Guide to Buying the Right CCTV for Your Business

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Guide to Buying the Right CCTV for Your Business

Closed-circuit television or CCTV is increasingly becoming a fixture in businesses across Britain. These systems are employed to help businesses operate, efficiently and successfully. Extrinsic costs related to inefficient workers and theft, have compelled many businesses to install CCTV cameras. These costs, including those associated with litigation and insurance claims can impact a business's bottom line. Therefore, CCTV is the solution for many businesses, large and small.

In order to determine the right CCTV setup for a business, the buyer needs to examine several factors. First, the business needs to be clear on what the CCTV system is going to be used for. A CCTV system is either analogue or digital. Other CCTV system features to consider include the types of cameras and monitors, image quality, and video storage capability. A buyer can find CCTV systems at local electronics shops, security surveillance stores, and online. eBay offers a wide selection of quality CCTV components for any business at affordable prices.

Business Uses for CCTV

When CCTV systems were first brought to market, they were very expensive due to production costs, and so banks were often the only businesses that used CCTV systems. The main concerns for banks were and still are security and ongoing surveillance. Recent advancements in technology and subsequent lower costs have seen more and more smaller businesses install CCTV systems. Now, both small and large businesses install and use CCTV systems.

CCTV can be used during daylight or nighttime hours. Depending on the type of technology, they are used either within smaller areas like stockrooms or to cover large areas like shop floors. They can be operated continuously without interruption or the cameras are only activated when motion is detected in a space.

Security

Before CCTV systems came along, it was often difficult to charge and convict an individual of a crime, due to insufficient evidence. By installing a CCTV security system, a business is able to record a crime such as theft on the premises and use the video evidence to press charges against the guilty party. Having this evidence helps when laying insurance claims. It also gives the business owner peace of mind, as the presence of a CCTV system deters people from stealing from the business. For those seeking the highest level of security, continuous, uninterrupted video recording is the best option.

Surveillance

Businesses also install CCTV to monitor their employees. They track their work habits, ensuring that the employees are working efficiently. This surveillance technique helps deter workers from wasting time when they should be working. The use of CCTV can help in cutting downtime.

Types of CCTVs

A CCTV is a closed-circuit television that limits its transmission or signal to a small number of receivers. It does not widely broadcast outside of its limited area. A CCTV uses video recording to monitor businesses for security and surveillance purposes. There are two main types of CCTVs. They are analogue CCTVs and digital CCTVs.

Analogue

Analogue CCTVs first came about in the 1970s. Such a system is wired by heavy coaxial cables that connect the camera to the monitor. The signal was relayed from the camera through the cable to the monitor. This is called a wired system. A business could use more than one camera if needed. The separate images would be displayed on one monitor through the use of a multiplexer. Due to the amount of cable needed to wire the CCTV system, the analogue CCTV system is more expensive. A wired analogue system is also limited in how far a signal can be sent. A wireless analogue CCTV system is more convenient but less common. It employs less cable by using radio transmitters to relay signals from the cameras to the radio receivers on the monitors.

Digital

Digital CCTVs are slowly replacing analogue CCTV. Digital CCTVs use special cameras called Internet protocol cameras to convert sounds and images, transferring them over the Internet or throughout a localised or wider coverage area. This wireless configuration, in comparison to analogue CCTV, uses less cable, making it less expensive to setup and maintain. Another advantage of digital CCTV is that the wireless signal can be transmitted over a greater distance. Businesses can monitor surveillance video from other locations such as a home, another business, or even another city. This ease of use and convenience makes digital CCTV a popular choice.

Types of CCTV Cameras

There are several different types of CCTV cameras. They include standard, dome, hidden, and infrared cameras. The cameras either produce a colour or black and white image. A CCTV camera that transmits a colour image is more expensive than a CCTV camera that transmits only a black and white image. The black and white image in comparison with the colour image may not provide enough significant details about the scene being surveilled. The type of CCTV camera selected depends largely on what it is going to be used for and where it is going to be located.

Standard

Standard CCTV cameras resemble small camcorders and are used during daytime hours. They are the basic CCTV camera and can be mounted to the wall or ceiling. Their main disadvantage is that they are easily seen and may detract from the overall decor. However, the fact that they are so conspicuous means that they do deter criminal activity.

