CCTV Cameras & Security

CCTV Cameras and security equipment

Whether we are at home or at the office we all like to feel secure. And, by installing CCTV systems, we can all have the kind of peace of mind that comes with added security. And, here at Ebuyer.com, we offer everything you need to create a complete security network at an easily affordable price.

Putting together your CCTV network

Wherever you're installing your security system, you'll need to start by creating a network. This will centralise everything, making it easier to manage and allowing you to store footage in a single location.

For business users a rack server, blade server or disk array could all be appropriate options for a large set-up. Meanwhile a home user could use something a bit less powerful such as a small server or NAS device.

The next step will be to select the right cameras and here at Ebuyer.com we've got plenty of options for you to choose from. Available in a variety of designs these cameras have different specifications including day / night vision, remote control from mobile devices, motion and sound activation, image compression and much more. And many of these cameras can be attached to the network wirelessly for easy installation. Check out the many different CCTV cameras available from manufacturers such as Axis, D-Link and Y-Cam.

We also have all the other equipment you will need to complete your CCTV system including DVR recorders and accessories. You will also find complete ready-to-go CCTV systems here at Ebuyer.com.

Other security equipment

Here at Ebuyer.com you will also find many other security solutions that could prove useful at home or in the workplace, such as alarms, baby monitors, door entry systems, intercoms, face recognition devices and accessories like power supplies, adapters and even counterfeit note checkers.

Fast UK delivery

Order today and take advantage of the low prices you will find on CCTV and security equipment here at Ebuyer and we will deliver your items using our fast and secure shipping service.

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D-Link mydlink DCS-932L Wireless-N Day / Night Wireless IP Camera

  • mydlink enabled: the easiest way to monitor your home, from wherever...
  • Built-in IR LEDs for night vision (up to 5m)
  • Motion-triggered alerts by email
  • Built-in microphone

£29.99 inc. vat

£49.98save £19.99

£24.99 ex. vat

£41.65save £16.66
View product

Xenta Flexible 3.5" LCD Inspection Camera

  • Handheld video endoscope supplied in durable carry case
  • The camera can capture high quality colour images and videos
  • Supplied with hook, magnet and mirror attachments

£59.99 inc. vat

£69.99save £10.00

£49.99 ex. vat

£58.32save £8.33
View product

Response miGuard G5 GSM/SMS/Touch/RFID Communicating Alarm System

  • The miGuard G5 awarded 'Intruder Deterrent Product of the Year award'...
  • GSM / SMS Communicating Alarm
  • Remote Monitoring with “Listen In” Feature
  • Remote Arm and Disarm by SMS

£129.99 inc. vat

£159.99save £30.00

£108.32 ex. vat

£133.32save £25.00
View product

£134.99 inc. vat

£112.49 ex. vat

View product

Xenta Flexible USB Inspection Camera

  • Handheld video endoscope supplied in durable carry case
  • The camera can capture high quality colour images and videos
  • Supplied with hook, magnet and mirror attachments

£34.98 inc. vat

£29.15 ex. vat

View product

TRENDnet Outdoor 3MP Full HD PoE Dome Day/Night Network IP Camera

  • 3 Megapixel resolution
  • Compact IP66 weather rated housing
  • Night vision up to 25 metres
  • Save installation costs with Power over Ethernet (PoE)

£123.41 inc. vat

£102.84 ex. vat

View product

Xenta Digital Wireless USB CCTV Receiver System

  • Indoor camera with wireless USB dongle
  • Easy to setup Wireless CCTV
  • 2.4GHz technology
  • Includes mains adapter

£14.80 inc. vat

£20.01save £5.21

£12.33 ex. vat

£16.67save £4.34
View product

TRENDnet Outdoor 3MP Full HD PoE Day/Night Network IP Camera

  • 3 Megapixel (1080p) resolution
  • Compact IP66 weather rated housing
  • Night vision up to 30 metres
  • Save installation costs with Power over Ethernet (PoE)

£129.40 inc. vat

£107.83 ex. vat

View product

D-Link mydlink DCS-942L Wireless-N Day / Night Wireless IP Camera - with 16GB MicroSD

  • mydlink enabled: the easiest way to monitor your home, from wherever...
  • Built-in IR LEDs for night vision (up to 5m)
  • Motion-triggered alerts by email
  • Built-in microphone

