Do you want a CCTV system for bragging rights or to keep you safe? CCTV is widely seen as a panacea for all types of crime. Numerous articles have been written criticising the inadequacy of CCTV systems. Yes, 90% of CCTV systems are ineffective due to improper selection, design, and installation. This article, How to Choose a CCTV System, will emphasise the idea that CCTV Security is a professional task that requires expert design and installation to be effective.
The Importance of Half Measures in the Selection of a CCTV System
Consider the following.
Consider that you were suffering from a medical issue that need minor surgery. Your chance to be familiar with a provider of medical equipment. How confident would you be purchasing a scalpel from a buddy and doing the procedure on your own, following the exact instructions he provides? I will not be comfortable with that – because a professional doctor makes a single incision based on years of experience and research – a study that encompasses a variety of closely related disciplines – all of which come together while making that incision. Without years of experience and education, you would be performing the incision! Ouch…
Now, when you enquire about How to Choose a CCTV System, you will receive responses from a security company, a CCTV shop, and a few friends. Typically, the shop does not specialise in CCTV equipment; they might be your neighbourhood hardware store with some CCTV on the shelf, or your neighbourhood mass mart having CCTV equipment alongside your groceries, or some renowned internet destination marketing all types of gadgets.
I want you to consider this. Can a mass mart shop assist you in selecting a CCTV system for your house or in purchasing the CCTV system that the stock? Is the retailer at the mass market assisting you based on years of expertise and study? – Recall our little medical illustration at the beginning of this essay!
Why should you seek expert advice in selecting a CCTV system?
If you want a CCTV system that will safeguard you and your family at your home or company, I recommend consulting a competent security adviser.
This market is densely packed with items. Many are constructed in Asian backyards using generic equipment – yet they all look identical. It takes several years of sampling and testing to determine which grains are wheat and which are chaff.
I’d like to tell a little anecdote.
I once mentioned to a Chinese manufacturer how costly their camera was. He inquired as to the price I want for the camera. I offered him a discount of around 30%. “Of course I can!” he shouted. “I’ll only use one board instead of two and reduce the number of integrated circuits on the board.”
If you choose a CCTV system only based on pricing, I can assure you that you will likely get inferior technology that will have a shorter lifespan, will likely be ineffective, and will provide a false sense of security.
I’m guessing this isn’t the post you expected to see when you searched for How to Choose a CCTV System.
Generally, these sorts of articles will attempt to educate you about CCTV. They impart just the information that the article’s sales guru possesses. Generally, such advice omits any reference to security and just assumes that CCTV is the best answer to your situation.
You will be informed about lenses, CCDs, and much more – BUT do you know what!? My CCTV techs have attended month-long courses – and quite a few of them – and I can tell you that selecting a CCTV system requires 100 to 1000 times the knowledge that you will obtain at the mass mart counter.
It never ceases to surprise me that individuals will purchase a CCTV system that will not function! DIY is half the price since it is a half measure!
Hopefully, you now see the point – when confronted with the task of selecting a CCTV system, seek expert advice.
What to do before contacting a CCTV company
However, there is something you should do at your house or company before contacting a professional. Even the most skilled specialist cannot provide you with an efficient system if YOU do not understand why you want it! I recommend that you do the following.
- Obtain the blueprints for your house or company, or create a schematic if you do not already have them.
- Divide your residence or business into significant sectors. e.g., kitchen, garage, sitting room, and front yard – you’ll have an understanding of your primary areas of concern.
- Label each section 1,2,3 or A, B, C – it makes little difference.
- Create a list of unpleasant occurrences that have occurred or may occur in each sector.
- For each occurrence, indicate how visual assistance (that is, CCTV) may aid you in managing, eliminating, or mitigating the event’s repercussions.
Once you’ve created this list, you’re ready to contact a CCTV firm and discuss your specific requirements. Leave the CCTV terminology, such as interlacing and progressive scan, spatial and temporal resolution, lenses, and camera kinds, to the CCTV professionals; understanding 10% of another trade will not assist you much!
Oh, and before I conclude the post, I want to emphasise that substandard equipment will swiftly erode a CCTV integrator’s revenue if they need to return to repair it! You can be certain that CCTV integrators use equipment that works for them – it may take a few purchases, at a cost, to discover a quality product that works for you.
I hope this article has helped you understand that the most successful CCTV system is one built by a security specialist with an extensive understanding of security in general.
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