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How to choose an apt Security System? (For Home users)

Getting a CCTV system setup for you home has become very easy today. How easy? Step out from your home and take a stride down the street. Within a matters of minutes, you would definitely come across an electrical shop that offers a CCTV setup, a dish installer offering CCTV system, a poster that offers all available options for under Rs. 9999 or the least a message popping out from nowhere reminding you of an CCTV installer awaiting for your call (guess it must be AI triggered). As easy as it can get, isn't it?. Yes and a absolute No. When it is very easy to hire a person to do the installation, it is hard enough to choose the right products and more, get the best out of the installer. When the choice of installer, depends on their recognitions, reviews and past work qualities, the choice of the security system is definitely more tricky. We shall discuss and debrief some choices to make it simpler.

Believe in the basics

Before diving deep into technology. What would a consumer look for in a CCTV Surveillance system? Let us just look up for the basic pre-requisites.

  1. Cameras with good image quality

  2. Sufficient Storage for having the video backup

  3. Durability of the cabling involved (if it is a wired setup)

  4. Mobile or Remote Monitoring, if necessary

  5. Display Availability and Options

Lets dive deep.

Camera Quality:

Basic selection criteria for selecting a camera would be based on the area to be covered (coverage) or the distance to be covered and the expected clarity. Cameras today with a 2.8 mm lens would be able to cover a distance of 15 to 20 meters normally and with a change of lens can extend to around a hundred meters. When coming to choice of clarity, measurable in MP or Mega Pixel, the ranges today start around 1 MP and extend all around up to 8 MP. We have left out the older technology of CVBS for the convenience of taking up a more practical and niche approach. The camera technology involved can be either IP (Network Cameras) or Analog (AHD, HD-TVI, HD-CVI) and the model based on the installation point (indoor or outdoor) could be either dome or a bullet. So for some one looking for a economical camera, put up outdoor, to cover a area of around 15 - 20 meters, the best choice would be to go for an Outdoor Bullet Camera with 2.8 mm lens and 2 MP Clarity.


One can check out for more details about the various types of cameras available (Click here) and the different models of cameras available (Click here) from our site.

Storage Requirement:

As most readers know now, the heart of any security system predominantly would be a NVR / DVR, which is responsible for the data processing and decision making aspects. The storage of the captured video footages is done into the Hard Disk residing inside the NVR/DVR. Choice of Hard disk is based on the length of the video footage required (for how many days). And thus the size of the hard disk, would be decided based on few factors about the video setup. Like,

  1. Number of cameras

  2. Clarity of the cameras

  3. DVR/NVR compression format

  4. 'Frames per second' chosen

  5. Number of days, recording backup is necessary

To make things happen quick, hard disk manufacturers offer exclusive surveillance storage calculators to arrive at this hard disk size. Few of the links are given below,

Seagate - Click Here

Western Digital - Click Here

All the choice of the variety should definitely be Surveillance Hard Disk and not a PC hard disk. We have substantiated the reasons on a separate article, check out. Click Here.

Choice of Cable:

You could have chosen the best in class camera, but with a low quality or a mismatched wiring, the result would be disastrous. The cabling requirement vaguely is Network cabling for IP cameras and Coaxial cabling for other HD technologies. Since fibre optic cabling is usually not required for home users, we shall leave that option out of this blog. When it comes to networking cameras, choice of CAT6 cable with thick copper core and good sleeve thickness would be impactful. For Indian operating standards, D-Link, Schneider and Hikvision have set themselves apart from others in the CAT 6 category. But with specifications matching and proper certifications to add credit, other brands could also be taken into account. Because of the plethora of options available, cabling choice for Analog HD cameras are bit complicated. Before exploring the options with coaxial cabling, we need to know that CAT6 cabling can also be used for Analog cameras. They also supplement with the option of upgrading the cameras to IP technology, in future.

Remember, Cameras need video and power cabling. In IP Cameras, PoE switches ensure both power and video are transferred through the CAT6 Cabling. But with Coaxial cabling, the varieties and options flow. RG 6 and RG 59 are the basic cabling standards for coaxial video signalling. However for ease of installation and making cabling cost effective there are many options where power and video cabling are bundled together. Colloquially called 3+1 or 2+1cabling for the number of power cables and video cables run together. A 3+1 cable has 3 multistrand wires for power and one single strand wire for video. Similarly a 2+1 cable has 2 multistrand wires for power. A choice of 3 + 1 cable gives an additional power line as backup, in case if there is any damage to one.

Pipelining the cameras is another important aspect necessary for ensuring the durability of the cabling. Cables should not be run in open. Even though, the sleeves protect the cable core from various climatic conditions, they don’t withstand the wear and tear of daily weather. Running the wall mounted cables with PVC pipes and underground cables with GI pipes ensure the cables withstand the toughness of time.

Remote Monitoring / Mobile View

World has come to the palm and what would it be like, to not have control of your home in the palm. CCTV Surveillance is manageable from a mobile phone. Most camera brands offer dedicated apps with live view, play back and configuration options. Plan for providing internet connectivity to your DVR/ NVR when setting it up, nothing more. With Plug and Play option or P2P, it all opens up with just a plug. Once connected to internet, the cameras will be available to view live from the downloaded app. Make sure, a dedicated Login ID and password is created for the recorder, so that if there is any issue with the mobile, switching on to the new one, would be a seamless operation. Visitor Login is a strict NO.

Display Options

Connecting a recorder to a display like TV or Monitor has become optional now. Since the CCTV is manageable from the comfort of mobile phones, the display options have become redundant in case of most home users. However, since minute details from video footages are important to surveillance, connecting to a display unit is recommended. DVR / NVR come with inbuilt VGA and HDMI ports. Most TVs have two or more HDMI ports and hence connecting the recorders to one of them is the easiest option.

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