£73.91 inc. vat

£61.59 ex. vat

View product

D-Link DCS-2332L - HD Wireless N Outdoor Cube Cloud IP Camera

  • Weatherproof housing
  • High-definition image quality and detail
  • Monitor outdoor spaces even in complete darkness
  • Audio and mic built in for two-way communication

£179.99 inc. vat

£149.99 ex. vat

View product

Response miGuard PSTN LCD RFID Touch Control Panel Alarm System

  • Touch Keypad with LCD Display
  • Communication Alarm with Automatic Telephone Dialer
  • Self Monitor using your existing telephone Line
  • Remote Arm/Disarm

£115.00 inc. vat

£95.83 ex. vat

View product

K-Guard Aurora - 4 Camera 1TB 960H Auto-Tracking CCTV Kit

  • Includes 1x 800TVL auto-tracking camera and 3x 700TVL bullet cameras...
  • View from anywhere in the world via your Smartphone
  • 960H recording offers high quality recordings

£229.98 inc. vat

£191.65 ex. vat

View product

Homeguard 600TVL Weatherproof Outdoor Dome Camera

  • Wall or Ceiling Mounted Indoor or Outdoor CCTV Dome Camera
  • Weatherproof Housing, IP66 Rated
  • High Resolution Picture Quality (600 TV Lines), 1/3” CMOS Sensor...

£50.00 inc. vat

£41.66 ex. vat

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720p HD In Car Journey Recorder with Free 8GB SD Card

  • 8GB SD Card Supplied
  • Forward Facing 720p HD Vehicle Camera
  • Can be used in Night Vision Mode
  • Compact and Lightweight

£39.99 inc. vat

£33.32 ex. vat

View product
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It’s been more than seventy years since CCTV or, to give it its full title, closed-circuit television was created as a means of recording rocket launches in Germany. Since then, the technology for remotely capturing the goings on at either one or a number of key points in a given location has come along in leaps and bounds.

CCTV is perhaps best known as a means of crime prevention and, where recordings have successfully caught perpetrators in the act, as a source of evidence in criminal prosecutions. The UK, in particular, is fond of using CCTV in public places as a means increasing feelings of safety in the populace by deterring criminal types through the notion that they’re ‘being watched’. In fact, a 2011 article estimated that the use of cameras for monitoring behaviour had become so prolific that there was one CCTV camera for every 14 UK citizens.

cctv camera on yellow

Systems of various sizes and complexities have been adopted by everyone from private citizens and businesses wanting to keep an extra eye on their properties to large industries needing to monitor areas of their plants and factories that are considered too hazardous for humans.

Whether you’re looking for an entry level set-up to get a better idea of what goes on in your back garden when the sun goes down or a more extensive collection of cameras for business security purposes, Ebuyer has your CCTV needs covered. This buying guide will take you on a tour of the technology that makes up a closed-circuit television network, as well the features to look out for and the unique qualities of the various CCTV manufacturers.

CCTV Basics

Irrespective of your surveillance needs, the fundamentals of a CCTV network remain the same. First of all, you’ll need a camera. If you need oversight on several areas, you’ll obviously require multiple cameras.

The cameras need to be connected to a central monitoring system that records the visual information they collect. Traditionally, this data would be transmitted along wires to a primitive cassette recorder and recorded on tapes. However, advances in wireless technology and digital recording mean that cameras can now be positioned wherever you like with the data being beamed back to the central unit as a wireless signal and stored on a hard drive.

Alongside the cameras and recorder, there are various other accessories necessary to get your surveillance system up and running. These include the usual cables and power supplies familiar to any technology user. Depending on how you decide to purchase the components for your system, either as a package or individually, these accessories may or may not be included at the outset.

The Benefits of CCTV

Despite nefarious associations with overzealous governments in dystopian futures, there are actually a great many benefits to installing a CCTV system. These plus points can apply to private or commercial property owners, as well as a large number of third-parties, including neighbours, employees, customers and visitors.

Crime Deterrent

Doors, fences, locks; there are lots of deterrents you can add to your property to help make it less appealing to criminals. Unfortunately, there’s only one that promises to catch troublemakers in the act and encourages them to take their troublemaking elsewhere, and that’s CCTV.