Dome

Dome CCTV cameras are small cameras. The camera's lens is less noticeable than with standard CCTV cameras. They can be mounted to the ceiling, blending in better with the surrounding decor. Many businesses use more than one dome camera for surveillance. Some businesses use what is called a dummy dome camera, a fake security camera, to trick would-be criminals into believing they are being monitored.

Hidden

Hidden CCTV cameras are small cameras hidden inside other objects. They can be hidden inside common objects such as a clock or fan. Because they are hidden and cannot be seen, they are used to 'spy' on certain individuals or possible criminals. There must be a clear, unobstructed view from the camera in order for these types of cameras to be effective.

Infrared

Infrared CCTV cameras can be used during daytime and nighttime hours. They provide a colour image during daytime which switches to a black and white, infrared image at night. The nighttime images are as clear as the daytime images.

Types of CCTV Monitors

There are three different types of monitors used with CCTV systems. These include computermonitors, television monitors, and specialised monitors. These monitors are directly connected to the cameras and do not receive outside broadcasts. Depending on the specific type of monitor, they can receive and display colour or black and white images.

Some CCTV systems use only one type of monitor such as a computer monitor or television monitor. A high quality, high security system may require a specialised monitor. Some monitors, through the use of a wireless network, can be used at a location remote from the main business location.

Image Quality

The quality of the image or display transmitted from the camera and received by the monitor is also important. The quality of the camera and monitor should be evenly matched up. TVL or tv lines is the measurement used to describe image or display quality. A TVL of at least 350 is offered with inexpensive CCTV systems. A TVL of between 450 and 480 is offered with average-priced CCTVs. A TVL of between 550 and 580 is offered with more expensive, high quality CCTV systems.

The following table illustrates the differences in image quality, or TVL, transmitted from the camera to the monitor.

TVL

Image Quality

CCTV Cost

350

Low

Inexpensive

450-480

Average

Moderate

550-580

High

Expensive

The table above shows how CCTV cost and image quality are clearly related. The more expensive CCTVs have clearer, more defined images than the lower priced CCTVs. Businesses, investing in CCTV for security and surveillance purposes, should take these factors into consideration before making a purchase decision.

Video File Storage

Video file storage space is important in preserving files that may be needed for future review. A CCTV with built-in storage has a smaller capacity to store video files and need to frequently transmit and save the files to an outside source. Other CCTVs with larger storage are able to store the files for longer before they must be transmitted to another source. Because their storage capacity is larger, video files don't need to be saved as frequently.

Buying the Right CCTV for Your Business on eBay

eBay offers a comprehensive selection of quality CCTVs to meet any business's security and surveillance needs. Their selections range from popular brands of CCTVs to hard-to-find models that a buyer may not find at traditional stores. It is easy to shop for CCTV systems and components on eBay. After going to the eBay home page, the buyer simply enters 'CCTV' into the search bar. This directs the buyer to a page of descriptions for CCTVs. If the buyer knows the specific type of CCTV, they can also enter that information into the search bar. Some CCTVs are for both home and business use. Some CCTVs come with external cables and are waterproof. These features are usually indicated in the separate CCTV listings.

If the buyer wants listings sorted by Top-Rated Sellers only, then they can select 'Top-Rated Sellers' underneath the 'Seller' heading on the results page. This sorts the listings by sellers ranked for high quality customer service and on-time delivery. It is also important to know if the seller accepts returns. This is usually indicated underneath the seller's profile. If the buyer has any questions for the seller, they simply need to click on the contact link in the seller's profile.

Conclusion

For a business, security and surveillance concerns are paramount in keeping operating costs low and profits up. CCTV can provide security and surveillance for businesses. The presence of the cameras can deter criminal activity in the workplace and the video footage can be used to assist in pressing charges. CCTV can also monitor employees' work habits and efficiency.

The benefits of CCTV far outweighs the costs of purchasing components like cameras and monitors and setting up such a system. Once a business makes a determination to purchase a CCTV, they need to consider the type of CCTV system, choosing between a wired or wireless, digital system. The business also needs to consider the type of cameras, monitors, the image quality, and video file storage capacity. eBay offers a wide variety of CCTV systems for businesses of all sizes. When buying a CCTV from eBay, a business is buying not only a quality item but peace of mind.

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