CCTV has come a long way since the early days of recording into tapes. The advent of sophisticated algorithms like H.265+ means that CCTV footage can be in super high definition yet take up little Hard Disk space. With the incorporation of AI Face recognition, CCTV today has exceeded the boundaries of just mere recordings to active people tracking in an ecosystem as big as a whole city.
A beginner's guide to choosing CCTV System
the Types of CCTV systems & how they function
There are basically two main types of CCTV systems. One is ‘Analogue’, and the other is ‘Digital’. In terms of recording, they are both stored digitally in a hard disk.
An analogue camera sends its signal electrically via a co-axial cable to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) which converts the signal into a digital format and stores it in the hard disk with a time stamp so you can access the video by searching its catalogue at a later time.
Internet Protocol (IP) camera, on the other hand, converts the analogue signal at the camera itself, and if necessary, transmit the video feed digitally to a Network Video Recorder (NVR) which then records it with a time stamp. Since the camera has already done the processing and being a networking device itself, that means you can connect a PC or handphone directly to the camera to view the image. Some IP Cameras even have a built-in memory card where it can store video recordings, albeit recordings are limited as an SD card has limited storage compared to a hard disk.
which CCTV system is suitable for me?
A lot depends on your needs. We first look at certain deal-breaking criteria.
Analogue cameras are cheaper than the IP cameras. However, being analogue, you need one cable from each camera going back to the DVR. If you need 50 cameras, you can imagine the big bunch of cables behind the recorder.