Staff Monitoring

No one likes the idea of someone looking over their shoulder, but in a business environment where time is money and safety is paramount, an extra pair of eyes can work wonders for productivity and accident prevention. CCTV is a great way of recording examples of unsafe staff behaviour, of ensuring codes of conduct are followed and of documenting the rare occasions when customers turn nasty.

Theft Reduction

In a busy shop or store full of bustling bodies and avenues of aisles, it’s easy for shoplifters to believe their sticky-fingered pursuits are going unnoticed. The sight of a security camera, or even just a sign pointing out that a system is in place, can be enough to force a shoplifter to weigh the consequences and think again.

Conviction Likelihood

In the unfortunate event of a home or business falling victim to an invasive or destructive criminal attack, the chances of a successful prosecution are significantly higher when backed up by CCTV footage. Firstly, the images can be used by the authorities to identify the perpetrator. Then, under the right circumstances, footage can provide a solid link between criminals and their misdeeds in court.

Remote Monitoring

Some modern CCTV systems can be viewed and controlled remotely over the internet. This allows you to keep an eye on your home or workplace, whether it’s locked up tight or open for business, no matter where you are. All you need is the relevant program on your laptop or app on your smartphone and oversight of your property is only a click or tap away.

Fraud Protection

It’s a sad fact of modern life that fraudulent insurance claims are on the rise. Claims are made for everything from the slightest misstep on uneven flooring to catastrophic collisions from poorly positioned puddles. If the fault isn’t yours, one of the best ways to prove it is via CCTV.

cctv cameras building

CCTV and the Law

Buying and installing a top-end security system is one thing. Setting up a CCTV network that fully complies with the law is another.

The 1998 Data Protection Act concerning the installation and use of CCTV refers largely to businesses. If you’re a private homeowner looking to increase security around your property, you should be fine providing you adhere to one basic rule: the recording of another person’s home or garden is not permitted. This pretty much goes without saying; however, where such breaches have occurred, accusations range from harassment to voyeurism to violation of human rights.

On the other hand, if you own a business and want to install CCTV, there are a couple of points to be aware of:

  • Where the CCTV captures members of the general public, you must inform them that recording is taking place. The simplest way of letting people know is to display a sign that is clear, readable and highly visible.
  • You should contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to notify them that you’re installing CCTV. Your message should clearly outline why you’re using security cameras.
  • If you’re an employer, it is your responsibility to control who has access to the recordings and ensure that the system is only used for its intended purpose. If that purpose is specifically to detect crime, you should not use it to monitor staff conduct.
  • Requests to view recorded footage can be made by anyone and must be granted within 40 days. A charge of up to £10 can be issued for granting such a request.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the market for a single camera to watch your front door or a complex multi-camera system to watch over an entire worksite, it’s always good to have an idea of your needs and expectations so you can buy the right technology and be satisfied with the results. In this section, we’ll run through a useful list of important factors to consider before we delve into the finer features of security camera systems.

Working out what you need

You should start out by asking yourself: what do I need from my CCTV system? The following questions should help focus your thoughts.

What do I want to see?

Consider whether you need to monitor one specific area, such as your garage or driveway, or multiple areas, such as several aisles of expensive stock. Does the camera need to be in a fixed position or would a sweeping view be better? Are there any obstacles, such as plants, branches or other equipment, which might get in the way or create a blind spot? What will the light level be like: consistent or variable depending on the time of day?

How secure do I need to be?

It’s worth thinking about the role you envision CCTV playing in your overall security set-up. Do you see it more as a deterrent; something to let opportunists know that they’re being watched? Or has your property already fallen prey to burglary or vandalism and you aim to catch the next perpetrator in the act with a view to prosecution?

Your intended level of security will inform your buying decision. It is also worth remembering that CCTV alone will not solve serious security issues, so you should consider all other available measures and think about how CCTV will fit into the bigger picture.

How much am I able to spend?

Your budget will be a major factor in determining the quality of the final image recorded by your security system. The more you are able to spend, the higher the resolution of the camera you’ll be able to buy. If you feel your property is a likely target for break-ins or similar damage, it would be worth investing in the highest resolution camera possible to increase your chances of capturing footage that could later be used as evidence in a prosecution.

Who is going to use it?

