's a big but theoretical range is subjective not objective. We can talk about pixel density, home office guidelines and so on but that is all theory. With these fixed lens cameras you can't change the angle of view so you are likely to be wasting pixels. Your image isn't as effective as it could and should be.

You need to think carefully about what each camera is going to do. We look at sites using internet imaging from which we can take measurements and recommend cameras / lenses based on that. For distances up about 15 metres the 2.8-12mm lens is a really versatile choice. At one extreme you can cover 90 degrees at the expense of detail capture at the other end you can capture usable detail up to about 15 metres. Once installed see how far you can zoom in and still cover an effective area. Better to capture good quality images over a limited area than machine gun an area capturing no detail.

In crude terms you can film about 3.5 metres width and identify someone in standard definition D1 resolution, 8 metres wide in 1080P. But if you cover an area less than 8 metres you start to make the best use of HD and record in greater detail. Getting the camera properly zoomed in on an area is the single most important part to get right on your CCTV system.

If you are fitting a camera close to a door to cover the area immediately around it then you might get away with a fixed 3.6mm lens camera on the basis you are only trying to capture detail over a short distance.

If you want to cover a driveway you will need to use a varifocal camera (such as 2.8-12mm) so you can cover longer distances and ensure your pixels are concentrated in the necessary area.

So it isn't a case of 1 camera doing all, you are likely to need a range of different cameras.

Henry :)
I think you need to increase your budget ? Still in cheap Swann area ?
You need to choose your camera carefully .
Hmm I see your points gents,, but looking at the YouTube clips comparing the images 960h from my dad's swann compared to the camera mentioned above,, chalk and cheese,, I mean I have a cheapie standalone HD camera from China in my house front window, even that on zoom can read number plates etc 7 to 10 meters at end of drive,, for me this is a deterant and alert system to go with house alarm,, I appreciate your comments guys but surely these devices can accommodate for general household needs,, ie close range surveillance on 4 corners of house at least..

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