As with all technology, the easier it is to use, the better. A system with high usability really comes into its own when instructing others in its use. Do you intend to be the sole operator of your CCTV system? If so, how competent are you with setting up, adjusting and troubleshooting new kit? If someone else will be using the system, will they be monitoring it full time or would you look to outsource this function?

How long should I record for?

Again, depending on your needs and the likelihood of you calling upon footage to verify or resolve an issue, the amount of unbroken recording time can vary. The average recording duration for a business is four weeks. At the end of this period, the footage data is usually saved, backed-up and held externally for safety purposes.

Type of CCTV camera

A quick look at the assortment of CCTV cameras on the market today shows that there is an incredible number of variations, each with its own combination of features. Here we’ll look each of these features a little more closely.

CCTV camera types

Resolution

Resolution is measured in TVL (television lines). The higher the TVL value, the better the image the camera can capture. As mentioned earlier, you should always aim to buy the camera that has the highest resolution allowed by your budget.

In terms of resolution, security cameras fall into three main categories: SD, HD-SDI and HD IP. The first category is SD. It has the lowest TVL and creates standard definition images with the lowest resolution. HD-SDI produces high definition images that are around four times clearer than SD. HD IP gives the clearest picture with images that are up to two times clearer than HD-SDI.

The other main difference between these resolution types is that SD and HD-SDI deliver their images via a cabled connection, whereas HD IP transfers images via wireless signal.

Lens size

As with any camera or similar viewing device, your CCTV camera requires a lens to focus. The size of the lens determines how wide your area of viewing coverage is, so it’s crucial that you match your lens size to your security needs. A camera with the wrong type of lens could very easily give you security footage that’s of little or no use.

Here’s a handy rule of thumb to use when looking for the right lens: less is more. The smaller a lens’ focal length (measured in millimetres), the wider the field of view (FOV). Less in the focal length gives you more in the viewing angle. A camera with a small lens, 3mm for example, will have a wide FOV but a relatively limited range in terms of distance. By contrast, a bigger 50mm lens will be able to focus on objects that are further away, but its FOV will be much narrower.

Some security cameras minimise the need for choosing between fixed near and far range lenses by including a varifocal lens. Where fixed lenses come with an ‘x’mm specification for focal distance, varifocal lenses come with an ‘x-y’mm spec to indicate their adjustable range. Varifocal lenses are, therefore, more flexible and give users greater control over image clarity.

Light sensitivity

While crime and other unpleasant incidents can occur at any time of day, criminals have a tendency to favour the post-sunset hours as there are generally fewer witnesses and the dark helps conceal their activities. If your CCTV system will be recording indoors with constant lighting, light sensitivity won’t necessarily be a high priority. If, on the other hand, you need oversight of dimly-lit grounds or out-of-the-way areas, an understanding of light sensitivity will come in handy.

Cameras generally come with one of two types of lens iris. Less sophisticated and cheaper models will often include a manual lens iris. This is set in a fixed position when the system is installed and is suitable for environments where the light level is consistent, such as offices and shopping centres. As the name suggests, an auto iris lens will open and close automatically in response to the level of ambient light. This helps to ensure a constant light level in your recorded footage.

For CCTV that will be used predominantly at night, you will likely need an infrared camera unless the recorded area is particularly well illuminated. A camera’s light sensitivity is measured in ‘Lux’. Infrared cameras can record images in complete darkness (0 Lux), whereas non-infrared cameras will have varying Lux levels. The following conditions and their approximate Lux levels will give you an idea of typical values:

Direct sunlight = 100,000 Lux Indirect sunlight = 10,000 Lux Cloudy day = 1,000 Lux Dull day = 100 Lux Twilight = 10 Lux Full moon = 0.1 Lux

Indoor or outdoor

Security cameras can be fitted almost anywhere, but it’s important to match the right camera to the intended environment. For an office-based camera, chances are you won’t need it to be fully waterproof, although a degree of dust-proofing might be a good idea. External-use cameras will almost always encounter rain, making a level of waterproofing essential.

CCTV cameras usually come with an international protection or IP code to help you gauge suitability. The first digit of the two-digit code refers to dust-proofing; the second refers to water protection. If a camera doesn’t come with a clear IP rating, it’s best to assume it’s for indoor use only.

Dust Protection

  1. Unprotected
  2. Protected against a solid object greater than 50mm, such as a hand.
  3. Protected against a solid object greater than 12.5mm, such as a finger.
  4. Protected against a solid object greater than 2.5mm, such as wire or a tool.
  5. Protected against a solid object greater than 1.0mm, such as wire or thin strips.
  6. Dust-protected. Prevents ingress of dust sufficient to cause harm.
  7. Dust tight. No ingress of dust.

Water Protection

  1. Non-protected
  2. Protected against dripping water.
  3. Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15º.
  4. Protected against spraying water at an angle of up to 60º.
  5. Protected against splashing water from any direction.
  6. Protected against jets of water from any direction.
  7. Protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water. Prevents ingress sufficient to cause harm.
  8. Protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water.
  9. Protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water.

Tamper Resistance

CCTV is not a new technology; thieves and vandals are well aware of security cameras and will often seek to neutralise them before committing a crime. If you are using CCTV for surveillance over a high risk area, it might be worth investing in a camera that can offer protection against vandalism and tampering.

Most modern security cameras are metal, which immediately affords them a degree of resilience. The more secure cameras are often housed within a protective dome, allowing the camera to operate even if the exterior is assaulted. Obviously, there are very few cameras that offer total protection from tampering and vandalism, but those built to withstand such attacks could help deter those tempted to tamper and reduce the likelihood of having to replace damaged cameras.

Pan tilt and zoom

At the higher end of the security camera market are the pan, tilt and zoom or PTZ models. Cameras with this functionality can be rotated, usually around the full 360 degrees, for total coverage of an area. There is also the option to zoom, in some cases as much as 30 times, which could prove very useful in circumstances where facial recognition or number plate recognition are required.

While undoubtedly useful, there are a couple of things to consider before purchasing a PTZ camera. First, you need to make sure your digital video recorder (DVR) is compatible with the PTZ, so the two pieces of kit can successfully communicate with one another. The second consideration is around PVT cameras usually requiring manual input. For this reason, they’re not often the recommended choice for home users. They do, however, come into their own on large sites that are constantly manned by security guards who are able to put the cameras’ movement features to work.

cctv camera street

Type of CCTV video recorder

If the cameras are the eyes of the CCTV network, the DVR is the brain. Its job is to process and store all the visual information sent to it by the camera, and make it accessible to the system’s owner. Video recording equipment comes in three basic types: PC-based DVRs, standalone DVRs and network video recorders (NVR). As with the cameras, each type of DVR has its own strengths and ideal usage scenario.

PC-based DVR

These recorders are basically high-spec PCs built solely with CCTV recording in mind. They feature powerful components and dedicated software, and are capable of high levels of processing to cope with the demands of a multi-camera security system. One advantage of such a set-up is the ability to add additional cameras. Perhaps the biggest downside is the higher cost of such a system resulting from its high performance parts.

Standalone DVR

The preferred choice for homes and small businesses, the standalone DVR is not as rich in features as is PC-based counterpart, but is still versatile and easy to use. Consisting of a Linux-based operating system designed to just run the DVR software, standalone DVRs aren’t customisable but are usually capable of delivering key features, such as live view, camera control and remote access.

Network Video Recorders (NVR)

If you are thinking of using IP cameras as part of a wireless security system, you’ll need a network video recorder. Designed specifically to work alongside wireless cameras, NVRs use high performing components to efficiently process data from multiple megapixel cameras at the same time. As with standalone DVRs, NVRs are typically less expensive than PC-based DVRs, although the wireless nature of the transmitted data means there is an occasional risk of interference and signal-related performance issues.

Other features

Before choosing the right security system for you, there are other features and specifications that may or may not be right for you.

Number of channels

The number of channels supported by a DVR refers to the number of cameras that can be attached to the system. A four channel recorder, for example, can support between one and four cameras.

Frame rate

This refers to the number of images or frames captured by the camera per second (fps). To be considered ‘real time’, footage must be captured at 25fps. While this is the ideal, it is suggested that frame rates as low as 6fps can still be effective in capturing useful footage.

For example, if it took someone five seconds to walk past a camera recording at 6fps, the system will record at least 30 separate images of that person.

Motion detection

Many of the DVRs on the market today come with a motion detection feature. When activated, this feature ensures that footage is only captured when a difference occurs within the sequence of pixels being sent to the recorder i.e. when a new object enters the recording area. Some of the more advanced recorders allow ‘masking’, which allows for certain areas to be blocked out from motion detection; for example, an area containing foliage easily swayed by the wind.

Recording time

Despite the plethora of charts and tables out there to help you work out how many days your security system can record for, it’s best to view any such information as an approximate guide. There are a great many variables that can influence the maximum recording time. Increasing any one of these variables, such as frame rate or resolution, will inevitably lower the recording limit. The main variables to consider are the size of the DVR’s hard drive, the number of connected cameras, the frame rate and resolution, and the motion detection settings.

Data back-up

Because all DVRs have a finite storage capacity, if you want to keep footage for a period longer than the system’s recording time, you’ll need to back it up. Almost all DVRs come with USB connectivity so you can move the data onto an external hard drive or, if you only require a certain segment of video, onto a pen drive. Some DVRs come with a DVD burning facility, allowing you to keep a physical copy of your recordings, while others allow network back-ups direct to a remotely connected PC.

Remote viewing

If you intend to view your CCTV footage at a location other than where the DVR is held, you’ll need to choose a model that offers a networking or remote viewing facility. Setting up a system for remote viewing can be rather complicated, although there are lots of online resources to guide you through the set-up process. When your system is set up, networked and ready to go, you can usually download apps from your DVR’s manufacturer to enable remote viewing on smartphones and tablets.

Here at Ebuyer, we take security matters seriously, so we’ve put together a range of security equipment from top manufacturers to help you keep your home or business safe.

Axis Communications

If you’ve been researching security set-ups, it’s likely you’ve already come across Axis Communications. They are market leaders in network video and have played a large part in promoting the benefits of digital over analog surveillance. Favoured by security-conscious professionals, Axis provide sleek and discreet indoor and outdoor recording solutions. Click here for more information.

D-Link

For those considering investing in a wireless security network, D-Link products are a great place to start. From humble beginnings in Taiwan, D-Link have more than 25 years of award winning experience in the field of computer networking. Whether you plan to record during the day, at night or around the clock, D-Link security equipment is the smart choice. Click here for more information.

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Q-See

For quality kit and security peace of mind, look no further than Q-See. You might be in the market for a new security camera or an upgrade to your current DVR; either way, you’ll be impressed by Q-See’s range of cameras and recorders. Incredibly popular in the United States, Q-See pride themselves on innovation and, as well as setting them, incorporating industry standard technology into their products. Click here for more information.

TRENDnet

You can’t put a price on reliability when it comes to security systems. Fortunately with TRENDnet, you don’t have to. An international security success story, TRENDnet was founded in California and has since grown to make its mark on the global security networking market. Its success has been attributed to its keen eye for security trends and for the continual improvement of its products. Click here for more information.

Yale

If you know the first thing about security, you’ve probably heard of Yale. Perhaps best known as the purveyor of ‘the world’s favourite lock’, Yale are equally popular as the go-to brand for digital recording security equipment. Build to work and build to last, Yale cameras and recorders will do an admirable job of watching over you and help put your security worries to rest. Click here for more information.

Xenta

Selecting and investing in a new security system can be daunting. That is, unless you opt for equipment from Xenta. Easy to set up, install and use, Xenta’s assortment of security kit provides you with home and business security solutions that will see you protected in no time and leave you wondering how you ever got by without them. Click here for more information.

Whenever you’re looking to enter a new technological field, one of the biggest barriers to a complete understanding is the language, the technical terminology, the jargon. At Ebuyer, we like to keep things as simple and straightforward as we can for our customers, so we’ve put together a list of words, phrases and abbreviations that might crop up while you’re out scouting the CCTV landscape.

Alarm Input

Some DVRs include an input that prompts them to begin recording when the connected alarm is activated.

Angle of view

In the context of security cameras, this is the range of angles through which a camera is able focus before the image becomes distorted. A wide angle of view will give a clear image close up while a narrow angle of view is better for focusing over distance.

Auto iris

This a lens in which the iris automatically adjusts to let in more or less light for the best picture depending on the lighting conditions.

cctv camera installation

Bandwidth

Usually measured in bits per second, this is the term used to describe the rate at which data is transferred through a network. The higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transferred.

BNC connector

A variety of connector whose main use is connecting two coaxial cables or connecting a cable up to other CCTV components.

CAT 5 cable

A CAT 5 or category 5 cable can transmit information at high speed (100+ Mbps) and is usually associated with voice and data applications.

CCTV

The abbreviated form of ‘closed circuit televison’.

Coaxial cable

A cable comprised of a hollow metallic shield with a single wire running along its centre, isolated from the shield. Can transmit a wide range of frequencies with low signal loss.

Contrast

The range of values in an image, running from the lightest to the darkest.

Day/night camera

These are regular, non-infrared cameras with highly sensitive sensors that are capable of capturing relatively good images, even when the ambient lighting level is low.

Depth of field

The range across which a lens is able to focus. Depth of field is measured as the distance behind an object combined with the distance in front of an object when said object is in focus.

Digital video recorder (DVR)

The general term for the computer that takes the incoming signal from a camera or series of cameras and digitally converts, compresses and stores it. It is the modern version of the security VCR and multiplexer set-up.

cctv camera house

Field of view

The maximum viewing angle seen though a lens.

Frames per second (FPS)

The number of images a device can record or display every second. ‘Real time’ frame rate, as seen on TV displays, is 25fps. Depending on the type of surveillance, CCTV tends to be lower than this. Retail surveillance, for example, is recommended at 16fps.

Gigabyte (GB)

A unit of data, typically used to measure large data storage or transfer capacities. 1GB = 1024MB = 1.048,576KB

Hard disk drive (HDD)

The device, usually found inside your computer or recorder, that writes and stores data.

IP Address

The address of a computer on the internet displayed as a series of numbers. For example: 123.123.4.5

Infrared camera

Basically, another term for night-vision cameras. Special infrared lights found around the outside of the lens emit a special kind of light that allows the camera to record clear images even when it’s fully dark.

Interference

Random energy and competing signals that can reduce signal reception and interfere with clear recording.

Iris

The hole or aperture through which light passes before reaching the lens. The iris will adjust automatically in some cameras depending on light levels.

JPEG

The standard way of compressing images designed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. Works particularly well with photos.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A communication scheme that allows computers to link up, usually via a series a cables, to form a network. A LAN can connect multiple PCs to printers and storage servers, allowing users to transfer information and share resources. A LAN could cover a single floor, a building or an entire campus.

LUX

A unit of illumination used to measure a camera’s ability to gather light. The lower the LUX value, the better the image the camera is able to produce in low light.

MBPS

Megabits per second (MBPS) is a measure of data transmission speed.

Monitor

Display equipment used to show the images detected and transmitted by security cameras.

Monochrome

A monochrome image will appear in black and white with all the intermediary shades.

MPEG

This is the international standard for video compression and is named after the Motion Picture Experts Group. MPEG1 is low resolution, MPEG2 is higher resolution and MPEG4 is becoming increasingly popular in CCTV systems.

Pan and tilt

The camera includes a mechanism that allows it to move horizontally (panning) and vertically (tilting). These cameras also often feature a zoom function.

Pixel

Combing the words ‘picture’ and ‘element’, a pixel is the smallest area of a television picture. The higher the number of pixels, the sharper the level of detail. CCTV pictures are generally displayed in 640 x 480 pixels.

cctv camera screens security

Real time video

Video recorded and displayed at 25fps with an appearance like that of real life.

Resolution

The measurement of picture definition and clarity.

Time and date generator

A feature of CCTV that superimposes the time and date onto the video footage.

USB

A USB or universal serial bus is a standard port to which external devices can be easily connected to a computer. It is most commonly used for connecting printers, scanners and digital cameras.

VMD

Video motion detection (VMD) is a function that allows security systems to recognise movement (as represented by a change in recorded pixels) and begin recording in response.

Web server

If your DVR has an in-built web server, you will be able to monitor cameras over the internet.

Wireless cameras

Cameras that allow audio and video data to be transmitted back to the receiver via radio waves without the need for wires.

Wired cameras

These cameras use wires to transmit video images back to the recorder. Some systems have separate wires for power and signal, some have a single wire combining the two.

Zoom

Varying the focal length to enlarge or reduce the televised image.